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Ian Irvine: Marketing for Authors, Part One

Posted by Rowena Cory Daniells on November 12, 2011

Today we have the indefagitable Ian Irvine, who is sharing is hard-won wisdom with us. Take it away, Ian …

Internet Marketing Basics for Authors

A.         Introduction

Building a strong presence on the net is a long-term proposition. Unless you’re a celebrity or a genius it’ll take you a year or more to build your author platform and gain a significant following. To do so you need to establish presences in a number of places, because they have different functions in your book marketing strategy.

But it’s not enough to establish your sites on the net – you also need to promote and cross-promote them, regularly respond to comments and questions, and update these sites frequently. If a fan returns to your site after a month or two and finds nothing new, or worse, stuff that’s obviously out of date, they’re unlikely to return. But remember, to build your audience, the great majority of your updates should be engaging, relevant, informative and free.

B.        Your Author Platform

What are these functions – what does online networking actually do? What is an author platform, for that matter?

Your author platform is the way you’re currently reaching an audience. For most people, other than celebrities, this is your online presence, whether it’s your website, Facebook, Twitter, blog, YouTube, or several of these.

C.        Online Networking

According to Dana Lynn Smith, in The Savvy Book Marketer’s Guide to Successful Social Marketing, online networking allows you to:

  • Build your author platform and recognition of your brand (i.e., your name as the author of certain kinds of books);
  • Develop relationships with peers, influencers, potential customers and people with common interests;
  • Drive traffic to your website, blog and Facebook page;
  • Share your expertise and knowledge, and help other people
  • Directly and indirectly, promote your books (and any other services you may offer).

D.         Seven Key Activities

The following activities are the most important for book marketing. Ideally, you’ll do all of these, assuming you have the time. It takes a lot of work.

  1. Your website
  2. Your Facebook Fan page
  3. Your blog
  4. Your Twitter feed
  5. Your email newsletter
  6. Your GoodReads page
  7. Your YouTube page

E.        One at a Time

I don’t recommend you work on everything at once. After you’ve created your website, start on one other activity – your blog, or Twitter, or your Facebook fan page – and when it’s working well you can move on to the next. But if there’s one activity you’re not comfortable with e.g. creating and posting videos to YouTube, don’t worry about it. You can’t do everything and it’s better to do a few things well than many things badly.

Remember that social media like Facebook, Twitter, your blog, YouTube feed and GoodReads page aren’t for direct marketing, but for connecting to other like-minded people. Only a tiny fraction of your updates to social media sites should be direct marketing – i.e., versions of ‘Buy my book!’ The great majority of your updates should be useful, informative or entertaining.

For direct marketing, you’ll use your website and especially your email newsletter. And perhaps some carefully targeted advertising on Facebook or GoodReads.

F.         Develop a Plan

Before you begin, do some planning:

  1. Work out your goals, e.g., to:
    1. Meet people, network, keep in touch and build relationships in the areas you’re interested in;
    2. Help others by sharing your knowledge and experience;
    3. Build your author platform and brand recognition;
    4. Promote your books, indirectly or directly;
    5. Gain a large audience and drive relevant traffic to your main author platforms (website, blog, Facebook fan page, newsletter etc).

 

  1. Develop your social media strategy to reach these goals, considering your available time and resources. Work out the topics you’re going to post about, then stay on message. Don’t do unrelated posts.

 

  1. General principle in social media: give more than you get. Reach out to people and ask – who can I help? Do this by sharing your expertise and experience. Promote only rarely, and when you do, be subtle.

 

  1. Ask yourself who you’re trying to connect with. The aim is to end up with as many high quality followers as possible. People follow you for what you have to say of interest to them; e.g., for me on Twitter and my blog:
    1. Authors and other people I’m friends with or interested in;
    2. Influential and perceptive writers on the publishing industry, technology and the future;
    3. Experts on book promotion and marketing, especially in social media;
    4. People with something to say about writing and storytelling;
    5. Reviewers/editors/publishers/book bloggers etc;
    6. Key bookshops and booksellers.
    7. People who love the genres I write in.
    8. Other writers trying to find a way through the maze.

