Home » Self-Publishing, Social Media » Why social media isn’t the magic bullet for self-epublished authors

Why social media isn’t the magic bullet for self-epublished authors

30 July 2012

From author Ewan Morrison via The Guardian

“Authors – become a success through building an ‘internet platform’!”. For almost five years we’ve been subjected to the same message. At the London College of Communication’s iGeneration conference this year, I heard thatsocial media was now the only way to sell books, and witnessed glowing examples of the successful use of SM from epub authors such as Joanna Penn (who has her own consultancy and sells $99 multimedia courses on How to Write A Novel). At the Hay festival last month, I heard Scott Pack – self-described “blogger, publisher and author of moderately successful toilet books” – declare that mainstream media, papers and TV “no longer function in selling books”; that the net is now the only way for authors to – you’ve heard it before – “build a platform”.

. . . .

I’m convinced that epublishing is another tech bubble, and that it will burst within the next 18 months. The reason is this: epublishing is inextricably tied to the structures of social media marketing and the myth that social media functions as a way of selling products. It doesn’t, and we’re just starting to get the true stats on that. When social media marketing collapses it will destroy the platform that the dream of a self-epublishing industry was based upon.

First, though, I conducted my own experiment. I decided to take these “platformers” at their word and seriously consider the possibility of self-promoting my books online (I even bought an iPhone so that I could get with the revolution).

. . . .

It also turns out that the ebook market now looks a lot like the old mainstream model. A small number of writers make a lot and everyone else wallows in the doldrums of minuscule sales. The only difference is that those at the top are selling 100,000 copies at 99p, not at £4.99, or £8.99 – which in real terms represents a massive shrinkage of the market. Furthermore, it signifies the passage of the publishing industry into the hands of the internet companies that can capitalise on a million small sales by a million small authors.

Link to the rest at The Guardian and thanks to Catherine for the tip.

It’s always nice to read an analysis of the efficacy of social media marketing from someone who just bought an iPhone. And who doesn’t realize that saying so makes him appear totally clueless to people who actually use social media seriously.

Self-Publishing, Social Media

68 Comments to “Why social media isn’t the magic bullet for self-epublished authors”

  1. “It’s always nice to read an analysis of the efficacy of social media marketing from someone who just bought an iPhone.”

    Um, PG, you seriously expect us to comment now? I mean, zing. Serious zing quotient here.

  2. Sorry, but I call BS. Anyone who thinks that “social media” is the main way or the only way to build a readership (I will NOT use the obnoxious word “platform” in regard to readers) needs to actually learn the basics before spouting off.

  3. Is this the same guy who stepped in it a couple days ago?

    • He’s on a roll, Barb.

      • Morrison’s been on a roll for nearly a year, maybe longer, concerning ebooks:

        http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2011/aug/22/are-books-dead-ewan-morrison

        Not sure why British media still consider his opinion in this regard to be newsworthy.

        • What K.W. said. Ewan Morrison is apparently making a career out of proclaiming the impending death of books and publishing as we know it and waiting for the e-book bubble to burst. What he will do in case publishing actually dies and the e-book bubble actually bursts is anybody’s guess.

          So in short, this is a guy who is building a career on complaining about indie publishing and hoping that it will die. There’s a bunch of people like that out there, Morrison is simply the most successful, while the rest of them are proclaiming the imminent bursting of the e-book bubble in their blogs to their five regular readers.

          • Give the guy a break. As you say, it’s just another bubble, the proclaiming-the-death-of-writing bubble, and he’s got in on the ground floor.

            * Thinks – what’s the next bubble going to be, and how can I use it to my advantage? *

  4. I have my own [massive] doubts about the effectiveness of online marketing, but I’m not sure that I totally agree with Mr. Morrison. Personal recommendations are still what sell books. It used to be that a bookstore employee or a friend or a family member would put a book in my hands. Now I’m looking at blogs, Twitter, Facebook and author websites, as well as, yes, reviews on Amazon and B&N and Apple. I personally lovelovelove the pre-order option, so I’ll be notified when my favorite authors have new books coming out.

    So far as the 99-cent or free promotional copy, it’s the thin end of the wedge. A reader isn’t afraid to try something if it costs them nothing or next to nothing, and if they like it they’ll come back for more. It also encourages consumers to buy e-readers–“Hey, look at everything I can read for free if I buy a Kindle!” It’s the oldest loss leader in the, uh, book.

