A few links of good and plenty

Kate Rothwell invited me a to join a Facebook group that cracked me up but seems very apt and savvy: How to Promote Your Book if You’re Introverted, Socially Inept.

It’s not a group for promotion itself, but to share ideas for book promotion: what works, what was a waste, and what does a new author need to do to navigate the world of sales with exactly 0 experience? Good idea, Kate!

Print magazines are dying – is that a surprise? I was surprised to read of the demise of PC Magazine in print, but once I thought about it, I realized the number of print magazines I read has gone way, way down. I used to love magazines. Now, I find them static and dated and am more eager to read the internet (the whole thing) and books than I am a magazine. Even the Kindle is my preferred workout toy on the treadmill. It’s easier to turn the page by tapping a button vs. turning a magazine page without ripping it on the reading rack.

Need a gift idea, or have a yen to fold some paper? How about Pornogami, or Origami paper folding for adults – right? I’m totally into the tiny tiny handcuffs. [Thanks to Jude for the link.]

And finally, way to go Sam! It seems Sam Hain, distant cousin, as you know, to Sam Bucca, has entered a partnership with BooksOnBoard to publish books via Stanza for the iPhone. To which I said, “Oh hell yeah.” Way to go, Sam! One more step toward world domination.

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  1. 1
    ev says:

    Once again, my lack of technological knowledge shows, but if it can be read on the iphone, can it also be read on the itouch? I ask because their website only lists audios for the itouch.

    Confusion reigns once again in my head.

    I am still going between the kindle and the Sony ereader because this whole thing of who reads what is driving me nuts.

  2. 2
    Anna Marie says:

    BooksOnBoard, an ebook company with more than 270,000 titles, will bring romance titles to the Stanza reading platform—reportedly the first time new titles will be sold on the popular platform created by LexCycle that allows iPhone and iPod Touch users to read digital books.

    —via gallery cat

    Thanks for all the cool links!—amc

  3. 3
    kate r says:

    thanks for the shout out, Candy. (The full title is “How to promote your books if you’re socially inept, introverted, badly organized or simply modest.” but Facebook didn’t want to put the whole thing up)

    I hope the group will chug along, even though I think there’s not much a non-out-going type can do. 

    I keep finding articles about how the best thing for authors of print books to do is go to indie booksellers, charm them and thus get the store owners to hand-sell their books. Or charm the distributors—buy ‘em coffee.  Actually it’s probably better to charm the publisher because with print, it’s print-run, distribution etc. With ebooks, I’m beginning to think it’s more a matter of luck and maybe writing good books. And perhaps not making an asshat of yourself when you get bad reviews? Eh. who knows? No seriously, who?  I hope whoever she is will stop by the group and tell the rest of us.

  4. 4
    kate r says:

    Candy, er, um, right. Sarah.

    So the deal when you’re doing promo? Remember who the hell you’re talking to. Good thing this isn’t promo, eh?

  5. 5
    Elizabeth Wadsworth says:

    Is there any way to access the article without being a member of Facebook?  It sounds interesting, but the site won’t allow me to log on and rejected my password.

  6. 6
    poohba says:

    I hate to think a day will come that newspapers and magazines will be a thing of the past and everything that used to be in them will be online, but I think it’s coming soon…  Maybe even within the next five years.

    Fortunately, I don’t see that happening with book-length stuff.  Good thing, because I have a hard time warming to the Kindle.  I just wonder how boring airport stores will be in the future though… I can’t imagine not having something glossy and shiny to read on a plane. :(

  7. 7

    It’s tough out there in the promo world. Publishers say “just write the best book you can” but if people don’t have a way of finding out about it, then what? I know authors who spend a ton of time promoting, and do ok, and some that have done no promoting and do great—although in at least one of those instances, the publishing house gave her a nice push.

    Ultimately, I think authors need to just trust that their good books will garner a following—and try not to watch their Amazon rankings too closely.  :P

    Thanks for the links, Sarah! And I’m sorry you and Candy are too busy to review my book, lol.

    -Anthea

  8. 8
    Lisa#2 says:

    ev- Stanza works on iTouch. I downloaded it from the app store and they have a ton of free books (mostly all classics). I’ve been reading Pride and Prejudice on my itouch.

  9. 9
    Mistress says:

    Kate’s facebook is pretty cool. Cause to be honest most Author blogs/sites suck lemons.  My gripe is that most authors when they visit or have a blog it seems they’re just blatantly screaming “buy my book!” over and over & the scent of desperation is not alluring,lol. Even Worse are the poor confused souls who talk up their own book under the guise of being just another reader blog/board member. I get that they need to sell, but I don’t respond well to heckling or someone insulting my intelligence.