G.         Developing your Platform

The way you’ll develop your platform will depend on your own time, skills and resources. I’ve used my own sites as examples of how these can be done well (or poorly, in some cases – I’m still learning, and I welcome your comments).

  1. Your website – the first and most reliable source of information about you and your books.

Build a strong, user-friendly website that loads quickly, has lots of useful content (including first chapters of all your books, links to places where readers can buy them, and plenty of images, audio and video) and is regularly updated with news or other content (ideally, weekly). As an example, I’ve put a huge effort into both the design and content of my website, and you may find some inspiration for your own site here:  Also:

◦         Add a button to collect Likes for your Facebook page,

◦         Add other useful widgets such as Google Translate, especially if you have a lot of international readers. The translations aren’t brilliant but they’re better than nothing;

◦         Make it easy to share with sharing and bookmarking buttons (I use this ), and RSS;

◦         It’s a pain trying to determine if your favourite site has been updated recently. Add a box that shows what the latest updates are and where they can be found;

◦         Optimise it for mobile devices.

  1. Twitter – probably the fastest and simplest way to build your audience, to meet and develop relationships with other authors, influencers and potential book buyers, to keep up to date, get help, create a buzz about your book or content, and to drive traffic to your other sites. It’s also a good place to help others by sharing your knowledge and expertise, thus enhancing your reputation as an expert. It’s also easy compared to other social media: the learning curve is small and tweeting need not take a lot of time.

To gain followers, post valuable or useful content (your own articles and links, plus interesting and relevant material you’ve come across, but not ads or personal trivia) several times a day – with your other tweets being replies, retweets etc. Be yourself: authentic, friendly and helpful.

You can write and schedule your updates in advance with HootSuite. The Twitter Guide for Authors is helpful and relevant.

Twitter can become a time-wasting distraction, but many writers find it extremely useful for meeting like-minded people, making other industry contacts, and as an instantaneous publicist. I use it mainly for telling people about interesting blog, Facebook or website content (other peoples’ as well as my own content), learning from experts in my areas of interest, and driving traffic to my site and blog. Ian on Twitter.

  1. Your Blog – a great way to gain followers, network with influencers, drive traffic to your sites and be found by search engines. Also a good place to help others by sharing your knowledge and expertise. Blogs are relatively easy to set up and maintain, but using them effectively requires a significant time commitment – ideally, at least 5 hours a week.

Create a structured blog on a topic or topics of broad appeal, with lots of useful content and helpful or thought-provoking (or controversial) articles, that’s regularly updated (ideally, several days a week), and provide quick responses to readers’ comments.

Remember, your readers don’t give a damn about you. They’ll scan your blog in 10 seconds and leave if it doesn’t seem useful. Make each article clear, simple and relevant, and definitely not an advertisement for your own books. I’ve only begun blogging recently, but the great majority of my posts contain useful information about writing, publishing and books in general: See Ian Irvine blogspot

To increase your audience, ask what interests your readers. Free Social Media Examiner.Also:

◦         Google ‘effective blog design’ and set up a clear, well-structured, uncluttered blog that’s easy to read, and easy to find content on.

◦         Make it clear at a glance what your blog is about and who you are.

◦         Make it easy to search, bookmark, share and subscribe to your blog, so visitors will return.

◦         Make it mobile friendly. Up to a third of all visitors come from mobile devices.

◦         Blog comments. Reply promptly to comments on your posts. It’s also helpful to post comments frequently to other relevant blogs (but not comments that are really ads for your book).

◦         Blog tours. Organise a blog tour where, over a few weeks soon after your book has been published, you do guest posts and respond to readers’ comments on 10 – 20 other relevant blogs. Blog tours are also very useful to get a buzz going, though quite a bit of work – for the two tours I did earlier this year, I wrote 40,000 words of posts. For more info.

Next Sunday Part Two of Ian’s Marketing for Authors.

Feel free to send questions through to Ian.

Ian Irvine is an Australian marine scientist who has also written 27 novels, including the international bestselling Three Worlds epic fantasy sequence, a trilogy of thrillers about catastrophic climate change, Human Rites, and 12 novels for children. His latest children’s series is the humorous adventure fantasy quartet, Grim and Grimmer. Ian’s latest epic fantasy is Vengeance, Book 1 of The Tainted Realm.