    And really, the bottom line here is that the more ways people can read books, the more books they will read. And the more ways they can find out about good books, the more books we will sell. Which has to be good for everyone.

    Except maybe traditional publishers. (Sorry, couldn’t stop myself.)

    • Agreed: when I read the headline, I thought “Yeah!” Social networking isn’t publishing. It can work with it, but more often than not is a distraction.

      The author of the article, however, doesn’t seem to understand that. He thinks social networking and epublishing are the same thing — or at least so inextricably linked that the failure of one means the failure of the other.

      The truth is…. publishing is publishing. epublishing is part and parcel with all of it. And social networking is a part of the fabric of life — which all publishing is equally a part of.

      • Well said. And the embarrassing thing is that the writer of the article has no idea about this and makes himself look foolish by openly proclaiming his lack of knowledge in publishing.

        It almost seems like he stumbled on a grain of truth in that social media is not the end all be all of marketing, and 9 times out of 10, you succeed only in annoying people.

    • I agree with Dana. While I do believe that online marketing can work, I doubt its effectiveness, in the way most folks use it.

      Reasons:
      • Marketing is letting your target audience know your product exists.
      • Marketing usually has a buy-through rate of 0.5–2%, meaning only 0.5–2% of a targeted audience tends to actually be the target audience for a product.

      From those details, I extrapolate that any marketing should cost less than what someone would earn if 0.5% of the targeted audience bought their product.

      An author of a $0.99 story should therefore pay no more than $0.35 per 200 people in the targeted audience. An author of a $5.99 story, though, could get away with spending $2.09 per 200 people in the targeted audience (since, worst-case scenario, the author would earn 35% from a buy).

      If someone’s buy-through rate doesn’t even hit 0.5%, then there’s a problem either with their marketing method or with their choice of audience to target.

      And if they spend more than they can reasonably expect to earn back in return…why are they marketing with that method?

  5. brendan stallard

    “the myth that social media functions as a way of selling products. It doesn’t”

    P.G.

    Not for those out to, “Sell,” something, it don’t. Sure.

    For those of us who know how to source decent reviews and WOM, too durn right it is.

    This Ewan Morrison is a gonk.

    brendan

  6. My comment on the Guardian site:

    I suppose when one is writing something that will be bird-cage liner day after tomorrow, one can get away with saying things like “I’m convinced that epublishing is another tech bubble, and that it will burst within the next 18 months.” When one’s prediction turns out to be bollocks, no-one will remember.

    If this were the only place Mr Morrison had put both feet wrong, it would still be a rather ridiculous statement to put in the second paragraph of a newspaper article, but clearly Mr Morrison knows very little about either e-publishing or social media. As his audience in general is not much better informed, he may safely say what he will. The budgie, however, will get a good laugh out of it.

  7. I have never bought a single ebook due to social media marketing. Or platforms. Or twitter. Or any of that stuff. And yet, somehow, I manage to buy ebooks all the time.

    • I don’t think I’ve sold… Okay, I may’ve sold one ebook from social interaction, but it wasn’t marketing in the sense I was going “buy buy buy,” but in the sense of, “There’s an example of this writing technique in my book, and I dunno if I pulled it off well, but the first half is free on Smashwords if you want to look at it.”

      The rest are to a few friends and acquaintances and more and more strangers — apparently due to appearing in Also Boughts.

  8. Twitter, to me, has been useless. I think one of my readers followed me and I rarely get clicks on my bit.ly links to my tweets, so I agree with the guy in that regard, however, I don’t see what social media has to do with the e-publishing bubble. Will readers suddenly go back to paper books? I can’t see that happening and as long as there are platforms to self-publish like Amazon, Kobo, Pubit, etc, there will be self-publishers. Specific social media outlets might fade away (MySpace anyone?) but something else will take its place.

    • Right now, Twitter isn’t much use to me. But I have a lot of blogging friends who owe me favors, and many of them have three or four thousand followers. If thirty or forty of my friends with that kind of following tweet about my new book, then Twitter becomes pretty darned useful.

      You have to suss out the ways you can use social media to your best advantage. I’ve been blogging for eleven years, and I have a boatload of contacts to mine.

      On the other hand, I have maybe a few dozen followers. For now.

      • brendan stallard

        “I have maybe a few dozen followers. For now.”

        Meryl, (This refers to twitter, while I’m on FB, I don’t go there, much.)

        I used to follow writers, then learned better of it.

