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Nook Seeks an Edge With $2 E-Books

Barnes and Noble's Nook store has commissioned a set of short, original e-books, priced at $1.99 apiece.
Robert Chazz Chute's insight:

Click the link below to see the full article by Lauren Indvik at Mashable.

 

I'm linking to this FYI, but not because I think it will work. It's kind of the Kindle Singles program without the power platform, numbers, audience and store experience to push the ebooks. They're only taking "three to five works" of 5,000 words or more six times a year and trying to sell them for $1.99.

For this to take off for Nook, the scheme will require name authors. However, authors with a brand would already have a platform and a more compelling deal elsewhere (probably on Amazon). Perhaps that's one reason why the stories are only exclusive for 60 days.

Am I missing something? It's far too early to call the attempt a fail, but it does look like a weak flail. There are good practices to imitate across the various sales platforms. This latest from Nook seems half-hearted and priced wrong.

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Amazon launches Storyteller to turn scripts into storyboards -- automagically

Amazon launches Storyteller to turn scripts into storyboards -- automagically | Writing and reading fiction | Scoop.it
This could be useful for a lot of people in situations far beyond movies and scripts.
Robert Chazz Chute's insight:

This is a new storyboarding tool from Amazon. Check it out at the link.

 

One of the things I want to do is create graphic novels in the future. This won't replace working with an artist, but it's still a pretty cool app with an expanding library of props, backgrounds and actors and interesting potential. I can't wait to experiment with it.

 

~ Chazz

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Ebook boxed sets, the hottest thing going? - Venture Galleries

Robert Chazz Chute's insight:

Stephen Woodfin is high on boxed sets and I'm high on serials (though I plan to do boxed sets down the road, too.) The commonality is, write more great books so you can engage in smart marketing practices like grouping and discounts. (Stephen's article is at the link.)

 

Some will worry that we're rushing to press and quality will suffer. I don't think that's necessarily so if you know what you're doing. Stephen King does two passes and a polish. Mickey Spillane often wrote two novels at a time, keeping two separate typewriters hot and clacking. The working person's ethic is back. I like that we aren't too precious about our writing.  Some will make a fetish out of "years in the harness, paying our dues." I've paid my dues several times over, thanks very much. Many of us have. Endlessly tinkering does not necessarily equal quality. Endless tinkering might be procrastination in disguise.

Some authors write fast and others don't. No shame or name-calling, either way. However, when one author who won a writing contest confessed that he'd rewritten his book more than 57 times (!) my reaction was not admiration. Instead, his arduous process suggested to me he didn't know what he was doing. Maybe that sounds harsh, but the end product didn't really show all that work. That book contest win was quite a long time ago and I haven't heard of that author since.

I think we need to look for efficiencies when we're writing. Maybe that means outlining first or using our time better. I rarely hear aspirants complain about writer's block, though most of us will admit to procrastination. Every hour we procrastinate, we're farther away from doing smart things, like box sets of multiple books. 

I said it in Crack the Indie Author Code and Write Your Book: Aspire to Inspire. I say it here again: The one sure strategy is to write more good books so readers can find you.

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The Writers' Union of Canada Votes to Admit Self-Published Authors | The Writers' Union of Canada

The Writers' Union of Canada Votes to Admit Self-Published Authors | The Writers' Union of Canada | Writing and reading fiction | Scoop.it
Robert Chazz Chute's insight:

I doubted this would move forward (and it still has to pass by a two-thirds  majority of the membership.) However, things are looking up for recognition of self-published work and indie authors. Their caveats seem reasonable to me.

 

This is particularly important since I was just listening to the Book Fight podcast (BookFightPod.com) in which one host revealed that universities are very much behind the times. He was told that publication online (where many more people might actually discover and read his work) would count for little or nothing to his credit. It's still publish or perish, but they would prefer you hide your light under that cliched bushel of paper, thanks very much.

Largely, it seems academia still prefers publication in prestigious literary journals. To put that in perspective, a middling blog has a much larger subscriber base and readership than most any literary journal you could name. Chasing journals kind of sounds ridiculous. You could be using that time and energy building a readership, a mailing list and relevance.

