Neil Gaiman on finding a “career” in the arts.
Agent Savant has a guest post from author Tee Morris explaining why releasing a book is not the last step of the process.
I’m going to talk about what you do after the book comes out. See, the hard part has only begun. It’s not writing the book. It’s not getting the book published. It’s getting people to buy your book.
Yes, young Padawan, your journey has only begun. In today’s modern world of the blue collar author, amidst the dinosaurs bemoaning technology and lamenting for the days of wine and roses, we young upstarts of science fiction, fantasy, and things that go boom in our books, are refusing to go gently into that good night.
It’s your job to get it off the bookshelves and into readers’ hands. What do you do?
Keep the Blogging Pace You’ve Set. The best thing about recent blog tours I’ve participated in has been the habit of blogging I’ve developed. I’m figuring if I can keep up the pace of two blogposts a week at TeeMorris.com and the Ministry blog, this will keep people tuned in to what’s going on with me and Dawn’s Early Light. The increase in post frequency, I know, has been working. Between February and March on the Ministry blog, we have seen a 400% increase in traffic, and my own blog has been enjoying its fair share of new visitors as well. I’ve just recently added Tumblr to my blogging platforms, so it’s time to play in a new arena.
I love Lee’s bit of advice at the end. I won’t spoil it, but it seems like the perfect starting point for these advice videos. If only it weren’t the second one published… 🙂
Publishing consultant Mike Shatzkin discusses several examples of publishers misunderstanding digital marketing. It’s a bit of a self-serving ad for his new marketing business, but it’s got a lot of interesting analysis of where the industry is, and where it needs to be, like:
There really are two distinctly separate problems inherent if you want to maximize backlist sales in the digital age. One is the one they are tackling: to get the foundational metadata — the book descriptions and their placement in the information chain — solid so that the titles are called up in response to the searches suggesting a possible customer for them. The other is to build a mechanism to observe the news and social graph each day and to identify the titles that can benefit from new developments. And then, of course, to couple the two in order to optimize a given title or series for the most appropriate semantics to drive both discoverability and conversion in different environments. SEO, yes. But really nuanced and real-time SEO which accounts for fundamental changes in how all the engines work and subtle differences inherent in each. We have our ideas about that engine (and have developed a proposal to address it) but, for now, like that publisher, let’s just worry about the first challenge: getting the backlist metadata foundations right.
I think you write what you want to read. I’ve been a reader, a voracious reader, since I was a kid in Bayonne. “George with his nose in a book,” they always called me. So I’ve read a lot of stories in my life, and some have affected me very deeply; others I forget five minutes after I put ‘em down. One of the things I’ve come to really appreciate is a kind of unpredictability in my fiction. There’s nothing that bores me quicker than a book that just seems, I know exactly where this book is going. You’ve read them, too. You open a new book and you read the first chapter, maybe the first two chapters, and you don’t even have to read the rest of it. You can see exactly where it’s going. I think I got some of that when I was growing up and we were watching TV. My mother would always predict where the plots were going, whether it was I Love Lucy or something like that. “Well, this is going to happen,” she would say. And, sure enough, it would happen! And nothing was more delightful, when something different happened, when it suddenly took a twist. As long as the twist was justified. You can’t just arbitrarily throw in twists and turns that make no sense. Things have to follow. You want the thing in the end where you say, “Oh my God, I didn’t see that coming, but there was foreshadowing; there was a hint of it here, there was a hint of it there. I should have seen it coming.” And that, to me, is very satisfying. I look for that in the fiction that I read and I try to put it into my own fiction.
Ira Glass on creativity and persistence in a wonderfully creative video.