Overcoming Anxiety Showcased at Virtual Bookcase

With seven days to go until the official launch of Overcoming Anxiety, we begin the launch party with a showcase at the Virtual Book Case. Here is the link; Click here to visit the Virtual Bookcase.

The Virtual Bookcase showcases select books that the owner, Glynis Smye deems worthwhile. She is very personable and lives in the UK, at the seaside town of Dovercourt-Harwhich. She is author of the Ripper Romance Series and while she tends to favor historical fiction, especially from the Victorian era, she has some interests in Mind, Body and Sprit topics and was gracious to include a showcase for Overcoming Anxiety.

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Overcoming Anxiety Virtual Book Tour

As part of the eBook Launch Extravaganza for Overcoming Anxiety, there will be a huge discount on the book during the first 10 days after the release, and some extensive virtual touring. I will be doing the usual virtual touring activities  (guest posts, reviews, interviews, responding to comments) and look forward to interacting with many of my readers on these sites:

Here is the planned virtual blog tour so far for this nonfiction mental health book:

7/27         interview   Va Beach Publishing Examiner
7/28         excerpt      Book Reviews and Authors
7/28         spotlight      Fit4moms
7/28         review          My Bookish Life
7/28         guest post    Books Direct Online
7/29         review          The Dark Phantom
7/29         spotlight       KitnKaboodle
7/29         guest post     Literally Speaking
7/29         excerpt         Jamie Hope’s Journey
7/30         review           The Serious Reader
7/30         excerpt         Valley Girl Gone Country
7/30         review            Bound for Escape
7/30         interview         CA Milson’s Blog
7/31          interview        Julius Thom Novels
7/31          review            The Pink Lyme
8/1            review              Book Fidelity
8/2           interview         Book Adventures of Emily
8/3           interview       Virtual Book Club
8/4           review              Literary Meanderings
8/5           review               Crafty Mom Zen
8/5           guest post         What is That Book About?
8/6
8/7            review             Ogitchida Book Blog
8/8            interview          Literary Lunes
8/10          interview       The Writer’s Life
8/11           review             Curling Up By the Fire
8/12           review            My Life, Loves and Passion
8/13           guest blog      Mythical Books
8/17           review               Laura’s Interests
8/18           guest blog        Queen Of All She Reads
8/20          review             Our Family’s Adventure

Reader Engagement to Be the Next Big Thing

Amazon ™ just today announced in a letter to its authors, that instead of their previous method of reimbursing authors for borrowed books, they are moving to a system that awards a certain amount per page of the borrowed book that was read. Few authors realize how often a book -in fact this is true even more so with bestsellers – does not get read.

People buy a best selling author because everyone else is buying it: word of mouth, reviews, and several obtuse factors (“I want it on my shelf”) can all lead to the purchase. But often there is not enough due diligence.  Too frequently there is not any questioning about whether you would actually enjoy reading that best seller. Indeed romance readers are far more likely to read to their HEA ending of a romance, than the typical best seller.

But as Amazon with its KU (TM) program and others move to reimbursing authors based on reader involvement, the question becomes, how will worth be translated into metrics like pages read? Will pictures count for 1000 words, or none? That will effect coffee tables and children’s authors.  Will dialogue-intensive genres like romance get a bonus (i.e, more pages) or, as I expect will happen with Amazon’s page count method, will they be penalized?

As a writer of mostly nonfiction, I wonder what will become of information intensive books in which chapters 10 and 13 may be more compelling than  Chapter 3? I have faith in technology to be able to eventually handle these issues, but in the interim, when retailers make business decisions based on imperfect technology, this could really impact the field, more than people imagine. Will the next James Joyce give up because his readers put the book down after 8 pages, only to pick it up a month or two later?

Overall, I think that big data will win the most from this, and it will be a way to commoditize writing content, that the distributors have only dreamed of until now. Will writers make two cents a word (at least for borrowed books) or three, and will an upstart company, paying more per word, be the next Amazon? It is a slippery slope that the retail giant has embarked on, and it depends on Jeff Bezos and his peers, and how well they play their hand, and whether a free market economy can bring out the best in writers. I believe this move could easily be the kind of over reach that opens the door to more competition, buy we shall see.

 

Indie Publishers gaining market share, while big 5 are slipping

Bestselling author Hugh Howey’s quarterly analysis of sales is remarkable:

http://authorearnings.com/report/may-2015-author-earnings-report/

Several interesting findings include a 44% increase in share of bestsellers by indie books and a 26% slide in number of big-5 published books on the bestseller lists. The traditional publishers had only 14% of the bestsellers.

The Nook is also down to single digits and sinking, (sales off by nearly 50%) leaving Amazon back in the catbird seat.