 

As technology and reality drag neo-Luddites into the 21st century, it's exciting to see TWUC leading the way and acknowledging that the publishing industry, and the profession of writer, has changed drastically.  (Not will change or is changing. Has changed.) By admitting indies, they expand their revenue, their power in numbers and maintain their relevance.

 

Good luck, TWUC! I'll definitely consider joining.

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Do You Know These 9 Huge Opportunities Even Smart Authors Miss? — The Book Designer

Do You Know These 9 Huge Opportunities Even Smart Authors Miss? — The Book Designer | Writing and reading fiction | Scoop.it
Do You Know These 9 Huge Opportunities Even Smart Authors Miss? describes numerous ways indie authors can improve their traffic, authority, and sales
Robert Chazz Chute's insight:

Great suggestions (with even more helpful links) from Joan Stewart on The Book Designer's website. For instance, Locus.com wasn't really on my radar.

 

I do wonder about the real value of blogging sometimes. Blogging success (as in eventually gathering a base, driving traffic and selling books and/or monetizing in an author's case) depends on how you do it, your target audience and your goals. I justify this blog for writers by gathering publishing allies, building community and turning years of blogging about writing into two books, for instance.

If blogging takes time away from writing books you should be writing, blogging hurts you. An author page *is* necessary and you do need to at least blog that much so you have web real estate you own. Your blog is where you build your mailing list and you can't do that on Amazon. (Subscribe to my mailing list at www.AllThatChazz.com, BTW.)

I'm not saying don't blog (I have five blogs.) However, blogging must be pursued strategically, using time management and prioritzation. How do I do it? I don't blog on all my blogs daily and the books come first. I'm getting better at writing shorter blog posts that are easily done and quicker  for readers to digest: Less Tolstoy, more Seth Godin.

 

Learn more about publicity from Joan Stewart at the link to The Book Designer below.

 

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How to create your own audiobooks

How to create your own audiobooks | Writing and reading fiction | Scoop.it
For authors who want to use their own home equipment to narrate an audio version of their own books, or if you want to record your kids reading their favorite stories for posterity, you can do it with a microphone, and iPad and GarageBand.
Robert Chazz Chute's insight:

At the link, you'll find an interesting how-to breakdown on DIY audiobook creation by Geoffrey Goetz. Learn at the link!

The post brings up a question that isn't much dealt with in this particular article. It's not a how-to question. It's a should-you? Would you be comfortable putting a DIY audiobook up for sale on iTunes?

 

Standards for what's acceptable vary.

A comedian friend refused to sell a recording because the audience wasn't on mic. Without their reactions, he didn't feel the funny was legitimized to the listener (even though he killed.) He thought selling that recording would be "mercenary". Meanwhile, another professional comedian performed a special for an audience of two: Her parents. (The review was on the Slate Culture Gabfest and they loved it.)

 

I record author readings on the All That Chazz podcast. I do the podcast for free, but I'd worry about production quality if it were on iTunes. But maybe I'm being too shy or plain wrong about that. Maybe I've been indoctrinated with historic audiobook rules instead of looking to the future.

 

Do you need a full studio to produce something to sell? A video engineer friend of mine announced recently that he's ditching the heavy, $6,000 camera and making movies with an iPhone now. You can produce high production values with relatively inexpensive equipment. New tech can often deliver higher production value than what the richest Hollywood studios had a few years ago. If you can rise to the occasion in employing that tech, you could come pretty close to par. The first no-budget Paranormal movie comes to mind.

 

Back to audio:

On Podiobooks, audiobooks are given away free. There are still hoops to jump through, but since it's free, few listeners really expect perfection. Up the capitalist foodchain, if you go with ACX, you've got professional voice talent and an expensive production that's still much cheaper than it used to be and you maintain control of your art.

 

As the bar to entry has lowers through easily accessible technology,will the audiobook production industry undergo an influx of independents as has happened with the book industry? Audio purists will likely be resistant to that idea.

We touched on this issue in a post last week: Experts recommend their services and condemn all intruders in their realm. This isn't just in publishing. To illustrate, let me paraphrase an old medical adage: If you go to a surgeon for advice, his advice is going to be, "I'll cut you" Every specialty is predisposed to recommend their intervention.

 

Could we sell a DIY recording on iTunes (through CD Baby)? Yes.

