March 8, 2013

Typos, Facebook Likes, Book Selling, et al

A dear friend found some typos in the paperback version of Last Stop on Desolation Ridge. As a result, I’ve uploaded revised editions for e-book readers. If you try to buy it on Amazon for the Kindle it may say the book is under review. It’s an automatic process that takes a day or two at the most. The paperback version is also being updated and as a result it also may not be available for a few days. Of course, it’s frustrating to an author when someone discovers typos in her/his book. I recognize that I am not to be trusted to edit or proof-read my own writing. Too many self-published writers do not. Likes on Facebook of Last […]
September 5, 2012

Book Reviews in the Age of Self-Publishing

Although it was not the first salvo in the unveiling of the fiasco that is author-purchased book reviews, David Streitfeld’s article The Best Book Reviews Money Can Buy (NY Times, Aug. 26, 2012) has set off a firestorm of discussions like the one I’m following on The Book Designer website (Should Authors Pay for Book Reviews?). The core problem is that technology has opened Pandora’s publishing industry box. To the good, writers with a story to tell (fiction or non) that doesn’t fit into the traditional publishers’ sweetspot can publish their books for relatively little money and find an audience.  To the bad, that also means more competition for readers and the temptation to game the system by paying people […]
July 25, 2012

Giveaways: Past performance . . .

This post is directed at self-published authors in general and in particular people who are at the beginning of their writing careers who are seeking information about the ups and downs of self-publishing. Having self-published my first novels (The Expendable Man, 2011 and Making the Grade, 2012), I’m at the stage where I’m still working on the best way to market those books. One avenue that’s open to self-publishers is giveaways. The idea is that you’ll boost sales and followers by giving away a number of copies of your book because some of those who received the free copy will tell their friends (assuming they like your book) and some of the people who put their name in for the […]
June 27, 2012

Judging Books by their Readers

That’s (almost) the title of an interesting article in the June 24 Wall Street Journal. For those who don’t subscribe to the Journal, I’ll summarize: It’s always interesting to watch Seth Godin navigate marketing’s bleeding edge. For more than a decade Godin has cut through the fog and told us how to navigate with books like ‘Permission Marketing’ (1999) ‘Tribes,’ (2008) and ‘Purple Cow: Transform Your Business by Being Remarkable’ (2009). Lately, Godin has been experimenting in the world of self-publishing. Two years ago he partnered with Amazon to create an imprint called the Domino Project which eventually published a dozen titles including one of his own. Disappointed by the results, he’s now returned to his long-time publisher but with […]
March 19, 2012

A Bookstore Takes The Expendable Man & I Give a Talk on Self-Publishing

Tucson Area Friends: If you don’t already have a copy of The Expendable Man, you can obtain one at Antigone Books on 411 4th Avenue, and if you already have a copy, tell your friends. Also, if you need a gift for an upcoming occasion, remember books make wonderful gifts. Self-Publishing: What it Means for Writers and Readers: That’s the title of a talk I’ll be giving tomorrow at a meeting of the Province Book Club in Maricopa. What’s the talk about? The future of the publishing industry is on a lot of minds these days. Writers in particular are concerned about whether traditional publishing will shrink even further, whether the uneven quality of many self-published books will turn off […]
March 12, 2012

I Agree and Disagree with Richard Russo

Upon his return to Tucson, AZ to participate in the 4th annual Tucson Festival of Books March 10-11, 2012, Richard Russo recalled spending many hours in room 350 in the Modern Languages building where his first TFB presentation was held and where he recalled only a small audience turned out to hear Richard Yates read one of his brilliant short stories. (Russo would later write the introduction to Yates’ collected stories.) Russo spent 13 years getting a B.A., M.A. & Ph.D. at the University of Arizona before moving on to teach and then to begin writing fiction. His observations Saturday March 10 on writing and his particular focus were insightful, but the most interesting and controversial comments he made that […]