expr:class='"loading" + data:blog.mobileClass'>


Saturday, July 25, 2009

I Sold First Copy Of My Story! (Faint)

Oooh Boy, a landmark! I am now a published author who has made a buck from his writing.

As eluded to in earlier posts, I am tracking my progress on trying to sell an eBook on-line at zero cost. My first sale came on 23 July 2009 from a listing I had on eBay. The sale came after being listed on eBay for approx. 30 days (involved several re-lists as the free listing is for limited time). Persistence pays.

The buyer was NOT the first person who asked about the book on eBay but was a person who had a connection with the locale of the story. I received a positive feedback from this buyer (liked the story and wants to read the rest of the larger novel!) so, hopefully, a word-of-mouth will be initiated that will generate future sales!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Barnes & Noble: Please Avoid These Kindle Mistakes

As a follow up to yesterday's post on Barnes & Noble's venturing into the eBook field (to save their struggling book store business) and coupling with an e-Reader called "Plastic Logic," I have extracted the following article from PCWorld magazine which further discusses favored designs to include in the new "Plastic Logic" e-Reader. These favored designs point out the drawbacks in the current "Kindle" e-Readers.

by Todd R. Weiss
Jul 21, 2009 8:11 am:

Now that Barnes & Noble has unveiled its plans for an e-book reader and an e-book store to take on rivals such as Amazon.com and Sony, we want to get them out the door on the right track.
So here are the top five features we'd love to see them include so that the new Barnes & Noble e-reader doesn't have the same glaring shortcomings that many of us found in Amazon's original Kindle and new Kindle 2.
1) Please include great and easy file handling from the start. Amazon's Kindle 2 still hasn't gotten this right, which is very frustrating. The Kindle 2 still doesn't have integrated PDF reading capabilities. That means it requires a kludgy conversion process where the user has to send a PDF or other document file to themselves to be able to convert it so it can be read on the device. Not cool. Imagine how useful an e-book reader can be (Sony's Digital Reader PRS-700 reader includes this) if it can natively read various common document formats. Eureka! Don't disappoint us, Barnes & Noble.
2) The new Kindle 2 finally added USB support after the original Kindle came without it. Don't put us through that, please. Just give us USB capabilities from the start. It means one less bulky power adapter to have to lug along and less aggravation for users.
3) Get the price lower from the start. Amazon's new lower $299 price for the Kindle 2 is nicer, but it's still probably too high for consumers to wildly embrace these e-readers. Yes, it's $60 less than it was earlier this year, but if you get the price to the right spot from the start, say maybe a loss-leading $99, all the catching-up that would follow would be the Kindle 2 trying to catch up with your new success.
4) Please give us a backlit screen. The Kindle 2 still doesn't have one, which makes it hard to read in dimly lit places. The Sony e-reader has one. We like it. Give us one on your new reader, Barnes & Noble!
5) Be DRM friendly with your new reader. Digital Rights Management is a very emotional issue. Musicians, filmmakers, and authors deserve to be paid and shouldn't have to give up their profits due to illegal distribution of their works without payment. At the same time, a consumer who legally buys such a work should have reasonable rights to use it on any compatible device he or she owns without having to purchase it separately for other devices. If I buy a printed book, I can read it in an airplane or in a car or in my living room, without having to buy separate copies for each. The same should go for my e-reader or computer or other device. Consumers have rights, too.
That's it for now. Thanks, Barnes & Noble, for bringing us more options in the e-reader marketplace. Now get to work and make us all proud.
(Todd R. Weiss is a freelance technology journalist who formerly wrote for Computerworld.com. Follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/TechManTalking)
See more like this:

Monday, July 20, 2009

Is The Internet The New "Big Box" Book Store?

Digital downloads have put big, established music and video chain stores in bankruptcy! Boy, what a business model explosion and rebirth has been created by the internet. Is the same thing happening to big chain book stores? Looks like it. The following is an article from on-line BusinessWeek posted by Douglas MacMillan today, July 20, 2009:

"Digital downloads doomed brick-and-mortar music retailers like Tower Records and Virgin MegaStore. Now, booksellers are trying to stave off a similar fate by getting in the budding business of e-books.
On Monday, Barnes & Noble launched an online bookstore and a new e-book reading application for PCs and mobile devices. The company’s eBookstore is launching with a collection of hundreds of thousands of bestsellers and classics comparable to Amazon’s offering on the Kindle, many marked with the price tag Amazon charges for its new e-books, $9.99.
But rather than edge in on Amazon’s turf, analysts expect Barnes & Noble to generate wider interest in the e-book format among mainstream consumers. “If anything it helps build demand for e-book reading more generally,” says Forrester analyst Sarah Rottman Epps. According to the Association of American Publishers, sales of e-books grew to $113 million in 2008, up 69% from the previous year.
But unlike vibrant technology players Amazon and Google — the search giant announced a foray into e-book sales last month— Barnes & Noble is looking for a lifeline in a quickly sinking industry. The number of physical stores operated by the company, along with those of Borders and Books-a-Million, shrank by 19% between 2002 and 2008. Barnes & Noble’s stock is worth less than half what it was in March 2006, before a recession stifled the book-buying public.
“E-books are not enough to save any publisher or retailer,” says Michael Norris, analyst with media researcher Simba Information. Even though it costs virtually nothing to sell digital copies of books, the small number of shoppers to online bookstores won’t make up for the huge losses associated with brick-and-mortar stores for a long time to come, he adds.
The company did put into play a big X factor Monday, when it also announced a deal to be the exclusive online bookstore for Plastic Logic's e-book reading device, due in early 2010. Previewed at the recent D:All Things Digital conference, the superthin, touch screen operated Plastic Logic reader "has the potential to blow the Kindle out of the water," says Norris. "It’s Barnes & Noble's way of hedging their bets and being able to attach their name to a cool electronic device."
But the device could also be a liability. Doubts have been raised about Plastic Logic's ability to deliver a product competitive to the Kindle in its set time frame. "It’s going to look bad for Barnes & Noble if that device doesn’t make it to market," says Forrester's Epps.
Even so, the company's electronic bookstore is somewhat platform-agnostic: its books can already be purchased and read on iPhone and iPod Touch devices, Blackberries, and on Mac and Windows computers."

