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Friday, June 26, 2009

More On Learning Book Marketing

Book marketing is just something a successful author HAS TO LEARN. I am a Work in Progress (WIP) in this area. I hope to be rudimentarily educated in this vital area sometime in the near future.

To that end, I will direct you to an informative blog, The Book Publicity Blog at http://yodiwan.wordpress.com/ I have discovered that is run by a professional publicist in a large publishing house: The publicist's name is Jen and she blogs about book publicity/marketing.

Further, this blog lists a large array of links to other related blogs: Book Blogs, Bookstore Blogs, Future of Publishing Blogs, Literary Agent/Editor blogs, Marketing/PR blogs, Media Blogs, Publishing Blogs, Publishing House Blogs, etc.

WARNING: There is a vast quicksand of info on this blog and it's links to keep you permanently occupied for a long time!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

John Austin Answers Phelicia Brown:

To answer your question: I don't know if saying your true story is fiction and using other characters is better or not. You see, you would still be a relatively unknown author; whether the story is fiction or nonfiction. AND, a lot of people like to buy a story especially if it is true, even if they don't know the author...How many times have you bought a book in a store because the cover looked good or the synopsis on the cover sounded interesting and you never heard of the author? Many times...You think everybody who buys books KNOWS all the millions of writers who have books published? Hell no. We just have to get our foot in the front door by meeting the right publisher or learning marketing of self-published books well enough to get them in front of the right audiences...

I will be discussing some of these things in more detail in future posts to my blog. Spread the word on my blog to others who may be interested.

Keep studying publishing and marketing your books and always seek to polish up your writing skills...and before long you will get there. I am detailing my first self-publishing experience on my blog for entertainment, analysis and to hopefully help some others, too.

Phelicia Brown Said:


You always seem to hit the nail on the head. That is so true. Like even myself, I am giving away my short story because I want people to read it and hopefully they will say, "Hey this girl can write a good story line". I have been telling my friends, who want to write their life stories, to make it fictional with interesting characters and names because who wants to buy a book about the girl or guy next door who isn't famous? You have a better shot at making a book about your life but create characters. I could be wrong. What do you think? Sure family may buy but the general public book readers? That's different.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Learning Book Marketing

Well, my first self-published short story went up for sale one week ago and I've made a big ZERO sales!

Two main reasons, I think:

1) I really haven't gotten into the marketing effort enough (lack of knowledge and no real resources).

2) As a friend consultant from Amazon's CreateSpace, nick-named Lighthouse24, told me: Honestly, as a reader, what I think is, "Why would I spend $10 for one short story by someone I've not heard of, when I could buy a whole book of short stories by people I have heard of (but haven't gotten around to reading yet) for the same $10 (or less)?"

As an author/self-publisher, my thinking is that a first chapter like this should be given away, free (like a sample in the grocery store or a 30-day trial version of software) as a strategy to encourage people to try it and to spread the word about it to others -- which will hopefully result in more people knowing about (and then buying) the book itself.

I don't know if that's the kind of thoughts and feedback
you were looking for, but if not, let me know and I'll respond. Good luck with your project.

I will be posting more on my publishing learning journey soon...

In the meantime I am re-thinking my marketing strategy and have withdrawn my story from public sale until I figure it out...Maybe it is best to give it away for now...

Saturday, June 13, 2009

My First Self-Published Work!

I have just self-published for the first time:

Key West...Erotic Awakenings in Paradise

This short story (6,712 words) is actually a first installment of a larger, 10 part story titled Havana Harvest...When Cuba was Naughty!

This first part is a stand-alone story in itself introducing some of the main characters and detailing the location, atmosphere and ambiance of Key West before our young protagonists depart for Havana to play basketball and enter a world where many humorous, bawdy and sometimes dangerous coming-of-age experiences result just before Castro's takeover.

Part one showcases first true love, beautiful South America girls, outfoxing the Nuns and more!

This eBook can be instantly downloaded for just $10.00 at my website: http://johnraustin.yolasite.com/store.php

John Austin Replys to Mark Morford:

Good luck with "Daring Spectacle." You hit the nail on the head with the current upheaval in the publishing industry; AND self-pub is gaining huge and immediate credibility due to technology and the fact that the old publishing industry got to the point where they asked author's to do their work for them! Old Publishing SOLD OUT...only pushing and marketing books by celebrities for the main part (most written by ghost writers!). Good writing and artistry be damned! Not to mention the skimpy split they would give author's (the friggin creators, mind you, that allowed them to make $$ in the first damn place!).

You're right, self-pub and keep 96% of your profits!

