Wednesday, November 30, 2011

More Holiday E-Book News

Barnes & Noble is advertising a free copy of the new James Patterson novella Merry Christmas, Alex Cross with the purchase of Patterson's latest novel Kill Alex Cross and one other Patterson novel IN ANY FORMAT from any B&N store.  Yes, you guessed it. The kicker is that customer can buy the harcover and an e-book from the physical store AT THE SAME time!

Plus, the customer has a choice of getting the free novella in the paper version or the e-version.

Maybe the execs at B&N do have a clue or two.  I don't have more details yet (another thing to pump the kids at the local B&N about).

This is an interesting development if B&N has developed their internal software systems to trigger a download to your NOOK or NOOK app from their stores' registers.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Why Now Is an Excellent Time to Be a Children's Picture Book Author

First of all, a disclaimer--I'm not advocating any particular brand of pad.

Unless it's a ST:TNG style Data Padd (Reg. tradmark by Paramount Studios).

Anyway, I figure that the only way I'll get my Kindle back from DH is to lure him with a cooler toy.  On that note, I dragged him and GK to Barnes & Noble the Sunday before Thanksgiving so he could play with the new NOOK Pad.

(And before any execs from other campanies get their panties in a wad, I'll drag him to Target and Best Buy next weekend to play with yours.)

By now, y'all are thinking, For the love of Murphy, Harden, get to the point.

The point is I played with the new NOOK Pad as well. In fact, I flipped through the e-version of A Charlie Brown Christmas.  All I can say is "Holy Crap!"

The colors on the screen were so vibrant.  There were cool little Easter eggs for the kids to click on. It snowed, it jingled, and played cute animation when you correctly identified a character. This is exactly what J.A. Konrath is thinking when he talks about enhanced e-books.

Interaction keeps a kid's attention. So if you're children's picture book author, get your books illustrated and enhanced and up for sale now before my niece gets too old for them.


Monday, November 28, 2011

Guest Blog by J. D. Faver

Need a hot read after a busy day of making Christmas cookies? Please welcome romantic suspense author J. D. Faver!

Hi Suzan!

Thanks so much for inviting me to be your guest today. I wanted to share an excerpt from my latest release, Bad Girl!

Bad Girl! is my sixth novel to be published and is the forth romantic suspense, although this one is the darkest yet.

My heroine is a very damaged dominatrix and the hero is a detective. Needless to say, they both have control issues. The subject is kinky, but it’s a mystery/suspense with a bizarre romance twisted in. The episodes of CSI featuring Lady Heather were the best ever and drew the most viewers. The theme of my website is Bad Girls Need Love Too…so my dominatrix is just another of my bad girl heroines.

Please visit my website/blog, follow me on Twitter and “like” my Facebook.

The cell phone kept ringing. Kris refused to answer it, burrowing under her down comforter as the phone went to message. Tinker jumped off the bed just as the phone rang again.

“Damn!” Kris threw the covers back and slid out of bed. Her silk pajamas made a swishing sound against the sheets. She grabbed the phone and growled, “What?”

“Not a morning person, are you?” Nick’s voice was obnoxiously cheery.

“No, I’m fucking not!” Slamming the receiver against the nightstand repeatedly gave her some small measure of satisfaction. “What do you want?”

“Geez! I need to see you now. It’s important.”

“Get over that. I’m turning off the phone and I’m going back to bed.”

As soon as she turned off the ring tone, the doorbell chimed. “What now?” Kris growled.

Tinker ran to the door and delivered a volley of throaty barks.

Kris looked out the peephole to see Nick waving at her. An explosion of rage went off inside her chest. He’s stalking me. Throwing open the door, she grabbed him by his jacket and rolled back onto the floor, carrying him with her. Lifting both feet as she rolled propelled him over her and onto his back. He landed hard, his heels thudding on the floor. Leaping to her feet, she squatted astride him, clenching her fingers around his throat.

