sartorias: (Default)
Today's riff is about the power, and the problems of word of mouth.

Especially for Indie writers, who have zero budget for publicity. And I talk about current reads, and why I'm reading them.
sartorias: (desk)
So today is the last day of the Book View Cafe giveaway. (Below I have attempted my first image here, putting up the nice ad that Mindy Klasky made for me.)

Some of the authors have reported getting hundreds of signups at their newsletter, and have given away many more hundreds of books. My numbers are far more modest, as I expected. The newsletter I sent out was my first (Rachel made it for me--I can't even figure out how to do it) and I am still ambivalent about doing more.

One of the rubrics many of the authors are working on is that "you don't sell books to strangers." But, I am thinking, we actually do. I know very few of the authors whose books I buy. In fact, buying authors (i.e. whatever they put out, the minute it appears) is way down on the list of reasons why I get a book. So maybe I'm an outlier at the gitgo.

It also seems to me that social media is cram packed these days with authors touting their books, many of them feeling they have to do it. My eyes slide past so very much of it, especially when couched in breathless superlatives. But it must work, right? Am I an outlier in that, too?

Do you want newsletters from indie authors you like, giving you recipes and talking up a storm about their personal life and process? My eyes glaze when fellow authors go on and on about a story I know nothing about--the names mean nothing, I don't understand the situation, I want to say, just let me read the book, don't tell me about it. But again, am I an outlier? Does everybody else find that exciting?

It's different if I'm already invested in a series. Then I'm eager for any hints, and news. And of course there are those with such charisma that whatever they say gets an instant audience. I don't want to talk about them. I mean the rest of us, fumbling our way in the dark.

What gets your attention--authors selling themselves, the book itself, some combo of these?

ETA: woo, it worked! But you have to click it to see the full image.

sartorias: (Default)
As a way of reaching new readers and building newsletters (which seem to be the New Thing; naturally, I am way behind and have never sent one) Book View Cafe has set up a giveaway for some books until May 12th. I really like some of these, and hope they all find a wider audience.

Mindy Klasky, who set it all up, made a nice graphic for me, but Dreamwidth seems to be terrible for inserting graphics (It wants a URL and I don't have one) so I'll do a separate post for LiveJournal with my nice graphic that she made for me, which features my own offering.

If you think this is a good idea, please pass the word! Indies really depend on word of mouth. Especially those of us who have a PR budget of $0.00.
sartorias: (Fan)
Ellen Kushner's Swordspoint has now become a shared world, under Kushner's guidance. At BVC I talk about it and about collaboration.
sartorias: (Default)
I still feel more comfortable at LJ, but the owners could make it go away in a snap, so I'm testing DW in case. (It's still bewildering, and there are a whole lot of steps I do not understand, like the different between access and reading list and circles.)

Anyway, today's BVC post is about passionate reading.
sartorias: (handwritten books)
Over here, writer Sara Stamey, author of the terrific fantasy thriller The Ariadne Connection, recounts her rambles on the Greek isles, here specifically the remarkably well-preserved sacred site at Epidauros.

This seems an appropriate time to be reminded of places of peace and healing, and of the striving for the best in the human spirit. We're hearing so very much on the news about the worst.
sartorias: (duel to the pie!)
writers vs. critics then--and now. Writers are encouraged (expected! in some cases) to be personalities online. So . . . does that mean responding to reviews, or not?
sartorias: (style)
Friendships seem to be okay in books, film, and TV, but heaven forbid anyone is committed, except in these favorites.

What are yours?
sartorias: (1554 S)
What does Ada Palmer's recent science fictional novel Too Like the Lightning share with Maria Edgeworth's Castle Rackrent and Denis Diderot's and Laurence Sterne's and Henry Fielding's works? The seduction of a wonderful narrative voice.
sartorias: (1554 S)
I tried to figure out how to import it, but LJ coughs up a hairball at PDF files.

So a link instead.
sartorias: (desk)
Over here, a short, tightly written story set in Kerr's urban fantasy version of San Francisco. She's written four books about Nola O'Grady, her noir detective with license to ensorcell. This, I think, serves as a splendid introduction to those.
sartorias: (Fan)
Over at BVC blog a bunch of us in costume over the years.

I love the knit one last, and also Sarah and her tall Viking hubs cross-dressing.
sartorias: (handwritten books)
One of those situations where tears and sweat (not much blood, at least) are all behind the scenes--when with a minuscule budget but giant dreams a consensus group invents a bookstore.
sartorias: (tallship awesomeness)
Jack Aubrey, Charles Babbage, writerly duels . . . Ferderick Marryat, the zap of verisimilitude and the fickleness of fame.
sartorias: (handwritten books)
This is not about trashing traditional publishers. Some of us are perfectly happy with our editors/houses . . . but some are not, for various reasons, many of which have to do with "How do we market this? It doesn't fit the regular slots."

How to make a publisher with no boss, and no budget.

I've been asked about how Book View Cafe works, so here is a way into how it came about, how it works. If people are interested, next, the nitty gritty of setting up an online bookstore when you have a minuscule budget, and in future, the hassle that is PR, and other aspects.

Come talk about today's publishing!
sartorias: (Fan)
Chris Dolley has another Worcester and Reeves story out, this one with H.G. Wells as a character, featuring time travel, called The Aunt Paradox.

(If you have to have your one-click, here's Kindle, though the author gets more if you go through BVC.)

I read this in draft, and really enjoyed it. I think Dolley has got Wodehouse's style down, and the added sfnal/steampunk element makes it more fun. It's cheap--check out the beginning, see how you like it!
sartorias: (Fan)
Epic fantasy has been around for a very long time, and so have critical nose-liftings. The amusing part of this one is, it was written to edify a nine-year-old boy, in the 1740s.


Sep. 5th, 2013 08:30 am
sartorias: (handwritten books)
I was talking to a friend who summarized her Worldcon experience, and one thing she overheard was discussion about how the future of publishing is trending more toward direct-to-consumer. Is the day of the big publisher over? Well, not yet it isn't! The big bookstores are hanging on, and they are supplied by the big publishers.

But all these other venues are mushrooming. From my limited view, there are two things to consider. One, getting the word out (the problem everyone faces) but there is as big an issue, hidden from view: who does the labor? Anyway, Book View Cafe keeps evolving and is now legally a cooperative.
sartorias: (desk)
A rarity, there are two! Both short, and not really about me.

Janni Lee Simner is doing a series on the mid-career writer and that one is my turn. (I think some of us are "mid-career" until they find us dead at our desk.)

When I approached the questions asked in this interview, I was thinking about Judith Tarr's recent post, and about the changes in publishing, and the perils as well as successes in writers attempting to take the power of publication into their own hands.

Book View Cafe rode the crest of the wave. Still is. A lot of experimentation has been discarded. New stuff tried on, and will be.

Our front face now is pretty much the group blog on which the interview is found. For three years I did Sunday blogs as part of my contribution to the consortium. I was such a "successful" blogger that nobody noticed when I took a break several months ago.


So in the interests of a failure who wants to learn, let me put out this question: if you do ever visit the BVC blog, what do you like seeing there? What sort of content makes you skip?

If you don't read it, why not?

Any and all feedback welcome.

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