 

Should we? Before we rush to judgment, consider that independent musicians reach professional standards from their garages and basements all the time. People who call themselves "Indie" in the music and film industries get much more respect than Indies in the book industry. Musicians and filmmakers are called brave, innovative and entrepreneurial. In the book industry, outdated views still hold with the term "vanity press".

 

I can't fathom why this is so. I'm not pretending. I'm publishing. 

 

~ Chazz

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Sharon Bakar's curator insight, May 27, 2013 1:58 AM

This for future reference!

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An astonishing five out of ten of last year's bestsellers were whodunits. Here Ian Rankin reveals how to write your own

With worldwide sales of 30 million for his Rebus books, the writer is just the man to compile Event's ten-point guide to writing the perfect whodunit...
Robert Chazz Chute's insight:

I write crime novels in which the cops never show up. However, my first love in the mystery genre was Agatha Christie. I also like Ian Rankin's books very much. You'll enjoy Rankin's article on building your whodunit.

Learn at the link below and enjoy!

 

~ Chazz 

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JW Manus: What are the Real Costs of Self-publishing? Wrong Question.

Ebooks = Real Books
Robert Chazz Chute's insight:

Click the Scoopit! link below to scoot over to JW Manus's blog for an excellent take on the nature of advice, advice-givers and how we might look at the cost/benefit analysis of self-publishing. Love this! Subscribe over there, too. It's a solid blog with lots of advice about ebook formatting, too.

(When you're done that, check out author Jordanna East's guest post on my blog, www.ThisPlagueOfDays.com. Recent tragic and insane weather events underline our needs for disaster preparedness and Jordanna asks what's in your BOB? Check it out. It's important.)

 

Cheers!

 

~ Chazz

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New Smashwords Survey Helps Authors Sell More eBooks

Robert Chazz Chute's insight:

This is an interesting survey from Smashwords. For instance, shorter titles have a slight advantage and "the top bestselling Smashwords books averaged 115,000 words"? Cool to know. Learn at the link and see what you think.

 

~ Chazz

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What NOT to Do When Beginning Your Novel (from Writer Unboxed)

At the Scoopit! link you'll find interesting ideas about what not to do as you start your book. Enjoy it at Writer Unboxed.

Robert Chazz Chute's insight:

I think the most common problems with openings in any genre are false starts and a fascination with the weather worthy of a meteorologist with OCD. It's that sort of throat clearing that appears in a lot of manuscripts and annual Christmas newsletters. I like to start much closer to the action than that, no matter the genre or from whom the Christmas newsletter is sent.

 

On the other hand, some people go from tepid to hostile about prologues. They just don't like them. Personally, I don't mind prologues and epilogues or flashbacks at all, as long as they're well-written, of course. I find these devices only fail when they don't propel the action and deepen our understanding of character. (Full disclosure: There are a few flashbacks in Bigger Than Jesus and Higher Than Jesus, but I got praise for them and no reviewers complained they threw up in their mouths.) So there's that.

 

~ Chazz

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Nathalie Hamidi's comment, April 26, 2013 1:38 AM
Maybe people have a long-time wish to be a weatherman, who knows! ^^ I agree with you! Will check out that link, thanks!
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There's plenty more to ebook pricing than free, 99 cents or $2.99

When pricing an ebook, publishers should think of innovative models. Here are seven ideas publishers, distributors, and authors should consider.
Robert Chazz Chute's insight:

In this post on Digital Book World by Beth Bacon (learn at the link!), she suggests we widen our pricing options and she suggests seven interesting options to consider.

 

Here are more possibilities I'd add to her list of possibilities to noodle with:

 

1. Make the first book in a series perma-free. Make each new book in the series incrementally more expensive as the series grows in popularity. Give discounts for batches. For instance, selling Books 2, 3 and 4 at once at one discounted price. Steadily escalate your prices. Fans who get in early pay less.

 

Or go with members-only discounts for the biggest fans. Reward your biggest supporters who knew you before you were famous with exclusive merch, or behind-the-scenes video of the making of the audiobook.) Chuck Pahlaniuk has his variation of this and it's called The Cult. Start with Smashwords coupons for discounts to people who love you and who are influencers anxious to spread the good word of your awesomeness.