        Firstly, you’d get daily Spam of their latest book, every day, sometimes three times a day.

        Then you’d get the automated notifications about their mates books, then their blogs, their mates blogs. Cross posting, drives you nutz. The very antithesis of what social media is all about, actually a person making contact, with another person.

        Worst, you pop a question to ’em, and they never respond. A reasonable question, about their writing, or similar. No response. Happened a bunch of times. I don’t stalk ’em, I just unfollow. Where’s the point?

        It’s a mistake to diss twitter, it has been quite important for news coverage over the past couple of years. If the provenance of news can be improved, it will be excellent. Nothing can match the speed.

        Writers have the wrong idea about twitter, in the main. I think, actually, most should be there, but write books, just not on Twitter.

        brendan

        • Oh, I like Twitter and I find things to read on it, but not books. Like you said, it’s mostly news or links to blogs/magazine artcles.

        • I hear you. I don’t care much for Twitter, actually. I’m a blogger, and that’s where my action will be. But I still think alerting thousands of people to a new book is a good thing.

        • I don’t advertise my books on Twitter, generally — I’m only on Twitter to stalk friends there. >_> (And I don’t follow the various people subscribing to my tweets if they look full of… marketing effusion.

          I did gloat about art stuff being the best part of self-publishing, recently, I do admit. 😉

        • I love Twitter, but I don’t for a moment imagine it sells my books.

    • We still sell houses, even though that bubble burst. Everyone thought they could make an easy buck flipping houses. There were even flip-it reality shows which made it all look so easy. Then the bubble popped, and the money wasn’t there, and the veil fell from people’s eyes.

      What I got from the article in question is that, like other booms, it’s the glut of interest in both social media and self-publishing that will fade. Self-publishing’s always been around, and social media’s really as old as the Internet, but right now both are receiving exaggerated attention–everyone’s grandmother is on Facebook, and because it’s been made very easy, a lot of writers who otherwise would not are trying their hand at self-publishing.

      But casual Facebook users are always wandering off, according to some studies (the same thing happened to chatrooms, vanity sites and personal journals in the ’90s and ’00s), and online advertising, which never worked very well, turns out to not work very well through social media either, much to Facebook’s dismay. The merely curious will become interested in something else; the opportunists will find it not as profitable as expected; the “I just need to spam Twitter!” believers will grumble and flail for the next magic bullet

      (I think the article’s author ties social media and self-publishing together because most writing advice/blogs targeting self-published authors do–how many articles have we seen about how you MUST have a social media presence if you expect to sell even a single copy of your e-book? He didn’t come up with the idea, he just drank the Kool-aid.)

      People will still self-publish, of course, but if the bubble pops as he predicts, then they’ll be the ones who don’t expect social media or self-publishing to that magic bullet.

  9. Why does he assume that everyone is looking for a ‘magic bullet’ when he’s talking about tools of the trade?

    There is a link in his story that goes here:
    http://stevebichard.com/2012/05/19/can-you-make-money-from-publishing-on-amazon/

    It talks about the number of writers making $XXXX from their work. It doesnt’ say the length of time these people have been published. So doesn’t it stand to reason that the longer your books are out the more money they make?

    Not everyone is looking for a short cut.

  10. “Ewan Morrison is the author of three novels…He lives in Glasgow and is learning how to make compost.”

    And doing a bang up job, too!

  11. That dude spent a good bit of time setting up his straw man.

  12. I think part of the confusion is due to the fact that if “social media doesn’t work!”, there seem few out there who can tell us what DOES work. I’ve been asking this since I first sold to a small press in ’01: “Where can I most effectively use a small marketing budget?”

    The publisher didn’t know. In the past ten years, nobody has been able to tell me. I need to focus only on those activities that are free and/or MIGHT lead to sales, so I’ve concentrated on SM.

    If there’s any better way, I wish these boffin wannabes would share the knowledge.

  13. Ironically enough, this blog, which is a form of Social Media, is driving readers to actually read an article that many never would have read for any other reason.

  14. I agree with the title, but not so much with the content. Obviously, there is no magic bullet for anything (except refreshing, frosty smoothies :p). There are some writers who insist that you must have a Facebook/Wordpress/Twitter platform to sell, but honestly, most of the fans on writer blogs are other writers. Readers don’t give a damn about our publishing-related links or photos of our cats. Online marketing tools are great for web comics, MMORPGs, and fashion retailers, but people don’t surf the web looking for books to read.