Posted in Australian Spec Fic Scene, Authors and Public Speaking, Book Launches, Covers, Promoting your Book, Publishers, Publishing Industry, Sales, Visiting Writer, Writing Craft, Writing Opportunities | Tagged: , , , , , , | 7 Comments »

Book Trailers — Are they worth the effort?

Posted by Rowena Cory Daniells on September 17, 2011

This week George Ivanoff, Award Winning author of the Gamer’s Quest series (YA fiction) talks about book trailers ….

Watch out for the give-away at the end of the post.

George Ivanoff

 

There has been much debate about the relevance of book trailers. Are they a worthwhile investment of time and money for publishers and authors? Do they actually sell books? Does anyone watch them?

Well, I don’t have any definite answers for you. Sorry! But I do have a few observations based on personal experience.

I had my first trailer made for my 2009 teen novel, Gamers’ Quest. I had no idea if it would be worthwhile. And I had no budget. After an aborted attempt to make it myself (it was pretty crap), I got some help. Friend and computer animator, Henry Gibbens stepped in and produced a trailer for me, with my brother-in-law, Marc Valko, writing and performing the music. I wanted it to look a bit computer-gamey, as the novel is set within a computer game world, and I wanted music that sounded a bit like a 1980s sci-fi tv show theme. This is the result…

It has been up on YouTube since October 2009, but has had only a little over 800 views. Does that mean it’s a failure? Perhaps if I had spent lots of money on it, it might be considered a poor investment. But I didn’t. So even though it has only had a relatively small number of views (compared, for example, to Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters which has views in the hundreds of thousands), it has at least had some people watching it, and it’s not languishing at the bottom of the heap, as so many trailers are, with views not exceeding 100.

YouTube aside, it has been a very successful trailer for me in another way. As a writer of books for kids and teens, I do school visits, and the trailer has proved to be a great way to capture the interest of a young audience. Starting a school talk with a short video that has computer game-like visuals can seize the attention of the most bored and uninterested of teens. So for this reason alone, I was keen to have a trailer for the sequel, Gamers’ Challenge.

I showed this trailer to a couple of school groups last week. The reaction was fantastic! The trailer is more dynamic that the first, and the music deliberately more upbeat and techno. The feedback from the audience was very positive.

Currency did exchange hands this time around — but I already consider it money well spent, purely because it will be a useful tool in school presentations.

But what about YouTube? The trailer has been up for a little over a week and still has not broken the 100 mark. What do I do?

I’ve posted it on FaceBook and Twitter, and on my blog. But this doesn’t seem to have done a huge amount. In fact, reaction has been slower than when I posted the Gamers’ Quest trailer two years ago. You know what? I think people are gradually paying less attention to videos on FaceBook and Twitter. So much crap has been posted over the last two years, that people are more reluctant to click on a vid, and, in fact, will often bypass them without even registering what they are.

Certainly, my use of FaceBook has changed over the two years that I’ve been using it. When I first started, I used to religiously log in every morning and check my friends’ updates… and again at the end of the day. As the months rolled by, and my ‘friends’ list expanded, I started to skim rather than read. Another few months down the track I divided my friends up into groups, so that I could keep track of those who made interesting posts, while bypassing those who status updates consisted of what they had for breakfast. And still, FaceBook was eating up my time (it is, I am convinced, the Black Hole of the Internet)— time that should have been spent writing. So now, I glance at the status updates every couple of days, and look up genuine friends when I’m thinking about them and wondering what they are up to. Do I ever look at videos posted to FaceBook? Rarely!

If this is the way I use FaceBook, how can I expect to get lots of people looking at the videos that I post?

So where does that leave me and my trailer with regards to YouTube? I’m not a big-name-author with a high-profile book published by a large publisher that can afford a big-bucks trailer that is guaranteed immediate and constant attention. But I need to get people to watch my trailer… otherwise why bother having it up there?

Talking to other authors and trailer makers, I’ve discovered something. Even though a book trailer is a piece of promotion for a book, it also needs to be promoted. You need to let people know that the trailer exists… and you need to tell them repeatedly. If they see a link to it often enough, and if you tell them interesting things about it, then they are more likely to invest their time in watching it.

