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Friday, August 28, 2009

Other Life Stuff

This post will deviate slightly from our usual "publishing-writing-authors-books" theme and deal with another advertised subject of this blog: "other life stuff."

In my on-going research of how to better market books on-line, I come across tons and tons of "systems" that purport to do this AND many other money making peripherals also. Most are crap, especially those selling "how to" literature in the form of eBooks, CD's or DVD's. But, some of these internet opportunities are possible with MORE WORK associated than advertised! Always look for systems that give great on-line customer support, training (weekly webinars to answer questions, etc) and get you in free or at a low initial cost with free 30 day trials (that often can be paid by your own greater initial effort). After all, legit systems want good workers that will make them more money and they are willing to pay good bucks for that talent.

I am listing links here to two systems I feel are simple, straightforward and honest, that I am personally involved with...and so far comply with my above paragraph:

1) Acme People Search Engine http://alturl.com/v844

2) Free and Powerful http://alturl.com/9mzz

If it turns out that these systems are NOT customer service friendly or the upline is NOT readily responsive to questions or they use too many auto-response emails rather than personal hands-on communication (granted sometimes hard, BUT that's what they are in business for!) then I will report that later in their final grade here.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Frances Jeanne Said:

Like your perspective! Considering other scenarios that could have been much worse, I'm hunky-dory!

John Austin Answers

Alas! (I like that word) the publishing industry is simply being upgraded so it can use the new tools that will get written, printed words (they are still written & printed, whether on paper or on disc or in any digital format! Just like these words in the computer email) out to the masses faster and in greater quantity.

When the dust settles, the publishing industry should be better off! After all, the old codgers in the publishing houses were ripping the creative artists off...giving the authors a measly 15% of profits (should have been 50-60%) and a bunch of BS about all their supposed overhead etc & blah blah! The playing field is just being leveled.

Sorry about your virus & fender-bender. I assume all is ok?

Frances Jeanne Said:

Alas! I feel like I'm getting too old for all the upheaval in the publishing arena! But again, it may be that my spirit is so low because I battled a 2 day virus that laid me low and on top of that, had to deal with a fender-bender episode. I'm mailing the DVD today.

"Debut Pricing" for ebooks

Hi, and a great Monday filled with happiness to all!

Ebooks are taking more and more share of the printed word. The pricing of ebooks, and when they should be released at lower prices so as not to derail the debut sales of their hard/softcover versions, are two big questions affecting publishers and authors during this transition period.

I am including a discussion of this conundrum below with some creative answers for the industry:

“Debut pricing” for ebooks: a better idea than withholding them
Posted by Mike Shatzkin on August 23, 2009 at 8:49 am

Three weeks ago, the community had a big discussion about the timing of ebook releases which was triggered by Dominique Raccah’s announcement that Sourcebooks would hold back the ebook of Bran Hambric for some period after the hardcover release. The expressed concern was to insulate the $28.95 hardcover from the price competition currently taking place in the ebook space, where Amazon has started working to establish a $9.99 retail price for new commercial titles, forcing BN.com to match them.
This post doesn’t quarrel with the suggestion that there’s a problem; it is a quest for a better solution.

Although Amazon has pushed some smaller publishers to a different discount structure, the established commercial houses usually sell ebooks to retailers at about 50% off the publisher’s retail price, about the same terms they have established for print books. But ebooks, title for title, add more margin (i.e. profit) to the publisher at the same net revenue because the books don’t have to be manufactured and shipped and there is also no cost of returns. (They would also generate more margin for the stores than print books if the stores sold them at the same price as the print book, but, as I pointed out in an earlier post, under current practices, they never will.)...Read rest of post @ http://alturl.com/agp9

Thursday, August 20, 2009

The Demise or Rebirth of the Book Business?

There's a lot of upheavel, turmoil and change in today's book publishing industry. But, I feel it's just a bump in the road to improvement; and I also feel the "printed" word will be around forever, it will just have brothers & sisters. I have discussed aspects of this changing environment in previous posts. Boris Kachka published a relevant & insightful piece in the New York Magazine last September:

'The book business as we know it will not be living happily ever after. With sales stagnating, CEO heads rolling, big-name authors playing musical chairs, and Amazon looming as the new boogeyman, publishing might have to look for its future outside the corporate world.

HarperCollins occupies floors 1 through 22 of a giant steel-and-glass box on 53rd Street. But up on 26, the receptionist for a tiny offshoot of the company sits alone, gatekeeper to a few drab rows of empty cubicles. A glass container on a table holds a mysterious pile of bright-yellow lightbulbs.
“Welcome to our temporary home,” says 51-year-old publisher Bob Miller, ushering me into a colleague’s more inviting office. Inside, he and his staffers prepare to impart a cheery message: They’re going to fix publishing!
But first, a horror story. Debbie Stier, Miller’s No. 2 at HarperStudio (as this little imprint is called), has been collecting videos for their blog. “You want to see what happens to books after they go to book heaven?” she asks. On the screen of her MacBook, a giant steel shredder disgorges a ragged mess of paper and cardboard onto a conveyor belt. This is the fate of up to 25 percent of the product churned out by New York’s publishing machine...' Read entire article at http://alturl.com/dm8q

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Economy Hits Advances For Established Authors!