 

2. Be less proprietary to gain new readers. For instance, encourage fan fic as the author of Wool does. The theory is that, instead of diluting your work, he's creating a larger funnel. The hypothesis has already proved mind-rippingly successful with a lesser book. That's how Fifty Shades started out, so that's not as crazy as it may sound.

 

3. Get into more channels and generate more income streams (and produce more faster) with co-authors and crowd-sourcing. 

Good example: Hit RECord because the tone set is open-eyed, cooperative revenue sharing. More of these sites seem to be popping up. Bad examples: James Patterson and James Frey, because the tone is usery and cynical opportunism.

 

4. Charge readers less on Amazon because the big dog sells more. This one will drive someone insane with rage. However, flawed channels, small channels or channels that are more difficult to publish to take more time and energy from the author/publisher with fewer positive results. Make consumers pay a premium for the trouble and inconvenience. Those that do pay a higher price might make it worth your trouble. (I'm looking at you, Apple.)

I admit that many authors will hate this idea, scream about punishing consumers, hurting ourselves and so on. However, if you call it "split testing", suddenly it will sound entirely reasonable. Reframe the practice and you'll sound stupid if you don't do it.

 

5. Broaden your platform with more free or cheap, but very short, ebooks as introductions and samplers. I'm thinking of "The Universe Doesn't Give a Flying F*** About You" by Johnny B Truant. It's worked for Truant to gain subscribers to his email list and expand his readership and brand awareness.

 

6. Expand your readership by combining catering to niches and repurposing material. I'm considering this with an upcoming title. If done carefully, I'm thinking this could work very well. Suppose you have a romance: Our Summer in Paris. Now suppose you introduce supernatural elements and werewolves: Our Summer in Paris WEREWOLVED!

 

7. Unpublish books. Somebody just fell on the floor, but pull your iPad closer, breathe deeply and reconsider: Scarcity provides value.

 

Suppose you have more than fifteen books/short stories on your channel's sales page. Many regular readers here would qualify. Sure, they're all gems to someone but they don't all sell as well and your less popular books are making it hard for casual browsers to find your most popular titles. Clutter slows sales movement and blocks discovery by potential fans. Your fans buy everything you put out anyway, so they already have your old stuff. Encourage sales and get a happy introduction: Take down the old stuff and offer it as a bonus to new readers when they buy your primo stuff.

 

I don't blame authors who are resistant to the 80/20 rule, but consider making business decisions rather than emotional decisions to win more readers in the long run. Eighty percent of your sales come from 20 percent of your efforts. Choose wisely.

 

When you have a carve out a big enough fan base (i.e. Neil Gaiman, Joe Rogan, Kevin Smith) your core fan base becomes your 20 percent and you don't have to work so hard at gaining new fans. You'll retire on the fanatics. It's arguable that, due to market fragmentation, that sort of base-building isn't possible anymore. That's an argument for a different post on another day.

 

Summary: The point I share with Beth Bacon is that we need to be open to price experimentation to find the sweet spot (or rather, sweet spots, since there are likely to be several over the life of each book). There are many more options in pricing and funneling than most authors and publishers usually consider. The ideas I've added in the commentary here are my own so if you have heat to give, give it to me here. I'm interested in hearing your thoughts and suggestions for more possibilities.

 

Learn about Beth Bacon's thoughts at the DBW through the Scoopit! Link below.

 

 

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Pricey Advertising - Should I or Shouldn't I?

Robert Chazz Chute's insight:

Interesting that Mimi Barbour's promoter advised not to price books up past 99 cents unless you're above 5,000 in Amazon rankings. I hadn't thought of it in those terms, but that does make some sense to me. Of course, I also know several authors who are pricing their books much higher and are doing well (but didn't start there.) I also know authors who feel low prices devalue their work (some successful, many not.)

If something isn't selling, experiment with the variables: price; cover; category etc.,...

Sometimes you hear people with a prejudice against 99 cent books. Are they a vocal minority who are quick to judge? Someone referred to 99 cents as a "bullshit price". However, with the value of free degraded (see the post directly below this one) maybe it's not BS anymore.

 

I priced Bigger Than Jesus at 99 cents not because it's crap but because it's an introduction to a series. I priced Six Seconds low because, though useful, it's short. My experimentation with pricing continues. I'll let you know how it works out.

