Archive for November, 2010

Misunderstood and rejected

One could be tempted into thinking that the days of rejection were over simply because the decision to self-publish had been made.

If that were the case that person would be quite wrong if they opted to choose the eBook format only. I’m sure it’s also difficult if they individual  had a traditionally printed book, but I cannot speak to that… only the difficulties experienced trying to get noticed with an eBook.

I am told that the dynamics of the publishing industry change on a regular basis and so I do my due diligence to learn about the industry that I’m trying to hard to enter.

Rejection, it would appear has become such a standard for me that when things automatically go through I have become a little gun-shy and leery of the small successes.

If I look at “A Blood Moon” this eBook was professionally formatted with the appropriate metadata and has its ISBN-13. There are levels of eBook; those developed with the Amazon CreateSpace or Barnes&Noble PubIT!  .and those that are uploaded to Amazon and Barnes&Noble by the author being considered a small publisher. I mention all of that to say this. I attempted to get on the Borders.com distribution listing and I was transferred to a small company called KOBO. They couldn’t accept my eBook because as a small publisher I didn’t have enough titles to list with them. Ten (10) is a nice round number I hear that the folks there are looking for.

There also seems to be a misunderstanding about the fact that Amazon assigns the eBook an ASIN. As a matter of fact Amazon only displays the ASIN, but it is not the only identification number for that eBook. After all, ASIN means nothing more than Amazon Standard Identification Number. A reader’s service who didn’t understand what an ASIN was sent me an invite and then declined it once they learned I only had an eBook format. 

That was rather interesting as I thought being new to the industry meant that I knew very little, but perhaps it just means that I am not predisposed by how things were and my research of how things are keeps me current. Who knows?

Don’t feel discouraged, if distributors other than Amazon, Apple, and Barnes&Noble are on your agenda you can use firms like Smashwords et al. that will help you get your content listed and take a pretty penny in doing so.

As an author if you are determined to continue down the highroad of self-publishing  without the assistance of a marketing team, then you may have to dig deep and persevere.

Don’t judge my book by its format! Let its content speak for itself.

The root cause of the problem lies in the fact that creating an eBook is becoming easier and easier. No one really has to review the content, an ISBN is not really needed because of the tools that are available, and at least one means of distribution is immediately available by the company that assisted in the creation of the eBook. These are the types of eBooks that the industry wonders about.  So rather than figure out if the eBook was developed properly (Written, revised, edited, reviewed, converted, and  then published) the entire eBook category is frowned upon.  It must be alright for a traditionally published book to have an accompanying eBook, but not to have an eBook that stands on its own.

What happened to the statistics that discuss the growing corner of the market for readers going digital. They supposedly are repeated offenders buying more eBooks per annum that the traditional reader procures the printed counterpart.

Oh well, I don’t suppose all avenues are ready to embrace it all and I’m in no rush. There’s a much longer limit to the virtual bookshelf than there is to the traditional bookshelf.

I love going on Amazon to see the words… “those who bought A Blood Moon by Bitten Twice also bought…”  I doubt ABM will ever see print… but who knows. One day I might give in.

Discover who likes your posts

WordPress has added to list of tools available to bloggers. For the self-published aspiring author who opted to take the high road of self-marketing, these additions are very useful.

Understanding who is reading the material and when becomes important. Being a self-published author often makes me feel like the writing of the 85,000 word novel was the easiest task. Post publishing the hard work follows. It all could be quite dauting if we didn’t have technology at our disposal.

Websites are always on, marketing for us if properly done.

Blogs lend our voices attracting interested readers.

If we use the available reporting and tools we can make sure that the right content is being put out there.

Discover who likes your posts.

Are you plugged in, turned on, and connected?

Have you ever found yourself talking to thin air? More specifically, the conversation may have started with someone on the other end of the telephone but then you realize the connection has dropped.

I cannot tell you how many times this has happened to me. Too many times to count on one hand, that’s for sure.

My point being, that if we don’t understand our connections, we can never be sure that someone is listening.

With so many avenues for social media, and mediums to reach people, as an author or anyone trying to market themselves for that matter, there has to be a way to understand what to blog about and how to reach those types of individuals.

