Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Content Sites – the Future of Indie?


The more I read forums in places like LinkedIn, Kindle Boards, Amazon, Create Space and, of course, the Bitches - the more I understand the need for 'content sites' and themed writer co-ops. These sites keep the Indie writer from 'reinventing the wheel' of marketing.
The two I keep coming back to are "Authors On Show" and "Year Zero."

At Year Zero – things are hopping once again. Dan Halloway did a guest blog on Authonomy.blogspot.com entitled: eight cuts gallery – this is not a publishing house. I recommend Year Zero and eight cuts gallery of 'bleeding edge' literature for anyone willing to take a walk on the wild side. Here is a 'hat's off' salute!
Authors on Show – they are so supportive! I've recommended them on LinkedIn forums – simply because they are working the content end – not shilling a darn thing. I think this site is one of the best things to come out of Authonomy – for the mainstream writer.
I started writing this a week or so before I submitted to Authors on Show. They have replied and eventually I'll have a few inches of column space. That's not the point – the point is the site has done so much for so many authors that they deserve another shout out from me, first.

Monday, August 23, 2010

A Newbie's Guide to Publishing: Guest Post by Libby Fischer Hellmann

A Newbie's Guide to Publishing: Guest Post by Libby Fischer Hellmann

Libby Fischer, guest blogger for Joe Konrath, makes some really good points on why traditional publishing is still a good option for writers.

Perhaps her most telling argument is: "The tipping point has yet to be reached. The majority of readers do not have e-readers."

I brought this up in a forum today. The numerous reports of the death of print are greatly exaggerated. E-books are a great niche market! A wonderful, dynamic, sky-rocketing NICHE market.

Indie publishing in all it's forms - self-publishing, micro-publishing, e-publishing are great and wonderful additions to the art of writing and the writer's toolbox for making a living.

We are on riding a wave of change that makes it an exciting time to be a writer. But the old gray mare of publishing still has a hell of a kick.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

E-Reader Irritation


There are excellent reasons that I like my Nook. The access to cheap books is number one. Being able to carry my library and having fast access to the B&N catalog at home are two more.
My beef with all this quick access is having no way to tell what I'm getting. There is no search function for "Not Erotica" or even "PG 13" content.
In short, there is no way to filter out what I don't want to read. Most e-publishers are very good about giving their books a rating system.
What is wrong with B&N?
Lazy buggers.
At least put it in the tagging system…
Hey, that's an idea.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

A New Look for Jordan's Croft

As much as I love the templates for "The cutest blog on the block" I'm going to give them up.

Jordan's Croft is going "Pro" with a new look. I used softer colors that are easier to read. You can expect to see more changes as time goes on. This is the beginning of the 'tweaking' process that will hopefully make this site even more of an success.

Speaking of success - the book continues to sell a copy here and a copy there. It appears to sell best going into the weekends - people want a good weekend read.

My goals are simple ones - ten books the first month then five additional books every month after that. I would like to have the second book up by the end of the year. My goal is producing 2 or 3 books a year.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

"Let's Do Lunch" - Marketing Kickoff

I'm proud to announce the marketing kick off of "Let's Do Lunch" my contemporary romance novel set in Elizabethtown, Ketucky.

After a bit of tweaking and some false starts - the Amazon.com K.A. Jordan Author page, is up and functioning. The "Let's Do Lunch" purchase page for Amazon.com is up, with sample pages available.

In addition I have an interview with Kindle-Author blog posted. Be the first to comment.

The e-book has sold a few copies, possibly due to my dropping the price to $.99 and getting active on Kindle boards and Amazon's Romance board.

We had a nice thread going - a discussion concerning the amount of Romance in a novel. If you are interested you can find it here on Kindle Boards.

Finally, I found some really funny clips.  Who is Zoe Winters? The "Indie Stigma" issue is completely out of hand. But she has handled it with humor and taste - just excuse the WTF comment. I'm looking forward to the next installment.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Bloomberg - Simply Stupid?

Oh, I an so insulted by this bit of trashy journalism on Bloomberg Weakly Business Week. Entitled "Romance Fiction: Getting Dirty in Dutch Country" it was written by some stupid muscle-bound twit with a fatal case of cranial rectal inversion.

The only facts in the article were these:

"In 2009 romance novel sales continued to defy industry trends, increasing to $1.4 billion, up $100 million, or 7.7 percent, from the previous year, according to Simba Information's annual Business of Consumer Book Publishing report. Romance now accounts for 14 percent of all works of fiction sold. Some 75 million people read at least one romance novel in 2009, and it's the top-performing category on the best-seller lists compiled by The New York Times, USA Today, and industry trade Publishers Weekly."


The rest sneered openly about the genre that is making all this money. I won't repeat the mud slung by this fool, but I will quote "Smart Bitches"  who called 'em like they saw 'em. "Every other sentence is a steaming pile of misleading patronizing ill-informed supercilious twatbaggery."

I found this simply insulting P.o.S. by following a link from the outraged Bitches' site. My link is above if you want to leave a nasty note of your own.


In closing I will quote my favorite comment: "It's not everyone that can insult such a wide range of Americans in one article."