    But self-publishers aren’t limited to one method of marketing any more than traditional publishers are. We have all of the same tools and opportunities in “the real world;” it just takes a little research and a lot of nerve to pursue them. The online platform is not what self-publishing is “based upon;” it’s just something we tend to use a lot because it takes the least time and effort.

  15. Mark Coker and John Locke were both pretty strong advocates for using social media last year–which is why the “myth” became so prevalent–but that was then and this is now. Sure, social media still have there uses for many, but personally I’ve just never really taken to them, so I don’t think I’d be wise to put a lot of energy into them; I’d rather just keep writing, and perhaps I’ll eventually turn out something that resonates with a lot of people. I do keep a blog and I do occasionally chime in on discussions like this one, but that’s about it…

  16. Mark Coker and John Locke were both pretty strong advocates for using social media last year–which is why the “myth” became so prevalent–but that was then and this is now. Sure, social media still have there uses for many, but personally I’ve just never really taken to them, so I don’t think I’d be wise to put a lot of energy into them; I’d rather just keep writing, and perhaps I’ll eventually turn out something that resonates with a lot of people. I do keep a blog and I do occasionally chime in during discussions like this one, but I don’t consider these activities to be “marketing”…

  17. The thing he seems to think is a tech bubble — that is publishing and social media as interlinked entities — is blogging. That succeeded a decade ago, and is going stronger all the time.

    • I strongly suspect that Ewan Morrison has no idea what a bubble actually is.

      • It’s a floatie thing that pops and gets soap in your eyes when your nose touches it.

        (Definition supplied by the cat — who, btw, has been supplying this household with spectacular amounts of culture for years now….)

  18. This guy is like Carrot Top, I hear him and think, “WHO is making it possible for him to travel around talking? How is this paying his bills?”

    Though, I guess, some of what he’s saying is actually funny. When I read that article a few days ago, for a while after I kept hearing “I’ve been making culture professionally for 20 years” in my head and giggling, it’s kind of a classic. 🙂

    • Yeah.

      ‘I’ve been making culture for 20 years.’

      And the yogurt industry thanks you for it.

    • Not relevant to the discussion at hand, but as an aside, don’t worry about Carrot Top paying his bills; he sells a ton of tickets to his Las Vegas shows. Having worked there, I can assure you that the average LV visitor thinks Carrot Top is the funniest comedian alive.

  19. Quote: “I’m convinced that epublishing is another tech bubble, and that it will burst within the next 18 months. The reason is this: epublishing is inextricably tied to the structures of social media marketing and the myth that social media functions as a way of selling products.”

    wow that’s an incredibly out of touch statement on so many levels. epublishing is “not another tech bubble” because its not about delivery systems or promotion systems but about content (books, stories, nonfiction, novels etc). Epublishing accoutrements (kindles or social media to announce/advertise/promote) are merely the latest way it is presented. If they change it makes no difference: books remain.

    Even if social media disappears — again, books remain. People will seek them out. They hunger for content.

    Books (content) are the main thing and that’s a bubble that hasn’t ‘burst’ since man started to scrawl cuniform on stones.

    • I’m sure he’s a big expert on the tech bubble as well as the epublishing bubble.

  20. oh yes sir. He writes lit fic so he MUST be an expert in tech and epub stuff. Reminds me of the poets, politicians, artisans and others that Socrates interviewed. Each person in turn thought that because they knew their own field they were automatically experts about every other field.

  21. Mr. International

    Wow, he copied a lot of that. Plus, it’s ‘that’ guy. Has he actually written anything?

    “you went out on the street with a book in your hand and tried to sell it to a stranger for 88p, or 99p, and you did this every day, you would still be making more money than 50% of all self-published authors on Amazon and all the other new epub platforms.”

    Lol. Just consider the return on a PRINTED book in that situation. Seriously, let’s all clap for Morry the retard.

  22. PG: I’m sure he’s a big expert on the tech bubble as well as the epublishing bubble.

    Well, looking at his demonstrated level of insight about indie publishing in his last piece: throwing out the two big indie names who signed after having repeating a dozen stale, tepid, anti-indie slogans we’ve been hearing for over two years now (most likely heard down at “Ye Old Traditional Watering Hole”, from other elitist snobs, who must also be correct in every word they breathe) you can’t really expect an objective (or even informed) statement from the guy on this subject.

    Would love to mix high-brow with low-brow in this case. Namely; uppity, literati journalism with pro-wrestling and have a retirement match!