    The best author blog I’ve seen to date is leagueofreluctantadults.com (7 urban fantasy authors : Anton Strout,Stacia Kane, Mark Henry, Caitlin Kittredge, Jaye Wells, Jeremy Lewis, Jackie Kessler) On ““The League”  because theres so many authors they each only blog a day a week and it works because they’re all interesting, funny , a bit odd, and happen to be selling books.  I like reading about their tiffs with other authors, new book covers, and book signings coming up; cause it’s mixed in with random silliness, rants about writers block, the occasional contest/freebie, and humorous stories about their children or pets.Barnes & Nobles book club forums seems like anoher awesome author resource. I totally have a girl crush on Richelle Mead & Jeanine Frost after interacting with them there,which is probably the reason I now pre-order all their books now I think about it .

    It was just great to be able to ask Richelle about a characters reaction I didn’t get or what inspired the story or read Jeanine Frost’s in depth posts about how she got published , and a guide to finding an agent( alot of the bookclubs peeps are aspiring authors, and we love all the juicy behind the publishing scenes stuff).  The most successful authors taking part in this sort of gorilla net marketing seem to find someway to get the readers involved with themselves 1st, book 2nd.

  10. 10
    kate r says:

    I think a lot of the “hey LOOK at MY BOOK!” authors tend to be newly published. They’re like first-time lovers or parents who can’t think about anything but the amazing new thing in their lives and almost have to share or explode.

  11. 11

    Actually, the need to pimp a debut or second book is pretty basic. Publishers WILL drop you after the second book if your numbers aren’t good. Happens all the time. So even more than the “oh I’m so proud of my baby” syndrome, is the “omg my book is hardly moving and I’m not going to get a second contract out of this” effect. Selling your first book is no guarantee that you’re going to succeed as an author, especially with the piddling amount of publicity (read:basically none) that the publishing houses give you. Seriously. It’s hard to get established and I think debut authors are hoping that if they shout loud enough, they’ll get some notice.

    -Anthea

  12. 12
    SonomaLass says:

    OMG, Pornogami!!  Totally something to put on my DP’s Christmas list.  He’s always folding me little birds and frogs; he’ll enjoy adding adult shapes to his skill set, I’m sure.

  13. 13

    Samhain isn’t the only epub to make their books available via Stanza – AllRomance Ebooks, an outlet for many pubs including Cerridwen Press, is also making their books available via Stanza. From an email they just sent me:

    The custom catalog containing all of our active epub titles is available now for customers to add, browse, and make purchases. The feed is dynamic, so new epub titles can be added at any time.

    This pilot program is the first step, with further improvements anticipated over the next few weeks. Right now we are looking for some early adopters to shop using their iphones/iPod Touch and provide us with feedback. If you don’t have an iPhone/iPod touch, you can help us just by getting the word out. If you do have an iPhone/iPod Touch then…

    Just go into the Stanza app on your iPhone/iPod Touch.
Punch the “Online Catalog” tab.
Press the “plus sign” at the bottom right hand corner of the screen and type in the name “All Romance eBooks” and then add this url beneath it…
http://allromanceebooks.com/epub-feed.xml


    Now press the “save button” on the top right hand corner of the screen.


    You should then see an “All Romance eBooks” tab under “Online Catalog”.
Press the “All Romance eBooks” tab. You will now be able to download and read excerpts from the catalog. At the end of the excerpt is a link to purchase. Once you go through the purchase sequence, you should select the ePub version. Voila, instant book on your iPhone/iPod Touch!

  14. 14
    kate r says:

    absolutely anthea. The depressing thing is even when you do everything right and push not too much/not too little, you can still end up bombing due to so many things beyond your control like distribution, meh cover, bad economic factors, too many releases similar to yours, bad luck …. (that bit about being a new writer? Pure projection.)

  15. 15

    Kate you are right too. Of COURSE it’s teh excitement when you see *your* words right there, bound into a real book. No matter what title and cover the pub house put on it.  ;)

    But soon enough the ominous little voices about how you have at best 3 months in the stores to make any kind of impression on readers, and in this economic climate probably less time than that before your book disappears from the shelves forEVER, and you feel like you’re the only one in your writer’s circle who isn’t getting a blurb in PW/massive blog interviews/spank-tastic reviews/multiple contract offers…

    It’s sobering, when you realize the number of authors who AREN’T picked up again after their first book or two. Not only in genre fiction. Many of the publishing houses throw authors out there, see if they stick for whatever reason, and if they don’t do well try another batch—because it’s STILL a mystery to the industry why some debut books take off like a flock of startled birds and some sink like a stone under the dark waters.

    OTOH, there’s plenty of tales about author A who had a smallish career that floundered, then renamed herself/switched subgenres/got a different agent and rebounded in a big way. It comes down to having faith in your writing and persevering.

    ok, getting way too serious here. Back to the Sunday morning chocolate donuts!

    -Anthea

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