But I hardly have enough time to promote my book, let alone a video about my book! I hear you scream. But promoting your book trailer is simply another way of promoting your book. And believe me, after the umpteenth interview and gazillianth guest blog post, I need something a little different to say in order to interest my readers and maintain my sanity.

And so, here I am, telling you about my experiences with book trailers in the hope that you, my dear, dear, readers, will all spare a couple of minutes to go and watch my latest book trailer. And hopefully, if you actually like it, you may tell other people about it. Or, if I’m very lucky, it may inspire you to seek out and purchase a copy of my book (titled Gamers’ Challenge, just in case you’ve forgotten).

But I’m not relying solely on the readers of Ripping Ozzie Reads to boost my YouTube status. I will be writing about this trailer whenever I get the chance, to as many different outlets as possible. This article is the first of many!

Will all of this boost the trailer’s views and hence sell some more books? Time will tell! In the meantime, excuse me while I go check YouTube to see if anyone else has watched it.  😉

George is giving away 2 copies of Gamer’s Challenge.

Give-away Question: If you could replace the music on the Gamers’ Challenge trailer with a pop song, what would it be?

 

George Ivanoff is a Melbourne author and stay-at-home dad, best known for his Gamers series of teen novels. Gamers’ Quest won a 2010 Chronos Award and is on the reading list for both the Victorian Premier’s Reading Challenge and the NSW Premier’s Reading Challenge. Gamers’ Challenge was released this month by Ford Street Publishing.

George spends most of his time writing books for the primary school education market, and also writers a regular bookish blog, Literary Clutter for Boomerang Books online bookstore.
More information about the Gamers books is available on the official website.
More information about George and his writing is available on his website.

Posted in Artists, Australian Spec Fic Scene, Book Launches, Book Trailers, Collaborating, Creativity, Musicians, Nourish the Writer, Promoting your Book, Publishers, Publishing Industry, Sales, Visiting Writer, Writing for Young Adults | Tagged: , , , , , , | 9 Comments »

How writers can create their own luck

Posted by Rowena Cory Daniells on March 19, 2011

Professor Richard Wiseman (no I did not make up his name) is a psychologist who writes about luck, deception, the paranormal, humour and the science of self help. I came across the principles behind his book The Luck Factor several years ago.

In this book, he analyses why some people seem to have better luck than others and discovers it comes down to four principles, which I’m going to relate to us as writers.

Authors  often feel a sense of helplessness. We slave over a keyboard, pour our hearts and souls into books only to send them out into the cold cruel world of editor’s desks. And even if our book does appeal to an editor it has to get past marketing at an acquisitions meeting. Then, if it makes it that far, all sorts of things can happen to it. It can get a terrible cover and never make the sales it deserves. So we tend to feel fatalistic about our books.

We can promote our books. We can do guest posts and send off copies to review sites and arrange give-aways. But there is always this element of luck. Luck to sell in the first place, hitting that Right Editor at the Right Time with the Right Book. And then, once the book is out in the shops, it has to be in the Right Place at the Right Time to appeal to the Right People, who will pick it up and champion it.

It helps if your books are lucky enough to get brilliant covers!

The publisher of Twilight did not expect it to be a smash hit, same with the publisher of the first Harry Potter book.  It is easy to look back and say, Oh Twilight appeals to the Tween market offering an adoring male (the leashed beast), or Oh Harry Potter offered the familiarity of boarding school with the fun of fantasy and an updated version of Enid Blyton’s Fantastic Five mysteries.

But we can’t anticipate what the next big thing will be. It is fair to say that publishers really don’t know why one book makes record sales and not another, otherwise they would only be publishing best sellers.

So what can you do to maximise your chance to get published in the first place. There is a point you reach where you have done the hard yards and you can write a good book. Then you have to get it in front of an editor. Let’s look at Wiseman’s four principles.

1. Maximise Opportunities

I’m always telling aspiring writers to enter competitions, go to festivals listen to editors and agents and find out what they are looking for. Your books will not sell on your hard drive. Only recently we’ve seen  self published author Michael J Sullivan get picked up by Orbit and Angry Robot signed Adam Christopher who had developed a following via Twitter. Then there’s Amanda Hocking the Kindle Millionaire who bypassed traditional publishers all together. So do your research, be ready with the book of your heart to place it in front of the public/editor/agent.