    If Morrison loses (is wrong about his 18 months left in indie publishing prediction) he has to hang it up…forever!

  23. Anthea

    Ah yes, thank you. Must adhere to proper etiquette, we are adressing a professional culture creator here.

  24. “It’s always nice to read an analysis of the efficacy of social media marketing from someone who just bought an iPhone.”

    I don’t have an iPhone…maybe I should get one.

  25. The only difference is that those at the top are selling 100,000 copies at 99p, not at £4.99, or £8.99 – which in real terms represents a massive shrinkage of the market.

    No, it doesn’t.

    At 99p, the author makes 35p … compare to MMPB rates of 6%-9%. The 99p ebook makes probably a bit less per copy (the ebook makes more, if the author’s cut was 6% of £4.99), but it won’t take much push at all to make that up on volume. A $3 (or £3) book makes the author $2 (or £2), much more than they’d be getting from almost any paperback sale.

    And those customers, the ones who spent £3 on an ebook instead of £9 on a pbook, can now buy *two more books*–either that author’s, or someone else’s.

    The market hasn’t shrunk; it’s just cut out the ~80% of the list price that used to go to the publisher.

  26. I left this comment under the article:

    In 7 months, my self-epublished Kindle novel, The Survival of Thomas Ford, has been downloaded 20000 times.
    Has it been read?
    Yes, I am in correspondence with a number of readers who now wish to read my next ebook.
    I have 33 five-star reviews on UK Amazon for this novel; 20 five-star reviews on USA Amazon.
    Out of those 20000 downloads, 19000 were free.
    Does social media play a factor?
    Yes, to a degree. The other day a reader sent a joint tweet to myself and to Ewan Morrison, telling us she had bought both our books after discovering us on Twitter, and that she preferred this way to discover new authors. “Less hype,” she said. “I can discover the author or the book for myself and make my own mind up.”

    Although, I gave 19000 downloads away free, I also had 1098 paid sales in the 7 months, producing an income of 1400 pounds.

    My book is a literary thriller.
    No, it wasn’t a dog’s dinner. I had signed a contract in 2010 for the book with a London literary agent, and the book had the support of that agency’s film consultant, but things didn’t work out so I epublished.

    Other evidence that I am not producing “dog’s dinner” or “hack” work: Picador and Vintage had published my short stories. Editors including A L Kennedy, John Fowles, Ali Smith, and Toby Litt, had selected my short stories for inclusion in anthologies sold in most countries of the world, where my stories shared space with those by Louis de Bernieres, Alan Warner, Muriel Spark, Fay Weldon, David Mitchell.

    Why is 1400 pounds from one ebook (my first) in 7 months significant?
    I have 22 years’ work, 6 novels, a collection of short stories, long stories, novellas, ready to go…
    20 ebooks?
    At the rate I’ve sold already this year, that’s 2000-3000 pounds a year per ebook at 20 ebooks.
    40000 – 60000 pounds a year.

    For literary work, so my literary agents…and now my readers…have told me.
    (But, of course, I knew the work was literary, and not “dog’s dinner/hack” work, when A L Kennedy and John Fowles etc selected it for anthologies over the years).

  27. Why does this guy object to making 100,000 sales at 99p?

    Isn’t that 99,000 pounds? Or did the UK not go digital?

    Is this guy really saying that 99,000 pounds can be dug out of his couch cushions, and thus is unworthy of a writer’s time?

  28. For the record, I was totally misquoted in the article. I do think social is one way to market but he got the 80:20 thing very wrong, as well as so much else.
    Here’s my article in the Bookseller putting a more positive spin on social
    http://futurebook.net/content/social-isn%E2%80%99t-magic-bullet-it-can-sell-books

  29. I have suddenly had a lot of hits on my website in the last few days, due to a link from here and in E.M’s article in the Guardian.
    This is my post that was mentioned.
    http://stevebichard.com/2012/05/19/can-you-make-money-from-publishing-on-amazon/#comment-557
    The figures quoted are from what I could gather on-line, so are not verified. I felt that they would give any new authors myself included a rough guide as to what they could or could not earn, so we could at least keep our feet on the ground.

    As for social media marketing, I can only go by what has happen to me in the last seven months since publishing my first novel.