Understanding the demographics.

Who is my reader? What do I know about this type of person? How do I relate to this person? And, how should I market to this person?

I don’t know that I have figured out the answer to any of these questions for my own purposes, but it seems like a work in process.

My book crosses some genres. “A Blood Moon” has romance, action and adventure, light mystery, and is definitely fantasy.

So who reads that type of book? Well apparently anyone who is interested in the above listed categories could… and I am interested in learning about who does.

These days reporting definitely tells all and is available to most. If you have a website, the hosting company can provide reporting that tells you how many unique visitors the site has had on a monthly basis. You’ll see which pages are hit in their order of frequency. This is a beautiful thing as you have instant validation that someone is reading your content.

I think most authors wonder about who will read their latest book, whether or not it will be accepted. After all no recipe dictates what will make the best seller’s list.

I love the picture to the left. It reminds me of the matrix and certainly reflects my opinion of some of the dynamics of being an author even though it may be a tad risqué.

In my mind an author needs to be plugged in to understand the climate of the industry. Changes in publishing appear to happen on a daily basis. Understanding changing principles, rights, and the availability of new technology or advancements is paramount to a self-published author’s survival.

The author must also be in an ‘always-on’ condition, armed and ready at anytime to meet a new reader and market their product. As a self-published author the job never ends. The product must be marketed after it is written.

How do you know when you will bump into a reader?

For me, I don’t and have to pitch to everyone I meet to test the waters. After all the science fiction and fantasy reader could be dressed in a suit, a uniform, or some ensemble in between. I can only realize a potential reader when I’m out and about after I initiate a conversation and connect with the individual.

I did meet a lovely lady on my way to London. Seizing the opportunity before we landed I noted that she was reading a book on travel. So I grabbed one of my flyers for “A Blood Moon” and asked if she liked to read and we began a wonderful conversation. I was thankful that I was presentable in my attire to be able to talk to the lady. I was also quite pleased that I had remembered to always keep a stack of flyers in my purse as the basis for conversation and distribution.

(Note: I would love to give credit for the pictures on this blog but couldn’t find the link to do so.)

Just in the Nick of Time

If you could give someone you know days or hours of pleasure with lasting memories, would you do so? Of course you would. We all would.

Christmas is right around the corner; bringing hours if not days of pleasure, eBooks are the perfect gift. With the latest updates from Amazon “A Blood Moon” can be gifted to anyone with an email address.

http://techcrunch.com/2010/11/19/you-can-now-gift-anyone-with-an-e-mail-address-a-kindle-book/

I’m a writer. I’m ok with that. Who are you?

I can tell who you are by the first six words that come out of your mouth in response to the question: “So, what do you do?”

After the pleasantries have expired, with the “hellos” and the “how are yous”, it all boils down to how you see yourself. And how you see yourself lends to how others perceive you.

So before someone asks the question of you, perhaps some self reflection is in order.

Who do you want to be?

I cannot answer for you, but my response to this question is: I want to be a writer – a good one.

Being able to answer that question overcomes the first hurdle. Now it doesn’t really matter how many times the response changes to that question. The changes in the response means that you may have to go through the exercise of redefining yourself again.

Is this a dream or a goal?

…and yes, there is a difference. A dream is something we just think about doing now and again, or quite often as our personality may have it. We may even take some tiny steps towards it, but never clear any major hurdles to make it become a reality. On the other hand, a goal is something we break down into objectives. The long-term objective ofreaching the goal and the stepping stones or shorter-termed objectives so that we can take palatable chunks and action them to achieve the goal.

Once you have derived the answer to that question perhaps some wheels may need to be put in motion to help you become who you want to be.

For me:

I want to be a writer.

So I write. Sounds simple enough. But, I also want to become a good writer. What does that mean? I want to ensure that my story has a good plot, some unexpected twists, with relatable characters. So that also means that I need to understand the structure of a good story. Additionally, I will want to have a professional read and edit my story so I can receive feedback and insight on how to improve my writing and the story itself. What I write about is also key. Consistency in one area will help me to hone my skill. So what will I write about? That answer is easy… Science fiction and fantasy! My escape from reality into the surreal- where all is fair until it is unfair.