“You know,” she said, “if I crush your trachea not even God can save you.”

His chest rumbled with deep laughter. Heaving her off, Nick turned her onto her back, restraining her hands over her head. “Yeah, but I’ve got a good seventy pounds on you and that trumps your crushed trachea.”

Enraged, she glared up at his grinning insufferable face.

Nick straightened, releasing her wrists, but remained kneeling astride her hips, his smirk went viral.

Kris clapped both of her cupped palms against his ears, enjoying his howl of pain. She punched his throat with her fist, propelling him backwards. Springing to her feet, she kicked him in the face as he struggled to get up.

He fell back, striking his head on the corner of her kitchen counter. He gazed at her in disbelief, his mouth open. “Do you realize that you just assaulted a police officer?”

“Duh! You are one totally obnoxious cop. Arrest me if you want to. I am officially resisting.” She stood over him, dancing a little on her toes.

Nick exploded with laughter. “If you were as big as you think you are, you’d be dangerous.” He grinned as he pulled himself to his feet. “Am I being punished?”

“Shut up!”

A thin line of blood trickled from his lip. “Let me take off my clothes and you can spank me.”

“Don’t mock me.” She pointed to the door. “Get out.”

His expression changed as his brows drew together in a frown. He jabbed a finger at her. “You opened the door and you dragged me in here. I’m not leaving until you calm down and talk to me.”

Kris blinked to keep the tears at bay. “You can’t keep doing this. I am not available to you.”

He shrugged and headed for the door, but swerved suddenly. Grabbing her from behind, he lifted her off her feet, gripping her wrists.

She growled in protest, butting her head against his chest and kicking her heels against him.

“I didn’t want to have to do this but...” He handcuffed her wrist and fastened it to its mate behind her back.

Terror seized her in its cold grasp. A sense of helplessness mingled with the rage building in her gut.

He eased her down onto the sofa and stepped away, pointing a finger at her again. “Don’t kick me anymore.” He wiped at the blood from his mouth with the back of his hand.

Tinker barked and jumped furiously.

“I hope your dog doesn’t bite.” Nick rested his hand lightly on the holstered gun on his belt. “I’d hate to have to shoot him.” He rubbed his chin with his fingertips, massaging the spot where she’d kicked him.

“No!” Panic rose in her throat and her heart pounded. “Don’t you dare even think about shooting my dog!”

He quirked his head to one side, raising his brows. “I was kidding. You don’t have any sense of humor in the morning, do you?” His grin was only slightly more loathsome than the twinkle in his green eyes.

“I haven’t encountered anything funny yet,” she snarled through clenched teeth. Glowering at him as he looked around the room, Kris felt vulnerable and exposed.

Nick gave a little snort. “Well, you’re not standing where I am. This whole thing is pretty funny.” His eyes flicked over her body, the pastel silk pajamas clinging to her flesh. “I came here to question you, but you attacked me. I was forced to subdue you, so just chill out.”

He made a circle, touching the bare cream colored marble mantle and running his hand along the back of the pale micro suede sofa. He squatted down to scratch Tinker’s head. “You’re not so ferocious, are you, boy?”

He was in her place, touching her things, violating her sanctuary.

“Take these cuffs off me,” she demanded.

“I think I’ll just wait until you’ve cooled down a while. I kind of like this.” He sat down heavily on the sofa, his weight jostling her. “Have you been a bad girl? Do you need to be punished?” He pulled her across his lap and put his hand on her buttocks, gently caressing her.

She screamed, angry with Nick and angry with herself for getting into this position.

He swatted her twice. “I can see why you like this so much.” He turned her around to face him, holding her on his lap. His hand rested casually on her thigh. “What a firm body you have, Kristen, and so limber. Is that what you like to be called?”

She gritted her teeth together. This wasn’t supposed to happen. “Kris,” she hissed. She gave him a cold glare. “How did you find me?”

