Tag Archives: Business

New blog

I am changing the focus of Coming Alive, but didn’t want to lose my writer’s blog.

I know Kirsten Lamb says more than one blog is unnecessary, but when I reveal the new focus of Coming Alive, it will make sense. But I have to get my house ready to put on the market so it will take me some time.

Meanwhile writing, bitching about writing and author promotion is now at, which is here.

Writing Asrai

https://writingasrai.wordpress.com/

It should have been asraidevin.wordpress.com but someone used and deleted it and wordpress has a stupid if you delete no one else can ever have it rule.

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Everyone has an opinion

I follow a few author’s blogs and a few of them have stepped out and said that self e-publishing is not the way to go. If you can, get with a “real” publisher. One who can market you and edit you and fit you into their mold.

You gotta wonder about their motivation.

I am just saying authors with contracts have a vested interest in publishers going strong. If they can convince a few people that indie is a bad thing …

They have convinced themselves it’s the right way, which translates into the only way for some people.
If indies do become stronger than the Big six.

Shit did those authors catch the wrong wave.

Ah, Zementa has many related articles, but I’m not going to link to anything else. It’s out there peeps.

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Waddling through the drek

Many of the naysayers comments on self-publishing goes something like this:

HOW will us POOR readers be able to tell the horrible writing from the good stuff if the editors and publishers and agents don’t tell us what to read?

Shut it people.

Just reading the small blurb about the book tells a hell of a lot. I was on Smashwords looking up free reads to read and then review later and there were things that I could tell were crappy just by reading the small blurb. The author just threw something up there. A few of them didn’t even have proper book description just genre blurb. Huh? I know what romance is about? I need to know what YOUR romance is about.

This is how we currently choose books isn’t it? The short blurb and the cover.

Secondly, almost all indie authors give you a preview of their book. If they don’t then write the author and tell them what a mistake they are making. If the blurb looks good, check out the preview.

It’s how we check out an unknown author at the library or bookstore. Flip open to a random page and see if it’s unreadable or interesting.

If those two check out, then you are probably okay to read the whole book. Even spend a little bit of money on it.

If those two satisfy you and you buy the book and it turns out to be drek, you do have some recourse. Kindle gives you a week or so to ask for a refund if you hate the book. I don’t know if Kobo, B&N or Smashwords gives you the same.

Money back or not, write a review. Let other people know the book sucked or didn’t. Write why it did or didn’t work for you. Write it on your blog, your twitter and Amazon etc etc. Send a letter to the author.

I think if I got a letter from a pissed off reader, I would offer a refund of money.

Really tho, in a world where movies like Saw 54 (what number are they on anyway!!) and The Back-Up Plan get made or TV shows like Grey’s Anatomy are still popular? I think we can sludge through a few bad books.

Bad books make it through the agent-editor-publisher process all the time. It’s really a matter of taste. Your highfalutin tastes might look down on Twilight and Dan Brown and all of Harlequin there are PLENTY of people to make it up for those authors-publishers-editors-agents. They aren’t missing your money at all.

SO shut it. Self-publishing isn’t going to unleash the demons of hell upon the world of reading. If you don’t think self-published novels are where it’s at then don’t bother looking. PUblishing is still going strong, you can still buy a few thousand books published by traditional publishers.

You can even do it in print so you can have the whole experience. The feel of the book in your hands. The paper cutting your fingers. How is it that paper cuts always hurt so bad?

And you can breathe in the musty smell of paper. ANd deep breath and then cough cough. (If you ask me it’s more like breathing in dust).

And you can have the weight of the book in your hands. Both hands because it’s a hard cover and you have to use both hands to hold it. (I was annoyed the other night because I was reading a print hardcover and found it bulky to read my book and hold my infant son so I tossed it aside for my Kobo which is easy to fling from hand to hand).

And yes, you can pay a premium price for all that privilege. The author will get a small percentage. Eventually.

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Getting things Done

Getting Things Done !
Image by Sunfox via Flickr

Not talking about the famous book, Getting Things Done.

How do you get things done?

It’s life. There is writing and editing to be done. There is my job to work. The house to clean. Husband and child to spend time with. The energy required to grow a child. (Okay some of those are just mine, but not entirely unique to me as a writer, mom, human being).

After listing all that I feel like the woman in the photo.

And then there is marketing and networking. Which means devoting time to reading and commenting on blogs. Spending time on Twitter looking for interesting articles which give me ideas on writing new blog articles and also allow me to retweet and connect with more people.

There is also your own blog to write. I would love to do more reviews of Smashwords and other books. But then I have to take time away from all those other things to read the book.

