Ever want to secretly read someone else’s private journal? You don’t have to worry about getting caught while reading Big Summer Journal by Allan Wiedenfeld.
Get a taste of what Big Summer Journal as to offer with this Book Excerpt:
When Dad came home, everything was going OK. But then I couldn't find something in my room and we started arguing about how he cleaned my room without asking me or even telling me. That started him on the I'm-the-man-of-the-house-lecture, which made Brett and I furious because he did the same thing to Brett's room last week. So I called Brett up to my room. We decided to "expose Dad" and see how he liked his privacy invaded. See, I know where Dad keeps his two porno movies.
We took one of the movies downstairs, stuck it in the VCR and pushed play, then sat down on our respective couches. I had Brett call Mom and Dad downstairs to "see something." Well, they both came down and they were very surprised when they saw what was on the TV. My Mom yelled really loud "WHAT IS THIS?!?" and my dad started to, too, until he realized it was his porno we were watching. "It's Dad's," Brett said. "We found it in his room." I thought we'd all have a good laugh then, and maybe Dad would realize the value of privacy and that he shouldn't have cleaned my room without asking, but Dad was pissed.
My Mom was yelling at my dad, and my dad was yelling at me. I ran upstairs, my dad close behind, and slammed and locked my bedroom door. I instantly regretted what we had done. But my dad wasn't mad at Brett, he was mad at me. I decided to leave and made a dash to my car. I was pulling out of the garage when my mom ran out, saying, "Get back inside!" I reluctantly came in.
Dad was upstairs. I thought he'd pout in his room all night and not talk to anyone, but he came out and yelled downstairs to me, "Get your ass up here. Now!" There was no way I was going up there. I was scared to death what he'd expose about me. Who knows what he saw while cleaning my room. I ran to the front door and opened it, ready to jump into my car when necessary.
"Get your butt up here or I'll come down there and make a scene."
My mom didn't want me to leave. She was worried about me driving. My dad yelled some more and I told my mom I was going to Nate's and not to worry. Brett told her to let me go. My dad threatened me from upstairs again. I said I wouldn't talk to him until he was "rational." Mom came outside as I was backing out and asked what Nate's phone number was. I asked, "Did I do the right thing, Mom?"
"I don't know," she said.
What were you doing on April 10th, 1989? 18 year old Allan Wiedenfeld was getting a speeding ticket and sitting in dog pee and, in general, dealing with the perils of becoming an adult. Big Summer Journal is Allan Wiedenfeld’s journal, set in the fictional town of Three Rivers, Wisconsin, chronicling the summer before Allan went away to college. From prom gone wrong to random acts of vandalism, from dating insecurity to homosexual experiences, Allan documents that strange region where kids are beginning to try on the uniforms of the adult world. Honest and unflinching, Big Summer Journal is a record of a young man’s questioning, often neurotic entrance into adulthood.
About the author:
Allan Wiedenfeld was born and raised in Wisconsin. This is his first published journal. What were you doing on April 10th, 1989? 18 year old Allan Wiedenfeld was getting a speeding ticket and sitting in dog pee and, in general, dealing with the perils of becoming an adult. Big Summer Journal is Allan Wiedenfeld’s journal, set in the fictional town of Three Rivers, Wisconsin, chronicling the summer before Allan went away to college.
I was an English major in college, so my homework for four years was basically to read. I loved the classics in school – Jane Austen, William Faulkner, John Steinbeck. Now that I’m an Author Advocate for Infinity Publishing, I find myself falling in love with every book an author tells me about.
It’s almost impossible for me not to get excited about a book while I’m talking to authors. They are so passionate about their stories and excited to see all their hard work finally come to fruition.
Sometimes I think the memoirs are my favorite because every Infinity Publishing author has such a unique and interesting life story. Other times, I think the children’s books are the best because it’s so important to get children excited about reading. But then there are the novels – adventure, romance, science fiction – the characters and stories are so fascinating. And I can’t forget about the nonfiction books in which authors relate intriguing and useful information about all kinds of topics.
Just as every book is different, every book needs a different publishing plan. Would the book be best in print, ebook, or audio book format? Or perhaps all three formats? Which marketing plan will get the word out to the most readers? Would your book benefit from professional copyediting or translation services? What are the advantages of extended distribution for your book?
These are the questions that Author Advocates are here to answer. Everyday I talk to authors who are nervous about taking the next step. Some have done extensive research on publishers and others don’t know where to start or what questions they should be asking. Either way, they want to make sure they are making the right decision.
So if you are thinking about publishing a book, we want to hear from you. You did the hard part – you wrote the book. Now let us guide you to the publishing package that is right for your book. Whether you are putting the last period in place or just starting Chapter One, we would love to hear more about your book and tell you more about what it means to be an Infinity Publishing author.
Photo courtesy of mvttley.
Lindsey Huckabee is an Author Advocate for Infinity Publishing. You can tell Lindsey about your book by emailing her at Lindsey@infinitypublishing.com.
By: Christopher A. Master, Lead Cover Designer
Ever judge a book by its cover?
Snap judgments (whether conscious or not) are what many of us rely upon when formulating our initial opinions. New foods, new clothing, new locations, new automobiles… the list goes on. These inherent “gut-feelings” are often our most reliable tool when making decisions based solely on appearance. So why should it be any different when considering Book Cover Design ?
Let’s face it, the cover is the most important piece of marketing your book has. A snap judgment is all that stands between your book and the customer, and the cover art is what will entice a customer to close that gap. Over the course of the next few months, I will be sharing some simple recommendations on effective cover design.
Fundamental 1: Keep it simple—Does the cover concept make sense for the book?
