Wading through the sea of Print-on-Demand titles, one overpriced paperback at a time--and giving you the buried treasure.
Thursday, November 30, 2006
Fuel the economy!
Why are you reading this blog when you know you should be buying holiday gifts for loved ones (and mandatory gifts for colleagues who really mean very little to you)? I'll tell you why: because there is a perfect selection of novels (aka gifts) and such over there on the right. No, a little further down. Stop, right there.
I mean, what adolescent wouldn't love to break free of the Potteresque tinge of his/her library. Blow his/her mind with this.
Afraid your kid is a little too balanced and optimistic? Bring a dose of reality with this little nugget.
Instead of reading mundane new stories about polygamy or watching that goofus from Twister, give the gift that keeps on giving.
And in case Stephen King becoming a romantic is not what your horror-loving friends are looking for, well . . . let's just say what's left of their minds will be blown with this.
C'mon, you know you've got that credit on Amazon from the recall of OJ's book. Put it to some honest and respectable use this time.
Her commentary today is regarding niches (categories for how books are placed in the brick-and-mortar stores) but she touches on interesting points that affect those selling online:
"Both Barnes & Noble and Borders have shown a drop in sales this quarter compared to a year ago. At the same time Amazon sales continue to grow. Already the online commerce bohemoth has 10 percent of the market. Borders, which has partnered with Amazon for its online commerce, announced recently that it is now reconsidering that venture. But if the break is complete, Borders will have to play catch-up as quickly and innovatively as possible. Amazon is an innovator, both in its product offerings and its technological development, as proven in the ways in which it gets customers to browse or search by topic, category (and books can be keyworded under multiple categories, I might add), look at book covers, read online excerpts, listen to audio interviews of their favorite authors, even comment with authors who blog (make that plog) right there on the book's subpage on Amazon."
In response to an e-mail asking about how he markets his books, [Seth] Godin wrote: "The unspoken truth is that except for perhaps 250 giant books every year [out of 75,000 published], the publisher is expecting the author to do 100 percent of the sales and promotion. Because authors don't understand that, they end up bitter, angry and perhaps destitute."
And later . . .
His advice to authors is to get out and really work for their books: "You need a platform to make a published book work. If you don't have a platform yet, you should self-publish your first book and give away enough copies to get a platform, and then use that platform to engage your readers so that you can sell the second one to a publisher and quit your day job.''
I am an author and instructor, in that order (for now.) My debut novel (which debuted in the midlist) was released by Penguin Putnam in 2004 and my second novel was released early 2006.
As for this blog, it has been profiled in many online magazines, blogs and news stories, including the Washington Post, Entertainment Weekly, the Boston Globe, the Dallas Morning News, the LA Times and Publishers Lunch.
To answer the deluge of questions I have been receiving from publicists: I'll review pretty much anything that is good--but it better be good, or I'll never look at another one of your books again. Then I'll hunt you down. Fiction preferred (no fantasy or young adult, go easy on the science fiction.) Non-fiction should be memoir, humor, self-help. Definite no-nos: cookbooks, textbooks, porn, books without verbs. And it must be POD (no small presses.) Otherwise, email with pitch first.