What Mark Morford of the San Francisco Chronicle says on Publishing:

From Mark Morford's 6/10/09 San Francisco Chronicle, Notes and Errata column:

"...Personal example: As previously mentioned, I am on the cusp of putting out my first book, the long overdue Daring Spectacle (get on my newsletter right now to learn more, do it do it do it). I have had the discussions. Multiple agents, publishers, the works. They all told me the same thing: Book publishing is a disaster right now, the industry's in a meltdown contraction apocalypse swine flu death throe. Authors and books deals are getting shunned and mutilated and tossed aside like gay rights at a GOP convention. Terrible time to be trying to sell a book, they summarize. Terrific. Thanks.
Upshot: I am self-publishing. Doing it all myself. I have had to give up on roughly a hundred notions of How I Thought This Would Go Down and instead I will be working all sorts of newfangled angles, from Twitter to Facebook to YouTube to podcasting a live reading from my iPhone video camera (hell, why not?), all to get the thing in front of as many wary eyeballs as much as I can because, well, this is the new way. It is very much not the old way. Good thing? Bad thing? Is it all sort of great? Does it entirely suck? Yes..."

Monday, June 8, 2009

On Publishing: John Austin Answers Jeanne Scott

Publishing a first book has never been easy is correct. Only points out the fact that the old publishing industry has never been properly manned to handle the talent workload. It's just been an arbitrary decision by an agent or publisher...usually generated by uncontrollables such as his mood, hangovers...an eye catching lead-in that might catch his/her eye today but not tomorrow, etc,etc, ad infinitum. AND they say if you don't dot an "i" or cross a stupid "t" OR your margins aren't a certain friggin width...the idiots won't even read the content that might be ingenious or wildly entertaining! These types need another job or a resetting of their priorities.

It's nauseous and always been a stacked industry, deeply bent in favor of publishers and exploitive of the talent that made them the damn money in the first place!

AND THEN they want you (the author) to do the hard work for them by marketing your own book to make them the money...Who needs them? What good do they do in today's atmosphere? The 30-40% split they allow you is a rip off! Should be the other way around and for what the publishers do they should be happy to get 30-40%...in fact, that's probably too high!

In truth, publishing has never been an efficient industry and they probably deserve to die as they are now and just go away. Self-publish or get a "newer-age" publisher (that I feel has to emerge to fill the gap) that will allow the intellectual property creator to pocket the more rightful 60-70% of the earnings. Let's get the dog wagging the tail again instead of the other way around...

On Publishing: Jeanne Scott Said:

You've certainly been covering the waterfront in researching all the different aspects of getting a first book published, John. Truth be told, I don't believe it has ever been easy to achieve this feat; but we are in a different and definitely discouraging period. (As I wrote those words I visualized something like the sinking of the Titanic and everybody in a raging, swirling ocean trying desperately to stay afloat economically.) Self publishing is no easy task either, but it is an avenue others have succeeded in accomplishing and may at this time be the sole route for writers like us. I'm cheering for you!!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Thoughts on the Publishing Industry, My Novel and Other Stuff

This post is taken from my website at http://johnraustin.yolasite.com/ :

6/9/09: Although I've had the query letter and book proposal for my nonfiction novel written forever, I have not sent any out due to the upheaval in the publishing industry and the economic downturn.
I have been researching self-publishing as perhaps a maturing industry, coming into it's own as a result of new technology, to get my novel published and keep more of the money in my own pocket. I have been reporting on this a little in previous posts. This throws us headlong into the necessity of then having to market our own books...but, hell, we had to do that as first-time authors with the traditional publishers anyway!

I will send out queries, however, it's just a dream to be published by a traditional publishing house.

Good, reputable Literary agents used to be able to get you better deals, I'm not sure anymore. Some spend so much time on blogs that I don't see how they have any time to properly agent your work...and some have just gotten a little too big for their britches...So, BEWARE of agents that have found new-found fame and followers on their own blogs!!! Could be they are positioning for new jobs in the present industry upheaval.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

More on Publicists

Publicists do have several professional organizations that they can subscribe to. I would recommend that when you shop for a publicist you select one that belongs to a professional organization that requires adherence to a code of ethics for membership. This protects you from scammers and fly-by-night hawkers.

Two good professional organizations for publicists are:

1- Public Relations Society of America www.prsa.org
2- American Advertising Federation www.aaf.org

The cost of a Publicist is custom designed for your needs and budget. You will need to contact one to arrive at a price.

A good list of what a comprehensive publicity campaign can include is located on the Smith Publicity Company site at http://www.smithpublicity.com/?page=pubservices