Over 7 quarters of data, the price of eBooks in the big-5 legacy publishers has risen 17%.

All in all the Big 5 publishers and their authors are losing money fast, selling fewer ebooks, and losing discoverability as they are giving up significant market share.

Independent Publishing in the Year 2015

I mentioned in a previous post that I was planning on self publishing my upcoming Non-Fiction book Overcoming Anxiety, and I noted the changed landscape of the publishing industry. I promised to update and share the information I learned as I picked it up. Reader beware, at the speed of a flash, these things are changing so everything I say here will be outdated by the time I push the publish button on WordPress.

One most noticeable difference is that Discoverability is now the buzz word. There are millions of digital books flooding the market and the gatekeepers have changed.  While previously you needed to send ARC’s to bookstores and newspapers, the gold standard was Publisher’s Weekly and New York Times. You also wanted your legacy publisher to buy you shelf space near the front of the store. Blogs were a nice niche place to get reviews, but they were often seen, with the exception of a few of the bigger ones, as rather frivolous and really nor important.

in 2013-2014 it became more necessary to get plenty of reviews, to get promoted on a site know as Bookbub (which reached over a million digital readers and could be targeted), and to write series, as they were the engines of online sales. For reasons I won’t go into now, even that changed and independent publishing got much harder. It no longer was a gold rush.

Bookbub‘s success (it now reaches over 2 million subscribers) meant that it had to get picky and expensive. You still made your money back and more if they “picked” your book but it was an expensive outlay for the struggling indie author. But getting picked meant, among other things, that you needed at least five substantial reviews, a certain length of book, and the most convincing book description, since you were often competing with 19 other authors for one opening (nowadays there is no specified number, but in a recent Q and A on Kindle boards Bookbub admitted that in a competitive area like contemporary romance, typically 100+ reviews were the norm

To make matters harder, how was a new independent author to get all those reviews? The multitude of authors with whom you are competing all turned to niche blogs to get reviewed, which worked for a while, but then all these bloggers were swamped with books to read after they came home from their day jobs.  Soon getting five reviews in the first few weeks became hard, and when the goal posts moved again (Bookbub‘s success squeezed your success out) – there was no way to get 100 reviews, except by giving away free books in the tens of thousands.  The free giveaway worked briefly for increased sales and definitely for more reviewers (including more negative ones) but Amazon changed the algorithms and the way affiliate referral were made, and so free books, while still a good idea with a series, became much less useful.

When I return to this topic I will talk about the trend to lend (especially on Amazon) instead of sell, and to other issues only briefly touched on here.

Self-Publishing in the Age of the Kindle

Book publishing has changed. In the past, the idea of publishing a book outside of the Big 6 New York Publishing Houses (especially without an agent) was relegated to vanity publishing. People who had no other recourse spent about $10,000 to make enough copies to fill half their garage, which is where the books congregated. With few exceptions, these endeavors never made any money or came close to paying back the initial cost, not to mention the cost to the author’s brand/reputation.

Today, an author needs to think twice before signing on with a traditional publisher. In order To self-publish the initial costs, in addition to writing the book, are procuring your own cover and hiring a decent editor. Sure you will still have to promote your book but that would be necessary with a print publisher as well (at least if you plan to sell any books).

However the royalties from Amazon if you go with the $2.99-$9.99 price range, are 4-9 times greater than you would get from a traditional print publisher, and you also have the potential to get Amazon to put their marketing muscle behind you, if you are smart or lucky enough to please the Amazon algorithm.

These and related reasons have led me to self publish the book

    Overcoming Anxiety

once I have finished the editing. That means I need to brush up on self publishing and while I do that, I will try to share much of what I learn with my readers.

Published in: on May 26, 2014 at 3:52 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Rekindling the Art of Reading

I was probably the last person on earth to get an eReader, but the other day I finally broke down and bought one, and have already begun working my way through the classics with Jack London (White Fang) and James Joyce (Portrait of an Artist as a Young Man).

These were two books I read in high school, and because they were free (yes I am a cheap skate) I have now once again taken a fresh look at them. It strikes me that Kindle is likely to not only largely replace the Public Library (in Republican South Carolina tax cuts have devastated the Public Library System) but for all looks and purposes, Kindles seem to be opening reading as a hobby to a whole new group of readers.

Everywhere I look there seems to be a mother with babies in tow, reading a Kindle. When I talk with many of these readers, they are often the same people who formerly bought Danielle Steel or Nora Roberts or Harlequin Romances often at the grocery store. They are still buying these books (but now often through a Kindle Store), yet because they love their eReader, they also are downloading free and low cost books in other genres ranging from Self Help to those free classics.