The last thing on my list is the change my circle of influence. I need to surround myself with like-minded people. Folks that have been in the business of writing. The industry is chock full of publishers, agents, editors, and where would we be without them – writers. This can be accomplished by joining a writer’s group, a writer’s association, attending conferences, networking and research. Depending upon the type of writer that you want to become, hobby or otherwise, so much more can be involved with kicking it up a notch – the writing is often the easy part.

I digress…

How do you want others to perceive you?

I want people to know that I am a writer, an author of a published novel “A Blood Moon” (Macedo Ink series)“, as a matter of fact. So that has to be the first thing out of my mouth.

Yes I am a mother of two wonderful and beautiful children first and foremost, however, if that is the first thing out of my mouth that will be the only thing the receiving party may hear. I could also give them my job title where I work. I am proud of that position and it is a great company to work for. However, if I don’t claim myself as a writer with confidence then who else will? I did start off claiming I was an aspiring writer until I was sure that I had an audience. Then I could smile, then I felt much better telling the world I’m a writer.

Typically there’s one shot when it comes to getting someone’s attention and capturing their interest. I have to make sure that I represent myself when speaking to an interested party.

So I know who I am and who I want to be:

I am Bitten Twice, published author writing in the science fiction and fantasy genres on love and conflict.

Who are you?

Armed and ready

2010 FWA Conference-Karen Lieb 733-Bitten TwiceA couple of weeks have passed and I’m still trying to process the volumes of information absorbed at the 2010 Florida’s Writers Conference.

Having taken a moment to sort everything out from how to successfully eBook, through Internet Marketing campaigns I’m slowly trying to process and implement all that I’ve learned. After all what good is it to learn the new tricks if you cannot perform them on your own.

So having to work around the schedule for my j.o.b., I have decided that a workable plan is required if I am going to meet my own schedule of producing/publishing two more novels by June 2011.

I need a routine that will get me on track to accomplish all I have set out to.

Drawing upon my skills as a project manager, the only way to attack this unknown and new territory of science fiction and fantasy is with logic.

With limited time I review my busy schedule and carve out a couple  of hours here and there that I will commit to working my plan leaving some time for writing of course.

Typically I would itemize ten things per day to accomplish. Six ‘must be dones’ and four ‘it would be nice if’s’. Having so little time I opted to pare this down to something workable for my current lifestyle or lack thereof. For me it will be three ‘must be dones’ and two ‘it would be nice ifs’.

Using a trusty planner (electronic or otherwise) I write down what I want to accomplish and plan it out. You have to get serious about your goals. If you don’t they are no more than dreams. Writing them down inspires commitment, and there is a difference between thinking about it and writing about it. Writing about it gets you that much closer to doing it.

Armed with a smile, let’s get it done.

I don’t know about you, but I have a couple of books to get out there.

If we can’t see it, how do we know it’s working…

The new moon is a phase where the moon is not visible to the naked eye. For many religions this phase is the marker of a new month.

For some of us, the moon apparently has taken a night off.

Each phase of the moon can be tied to calendars and activities related to religious movements, tidal behaviour, notwithstanding peculiar human behavior typically unexplainable unless linked to a lunar event. Even though we cannot see her, the moon is always on, always working.

As a new writer the importance of being always on is critical to success.

You as the writer are your own marketing campaign, how you allow others to see you is how you will be represented. Do you have paraphernalia to offer your reader?

Who is your reader?

When do you know when you’ll bump into that person?

Are prepared to meet him or her?

Fortunately for the savvy writer in the age of technology we have tools at our fingertips that will continue working when we cannot. These internet tools reach our readers at the time that is more convenient for our readers. That’s why it is so important to have a website, connect it to your blog. Have the social networking tools work for you. Find the ones where you believe like-minded readers can connect with you. Many of the social networking tools interconnect. All that’s left to do is to consistently talk about what it is you do best.

If you have doubts that what you are doing is working, check out your stats. Your web hosting plan should come with reporting that will tell you if anyone is reading what you have put out there. Your blog site has stats that will divulge the same.

The next goal will be how to attract more interest.