Archive for August, 2011

Out With the Old

Posted: August 31, 2011 in e-Publishing, Small Presses
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If you find yourself lamenting about how the new generation doesn’t read anymore, think about it this way:

People are reading more than ever.

Everywhere you go, people are reading, reading, reading. They may not be reading traditional paperback books or magazines. They’re more likely to be reading Facebook pages or Twitter streams or their emails or blogs or ebooks or what have you. They are reading, though. This suggests that publishers need to radically rethink their offerings (can the first Twitter novel be far away?). It’s vitally necessary to adapt to the new reading dispensation. The old model isn’t broken – just consider the success of, say, Larsson’s Millennium Trilogy – but it isn’t sufficient any more.

via Brown: “The old model isn’t broken, but it isn’t sufficient any more.” « 40kBooks.

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Author Branding

Posted: August 20, 2011 in Marketing, Social Media
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If you’re not a cowboy, when you hear the word “branding” you probably think of logos and letterhead and tag lines used by companies to make themselves stand out in a crowd.  But authors are their own LLC and need to think the same way major corporations do to get their name out there.  How else will you draw attention to the books you’ve written that deserve to be read?

The article below makes some good points, and offers a checklist of things you can do to to promote yourself (and by association, your work).  Most of them are relatively painless.  How many things have you done so far, and which ones will you work on next?

When people know your name and have an interest in who you are and what you do, they will easily find you . Perhaps even be interested enough to buy one of your books. A good example is Amanda Hocking. I know her name well, but I can’t recall a single title she has written. But if I want to read one of her books I could find them in no time on Amazon.

So where do you start?

  • Re-write your bio on every site where you are registered and concentrate on building on your personality and interests. Your a writer, so write creatively.
  • If you’re not using your own name as your username, open a new account with your name and add ‘author’ or ‘writer’ so it’s clear who you are and what you do.
  • Check your blog to make sure your name is the real centre of attention and have a well written ‘About Me’ page and an easy way for readers to contact you along with a clear RSS feed and subscribe button.
  • Use Social Media wisely and participate. Don’t just post about you, you, you and your book. Remember, forget the books for a while. I have mentioned before that you need to ‘make friends, make fans, make buyers’. Aggressive advertising is for the sides of bus stops, not Social Media.
  • Search for your name on Google at least once a week and check your progression. This is the best way to see if others are linking to your blog or mentioning you in other areas of the Internet.
  • Twitter has become a must for authors. If you’re not on Twitter, get on and start following readers and book reviewers. Don’t get carried away with following only other authors. Then participate in the conversation and make friends.
  • Groups on Facebook are becoming irrelevant because they aren’t crawled by Search Engines anymore, so don’t waste time there. Build on your personal Facebook profile, and add a Facebook Page.
  • Register on a good number of Social sites and add a post or two. You don’t have to use them all that much as the important part has been achieved by setting up your profile. Your bio will now get listings on search engines. Make sure you have a Google account and a well written bio there as this will come up first in web searches using your name.
  • Pick your social sites to concentrate on and use them daily to build your brand. Facebook, Twitter and Goodreads is an effective threesome for an author. Ten minutes spent on each per day will really help your promotion.
  • Automate and schedule your blog posts and keep posting. Your blog is the key to your success.
  • Register with Stumbleupon and build your followers first, then use it sparingly from time to time to share your own blog posts.

via Branding for Authors | The Vandal.

Amazon’s Book Sale Statistics

Posted: August 15, 2011 in Links

Need a blow to your self esteem?  Try checking records of your book sales down to the nth degree.

Amazon has begun letting writers check weekly print sales figures from retailers around the country, by city and region.

via Obsessing Over Amazon’s Book Sale Statistics – NYTimes.com.

Lawsuits are a growing  byproduct of the not so subtle panic the publishing world seems to be engaged in.  The basket has been upended, people, and everyone is scrambling to recover the contents.

Some may call this an era of evolution in book publishing, but it also could be called the Era of Major Lawsuits taking on golliaths, such as Google … and now Apple and five major publishers: HarperCollins Publishers, Hachette Book Group, Macmillan Publishers, Penguin Group Inc. and Simon & Schuster Inc.

The issue at the center of the lawsuit against Apple and the five publishers is one that has plagued virtually every crevice of the industry: e-book pricing.

via Does Agency Pricing Lawsuit Against Apple and Book Publishers Have Merit? : Book Business.

Comparison Shopping

Posted: August 14, 2011 in Links

When deciding to go the small press route instead of traditional or self publishing, you’ll want to do your homework and pick a company that’s right for you.  Here’s a site that gives some tips on small press submissions and offers a drop down menu of many of the small presses available.

Small presses are an excellent way for early to mid-career authors to publish manuscripts. The definition of a small press is one that generates under $50 million dollars annually. The monetary success each author may experience from publication depends on a number of conditions, the small press is NOT a vanity press, self publishing, or print on demand. No money is received by the publisher from the author.

via Peevish Penman: Small Press Browser.

My sister is the one who warned me about Amazon’s change to the way you download books using Kindle apps.  She has an iPhone.  I was thinking the Android might not be affected by the change, but when my phone recently updated, I see that the Kindle app updated as well, and seems to be directing me to the Amazon website when I want to buy/download new books, so I guess Android was not immune.  But here’s a new twist.

A few weeks ago, after Apple began enforcing the new iOS terms, one eBook reader, Kobo, came out and said that they would work on a web app to bypass the restrictions. But again, others like Amazon and Barnes & Noble remained mum, and changed their apps to remove links to their stores. Turns out, Amazon was quietly doing the same thing. And now it’s ready to go. And it’s very good.

via Amazon’s Answer To Apple’s Terms: A Web-Based Kindle Cloud Reader — Brilliant On PC, Better On iPad | TechCrunch.

New Models of Publishing

Posted: August 2, 2011 in Small Presses
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The site mentioned below is another example of how people are looking at the publishing industry in a different way.  In many ways, this company’s goals are very similar to New Libri, the company that is publishing my novel Painted Black this fall.  It’s kind of cool to be engaging in what could easily be called an “experimental” wave of new publishing ideas.

Since Shelfstealers focuses on e-books and audio books, we worry less than traditional publishers about marketability when we acquire a book, and more about helping good authors. Once we acquire the rights to publish a book, however, we work closely with our authors—and our readers—to develop and implement a comprehensive marketing program to maximize sales.

via ABOUT :: What is Shelfstealers?.