2. Listen to Lucky Hunches

At first I didn’t see how this applied directly to aspiring writers. Then I remembered how I sold to Dreaming DownUnder, the anthology which won World Best Fantasy. It was being edited by Jack Dann and Janean Webb and it was submission by invitation only. But I had a hunch that if I approached them and asked to submit a story, they’d say yes. They did and my story was accepted. The worst that could have happened was they might have said no. So follow your hunches.

3. Expect Good Fortune

This one basically means even when things go bad (as they did for me with a lean patch of nearly 10 years between my trilogies) lucky people don’t stop trying. I kept writing, kept polishing my craft, kept my eyes open, ready to take advantage of the first sign of positive feedback. So don’t let knock-backs stop you, after all, you’re not a writer, if you’ve never had a rejection. (See here for 14 Best Selling books that were repeatedly rejected).

4. Turn Bad Luck into Good

Sounds a bit Pollyanna, doesn’t it? Wiseman says: ‘Lucky people employ various psychological techniques to cope with, and often even thrive upon, the ill fortune that comes their way.’ Or if you are a fan of Julie Andrews – when one door closes a window opens. Who knows it could be a window of opportunity. <grin>

So there you have it, advice from Professor Wiseman that applies to writers. And if this is all a bit serious, see here for Wiseman’s LaughLab, where he set out to discover the world’s funniest joke.

(I posted this blog last night and totally forgot to give it a title. Blame my husband. He was hovering over me saying. Is it done yet? I want to put the movie on. LOL).

Posted in Agents, Creativity, Nourish the Writer, Pitching, Promoting your Book, Publishers, Publishing Industry, Sales, Writing Opportunities | Tagged: , , , , | 5 Comments »

Blitzing the book trailers …

Posted by Rowena Cory Daniells on March 5, 2011

This Sunday we have a ‘call back’. In an interview with AA Bell, author of Diamond Eyes, she tells how the music that inspired her while writing the book led to a collaboration, that has created a killer book trailer. Then we hear from the musician involved in her project,  ‘David Meshow’.

We have a copy of Diamond Eyes to give-away. Watch our for the question at the end.

Blitzing the book trailers for many NY Times bestsellers this month is the non-traditional low-budget trailer for Diamond Eyes, by AA Bell.


Over 106,000 views in only 3 weeks! (Here and Here)

 

Interview with the Author:

 

How did music play a role during the initial creative process?

Since the main character is blind, music and poetry plays an increasingly important role in the Diamond Eyes trilogy, adding sensory depth to settings as well as a few main plot twists. During the research stage, I therefore searched high and low for musicians who could inspire me by playing as many instruments as my main character, and play them so well, they could do it anywhere – in a garden or forest, and with a quirky sense of humour too preferably, to suit the off-beat characters and varying paces of the story, from slow and melancholy to fast-paced action. That’s how I found French Canadian, David Meshow, a young musical genius who can play at least 8 different instruments (and up to 4 at once, while singing in English, which isn’t his first language!) He also taught me how to play the most amazing electric guitar melodies around a campfire, so I could use it to increase the ‘magical’ aspects of a specific scene in Hindsight (launching in June.)

And in post production?

It seemed only natural that such unique music should play a large role in post production too. So I wrote to David for permission to use part of the music which had inspired me so much during the creative process, and sent him a copy of the book, but he was so inspired by the story, he told me he was keen to write a brand new piece just to suit it. And wow, what a fabulous example of inspiration breeding inspiration. Over 5000 fans now agree it’s his best yet!

Interview with the Musician:

What inspired you when writing the Official Theme to Diamond Eyes?

 

From the story, I imagined how I would be if I was blind. Seeing nothing, but seeing something that nobody else can see, because it’s only in my head, gave me a lot of strange feelings. I first tuned my acoustic guitar with an unusual scale. After having found the main “chords” I recorded the guitar on my computer, just a simple test. Then i added some improvised piano. I love the sound of piano because you can get some smooth peaceful high tones and aggressive low notes at the same time. At the final recording step, I thought: What could I play to replace these testing notes? I tried different things but my final answer was; “Hey David, don’t change anything. The first recording test was pure emotion. It sounds deep.’ And finally, I used the soundless preview of the traditional trailer to get many ideas for the main ambiance and for adding different sound FX.

