Good vs. Bad book? Don’t Judge

(loudandcleargraphics.co.uk)

K.M. Weiland is an excellent resource for writers of all types. Her website Helping Writers Become Authors should be on everyone’s short list of helpful websites. Also, her books on writing are excellent and merge well with Agile Writer theory. But, in a recent site article by Katherine Marsh entitled “Why Do So Many Bad Books Sell on Amazon?” steps over the line from advice to judgement. Let me explain.

In the article Marsh explains that Amazon has started promoting eBooks that are newer – like only 30 days old. This has allowed ‘ghost writers’ to churn out new stories using a template from a previous book (replace princess with enchantress, replace castle with mansion, etc…). Thus, these writers are producing a book a month and getting (presumably) good sales.

What Ms. Marsh argues is that this promotes ‘bad books’. At Agile Writers the definition of success is getting your book into the hands of readers who want them. If readers are buying these copycats, then they are probably satisfied. Otherwise, they’d return them (you *can* return eBooks, you know). Therefore, these are not bad books. They are finding a home with people who crave the same plot lines with different characters and locations. The Romance genre is rife with this sort of churning.

And that’s, Okay.

It’s the responsibility of the author to work the system – to play the game – to get their work into the hands of readers who want to read it. Knowing how the game is played and then playing the game well does that.

Ms. Marsh goes on to lay out a plan to deliver *good* books (in her estimation) by splitting a novel into segments that are released every 30 days. This is a brilliant strategy the uses the Amazon system to the author’s benefit. There is no need to qualify ‘good’ vs. ‘bad.’

The READER determines what is good or bad, not the author – and not the algorithms at Amazon nor the publishers in the ivory towers of the Big Four publishing houses.

I heartily recommend Ms. Marsh’s article because it lays out the information you’ll need to get your book in front of more readers’ eyes.

However, this should be only one arrow in your quiver of promotional tools. Remember – Amazon is a *destination* site. People go there because THEY KNOW WHAT THEY ARE LOOKING FOR. Impulse buys on Amazon are far less likely than in a bricks-and-mortar store like Barnes & Noble or Books-A-Million. People go to bookstores, newsstands, drug stores, and others without knowing precisely what book they want – if any.

But because the self-published author doesn’t have the advantage of in-store sales, we have to rely on self-promotion. And by self-promotion I mean social media and search advertising.

Learn the rules of the game. Then play the game well. The definition of a ‘good book’ is one that finds its reader. Make sure your book finds its home in the hands of the reader waiting for it.

Used Bookstores are Swimming in These…

Used books are a good deal. But apparently there are a good deal of these titles:

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  • POLITICAL TELL-ALLS
  • NONFICTION TITLES MADE INTO MOVIES: Seabiscuit, Unbroken, Marley and Me, The Blind Side, Black Hawk Down.
  • ’80S AND ’90S PAPERBACK HITS: Mary Higgins Clark, Danielle Steel, Sydney Sheldon, Tom Clancy, Nora Roberts.
  • JAMES PATTERSON
  • CHRISTIAN FICTION GREATEST HITS: The Shack, Left Behind, Karen Kingsbury’
  • CHICKEN SOUP FOR THE SOUL
  • COOKBOOK CELEBS
  • GO SET A WATCHMAN BY HARPER LEE
  • A SONG OF ICE AND FIRE BY GEORGE R.R. MARTIN
  • ANGELA’S ASHES BY FRANK MCCOURT
  • THE TWILIGHT SERIES AND THE HUNGER GAMES TRILOGY
  • FIFTY SHADES OF GREY TRILOGY BY E.L. JAMES
  • HEAVEN IS FOR REAL BY TODD BURPO

Read More at Book Riot…

More Problems for B&N

From

Major publishers have attended meetings with the founder of Barnes and Noble and have voiced their displeasure that the booksellers management team is in a constant state of disarray. They indicated that they have a strong interest in Barnes & Noble running a healthy and stable business, to counteract the clout of Amazon.

Barnes and Noble has gone through five different CEOS since 2013 and the latest was Demos Parneros, who was let go last month. He was terminated without severance in July for violating company policies. The company said at the time that his dismissal was unrelated to issues of financial reporting or fraud, but offered no further guidance. He barely lasted a year.

Read More at Good eReader…

The Price of Editing…

From  at The Write Life:

For comparison purposes, let’s look at the editing rates and use an average page-per-hour and an average hourly rate. For instance, the EFA lists basic copyediting of 5–10 pages per hour at a cost of $30–$40 per hour, so I’ve assumed 7.5 pages per hour at a cost of $35 per hour. The other total calculations also use their respective average rates.

For a 70,000-word book, your editing costs could be:

  • Developmental editing: $.08 per word, or $5,600 total
  • Basic copyediting: $.018 per word, or $1,260 total
  • Proofreading: $.0113, or $791 total

It’s easy to extrapolate from this what your total expected editing cost could be. Fantasy, sci-fi, and epic novel writers should be forewarned.

For a 120,000-word book, your editing costs could be:

  • Developmental editing: $.08 per word, or $9,600 total
  • Basic copyediting: $.018 per word, or $2,160 total
  • Proofreading: $.0113, or $1,356 total

Realize that these are simply one website’s average estimates for editorial costs. For further comparison, CreateSpace offers copyediting at $.016 per word for books longer than 10,000 words. Pronoun’s list of editors is also an easy way to compare many editors’ costs.

Read More at The Write Life…

A 12-year-old boy who can’t speak wrote a book with his eyes

DghtgkWXkAM1iD1(CNN) Twelve-year-old Jonathan Bryan can’t verbally speak or physically write. He was born with severe cerebral palsy, has limited motion in his limbs and is in a wheelchair.

For most of his life, Jonathan’s parents used nonverbal cues like a smile or a frown to communicate with him. Educators determined he had profound learning difficulties and never taught him to read or write in school.

That all changed when Jonathan’s mom, Chantal Bryan, began taking him out of school for a few hours a day to read and write. By the time Jonathan was 9, he could spell anything he wanted to say.

Now with the help of an E-Tran frame, Jonathan not only communicates — he wrote a book.

Read more at CNN…

North American Comics Market Declined 6.5% in 2017

Combined North American sales of graphic novels and periodical comics declined about 6.5% to $1.015 billion in 2017, according to a joint estimate made by pop culture trade news sites ICv2.com and Comichron.

The overall sales decline was due to a 10% drop in the comics shop channel which was somewhat offset by only a 1% decline in sales to the bookstore market, which benefited from continuing growth in sales of children and YA graphic novels. Digital sales were flat.

Read more at Publishers Weekly

Bookstore Sales Rose $741M

Bookstore sales rose from $741 million last May to $745 million in May 2018, according to preliminary estimates released by the U.S. Census Bureau. The $4 million rise in sales amounted to a 0.5% increase year over year.

The small May gain is in keeping with the sluggish start bookstore sales have had in 2018. Through the January to May 2018 period, sales were down 2.1% compared to the same time frame last year, falling from $4.09 billion to $4.01 billion.

Read more at Pubishers Weekly