I love reading. I love reading indie books. And reviewing and promoting them. But when I’m writing, I like to keep one plot line in my head. And this new plot line is a real struggle for me.

There isn’t time to balance all these things. You have to choose and for the next while it has to be writing and the house and the family.

Instead of worrying about what’s not getting done, you should worry about your biggest priorities. The rest will be okay without you.

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Panic in the masses

Publishers are panicking.

For years they have been the gateway for authors to get their books read. A few self-published authors have slipped out. Even then, the publishing industry swoops in and gets a contract for that book or at least, the subsequent books.

Digital publishing allows authors to skip past publishers and go directly to the consumer. They sell their books for less but get more in return. If they are unknown, they sell fewer copies and have to do more work.

Now even established authors are taking control of their electronic rights and getting more than the usual pittance (strike through) percentage allotted to authors.

Publishers don’t know what to do. Their current model cannot compete.

It’s time for them to step-up or step-out.

Hooray for choice. Without this new model, thousands of indie author’s wouldn’t have a hope in hell of being read. As a consumer, this means you get the same entertainment as before at a better price.

Electronic books give you no recourse for resale or sharing. But if you are buying a book for 1.99 or 2.99 or even 5.99, you aren’t losing anything. Right now paperback books are $7-10. You won’t be able to resell it for more than half of the orignal price and the author gets no money for that. Now, you can tell your friends about a book you loved, they can buy it instantly. The author gets another bit of money.

If books are 1.99 then people are going to be less inclined to pirate them as well. Movies are highly pirated because what you get for the money is grossly out of proportion. (And if you say they need to cost that much because the movie needs to pay for the price of making the movie- shame on the movie industry. Stop making movies that pay the actor’s $10 mill a flick. Find someone who will do it cheaper, actors are a dime a dozen down there. Stop spending $10 million more on special effects and basic destruction. The amount of waste the average shoot it up movie must create makes me cringe.)

If I’m paying $7 to give you two hours of my time, it better be worth it. Usually it isn’t. I haven’t seen many new movies in the past 5 years. If a movie looks good enough, we wait until it comes on network TV or less than $5 at Wal-mart.

Watch: Steal this Movie II.

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Why independent publishing is working for yourself

Ditchwalk wrote about the new money flow.  I wrote about independent authors being the little sister to traditional publishing, still in it’s infancy but will surpass her big sister someday.

A second analogy: traditional publishing is to independent authors as being a paid employee is to entrepreneurship.

What are most people striving for?

Working for themselves.

Why are authors so keen to let a publishing house have most of their profits? Because they make their books pretty?

Thanks to the internet, stock photography and creative commons licences, you can have your pick of images and create your own cover. It takes a few hours work, but I think that might worth a few percentages of income.

Formatting takes a little more work, but well worth the effort.

Editing isn’t so hard. A few hundred dollars to the right people can get your book edited now days. Actually, if you are willing to put in the time, you can get your book edited for free, so long as you are willing to do the same for someone else. Editing is little more than basic spelling and grammar knowledge and a fresh set of eyes looking at the text. Bite sized edits is proving to be a valuable tool.

There is marketing. And traditional publishers have a bit of advantage on this. They can get a book into every book store in the US and Canada (or the UK- depending on where you publish).

Getting them into bookstores is only a piece of the challenge. Most books end up being sold less than cost or eventually sent back to the publisher and destroyed.

There are many advantages to self-publishing.

Right now I have to edit my book some more.

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Independent Success

Why is it in the book/publishing business that if you are independent than you aren’t professional?

Independent movies are made all the time. No one frowns on them. They’ve launched many a successful film career.

There are people saying that big house publishers will soon be looking to see if authors have had any independent publishing success before signing them.

That makes sense. So many other places do that.

Independent publishing is not unequal to traditional publishing options ie. signing with a big name publisher and hoping your book sells a few thousand. At least so you can get a little more than your advance.

Independent publishing is better likened to the little sister of traditional publishing. The little sister has to work a little harder to get out of big sister’s shadow. She has to be different. Edgier and more aggressive. She has to try things that big sister wouldn’t have dared. She has to embrace the new wave.

She isn’t her big sister. People make the mistake of calling them the same name. People make the mistake of comparing them. Both of those are wrong.

Independent publishing, especially electronically, is still in it’s infancny. We are the early adopters. We are the pioneers. We are on the forefront of the new success. Traditional success isn’t there yet. Few are making thousands of dollars, almost no one is making a living yet.

As technology moves forward and catches up, little sister will equal or surpass her big sister. Independent publishers and authors will be successful.

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