“I told you, I’m a cop. I have access to all kinds of cop information. I followed you from the time you left the diner Thursday afternoon. I went every place you went. I know the names of every man you were with, except the big guy you picked up in your car. What’s the deal with him?”

“He’s my martial arts instructor,” she said.

Nick grinned and shook his head. “You need to practice. Are you going to be a good girl now?”

Kris took a breath and nodded curtly.

He removed the cuffs.

Kris rubbed her wrists and moved to a chair across from him. They regarded each other silently for some minutes.

“You know,” he said, “You are beautiful, but you’re the worst tempered woman I’ve ever met.”

He moved the cream and lime green hand blown glass bowl Marla had given her for Christmas. Kris kept it precisely in the middle of her square coffee table.

“There’s a solution for that. Just stay the hell away from me.” Kris spoke to Nick but her gaze was riveted on the glass bowl, now displaced from its perfect symmetry.

“Can’t do that,” he said. “There’s been another homicide and the victim was wearing one of those cute little doggie collars of yours. His appointment calendar had your number in it. So you’re sitting right in the middle of my investigation. This is an official inquiry.”

His casually spoken words twisted her guts. She pressed her lips together and took a deep breath. “Are you going to make me ask his name?”

“Yes.” He was grinning openly.

“Just tell me his name,” she snapped, “and don’t be an ass.”

“Eddleman. Melvin Eddleman,” he said. “You don’t deny knowing him, do you?”

She was silent for a moment, struggling with her gag reflex. “No. He was a client.”

Nick regarded her solemnly. “I have to ask you if you killed Mister Eddleman. I wouldn’t have thought so until your earlier demonstration of strength and agility.”

She glared daggers at him. “I did not. When was Melvin killed?”

“Sometime between midnight and four Thursday morning. He didn’t go in to work or answer his phone so someone from the bank went to his place around noon to see if he was okay. He wasn’t.”

She tried to speak without emotion. “What happened to him?”

“Someone choked him to death and wrapped him up like a mummy in his pissy sheets.”

A strangled whimper escaped her throat. “That’s horrible! I can’t believe it.” A wave of nausea washed over her. “Melvin was a pathetic man. He wouldn’t harm anyone.”

“Shows what you know,” Nick leaned forward. “His employees made a long list of people who’d like to see him dead. Seems like your friend Melvin was a real son-of-a-bitch.”

“He wasn’t my friend.” Unable to restrain herself any longer, she nudged the glass bowl back to the center of the table.

Nick followed her movements intently. He lowered his voice almost to a whisper. “That’s right. You don’t have any friends, do you, Miss ‘I don’t need anybody’?”

“I have friends.”

“Who? I’ve tailed you for days and you haven’t had contact with anyone personally. No lunch with the girls. No date with someone special.”

“I like my life this way. I’m the one in control.”

Nick leaned back against the sofa, regarding her stonily. “From where I sit, it looks like you’ve controlled yourself into a big old box of empty.”

“And what do you have that’s better?” she countered.

He spread his hands. “Nothing. Not a damned thing, but at least I’m willing to put myself out there and be available in case something good comes along.” He stood up and took a few steps toward the door. “If you decide you can be available, come to my place Tuesday night. I won’t pay you. I’ll rent a movie and order pizza. I’ll hold your hand and you can get to know enough about me to decide if you want me as your friend.”

Kris followed behind Nick, anxious for him to be gone. “Just get out!”

Nick turned and cupped her chin in his hand. “You don’t have to wear spandex and you don’t have to bring your bag of tricks. I’ll take you just the way you are.”

He lowered his head slowly and kissed her like he was taking a bite out of her, capturing her mouth with his. His tongue invaded, stroking hers and eliciting a spontaneous reaction. He kissed her hard and deep before he turned and slammed the door behind himself.

Kris swayed slightly, rocked by the sensual impact of Nick’s mouth. Securing both locks, she slid down to the floor with Tinker. She ran her tongue over her lips, tasting Nick’s rough kiss. Closing her eyes, she laughed as an angry tear rolled down her cheek.

