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.


Nov. 14th, 2014 06:12 am
sartorias: (Dog nosy)
So I signed up for it yesterday. (My nom de guerre is, astonishingly enough, sherwood_smith.) I chose to follow a handful of names I recognized, skipping over ones I thought might post so often I'd quickly get overwhelmed. If I do get the rhythms of it in my head, I can add them later--and more.

Right now I want it simple and linear. Or as linear as this kind of a thing can get. Already I see the rippling edge of chaos . . . just going through the signup (do you want to allow your location?) threw me back to this very weird, oh, call it experience I had back in my grad school days, around 1974. Someone had made some pot brownies for a party. I took a piece, figuring they might give me a mild buzz, but I liked that--it was relaxing in those horrible days when I was working six days a week in a restaurant and attending seminars in grad school. For three years, I pretty much never had a day off.

Anyway, pot brownies. I had no idea how strong those babies were. Before long I lay on the couch, utterly unable to move. Not even my jaw. I was aware of my heartbeat slowing way, way down, but I couldn't even get worried over that. Instead, I lay there contemplating the sparks of synapses leaping between nerves. It was like tiny sparks arcing between points in this shadowy gray mass that looked more like a thunderstorm does when you fly above it than it looked like brain matter.

I recollect the relief when the synapses, which had slowed, began to multiply, and I could no longer count them. Then I watched in delight as sparks flew in incomprehensible patterns all over those low gray clouds . . . and that's what Twitter reminds me of. Millions of tiny spark-lights arcing in impossible-to-discern patterns.

Though maybe I'll discern them. Or maybe not--I can't see it ever replacing LiveJournal, where I can write a post like this one. But I can also perceive the lure of immediacy. Anyway, the impetus was our editor at Viking saying that maybe [ profile] rachelmanija and I could do a Twitter conversation about our book. Heaven knows it needs the publicity--until a brief flurry yesterday, it was practically a stealth release, it had had so little advance notice. No arcs handed out at BEA or even ComicCon, etc etc blah blah.

I don't know what good a Twitter conversation would do in that world of millions of voices, but hey. I'll try most anything once, if it's free.

Meantime, off to yoga in a while, then back to work, while eyeing this phone, which bleeps at me every so often.
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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