Sunday, July 24, 2011

Forget Writing For Contests, Publishers or School

The world has changed (this virtual laptop in the sand used to be an IBM Selectric typewriter).

Back in the day....writers, or those that wanted to call themselves that, had to constantly prove themselves to legions of what I call "middleware" readers before they could enter the Marketplace.

Middleware are the writing classes in school, the multitude of contests, even the large publishing houses (complete with Genre Gurus and Editors).  If one could muster the energy, downsizing of your dream and time to complete that competition THEN, with some luck, they might be allowed into the Holy Grail of Writing:  the Marketplace.  The Marketplace being bookstores, libraries and eventually into the hands of your real target - readers.  Far too many obstacles between you and the reader, don't you think?

I just read a great blog post by the one single successful writer I follow, J.A. Konrath.  His genre is one I will never read or write for, but he sells books, ebooks specifically and quite a few of them.  So his take on the "marketplace" is one I respect.  His post today was something like "why are you reading my post when you should be writing?"  A good point, of course.

It prompted me to think further....why would we, as writers, spend too much time trying to get our words into the hands of those that judge them worthy of a business deal that will make the judges money?  Why not go straight to the Marketplace, straight to the readers?

eBook publishing, via Amazon and other venues is allowing the creativity out in force.  Get yourself busy, get yourself a trusted friend who can speak better English than you to proofread and PUBLISH direct to the Marketplace.

Excuses to tell your story are numerous, especially in the beginning.  Sidestep the pitfalls and get your words into the hands of readers.  Whose opinion is the most valuable eventually anyhow?

Let the marketplace be your Contest.  Let the comments section be your Editor.  Someone think you cut the story short, or did not develop a character well?  Fine, rewrite it and takes about 48 hours for your changes to get back out there.  Study the top sellers on Kindle, download the free samples, see what is catching people's attention.  See what genres are moving best.  Create your own genre!  But, study the marketplace, write for your readers and for God's sake ENTER THE MARKETPLACE!  Now.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Signed eBooks now available

A new service has launched that allows authors and readers to bridge a gap previously left open in ebooks....a signed book.

It's not perfect, but it is good, as this allows personalization that has not existed up until now.

All of my titles are available via this service now at

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Lendle my Kindle

I was lurking in the Amazon forums and found someone talking about The Parrot Talks in Chocolate and how they had borrowed it from LENDLE.ME.

Initially, I was a bit put off.  Here was some clearinghouse taking advantage of the "Allow lending of this book" feature in the Kindle self publishing dashboard.  Lendle is a clever way for people to list what Kindle books they own, put them up for "Loan" and in return might find a book available they would like to read from some other member.

It's like a big fat library.

Does that hurt sales?  At first I thought it might and wanted to get out of the lending program.  After all, when my books are priced at 99c, 1.99 and 2.99 AND Amazon already hands out a free 10% sample why would anyone short of a cheapskate need to wait in line to borrow a book IF and WHEN it becomes available?

Well, that was my first thought.  After a deep breath, maybe two or three of them, I had another thought.
I would JOIN Lendle and OFFER ONLY my OWN books for loan there.  I often give away copies to promote my brand, so how could this be any different?

In fact, Authors should all join Lendle and offer up their own books.  Another great venue to get the word(s) out.

Of course, beyond my own books, I am not loaning any others.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Morning Breakfast Spot...

... when you are prepping for a full day of writing fiction about tropical themes I find it most helpful to enjoy my guava juice and bagel here...
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Tuesday, July 12, 2011