Monthly Archives: October 2013

Secrets publishers use

31 October 2013

8 cover design secrets publishers use to manipulate readers into buying books

From Derek Murphy at Creative INDIE

Indie publishers are slowly coming to realize the importance of an amazing book cover. Since many self-publishing authors are starting out on a very small budget however, homemade, DIY book covers are still a popular choice.

But be forewarned: although book cover designs come in a wide variety, publishers consistently use reliable, time-tested techniques and guidelines to catch your attention and make the sale. You want your cover to be different and unique, but you also want to tick all the right boxes (because they work).

The worst thing an author can do is consider their cover design like a blank canvas and add whatever they want, wherever they want.

So here are the tricks you need to know.

Read the rest, which is quite informative, here.

From Guest Blogger Randall

The Point of Being a Writer

31 October 2013

From author Janice Hamrick on The Thrill Begins:

Before I wrote my first novel, I thought getting that first book published was The Goal, The Dream, The Point of being an author. Sort of like reaching the Promised Land, only better.

What I’ve found is that it’s actually more like reaching that first rest stop on the first day of a two week cross-country driving vacation. Sure, you’re delighted to get out and stretch, and you feel great about having come so far. But then a glance at the map makes you realize you haven’t even made it out of your state, no one else cares whether you keep going or not, and you still have a LONG way to go.

. . . .

The Point is not to be published or to have 15,000 followers on Twitter or even to get rave reviews in the New York Times.  Those things are fabulous – but they are just the sprinkles on the donut. The Point is to write. To sit in the quiet hours of the day and have an entire world come to life in your head and flow, however imperfectly, onto the page. The Point is to embrace your unique talents and experience and create something that no one else in the entire world could create.

Link to the rest at The Thrill Begins and thanks to Merrill for the tip.

A Word

31 October 2013

A word after a word after a word is power.

 Margaret Atwood

Kindle Most Popular Device For Ebooks, Beating Out iPad; Tablets On The Rise

31 October 2013

From Forbes Blogs:

More people who read ebooks own an Amazon Kindle dedicated e-reader than own an Apple  iPad — or any other device for that matter. As more people buy tablets and fewer buy e-readers, however, that fact is set to flip.

According to a new study from the Book Industry Study Group, nearly 40% of U.S. adults who have said they read ebooks own a Kindle e-reader, compared with about 27% who own an iPad.

. . . .

However, according to the data, about 8% of ebook readers intend to purchase an iPad, versus about 3% who intend to purchase a Kindle e-reader.

. . . .

This growth is a double-edged sword for publishers of ebooks. On one hand, more tablets in consumers’ hands means more e-reading devices in the marketplace. However, unlike dedicated ebook reading devices, which are mostly (if not only) built for ebooks, tablets are used for myriad other things, mostly media consumption aside from reading.

Link to the rest at Forbes Blogs

How Indie Publishing Compares to the Indie Music Scene

31 October 2013

From the Jessica Bell at the ALLi Self-Publishing Advice Blog:

Indie publishing already allows writers of all stripes access to the world’s readers.The industry has changed. A lot. It’s been forced into embracing the digital revolution, just like the music industry was.

Independent artists are everywhere now. And authors don’t self-publish because they’re too lazy to go through the slog of submitting queries to agents, or editing their manuscripts properly, or simply out of impatience to see their work in print, just like independent musicians aren’t too lazy to find a record deal. They simply have a different sound. Or they don’t want to be told by a record label what they should and shouldn’t record.

In a saturated market, where publishers/music producers have millions and millions of queries and proposals, independent artists are driven by self-belief and a passion that their work deserves a place.

. . . .

But the indie publishing scene still has quite a way to go to match the acceptance the indie music scene has acquired since the advent of Internet downloads and torrents. And to be honest, I still don’t understand why it is taking so long.

. . . .
1. Indie musicians thrive on the freedom it gives them to be more creative and produce music that is true to their own vision. This attracts listeners who are after something different than the mainstream.

2. Indie musicians do not define themselves by their label; they define themselves by the music they produce. They are their own brand.

. . . .

4. With the digital revolution, it’s more convenient to listen to samples online, and decide whether it’s something you really want to purchase. So there is no logical reason to complain that there is too much crappy music out there, because you can always sample before you buy.

Link to the rest at ALLi Self-Publishing Advice Blog

I’m going back to the day job.

31 October 2013

 

From Robert Chazz Chute at VentureGalleries

Let’s get a myth out of the way immediately.

Some writers say it’s a rule that a day job keeps writers in touch with the real world and, to be good, writers need real world interactions to draw upon for their fiction. Maybe that’s true for them and their process. I had enough drama to draw from before I left home as a teenager. I deal in fiction. Imagination and Google are more useful to me than interactions with actual humans in Meat Space.

Meat Space humans are difficult for me to deal with. I see the world differently and they don’t all get my sense of humor. I’m a little weird and sometimes I have to make myself shut up so all the weirdness doesn’t escape at once and scare people away. In books, it’s easier. I’m supposed to be strange when I write. If you’re reading this blog, there’s a good chance you relate to that. When we go corporate, no one’s supposed to suspect our minds are active.

Even when I’m lying, I try to tell the truth.

***

I ran into a friend and former client who got the news I was returning to my old workplace. “Are you okay with that?” he asked.

The question was gentle and well-meaning. He knows that, for me, the last two years dedicated to writing have been the best two years of my life. When I’m at the keyboard, I’m home and having fun creating chaos. I’ve used those two years (mostly) wisely. Ah, but the question. “Are you okay with that?” Depending on my mood, it’s loaded with should haves and what ifs and worries about dealing with an unknown public.