    Facebook has not had any real effect, I just find it useful to keep in contact with friends and family.
    Twitter on the other hand has obtained me a radio interview, five reviews and interviews on various websites. I have also had purchases and better still reviews, from those purchases. Time spent on twitter is slightly irrelevant when you are new to publishing and trying to get your work recognised.

    I feel that there is some slight resentment by some traditional authors and publishers to e-publishers,as can sometimes be seen by some reviews on e-books. Everything in life has changed due to the internet. We are just embracing this new and exciting way to get published and we do not all expect to become rich and famous, but it is nice to get some rewards for the time spent creating our novels.

    E-books will not disappear,there is room in the market for them and traditional publishing. However, as it is now so easy to get a novel published there will be many more books to choose from, so the market share for each author could get smaller. Nothing will change by people making sweeping statements like E.M made, we all just have to embrace this new way of publishing and marketing and continue to fine tune our craft. After all, good novel’s will always sell, no matter what format they take.

  30. Never take advice from a “literary” writer. His nose is so high it must be difficult to breathe.

    Social media is an important piece of the puzzle. Because it’s free, too many people want to believe it’s the only piece.

    After 30 years in sales and marketing, I learned two lessons: sales occur on many levels, never trust your career to just one. And — Advertising hurts to pay for but works wonders when you get it right.

    Peace, Seeley

    • Yeah, I’ve been kicking myself ever since I used the word “literary” in my post under Ewan’s article (see up-page)
      a) The guy 2 posts up from mine had said all self-published work is hack work, “which any agent would avoid as they can smell a dog’s dinner”. So I started using that phrase “dog’s dinner” too…later, a friend complained, that she had always fed her dog good dinners.
      b) That word literary means different things to different people, both within UK, and then when it travels from Uk to USA it seems to acquire some new meanings…my idea of “literary” is just good story with some quality in the writing, so…One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest….The Master and Margarita….The Leopard….I’m sure Ewan M’s idea of what “literary” means wouldn’t equate with mine.
      One person’s thriller/crime/espionage can be another person’s literary….and then there is hybrid work in between…quality can be found in genre, genre in quality etc
      c) One thing I’ve learned, don’t get baited by the next E. Morrison Guardian article. Good thing to see the Passive Guy and J. A. Konrath contingent fly in and stop the Guardian snobs having it all their own way for once though, a real tide turned there…cheers!

      • In my travels, literary has meant character-driven stories on both sides of the pond. We feel the protagonist’s pain more deeply in a literary piece than a thriller. The works you quoted are definitely in that camp. Da Vinci Code, which was well written, contrary to the ebb and flow of the opinion-tides, was excitement-driven.

        We can lament all we want about which is better, but the public votes with dollars. The public wants excitement.

        The rise of Preston & Child thrillers points to the public wanting a more literary bend in those exciting tales. I see that as a good thing. I like well-drawn, deep characters in exciting situations.

        Peace, Seeley James

        • Hmm, there is a difference in the meaning of “literary” even wthin the UK. An absolute split between whether this means a book with a great, exciting story, but with quality prose also (old school literary…I’d say One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest falls into that camp in USA, or Bukowski, or Brautigan)…but on the other hand there’s the New School Literary, the experimental, where there may be little plot or story.

          Phillip Roth identified the schism between the Uk and USA perception of literary in an interview, where he cited the UK literary author Ian McEwan’s failure to be fully accepted in the USA as a literary author, because McEwan had “too much story and plot in his work and the American literary establishment did not see this as LITERARY”

          In the UK epub scene, there are great literary authors putting out exciting and quality work just now which can of course also be classed according to genre, I think of this as a hybrid…Roz Morris, Cally Phillips, Dan Holloway, Linda Gillard, Catherine Czerkawska…great story and great quality too…

          Yes, I like the idea of keeping the exciting tales, but getting a wee bit of literary bent into the character, language etc….I think James Lee Burke is a good example of the hybrid..

          In film-making, Kubrick seems the best example of the hybrid between excitement and quality attention to detail/art, I did this piece here on the genre/quality spectrum:
          http://authorselectric.blogspot.co.uk/2012/06/epublishing-on-kubrick-model-by-john-a.html

          My own book was being sent out by my agent as “literary” one week, a “thriller” the next…in the end literary thriller was its box…

          The Uk author, Linda Gillard, has told me she thinks of myself and herself as “genre busters”…which is a big problem for marketing departments at publishing houses…but I’ve found readers have no problem at all with it.

          I suppose everyone wants excitement!
          But not every reader finds it in the same places.

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