How long did it take?

A few minutes here and there, but if I calculate the full time of the composition, mixing and production to finished product, I’d say it took me a good full week. But i don’t like to calculate my time because it “scraps” my imagination and the mood I have when I’m recording a song. It has to be done with heart. The most difficult is the final mixing step because I have to admit that I’m never 100% satisfied. Sometimes I just need to stop or I’ll never release my work. Hehe!

What has this fabulous response from youtube fans meant to you as an artist?

Ha! I’m surprised! I’m the kind of person who is always anxious until I get the first comments. It’s always like that. I really wasn’t expecting such a good response. I wasn’t sure about making a video for the song either. I was wrong, I guess. A lot of fans have told me it’s my best yet. And if I’m here today, it’s thanks to them! This 50 million views could not have happened without them. I’m really happy about everything that’s happened!

To win a copy of Diamond Eyes, AA Bell asks: What music do you listen to when you write?

Posted in Australian Spec Fic Scene, Book Giveaway, Book Launches, Book Trailers, Creativity, Musicians, Promoting your Book, Sales | Tagged: , , , , , | 11 Comments »

E-books and indy/self publishing

Posted by Rowena Cory Daniells on January 8, 2011

‘The world is changing, Grasshopper, and we’re all scrambling to make sense of it.’

The buzz is all about authors who have a following making copies of their out of print books available through Smashwords (or some other avenue) as e-books. Anna Jacobs, a top selling romance writer, also wrote a fantasy series and a stand alone SF book as Shannah Jay. These have been out of print for a while, so she put these books up on Smashwords. She’s also released the prequel to the fantasy series.

Anna says her fantasy books sell better in Australia, than they do in the UK, and her romance sell better in the UK where she is known for them. The fantasy sales have not been very exciting, but …

‘I have 5 historical romances and one modern novel up at Amazon under my own steam, two regency romances up there (and at all sorts of other places) via Regency Reads – I only ever wrote two regency romances. The rest of my books are put up by my saga publisher.

Tracking is fiddly but numbers are worthwhile financially on the books we put up ourselves. For example, my historical romances have recently had between 2 and 5 books in the top 100 ebook historical romance sellers in the UK (out of 7 books published as ebooks) and my sagas have had similar numbers in the top 100 sagas.

These numbers go down while the UK sleeps and up again when the UK wakes up. It’s very pleasing. Yesterday I had 5 historical romances in the top 100 at about 5pm and 6 sagas in the other top 100 list. Today I had one historical romance in the list at 2.10 pm Aussie time today, and 3 sagas in the other list. The lists change every hour.

For most of these sales I get 70% of selling price if sold to someone in the UK or USA, 30% if sold to elsewhere in the world. It’s not in the league of my print book sales, but makes a nice addition to my income. For those from my publisher I get only 25 % of sales, standard royalty rate for ebooks at the moment.’

Over at the Mad Genius Club- Writers’ Division, Several of the writers have formed Naked Reader Press (Meaning naked as in e-books). Submission details for NRP. They say:

‘Naked Reader came about when a group of us, all writers, editors and others in the publishing field as well as a few with legal or accounting backgrounds, got together and started talking about what we would like to see in a publishing house. That conversation quickly turned to the number of authors who were taking advantage of e-publishing through their own sites, through “cooperatives” and the like. A few more conversations down the road and we came to the conclusion that we wanted to offer more than just our own books and stories for sale. We wanted to offer the opportunity for authors with backlists to release those books in a digital format at terms that were fair to them; terms that would keep cost to the reader down while giving the author more money per book than they would get through a traditional route. Later, after more talk and a lot of research, we decided that we could pool all our talents and Naked Reader was born.’

And there’s  The Book View Cafe.

‘Book View Café came together in March of 2008 around a group of authors (click here to see our complete author list) with a simple aim: to use the Internet to bring their work directly to their readers. It was already clear that a revolution was coming to the publishing industry and these authors wanted to help shape its course.