What a total ass!

Except that she had kissed him back.

For more information on Bad Girl! and my other books, please visit my author pages on Barnes & Noble
and Amazon.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Songs I've Been Listening to a Lot Lately

I indie-publish because I'm Too Sexy to legacy publish.

(Sorry, guys.  I couldn't resist! LOL)

Friday, November 25, 2011

3, 2, 1 . . .E-Reader Lift OFF!

I knew the e-reader/pad wars would start in earnest today, but WOW!

Barnes & Noble had a commerical for the new NOOK pad during every break of last night's A Very Gaga Thanksgiving. (Yes, I forced the boys to watch Gaga. Since most of the songs were acoustic, ex-musician DH was suitably impressed with her vocal range, but I digress.)

For Black Friday, B&N has dropped the price of the basic NOOK to match Amazon's basic Kindle--$79. It's supposed to be 'today only while supplies last'. I'd lay money that this sale will crop up again before C-Day.

Overseas, Kobo has a new e-reader for the U.K. market. Bookseller Kyobo launched its own reader in Korea. And Amazon continues its fight for world domination with the soon-to-open Amazon India.

B&N, Amazon and Kobo, among other e-reader/pad dealers, are making their products available at big box stores like Best Buy, Wal-mart and Target. With all these device sales, personally I cannot wait for January because these new users will want content for their new toys.

Why do I say that? My sales have been a little blah through October and the first half of November, and I've been hearing something similar from other indies. But I've seen an uptick in just the last couple of days, so the fingers are crossed.

While the e-reader/pad battles for Christmas supremacy were expected, the content cold war is turning hot as well. Last week, both Penguin and Random House withdrew their e-books from library lending to patrons with Kindles (that's LIBRARY lending, not Amazon lending) because of the whole Amazon Prime book lending kerfluffle. Penguin relented earlier this week, but Random House is digging their Manolo Blahniks into the dirt on this issue.

Speaking of Amazon Prime, Amazon is reaching out to indie published authors with massive sales and asking them to allow their books to be part of the Amazon Prime lending service--for a price. It'll be interesting to see how many indies jump on this band wagon.

In the meantime, is Macmillan in deep trouble? Rumors of another "reorganization" (that's corporate code for kicking employees to the curb) by the end of the year are drifting through the air like snowflakes in October's nor'easter.

Can things get any crazier in the publishing industry this Christmas? The Magic 8 Ball says--Definitely!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

In Memorium

Today's industry news post is pre-empted.

I got home from the day job last night to learn Anne McCaffrey passed away late yesterday.

To me, Anne was the forerunner of mixed genres. She took dragons, the fabled enemy of mankind, and not only turned them into good guys but gave them a genetically engineered background. Her stories mixed romance and adventure decades before it was acceptable for a writer to do such a thing.

I first read Dragonflight nearly thirty-five years ago. To say Ms, McCaffrey influenced my writing would be akin to saying the sun affects a daisy. And I know I'm not the only writer who holds her in such regard.

May you fly with your dragons, Anne.

Monday, November 21, 2011

The True Meaning of Grace

For the last several months, I've been following Alice's Bucket List. This is the blog of a young woman named Alice who lives in Ulverston, England.

Alice has terminal cancer. She may survive past the end of this year. She may not. But in the meantime, she and her family are trying to live life to the fullest.

With Alice's sixteenth birthday coming up, I'm adding my request to hers. Please consider registering as a bone marrow donor. Yes, the procedure has risks to the donor, but your registration may be the one that saves a life.

Thank you.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Songs I've Been Listening to a Lot Lately

We indie-publish because We're Not Gonna Take It!

(Gotta love that audience participation!)

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

The State of the Bookstore Address

Today was my day off, and I went to the local Barnes & Noble Cafe to crank out a few hundred words.