Kindle has made reading an easy lifestyle choice, no longer associated with language arts. The number of readers who use Kindles or other eReaders has increased dramatically every year, and within the near future more than half of the books sold each year will be e-Books.

Another interesting benefit of the electronic book trend is that books are now perpetually available to the reader. The traditional shelf-life on a newly published books at a Brick and Mortar store was 3 months, and if the author did not sell through some 60%+ of their books in the first year, it would usually die with a whimper.

With eBooks there is no magic number of sales needed to keep a book “in print” and so an author can grow their sales and reputation over time, without needing the right combination of luck and money to succeed.

Published in: on August 15, 2012 at 6:03 pm  Comments (1)  
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BookTour.com is closing

While on the subject of eBooks, and changes in technology, I just got an email announcing that BookTour.com is closing. I was one of the first to welcome them when they came on the scene a couple of years ago, and for a while they seemed to be striking just the right chord.

To quote from their email:

“We regret to inform you that BookTour will be shutting down….fewer author tours and changes in book marketing budgets have made our company financially unviable.”

While stores like Borders are closing and ceding territory to Amazon and other eBook vendors, the emerging market for eBooks has put a premium on online promotion and virtual book tours, not to mention social media in general.

For book publicists this is a new wrinkle in the terrain, and raises further the question of what role publishers, publicists, book chains, and Indies will be playing in the new market.

Update on the Japan Reactor at Fukushima

Yesterday, in my discussion of the nuclear reactor disaster I was skeptical that the powers that be in Japan were candid as they seemed to be following their established pattern of minimizing the seriousness of the problem in their nuclear reactors. At that time, they were talking about minor problems in 2 of the reactors.

Now they are pulling the last of the workers on site out, because it is getting so bad, in three recators that were active and in the 4th where rods were in storage. The 50 remaining workers are unable to continue to work in a sustained way, and are being evacuated, at least temporarily. Should they it turn out that they are not being replaced, we are talking about a disaster that will rival Chernobyl. Even if they are only out for a short time that means very high levels of radiation.

I guess the poor souls who lived nearby and believed the PR (and stayed in their homes) will eventually be told they should leave too. Many of the Japanese were already evacuating, but now most of them will likely have to do so in the midst of some serious contamination.

I want to hear from my country (USA) what dangers may be possible for Hawaii, the west coast, and for that matter, all the rest of the world, if this becomes a level 7 meltdown. Where can I get good information on what — besides iodine — I should have handy? I suspect that staying indoors and sealing things up tightly will not be adequate, because if it gets as far as Hawaii, it will be a sustained and pervasive exposure.

I guess at this point it is time for some prayer, what else is there, certainly not nuclear science. Pray that not too many people will develop cancer. 70% of the number one reactor is reportedly damaged. They are not sure where the water level is. The fuel is crumpled and capable of melting nearly 100 tons of uranium fuel.

In the MSNBC Ed show, they announced for the first time that Japan was taking out the last of the workers, the 50 that were remaining, and these were the last workers trying to avoid a meltdown. Without them, the best we can hope for is that the reactors will not meltdown completely. The amount of nuclear material possibly at risk in this facility exceeds that of Chernobyl, and now the last best defense (the 50 workers) is gone. They say they are pulling them temporarily, but we shall see how many go back, and how many go to sick bay. If there is a total meltdown, as now seems likely, it would be at least a level 6 emergency and may well be a level 7.

General Thoughts About Books and Book Promotion

Rumor has it that Barnes and Noble is in talks to try to get their own ereader to compete with Kindle. Different companies are mentioned and nobody is confirming anything so it may all be hype.

NPR is doing a segment with Sarah and Candy from SmartBitchesTrashyBooks. They are one of the more popular sites and gained some fame when they caght a well known author in plagiarism. The NPR interview will air on Saturday April 11th,  They are promoting thier new book, Beyond Heaving Bosoms.

Anyone who is using Twitter, may have noticed its catching fire. All the mentions in the main stream media are fueling a growth that is taxing the servers. This week most of the avatars briefly disappeared and in the afternoons the wait for tweets can be several minutes longer than instantaneous. One of the fun things about twitter is that a haiku like brevity can put a premium on good writing.  Let’s hope that it can survive the success and doesnt fall down like Digg and other sites, who couldn’t handle success well. Stumble Upon seems to be improving though, and many authors have found that writing for hubpages  regularly can be a good way to get something akin to a small writer’s pension in place, as it gives you passive income from any articles you write.

Lee Goldberg reports that Fox is yanking Dollhouse after episode 12, and will not be airing the 13th episode. Sounds like a gimmick to get interest, at least in that last episiode if not in renewing.

 

 

Published in: on April 9, 2009 at 7:24 pm  Leave a Comment  
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