Economy hits publishing houses & advances for even established authors. Book marketing and publishing moving from the horizontal to the vertical path to audiences. Read this revealing article from the Shatzkin Files: http://alturl.com/45a9

Monday, August 10, 2009

I Sold Second Copy Of My Story! (Faint, Faint)

My 9th grade teacher bought a copy of my short memoir story on 1st August 2009. My second sale in a week and a half. I thank her very much for her contribution to my quest for learning and trying totally free internet marketing.

This is a slow process presently; hopefully I can break some kind of a "code" during my quest that will allow sales to pick up! I, and I'm sure many of you, are bombarded by tons of "buy-my-'Book Blaster System'-and-sell-a-million-books-in-30-days!" However, my research finds 99.9% of these offers are just scams.

Stay tuned for more updates in my experiment in free internet marketing. I wish all my readers a happy and uplifting week!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Twitter Connections For Writers, Authors And Publishers

The Book Publicity Blog at http://alturl.com/8229 is one of my favorite sources for up-to-date info on the publishing and book industry. Today The Book Publicity Blog had a great post about Twitter, and since I am also on Twitter (as well as Facebook and Myspace) learning "social media" and how I might use these type sites for book marketing, I am extracting it below for my readers info. WARNING: This post has great contacts and connections to experts in the
writing and publishing field!

"Twitter is possibly the most robust network to link readers and the publishing community since Gutenberg built his printing press. I realize Twitter doesn’t work for everybody and I’m not suggesting that everyone use it — there are days when even I don’t have the time (or simply can’t be bothered) to type even 140-character status updates — but what must be recognized is that Twitter is no longer the latest fad among tweens; it has since evolved into an incredibly powerful communications tool (and it can be fun, too). I realize I’m pretty much preaching to the choir with this post, but please feel free to share the following with colleagues/authors."
Most people now know the Twitter basics: you have a 140 characters to update your status and you have a list of people whose status updates you follow and a list of people who follow your status updates. But for all practical purposes, what does that mean? Why should authors and people in the publishing industry use Twitter? Here are some reasons why:
– Networking: Although most publishing houses, literary agencies and book publicity firms are in New York — which means many of us see each other in person — many are not. And of course, media exist all over, as do readers. Twitter is how we meet. Publisher @artepublico uses Twitter to connect authors with the media. @calli526, a book publicist, uses it to connect with the media.
– Promotion: Twitter can be used to talk up a book, blog, event, author, giveaway or pretty much anything else.
– Feedback: For example, @benrubinstein polls his followers for ideas and suggestions.
And here are some specific examples of how Twitter works:
#followreader is a weekly publishing discussion conducted on Twitter on Thursdays at 4 p.m. ET and moderated by @charabbott and @katmeyerwho also blog at Follow the Reader. (Summaries of the discussions are posted on the blog for people who miss the Twitter conversation.)
@RustyShelton and his colleagues at Phenix & Phenix Literary Publicity developed a Tweet the Author service.
– Author Anastasia Ashman posts about how she uses Twitter.
@meredithkessler points out that Robert Olen Butler’s @TweetsFromHell was picked up by @LATimesbooks and followed by major critics and Butler fans.
– Literary agent @janet_reid found a panelist for a publishing conference via Twitter and has also used it to fact check some locations/spellings/customs.
– When I write a blog post, I try to tweet about it (and include a link to the post). That means my post could potentially be seen by the 1,267 people who follow me. Realistically, a tweet won’t be seen by all of one’s followers, but even if only a fraction of those people see an update and click through to the link, that still amounts to a lot of eyeballs. (And certainly a lot more eyeballs than if you’re not using Twitter.) Similarly, some authors will tweet about upcoming events to let readers know where and when they will be speaking or about reviews and interviews.
– And lastly, how do you think I found the examples for this post? Yup, you guessed it.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Book Excerpts--Free On-Line Book Marketing

Well, it's been a week since my first book sale and my second sale hasn't come yet! Things sure are slow on the cheap ticket.

But, all this aside, I have found another site http://bookbuzzr.freado.com that allows you to market your book on-line for free; this one does it by allowing you to offer free excerpts of your book for prospective clients to read. The site has a unique format that lets you publish (show) up to any eight pages of your book.

I am trying this now in addition to the other free listings I have my book, Key West-Erotic Awakenings in Paradise, involved in.