If the Bloomberg editors had any brains, they would fire the damn fool.

OMG - 'Let's Do Lunch' is Available in the UK!

I'm so thrilled!


I don't know how it happened, but the monthly report shows that I have a place for UK sales. 

I'm so happy! Not just for myself, but that means that it is going to be so much easier for everyone to sell books. Everyone in the 'Left Autho for Greener Pastures' group has the same playing field.


What a great time to go Indie!
 

Thursday, August 5, 2010

"Let's Do Lunch" Available on Kindle

Set off the fireworks!

As of midnight last night "Let's Do Lunch" is available on Amazon.com Kindle.

Now the work begins.

I have written a great deal about the changes to the paper publishing industry. There is one factor common to launching a book in the paper book industry and the e-book industry.

A new author has to promote the book, themselves.

The trick is to do it with a bit of class. I'm going to give it my best shot. Internet advertising is cumulative, not transitive. (I'm going to keep repeating that.)

Luck is always a factor. I hope my Irish holds up.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Wylie Throws Down the Gauntlet!

I saw this on the Financial Times website. Mr Andrew Wylie, agent for some 700 of the literary genre's top names, told Kenneth Li and John Gapper of the Financial Times -

"If we do not reach an accord, Odyssey will grow. It will not publish 20 books, it will publish 2,000 and have outside investors and make itself available to other agents." 
"I am only trying to make a point in order to underscore the importance of getting the right terms with a view to uniting the two [print and digital] revenue streams," Mr Wylie said.
This is after 9 months of discussions with Big Six publisher Random House. It appears that Mr. Wylie has given up on combining digital and print rights for his stable of 20th century authors and author's estates. Instead he formed Odyssey Editions to e-publish his writers and get them an ever-increasing share of the 21th century action. You can find the story here.

I couldn't find the link to the best seller's list - but the word is that the twenty books released by Odyessy Editions are some of the best selling books on Amazon.cm - after only a few days.

Mr. Wylie (e-Coyote) threatens to publish 2000 books total unless the Big Six agree to 'combine revenue streams' publishing these e-book editions 'with an acceptable royalty rate.'

Meanwhile, they've priced the books at the magical $9.99 price that will give Odyssey the 70% royalty. Which yields a whopping $6.99 per book with a possible gross (at a 1000 books a week) of $27,972 per title. Times 20 titles is a whopping $559,440 PER MONTH.

Does Random House know that they are bleeding money? Most of those writers would settle for a fraction of that monthly gross. A 50/50 split wouldn't be so bad, not for Random House or Odyssey Editions.

Of course, I have to ask the obvious question. What's the writer's share of Odyssey's $28k per month? Can't be too bad - nobody has squawked, yet. But you know what the kicker is, don't you?

Every one of those 2k writers could publish via Kindle themselves. They own the e-rights to those books, not Wylie (e-Coyote), not Random House. It sucks to be a Luddite in a digital world.

Wylie (e-Coyote) my hat is off to you.

If any of those 2k literary writers wants help e-publishing a book - let me know. I'd like a piece of the action myself.

Preparing 'Let's Do Lunch' for Kindle Publication

I haven't gotten into details, but I have decided to take the plunge - I'm going to sell "Let's Do Lunch" via Kindle. In fact, I've finished the final draft and am working on formatting. The original goal was to have it posted by August 1st. I'm not sure that will happen tomorrow. I may get it finished, it may take a few more days.

It will be interesting to see how this plays out.

Cynthia has been kind enough to copy edit for me. Joanna has offered to write a review. Madison Woods will do an eleven question interview. There are a couple other bloggers who might give me a plug. There are Kindle boards that promote Indie writers.

The neat thing about internet marketing is that it is cumulative. The more I write about marketing in general, the better known my brand will become and the stronger my overall platform. I don't have to plug "Lunch" everywhere I go - just leave a link in my signature and a page on this blog.

My blog has a daily hit count - every time I post something on Indie publishing my traffic goes up.
This leaves a bigger trail of breadcrumbs in the long run. Kindle books don't go 'out of print' there is no 'deadline' I have to meet, no 'print run' to sell, and nothing in storage except backup files.

The challenge will be record keeping. I may need a schedule of places to hit during the week. Blog post on Monday. Update Facebook page on Wednesday. Stop in to blogs X, Y & Z to see what's happening and comment. If I run a facebook ad, what does that do for sales? If I post to Smashwords - what will that do for me? 

As an opportunity to educate myself - this is cheap at twice the price. I've taken a few marketing/business classes in college, so I've got an idea of how marketing works. I will be able to see on a week by week basis what works and what doesn't because there are weekly reports. Sales up this week? What did I do?

I do want to have a paper copy to give away to friends and family. (Christmas!) But I don't want to sell copies at the flea market. (A vending machine that I can fill with other people's books would be SO cool.)

I've been thinking about this for YEARS, and I've got enough ideas to keep me busy. Of course, if things work for me or not, I'll blog about it - which will push blog traffic up...

So you see, I'm not expecting miracles - just hard work and lots of it.

Stay tuned!