Roughly a third of the bookstore had actual books. There's now a huge toy section where movies and music section used to be. The cafe, gifts and calendars make up the rest of the store. I still go for inspiration when I write, to look at copies of so many books I've read, so many I want to read, and so many I'll never have time to read in the probable fifty years I have left on this planet.

I know this is a big box store, but frankly, there's only a Half-Priced Books and a little used bookstore left in our neighborhood.  Even Target and Wal-mart are cutting down their book sections. When I stopped at CVS to pick up prescriptions on the way home, their book rack, which was halved at the beginnng of the year, is being eliminated. The handful of books left were on clearance at 50% off.

Several folks have accused me of being anti-print. That's hardly the case. Looking at the loss of volumes on store shelves saddens me.

Logically, I know current publishing business practices cannot be sustained, and things must change. But paper books were my first friends, and I mourn their loss.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Plot Device

This is just so effing wacky and warped that I had to post this.  Thanks to Stacey Purcell for the link!

Plot Device from Red Giant on Vimeo.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Flash Mob - Dubai Airport

Something a little different for Saturday night 'cause this brought a smile to my face. Wait until the little kids join in for 'Proud Mary.'

(And thanks to Angie Benedetti for the link!)

Friday, November 11, 2011

Recent Indie/Trad Brouhaha

I'll leave my comment to the late, great George Bernard Shaw:

"I learned long ago, never to wrestle with a pig. You get dirty, and besides, the pig likes it."

Actually that insults pigs. I'm going to check out the new holiday scents at Bath and Body Works now.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Status Update - October and November 2011

Okay, okay!  Quit nagging me through Google searches, people!

Yes, I forgot to post September's numbers last month.  I've been working my butt off getting Seasons of Magick: Summer up and Zombie Wedding to my editor and proof reader.  (Yes, real writers, even indies, have their work double-checked.  Doesn't mean things don't slip through, but I try.)

Here's the breakdown by title for the month of September:

Creating a Business Plan for the Indie Writer (only available on Smashwords) - 27 (all copies were free using the coupon code from Indie University)
Blood Magick - 3
Zombie Love - 3
Seasons of Magick: Spring - 9

Here's the breakdown by title for the month of October:

Creating a Business Plan for the Indie Writer - 0
Blood Magick - 4
Zombie Love - 4
Seasons of Magick: Spring - 4
Seasons of Magick: Summer - 13

Only eight sales were on Barnes and Noble.  Twenth-seven were on Smashwords thanks to the Indie U promotional coupon. Thirty-two were on Amazon.

Summary for 2011: 5 titles available, 189 books sold

Are these numbers low? Yep, but it's my own damn fault for dropping the ball on production and promotion during July and August. I'm so not in a position where I can coast on my sales without any effort yet. This was my first big mistake of the year.

In the meantime, I'm stepping up production.

The next two novels of the Bloodlines series are written. As I said, Zombie Wedding is currently with my editor and proofreader.  Why is it already with the proofreader?  Because my editor said in an e-mail that all she was finding was typos. (Yes! *fist pump*)

Over Thanksgiving Break, I hope to have the first draft done on a short story featuring Sam, my zombie heroine. This will be my holiday present to my fans.

After that will be edits on Amish, Vamps & Thieves, then finish the first draft of Seasons of Magick: Autumn.

It's a crazy schedule for last two months of the year, but I'm determined to get it done!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Latest Industry News

I haven't done a news round-up for a while, so here are some tidbits and links to kill time with as you drink your morning java:

This morning we should have confirmation of the new NOOK Tablet.  Leaks say the new NOOK will have twice the RAM and storage as the Kindle Fire, along with a faster processor, for $249. Also, Barnes and Noble will offer the basic NOOK for $99 without the ads that plague the cheapest Kindle. I'll add the links once I can find offical word. [Editor's note: It's official.]

Yes, Virginia, the Pad Wars have started just in time for Christmas.