 

Meanwhile, learn at the Scoopit! link from Mimi Barbour at Believe.

 

~ Chazz

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Book Promotion — What’s Working at Amazon in 2013? | Lindsay Buroker

Book Promotion — What’s Working at Amazon in 2013? | Lindsay Buroker | Writing and reading fiction | Scoop.it
Amazon isn't the only place to sell your ebooks, and I've had some luck with Apple and Kobo of late, but it remains the big dog in the house, and most of the
Robert Chazz Chute's insight:

Good survey of the current landscape and breakdown of the pros and cons we face. Reinforces my expectation that we'll have to factor in advertising budgets. Learn at the link to Lindsay Buroker's site.

 

~ Chazz

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Why isn't my new book selling?

Writing a book takes a long time, and for those authors new to self publishing, the next step can be daunting - trying to attract readers willing to buy your book.
Robert Chazz Chute's insight:

Brace yourself! Author Derek Haines has some bad news for us all at the link to The Vandal below. Warning! Scary numbers ahead!

However, Derek also gives us ideas about what we can do for the sorry state of our book sales. Put away the rope, wipe your tears of frustration and roll up your sleeves. There's a lot we must do to stand out from the stampede.

Also remember to subscribe to The Vandal. Derek was among the first to welcome me to Twitter and the indie club. His blog is always excellent, helpful and thought-provoking.

 

~ Chazz

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30 ways to promote your blog posts and to drive more traffic to your blog – infographic

30 ways to promote your blog posts and to drive more traffic to your blog
Robert Chazz Chute's insight:

Following up on yesterday's post to optimize the spread of your divine blogging word, see the useful infographic at the link below.

 

Since seeing this, I added digg to the array of social media buttons here. I use StumbleUpon sporadically and will make a point of using it more often.

 

I always click the G+ button. If you like anything here, I encourage you to use the sharing buttons on each post, too. Thanks!

 

~ Chazz

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Laura Brown's comment, June 8, 2013 2:32 AM
I went to the original source and was able to post the infographic from there.
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Sick idea: how rabies spawned vampires and zombies

"What disturbs me is I smashed his mouth off, I smashed his teeth in, but he still wanted to continue in the attack mode. I was terrified at [its] resilience."

(Chazz note: The above paragraph is *not* fiction!)

Robert Chazz Chute's insight:

At the link, you'll find an interesting article on how non-fiction migrates into fiction by percolating through the mind of authors. That's a key to creating compelling fiction: providing a context of verisimilitude. As I write, I'm frequently in deep research mode to give the reader a context that makes it easy for them to suspend disbelief. (Yesterday I spent the morning with a hiking and survival expert plotting a journey for Season 2 of my horror serial.) Have a look and learn at the link.

This might turn out to be the summer of zombies. (Gee, I hope so.) Between the release of the new Brad Pitt film, horror author Armand Rosmalia's Summer of Zombie Blog Tour and my release of This Plague of Days, it's going to be zombie-riffic! (Horror fans should check out Armand's blog at armandrosamilia.com.)

 

Full disclosure: I use the term "zombie" loosely in This Plague of Days. It's more 28 Days Later and rabies/rage virus-oriented than it is The Dead Won't Die! Also, my infected cannibals are fast and it's a terror/disaster thriller with a strange autistic twist. So there's that.

 

Find out more about my coming serial at ThisPlagueOfDays.com.

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Ebook Boxed Set Tips and How Tos

Ebook Boxed Set Tips and How Tos | Writing and reading fiction | Scoop.it
Robert Chazz Chute's insight:

1. Check out this great post on ebook box sets by DD Scott at The Writer's Guide to E-Publishing to make more money and sell more books.

 

2. I'm always researching how to best proceed in the book business. I run across great stuff all the time. When I want to keep a link for future reference, I dutifully click "Add to reading list." The article is added to the nigh-infinite cyber pile of stuff I'll never look at again. RSS feeds pile up and notes get filed under: "Stuff to definitely get to once I become immortal."Scoopit! is my solution.

3. I add value to this blog by using Scoopit! links to point readers to useful stuff they might have missed. My blog is the surest way I have to avoid losing useful information to the "Add to reading list" button.

