Saturday, May 31, 2008

My First Lukewarm Review

Bottom Line It For Me, Baby Version (200 Words Or Less):

I received my first lukewarm review on Adelaide Einstein a couple of days ago, 3 out of 5 stars on Amazon, followed by a second 3-starrer today. It’s disappointing, particularly since I went out of my way to post lengthy, free, online excerpts of both my novels specifically to avoid this situation. I figured the excerpts would weed out any potential buyers whose tastes don’t mesh with my work, thereby preventing bad reviews. Apparently these two didn’t avail themselves of the excerpts before buying. Even so, in both cases the reviewers praised my abilities as a writer overall and their criticisms weren’t condescending or attacking, so I have no complaints. Books are a matter of taste after all, and there have been plenty of times I’ve picked up a book on the rave recommendation of a friend only to end up wondering what my friend could possibly have found so appealing between those covers. No writer, no matter how skilled or talented, can expect his work to be universally adored or even enjoyed. So long as no one can fairly say I’m a bad writer, I figure I’m doing about as well as can be expected of any author.

(No Run Yo' Mouth version again...too busy keeping that promo train for The IndieAuthor Guide on track.)

Thursday, May 29, 2008

The IndieAuthor Guide Is On Sale Now!

Bottom Line It For Me, Baby Version (200 words or less):

I received my proof copy of The IndieAuthor Guide yesterday and approved it today, getting it listed for sale at the CreateSpace store just under the wire for publicity from Book Expo America over this weekend. And I'm offering my blog and website readers who buy the book from CreateSpace between now and the end of June a 20% discount code to use during checkout: 25HKCF3B . After all, if we were rich we wouldn't have to go all DIY and wouldn't need the book in the first place, right?

Don't think I'm advising anyone to rush a proof into release with only a cursory review, however. The book received a very careful, line-by-line copyedit before I submitted it to the printer to order a proof. I'd solicited for a 'fresh eyes' review of the ms, to check for major formatting errors only, but the wonderful author who took on the task did an incredibly thorough job anyway. I'd name her here, but don't want her to be buried in an avalanche of email requests for the same favor. She knows who she is, and knows she has my utmost gratitude. =')

(No Run Yo' Mouth version again...need to get hopping on promotion for this new release)

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Turning A Release Date Frown Upside Down

Bottom Line It For Me, Baby Version (200 words or less):

I've been working very hard to get my new book, The IndieAuthor Guide, into print in time to reap the benefit of BookExpo America publicity over the last weekend in May. Due to publisher delays (apparently they’re busier than last time I worked with them, because the time it takes to get a proof copy has doubled), my genius plan to have the book on my site and ready to buy ahead of BookExpo was dashed. I knew some kind of 'come back in a week or two, three at the latest, because by then I swear my new book will be available' message wouldn’t cut the mustard. Getting ‘em to your site is hard enough; if they don’t find what they want on that first visit, good luck getting ‘em to come back.

Behold, my new genius plan: I put a ‘coming soon’ message on my website, along with the offer of a 20% discount code for anyone who emails me asking to be notified when the book is released. This strategy may net me more sales than if I had gotten the book out on time, and I'll have some idea of demand for it early on.

(once again, no Run Yo' Mouth version...too exhausted to write!)

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Got eBooks?

Bottom Line It For Me, Baby Version (200 Words Or Less)

By now, I'm sure most of you know all about my IndieAuthor Guide to Publishing For The Kindle(TM), but what about all those other ebook formats? Finally, there's Smashwords: a service that works much like Amazon's DTP but outputs ebooks in pdf, prc, rtf, txt and pdb formats. Smashwords is the brainchild of Mark Coker, who runs a PR firm and is also a Silicon Valley investment capital 'angel'. He's as passionate about the indie author movement as I am, but he's got far more resources at his disposal and is putting them to good use in advancing the causes of indie authors and ebooks. Smashwords is Mark's way of doing all of us a solid, and it's an endeavor that deserves our support. Smashwords is free to join, it's free to publish your content, you set your own pricing, and you keep 85% of the profit. The Smashwords system is easy to use, and flexible in terms of acceptable source document formats (i.e., doc, txt, html). Mark's motives are pure, as evidenced by the fact that authors can offer their Smashwords books for free on the site---earning Mark exactly 15% of $0. Sign up, and spread the word.

(No Run Yo Mouth Version Again...Still Too Busy!)

Thursday, May 1, 2008

An Indie Author's Work Is Never Done

Bottom Line It For Me, Baby Version (200 Words Or Less)

What have I been up to since my last entry? I completed The IndieAuthor Guide to Promotion and posted it at my website. I revised The IndieAuthor Guide to Publishing For Kindle and posted that, too. I submitted my first article to Teleread. I got the news I’d been selected as a featured author in the BookSurge / CreateSpace booth at this year’s BookExpoAmerica and submitted the associated release and interview forms. I learned my novel Adelaide Einstein was chosen as a book club selection, so I prepared some discussion questions and posted them to my website as well. I checked my website and sales stats, tried to keep on top of email and online discussion groups, continued stoking the promo fires, and ruminated about my works in progress on a daily basis. Next, I’ll compile all my IndieAuthor Guides into a single volume, add more illustrations and supplemental content, proofread it, get it edited, design some cover art and submit it for publication through CreateSpace—ideally, in time to reap the benefits of any attention I get as a result of the BookExpo (May 29 – June 1). Don’t worry, the free, individual Guides will still remain on my site.

(No Run Yo Mouth Version This Time...Too Busy!)