Working with a shoe-string budget and volunteer labor, but drawing on a collective century’s worth of experience in the publishing industry, they created the Book View Café website. Rather than just another clearing house for books online, they created a space where readers could browse and discover new authors and titles alongside current favorites. Aware that the Internet demands variety, the authors made sure that fresh fiction appeared on their front page every day, a feat made possible by the extensive list of material available to over twenty professional authors.’

But how successful are these ventures and can you achieve sales if you are a ‘newbie’ author?

Here is a guest post by Robin Sullivan, wife of writer Michael J Sullivan about his e-books self publishing. She says:

‘Many say that Joe’s success is a direct result of his traditional publishing foundation and that new authors can’t hope to do the same. Since we don’t have a time machine so that Joe can remake his career, perhaps looking at someone who started with nothing, and is currently selling similarly, can be used as an example for what is possible.’  She goes on to talk about the new fantasy series that they have self published and the sales it is making.

And then here’s Amanda Hocking.

Here’s a Huffington Post article about fantasy writer, Amanda Hocking’ who has written 17 novels (she’s only 26 – Obsessive moi?). She’s self published and, since April 2010, she’s sold 185,000 copies.  She says:

‘I decided to self-publish, and I thought it would be better than them sitting on my computer. Worst case scenario, nobody would read them, and that’s what was happening anyway.’

LOL, good on you Amanda.

Here’s an article by Derek J Canyon on self publishing in e-book format with information on sales.

All of this is really interesting. I’m really happy with my publisher so I won’t be rushing out to self publish. I like to know that several other professionals have read my books and edited them rigorously before I send them out into the world.

But, like everyone else, I’m watching e-books and what’s happening in the real-world market with interest. Have you bought self published e-books? What’s the quality been like?

Posted in e-books, Editing and Revision, Publishing Industry, Sales | Tagged: , | 14 Comments »

Computer Games, Academics and the Unquantifiable!

Posted by Rowena Cory Daniells on August 25, 2010

The Little Sister from Bio Shock 2.

Here’s a New Scientist article on how Games Developers are using academic research :

‘Using data mining to study how gamers play existing titles, though, can give developers instant rewards, such as identifying points in a game where players are likely to become frustrated or bored. The insights could help to tailor future releases to make them more satisfying.’

Wouldn’t it be great if we could analyse why some books grab the imagination of a generation? Twilight, Lord of the Rings, Dune.

What makes a book memorable? Why do some book resonate with readers?

Posted in Genre Writing, Publishers, Research, Sales, Writing Craft, Writing for Computer Games | Tagged: , , , , , | 4 Comments »

A sense of achievement

Posted by mdepierres on April 15, 2010

Dear ROR readers,

There are many rebuffs and disappointments along the road to being a career writer, but just often enough there are some uplifting highlights. When I received the final cover of my Sentients of Orion series, I experienced one these.

A profound sense of achievement. I wish you all the same experience. Don’t give up; perserverance can take you place no other mindset can.

Posted in Sales | Tagged: , | 8 Comments »

Sighted in Public

Posted by Rowena Cory Daniells on February 3, 2010

For any of you Hobart readers (viewers?), I’m doing a public reading at the Republic Bar in North Hobart this Sunday 7 February. The event runs from 3-5pm, with two featured readers and an open mike. I’ll be reading from Siren Beat, and copies of the book Siren Beat/Roadkill will also be available for sale.

Public appearances are one of those weird things that you have to learn to do as a writer once you get published – unless you fancy being a hermit author, which only works for very few of us. I used to get terrified before standing up before a crowd, until I learned from experience that I could generally manage quite well, far better than I ever thought I would.

So now I tend to go to these things criminally underprepared, trusting in my ability to talk confidently and sound vaguely intelligent. I’m sure I will come a cropper with this technique sooner or later…

Anyway, the important task between now and Sunday is figuring out which bits to read, what to talk about, and hopefully which scenes are smutty enough to be interesting to potential book buyers, but not SO smutty that I blush, drop the microphone and have to run away very fast.

There may be tentacles. Watch this space, and I will report back on how it went.

Cheers,
Tansy

Posted in Nourish the Writer, Sales, Uncategorized, Writing Craft | Tagged: , | 1 Comment »