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Self-Published Author Gets Simon & Shuster Deal

"And you thought self-published books were all rubbish. Author Boyd Morrison sold two books, the first one called The Ark, to Simon & Schuster. Boyd uploaded and sold the books himself and raised awareness for his novels by being a member of Kindle Boards and generally self-promoting..."

Please go to the following link to read the entire article on how one self-published author was picked up by a major publishing house, Simon & Shuster: http://alturl.com/vk56

Came across this fine piece from the blog The Write Report by Donna. Visit her blog at http://writereport.blogspot.com/

Sunday, July 12, 2009

The Evolving Role of Literary Agents

I have discovered a VERY informative publishing and related industry website called The Idea Logical at http://alturl.com/wyb5 and am delighted to present the following extracted posting:

The Evolving Role of Agents by Mike Shatzkin

Because of a couple of panels I spoke on last spring and because of the development of FiledBy, I have had more and more conversations lately with agents. They are part of the General Trade Publishing ecosystem. So their lives are getting more difficult and more complicated, like everybody else’s in Book Valley.
The agents’ concern is frequently expressed as “what do I tell my authors?” Publishers are increasingly insistent that a prospective author have an internet platform to build on before they sign a book. Editors always wanted credentials to back up a writer’s authority on any subject; now they’d like to see that the writer has a following on that subject as well.
But agents are also concerned about themselves. The two most innovative imprint initiatives in recent memory — Bob Miller’s HarperStudio inside HarperCollins and Roger Cooper’s Vanguard inside Perseus — are built on the idea of reducing risk, paying the author a lower advance. Yes, they also promise a higher reward (higher royalty), but experienced agents know most books don’t earn anything beyond the advance.
Miller and Cooper are smart guys and it could well be that their imprints will have a higher percentage of earnouts than most. But, as smart guys, they wouldn’t be willing to pay more on the high side if they didn’t believe they were saving at least that much on the risk side...
...view rest of this post at http://alturl.com/wyb5

Thursday, July 9, 2009

I Got A Nibble!

I got a question on Ebay regarding my book today! 26 days and two re-lists later. Not a sale yet, but an interest shown and a "watcher" bidder on Ebay. I feel like celebrating!

The question: "What is this? A book, CD, DVD, online data, what???? Thank you in advance. Bill"

Answer: "It's a downloadable ebook in PDF format. So you can get it immediately!"

I just hope that Ebay doesn't make me sell this as a CD and not allow me to sell it as an ebook...

Have a lot to learn yet, BUT, today I have re-learned that patience is something that a newbie marketeer MUST possess.

Stay tuned to see if I can learn to sell half-way successfully with a zero budget.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Marketing: Stuck In The Mud!

Well, anyone who has been reading my blog knows I have put a memoir story, Key West...Erotic Awakenings in Paradise, up for sale on the internet to start learning how to market books and to hopefully help others learn as well. I established a Payloadz account and a PayPal account and finally got the pay button on my site. I have the book listed on my website, http://johnraustin.yolasite.com/ under the "store" tab; I have it listed in a store provided on the Payloadz website and I have listed it on ebay and Craigs List.

I first listed my short story about three weeks ago (5/13/09) and have made no sales to date.

I am trying to market my book the best I can without making any out-of-pocket expenditures (on the cheap, in other words!). This is the only marketing I have done to date:

1- Posted info on the book in my blog.

2- Posted on twitter.

3- Mentioned the book on Facebook.

4- Sent out book info to a small email list of friends.

Why I think I'm not selling to date:

1- My blog does not have a big following yet...Poor marketing skills. Haven't spent any moolah to advertise my blog.

2- I have 449 followers on Twitter...not the massive audience probably needed. PLUS I don't think true social media bugs like ANY advertising...Regardless of what the marketeers tell you! Same goes for Facebook.

3- I really thought some of my friends would be interested...but, not yet. I did send some free parts out to them before BUT not the whole story with pictures. They would really enjoy if they coughed up the $3.00...I was hoping for a little word of mouth here if they liked the story...

4- I have'nt figured out how to acquire a good targeted list! Especially without paying for it.

ANY marketing suggestions would be warmly welcomed! I want this to be a learning/participating project if I can get response. If you don't want to (or can't) leave comments email me at gator1965@comcast.net ...

Some more experienced (I think) marketeers and authors have suggested giving this story away to build a platform of followers for future works...This will be discussed more in the next post...Stay tuned!