If This Plague of Days wasn’t taking off, I’d have a huge problem with my return. It would feel like capitulation and a backwards step. I’d feel like a loser if not for the seeds of success very slowly budding. I’ve also published ten books in two years. My readership is growing. The timing would have been ideal if the growth I see now happened a year or so ago. But having a hit isn’t like that and hits don’t last, either. There are too many variables and they aren’t all under my control. To pay the bills, I have to do what I did two years ago. I’m risking starting another business.

I’m not quitting writing.

***

We do what we must. We move forward. We make what fun we can from whatever we do. That sense of entitlement with which I am sometimes afflicted? It doesn’t serve me. It doesn’t help any of us. I’m earning my readers, one at a time. Though it is deep and dark, we are finding each other in the forest. It’s going to be fine.

See the rest of the post here.

From Guest Blogger Randall

Barnes & Noble releases new Nook e-reader

31 October 2013

From the Sydney Morning Herald:

Barnes & Noble is releasing a new Nook e-book reader for the Christmas holidays while it evaluates the future of tablet computers.

Nook tablets haven’t sold well amid intense competition with Apple’s iPad, Amazon’s Kindle Fire and others. Barnes & Noble had a slim 2 per cent share of the worldwide tablet market in the fourth quarter of 2012, but fell off IDC’s top five list this year.

The company said it isn’t giving up on tablets, but it will focus on a new e-reader this year while continuing to sell last year’s tablet models.

The move comes as research firm IDC says the market for dedicated e-book readers is declining. Instead, consumers have been more interested in tablets, which can do much more, including video, email, Facebook and games.

Barnes & Noble’s new e-reader, Nook GlowLight, is available in its US retail stores and online from Wednesday for $US119 ($A125.88), the same as the standard model of Amazon’s Kindle Paperwhite reader.

Link to the rest at The Sydney Morning Herald

Back in the Saddle

31 October 2013

PG and Mrs. PG have returned from a successful and enjoyable research trip to Florence and Zurich for a couple of Mrs. PG’s upcoming books.

PG would like to thank those fine people who filled in here at The Passive Voice while he was out and about:

Julia Rachel Barrett

Bridget McKenna

Barb Morgenroth

William Ockham

Kat Sheridan

Randall Wood

They have done a great job of keeping everyone informed on the latest in the world of books and PG is grateful for their efforts.

If PG seems a little jet-lagged, it’s because he is a little jet-lagged. He’s also suffering the after-effects of too much good Italian food (and fondue in Zurich), so he’s going to have to hit the gym with gusto if he ever wants to regain his girlish figure.

It pays to think outside the box

30 October 2013

 

An interview with Author and TPV regular Michael J. Sullivan

 

From Sarah at BookwormBlues

The other day I had a conversation on Twitter with Michael J. Sullivan regarding the unusual publishing of his upcoming book Hollow World. I thought it was rather fascinating, and I was incredibly interested to learn more about what he’s doing and why. I also figured that if I am interested, someone else probably is, too. I asked him if he’d like to write a guest post for my website to elaborate on the topic. I figured not having a 140 character limit would help express ideas and thoughts. I feel very lucky that he agreed.

Without further hubbub, dear world, get excited. Michael J. Sullivan is here for some education.

***

When it comes to publishing it pays to think outside the box

Yesterday I sent Sarah my soon to be released book Hollow World for review. Afterward we had a discussion via twitter about the unusual way it is being published (more on this in a moment). She thought it was interesting how the publishing industry is changing, and she thought others might be interested in learning a bit about what I’ve done and why. So here I am.

First, let’s start with a bit of background. I’ve been published in just about every way that exists. Having done all three paths, I know the pros and cons of each. While traditional publishers are great at print distribution, they don’t really offer any significant advantages for ebooks. In fact, there are a lot of problems with their system.

***

Most authors would jump at the chance to sign a five-figure offer for a single book, but because of all the things I said earlier, and because the Kickstarter proved to me the book had merit, I decided to turn it down…but it did get me thinking…why couldn’t I have my cake and eat it too?

What I really wanted was to keep the ebook, sell the print rights to one publisher, and sell the audio rights directly to an audio producers (so I would keep 100% of the royalties). The problem is that this is easier said than done. I knew of only four authors who had received “print-only deals” and they are all million copy sellers they are: Hugh Howey, Bella Andre, Coleen Hoover, and Brandon Sanderson.

***

By keeping my ebook rights (and receiving 100% of the audio royalties) I anticipate making significantly more money than if I had signed that five-figure contract I was originally offered. But it’s not just about money. Publishing Hollow World as I have will allow me to better serve my readers. Those who enjoy print will still find the books in their local bookstores and libraries. Plus, they can also receive free ebooks (regardless of where the print book was sold). For the ebook only crowd, they get DRM-free editions, a cheaper list price, and I’ll even provide ebooks in multiple formats so they can read the same book on their kindle and nook without having to buy it twice.

***

The moral of this story is take control and think outside the box. The old rules have been washed away and the slate is now clean. It’s time for authors to shape their careers in ways that makes the most sense for them, even if it isn’t something that hasn’t been done before.

See Micheals blog here.

From Guest Blogger Randall with thanks to Christian for the tip.

Noel Coward Said What?

30 October 2013

I love criticism just so long as it’s unqualified praise.

 

Noel Coward

I so agree Barb Morgenroth

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