 

Enjoy DD Scott's suggestions at the link below.

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Amazon’s New SciFi, Fantasy, and Romance Subcategories

Robert Chazz Chute's insight:

Author India Drummond noticed that Amazon has new categories, subcategories, theme categories and character categories. Learn at the link to The Writer's Guide to E-publishing. They're pretty detailed, cool and interesting (though they've got elves, dragons and pirates, but no zombies, darnnit!)

Um, hello, Amazon? I've got a bunch of books on your site. I'm grateful to India for pointing this out, of course, but shouldn't Amazon go out of their way to let us know about something like this? Did I miss a meeting or a memo? Lots of things happen on Amazon and sometimes it seems like they rely on osmosis to announce changes. (Like one day you wake up and the tags are gone.)

It's a good idea to revisit your book's categories from time to time. If your work isn't moving in Mystery, you might have more luck in Action/Adventure (assuming your book could reasonably fit both categories.)

 

You're allowed two categories on Amazon, so explore your options so readers can find you. The more specific your list, the greater your chances of book buyers discovering you're awesome (assuming you're awesome.) You could be ranked 1,786,023 in sci-fi, but you could potentially be huge  in a subcategory, like First Contact, Galactic Empire or Cyberpunk.

 

It's an exciting marketing opportunity if we work it right.

 

~ Chazz





 

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The eBook Author's Corner: Free eBooks Promotions Can Be Pure Gold for Authors

Robert Chazz Chute's insight:

Here's an interesting survey of authors' experiences with free promotions. Have a look at The ebook Author's Corner at the link.

 

Most of us still try free promotions on Amazon. They are still the big dog by far. However, after 90 days with KDP Select, we move on to propagate on other platforms. Since free often isn't effective, ninety days of exclusivity often feels too long for those five days of giveaways. We have to be clever about leveraging those promotions.

It would be encouraging if we heard about wild success on a platform other than Amazon at least once in a while. However, no one listens to Chazz so the distant second, third and fourth runners in the sales platform race still aren't stealing the best ideas from each other to optimize their effectiveness. Ergo, anonymous reviews suck; anon reviews with stars but no explanatory comments suck harder; being unable to find a book you know is there is freakin' ridic! (I've never used the phrase "freakin' ridic" before. Once in a lifetime is sufficient.)

 

My horror serial, This Plague of Days, releases soon. I will be going with Amazon first, but I suspect for only one 90-day period and I don't even plan to use all five days of free promotion. I'll let you know how my clever leverage tactics work out. Gee, I hope they're clever enough. 

To battle. Squire! My armor! 

 

~ Chazz

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50 Ways To Reach Your Reader

How to use Amazon's excellent Author Tools to reach readers
Robert Chazz Chute's insight:

I especially like the idea of identifying top reviewers of your genre and offering them a free copy to review. Lots of ideas about tweaking the basics on this advice blog from How to Successfully Self-Publish. Learn at the link below.

 

~ Chazz

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Writers’ Union of Canada reconsiders policy on self-published authors

Robert Chazz Chute's insight:

The Quill & Quire reports (at the link) that TWUC will vote in June whether they should allow self-published authors into the treehouse. I've attended one of these meetings and, based on what I saw, I doubt the old guard will go for it. Many traditionally published authors take great pride in being plucked from the slush pile or being among the chosen. Getting picked is an accomplishment and a testament to their patience. (I won't say hard work because every self-published author I know works just as hard or harder. We're all working hard and wearing all the hats is an accomplishment, too, so no whining.)

In the meeting I attended a few years ago, there was great resistance to...how shall I put this nicely? The future. (Arguments that an ebook isn't a "real" book make me sleepy.) However, that was a few years ago and more traditionally published authors are going hybrid or opting for self-publishing exclusively. Maybe the membership of The Writers' Union of Canada will vote to include the self-published. It would be in their interest to do so.

One thing the leadership recognized when I spoke to a leader or two was this: Some may not want to bend to history's turns, but it's math that makes the better choice. Accept self-published authors into your union and you have a much bigger union with more money and therefore more clout, more services and worth. 

 

If hubris and appeals to emotion and tradition carry the day, self-published authors won't be welcomed into the union in June. If it's a smart business decision, we'll be welcomed in the club and TWUC will be more relevant to what's happening in the industry. (Hint: But that's not the way to bet.)