Remember how Publishers Weekly rubbed their hands with glee when Joe Konrath announced his hiatus from blogging and I said Joe wouldn't stay quiet for long? Well, Joe's been running guest posts be several of his friends with concise summaries by the man himself.

Amazon launched the Kindle Owner's Lending Library last week as part of their Prime package. I'm sorry, but $79 a year to only borrow one book a month? ONE? I don't think so Amazon. Sorry, guys, but I read more than that even on my current crazy-ass schedule.

Speaking of Amazon, the Threat to Holy Literature has expanded into Japan, on the heels of Amazon France, just in time for the Christmas holidays. (Do you think Jeff Bezos realizes that Christians are a minority in Japan?)

And in a reaction to Amazon, more of the Big 6 have decided to give their authors real-time numbers. What a fucking concept guys! My guess is only the Amazon sales numbers will be remotely accurate on these author portals. Let's just say I had a private conversation with a popular author. She was told she'd sold no e-books for the first six months of 2011, even though she's been ranked in the top 20% of sales on Amazon the entire time.

E-book sales are jumping despite the naysayers. Harlequin reported its digital sales rose to 7.1% of total sales through the third quarter of 2011. Bloomsbury reported similar increases.

Kobo keeps saying they will offer a self-publishing option like KDP or PubIt.  But it looks like Kobo plans to be very picky about who they accept from the looks of their website. This annoys me because Kobo's perfectly happy to accept my book if it's sent through Smashwords, but they don't want it from me directly. *sigh*

Instead, Kobo is imitating Amazon by opening their own publishing arm and going after already established writers. No wonder the Big 6 are sending out those draconian contracts.

Speaking of draconian contracts, I'd love to see the one Kiana Davenport signed with Penguin. I'm hoping they have the stupidity to sue her so it becomes a public document. The NYTimes had a piece sympathetic to Ms. Davenport's position of trying to make a living on crappy NY contracts. Publishers Weekly snarked that NYT was "justifiying her breach." (Believe me, I wish I could link to THAT one for you!) Um, excuse me PW, but what happened to innocent until proven guilty? Not to mention that Penguin REJECTED the same book 15 years ago!

And if you thought Snooki's books were a very bad idea (yes, two more are coming out and I won't make you gag on your coffee by showing you the disgusting book trailer), then you don't want to know that Lindsey Lohan's mom is shopping her own tome.  And no, I WON'T give you that link either. Not on a Monday morning.

Have a great week and get those word counts in!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Songs I've Been Listening to a Lot Lately

I indie-publish 'cause I'm a One Girl Revolution!

Friday, November 4, 2011

Amazon, James Crawford and the Rise of the 'Bot Overlords

For once, I'm wearing my programmer and ex-lawyer hats as well as the writer/publisher hats.

On Tuesday, Galley Cat ran a story on indie writer James Crawford. It seems Mr. Crawford's book Blood Soaked & Contagious was priced at $0.00 by Amazon without his knowledge or approval. Dianna Dilworth's article at GC strongly insinuates that Amazon deliberately screwed Mr. Crawford out of the royalties of the 5,104 books that were downloaded during the free period.

The following is merely speculation on my part on how this happened:

Mr. Crawford states in the comments over at The Passive Voice that he'd distributed the free sample of his novel through Smashwords.  Even though he'd unpublished the sample, it remained on Barnes & Noble for some time.

So let's say the free sample of BS&C was still on Barnes & Noble's website when an Amazon 'bot strolled by.  The 'bot pulls out his master list. Ooo, same title and same author. 'Bot starts comparing the first X words of found book against his list. Perfect match. 'Bot runs back to Amazon's Master Computer, screaming "I've got one!" The Amazon Master Computer matches the price of the Amazon version with the version the 'bot found.