If TWUC doesn't let self-published authors in, one of these days some firebrand will get the notion into his or her head that they could organize a union of writers who only accept the self-published. That would be a much bigger and more powerful union that could offer some peachy benefits (e.g.  insurance breaks, perks, discounts and exposure and making TWUC irrelevant.) Hm. That's a whole quesadilla of thought to chew on, isn't it? 

(Thanks to my friend Kim for the tip! Next time you're here, the first round is on me. Bring the family for trampolining and barbeque.~ Chazz)

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To the Frustrated Blogger

Frustration. It's been in the air for a while now all over the Great Blogosphere. In private, I've felt it myself. But when some of my favorite writers started expressing their own agonies, I decid...
Robert Chazz Chute's insight:

Have you noticed a decrease in bog traffic, too? When I read this post from Andra Watkins' blog ("The Accidental Cootchie Mama", possibly the best blog name ever), I thought: Oh. So that explains the dip in traffic I've noticed in the last while. If you've noticed a dip, too, Andra explains at the link why that is and what to do about it. 

Good news: It's not necessarily because you're not awesome. Vast dark forces do battle and you are a casual casualty of their secret cyber-war. Check out Google's plans for world domination and how it affects you at the link.

Also to do: Thank Ms. Watkins for the analysis and subscribe to The Accidental Cootchie Mama. 

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Featured author: Mark Victor Young

Featured author: Mark Victor Young | Writing and reading fiction | Scoop.it
Robert Chazz Chute's insight:

Mark Victor Young is a talented writer I met at a writing workshop a couple of years ago. Follow the Scoopit! link to CommuterLit and check out his short piece about writing process and tenses, "notes from a novel in progress". In a playful way, this captures our inner struggle to get the right words in the right order.

 

Looking forward to that novel, Mark!

 

~ Chazz

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Scooped by Robert Chazz Chute
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Changes to Barnes and Noble’s PubIt! – Yikes or Likes? » Book Promotion . com

What does the change from PubIt! to Nook Press mean to you, the author? Barnes and Noble is taking on Amazon and Apple.
Robert Chazz Chute's insight:

In an effort to be more competitive, Pubit! becomes Nook Press. There is concern about some of the terms. Some authors have decided to pull their books from B&N rather than come under Nook Press's TOS. Holly Lisle also raised concerns about them changing your book cover on you. I'm reserving judgment until I see them in action. 

 

As soon as Amazon bought Goodreads, there were cries across the Interdom that Amazon's competitors should have bought GR instead. I'm sure Nook Press was in the works long before the Amazon/Goodreads deal came to pass, but I do wonder if Amazon's competitors will be spurred to more action. 

 

For instance, as KDP Select's value has devalued, perhaps they could offer terms and promotions that can do KDP one better. I've been screeching for a long time that somebody should be copying Smashwords in one respect: Give us codes for coupons so we can promote our books more effectively.

 

No, no one listens to Chazz, but I'll be uncharacteristically optimistic here and say I think we will see more change and better offerings in the near future. Whining about Amazon's domination hasn't helped, so perhaps competitors will do more of what is effective: adapt and actually compete instead of complain.

 

Learn more at the Scoopit! link to BookPromotion.com.

 

~ Chazz

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Scooped by Robert Chazz Chute
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Amazon KDP Select: Is It Worthwhile for Authors? by CJ Lyons

Amazon KDP Select: Is It Worthwhile for Authors? by CJ Lyons | Writing and reading fiction | Scoop.it
Should authors take advantage of the Amazon KDP Select program? A comprehensive discussion of who the program is well-suited for, plus best strategies.
Robert Chazz Chute's insight:

You're definitely going to want to read this piece from uber-successful author CJ Lyons. Make sure you consider the quotes from the Self-publishing Podcast guys farther down in the article, too. Their experience reflects my understanding of how the ROI on free has ebbed.

I have friends who are still fully committed to KDP Select. Meanwhile, I'm hoping Amazon will tweak the program to make it more attractive again. In the past, I auto-renewed every 90 days. I will still use KDP Select, but less so and much more carefully and never in the long-term if its terms remain static.

 

~ Chazz

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