Now from a programmer's POV, I wouldn't program the 'bot to check every single word of the document.  Why? It's inefficient and slow.  If the first, let's say, twenty percent of the document matches, odds are high that it's the same document.  Mr. Crawford's free sample chapters fell within that X% sampling that the 'bot took. The 'bot's programming said, "If X = Y, then I go narc."

Now, I'm not blaming Mr. Crawford for the snafu either. It made sense to put out free sample chapters prior to releasing a book UNDER THE OLD SYSTEM of marketing to create buzz. Sample chapters with the same title because you WANT people to find your book.

The problem is that old system of marketing doesn't exactly work under the new paradigm.  When an e-book is uploaded to a retailer like Amazon or a distributor like Smashwords, they AUTOMATICALLY create a FREE SAMPLE.  The writer/publisher doesn't need to do that anymore.

Now I'm not saying an indie writer SHOULDN'T create pre-release buzz.  But he/she needs to look at alternatives under the new paradigm than posting a sampler on a retail site where confusion can happen.  Personally, I post the first chapter on my readers blog.  But there's lots of other methods.

On the legal side:

Smashwords's contract specifically states you're not supposed to post unfinished works to their site.  Both Amazon's KDP contract and Barnes & Noble's PubIt contract state that the retailer is allowed to price match if they learn that you're selling the e-book for less elsewhere. So the 'bot, based on its programming, assumed Mr. Crawford had posted Blood Soaked & Contagious at a lower price.

So neither side is entirely blameless. But I don't believe either side intentionally tried to do anything wrong either.  Should Amazon be liable for the royalties on the 5,104 books accidentally given away for free?  Regardless of intent of the parties, Mr. Crawford would have to prove he could have sold those books without the price drop.  That's going to be very hard to do.

The biggest problems here are:

1) Amazon's handling of the situation.  They should have handled communication with Mr. Crawford better after the snafu occured.

2) Programming of the 'bots.  Can the programming be modified to prevent such problems in the future?

3) Should Amazon remove Mr. Crawford's books from people's Kindles? Let's see. One pissed off writer versus 5,104 pissed-off customers. Nope, I can't see that happening. And if I were in Mr. Crawford's shoes, I wouldn't want it to.  5,104 one-star reviews from irate readers who had their supposedly free book taken away is not going to help my sales.  Not one little bit.

4) Galley Cat's handling of the story leaves something to be desired.  Kris Rusch wrote a pretty thorough essay on the yellow journalistic aspects of the initial story.  Look, I know everyone in trad-publishing looks at Amazon as the Evil Empire, but take a page from the LAPD manual.  Don't make the mistake of having racist cops try to frame a guilty black man.  It doesn't work.

Angry Sheep now stepping off her soapbox.  Have a terrific weekend, everyone!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Survey Says . . .

Last week, the Ruby Slippered Sisterhood posted the results of a survey on reader habits they did. They had 311 responses to the survey. Despite some particularly snarky remarks in the comments, nowhere did they claim this survey was a scientific sampling.

Go read it.  I'll wait.

What I found interesting is that the No. 1 marketing technique matches my own research--word-of-mouth makes the difference in a writer's sales.  But how do we generate this buzz?


Okay, beyond the obvious, I think it's a delicate balance between promotion and engagement with others. I've seen several writers send out desperate tweets of "Buy my book" every two seconds. I've seen writers spend too much time on social sites to the detriment of their craft.

Jon F. Merz is a good example of balance. He started following me on Twitter. My little pecadillo is you'd better have an interesting website for me to check out. If you don't, I won't follow you back.

Jon had a cool website. His first tweet had the tagline for his Lawson series--"James Bond with fangs." I love Ian Fleming and vampires, so I had to check the first book out. Plus, Jon is gracious enough to respond when someone tweets him. Also, his tweets find a happy medium between his promotions and other life stuff.

I read Jon's book, loved it, and STARTED RECOMMENDING IT to friends and family, especially males who like the action hero genre.

Word-of-mouth--it's the best way to advertise.  Oh, and being nice works too.