There really isn’t an exact formula for successful cover design. The best thing you can do for your book is create a concept that makes sense for the story or idea you’re selling. For fiction or biography, common elements include a character from the book or a scene that is integral to the story. For self-help and business books, good art can support a point or concept discussed within the book as well as convey more nebulous facets like mood and aptitude. It goes without saying that children’s books should appeal to their audience. Confusion on the part of the potential customer will result in a missed sales opportunity.
Try this simple exercise the next time you visit a book store. Allow yourself some extra time to stop in the section with books related to your specific genre. Scan at the selection displayed, judge the designs, and pick up the cover that is most appealing to you. Next, critically compare that design with the other books on the shelf. Then, make a list of design elements that you find appealing and use this to begin structuring your own cover design concept.
Go ahead. I won’t judge you for it.
Click here for Part 2
Christopher Master works as the Lead Cover Designer at Infinity Publishing. With 10+ years of cover design experience, he has amassed a design portfolio of well over 1000 book covers. He has been married to his intelligent and very patient wife for nearly a decade. In 2010, they welcomed their first child, Sylvie, who is a now toddling machine. A few years back, Christopher published a collection of humorous true childhood stories entitled Tiny Cracker Zoo. Between work, family and freelance design, he strives to find the time to pursue writing a second book, this one focusing, perhaps, on the misadventures of new fatherhood.
by Penny C. Sansevieri
Let's face it, regardless of the odds we authors still want to get into bookstores. But if you've been having a hard time with this, take heart. It's getting harder and harder to get into stores, but not impossible. We're going to look at some of the possibilities here.
First, it's important to understand the pressure stores are under right now. With the increased focus on publishers to get their authors out there, bookstores are being given most of their marching orders by their corporate office. Bookstore shelf space is bought and paid for by theNew Yorkpublishers, making getting on the shelves or display racks a bit tricky - if not impossible. So here's a game plan for those of you trying to survive outside of the traditional market.
1. Get to know your local store: I know this might sound obvious, but you’d be surprised how many authors don’t really know the people in their local store. The thing is, if you know them, they know you. Then, when you’re ready to promote your book they might be more open to having you in their store if you have taken the time to get to know them.
2. Events: One way to get into a bookstore is by doing an event. Sometimes when you do an event the store may stock the book before and after you've done your program. Start to follow the types of events they do at the store. Get an events calendar or get on their email list. You’ll start to see trends emerge. For example, they might have an independent author night you could participate in. Also be cautious for big releases, like the recent Stephenie Meyer events many stores had planned. If you are trying to capture the attention of a store when they’re in the middle of a major book launch, you’re likely to be ignored.
a) Book signings are boring, offer to do an event instead. Events are a draw, book signings aren’t unless you’re a celebrity. Plan to do a talk, educate, entertain, or enlighten. This will be a more attractive pitch to the bookstore and will draw more people to your talk.
b) Get to know the local authors in your area and then offer to plan events for them. Here’s how this works: Bookstores are inundated with local authors asking for a time slot, but what if you went to the bookstore manager and said that you’d be willing to coordinate a once a month event featuring all the local authors? The bookstore could just refer all local independently published authors to you, you could coordinate this - and guess what? Not only are you helping the store, but guess who’s getting a monthly showcase in their store? You. You can do this with more than one store if you have the time, but keep in mind that with cutbacks often one store manager will oversee a few locations so you might only have to go through one person.
c) If they won’t let you coordinate a monthly event, suggest that they have an Independent author night if they haven’t already started this. If they have an Independent author night you should definitely participate, it’s a great way to gain exposure, not to mention network with some local people.
3. Distribution: Making sure that the bookstore can actually acquire the book is often the first step in getting stocked. Bookstores generally tap into two databases for stocking: Baker & Taylor and Ingram. If you're listed there, bookstores can order the book, though a listing in those databases doesn't usually prompt stocking because these are not distributors, they are wholesalers. There's a big difference. Distributors such as IPG, Perseus, and Midpoint actively push the book into the bookstores, or try to sell copies into the stores during their sales push. Wholesalers don't do this, so if you can get a distributor for your book, great! This could really help your in-store success.
4. Local marketing: don't forget any marketing you do locally, whether it's speaking in venues outside of the bookstores, television, radio, or print. All of this can drive traffic into the bookstores. Market locally and when you do, let the stores know you're going to have a feature or appearance so they can stock the book, if they want to. It's always a great idea to get to know the managers or buyers for your local stores so you can alert them to media or an event you're doing. This not only keeps you and your book on their radar screen, but it's a nice courtesy to offer them. Most managers are stretched pretty thin and appreciate the buying tip, whenever they can get it. Even if they choose not to stock your book the first or second time, keep alerting them to your promotion. Eventually they just might.
5. Know your Geography: Let’s say you live inNew York, but your book is more suited to theMidwest market... Why keep pushing in an area that's already inundated with authors and books and events? Why not push it to a market that’s more appropriate for your topic? By doing this you will not only open up channels you might not have considered, but you'll likely do better in sales. When you do this, you should plan to coordinate some marketing around it so folks in that local area are aware that your book is there.
6. Buy a book: Don’t just wander the store trying to make friends: shop there. Support your local stores regardless of whether they are a chain or independent. You’d be surprised what a difference this makes when you’re trying to get to know the folks who could book you for an event or stock the book on their shelves.
7. Funnel your buyers: Try as best you can to funnel everyone to one store to purchase your book. If you’re having a tough time getting shelf space (and aren’t we all?), funneling folks to one store might prompt that store to keep a few copies of your book on hand. Whenever you do local speaking or media, let them know by name and address where they can get your book. Stores have been known to take in books that they’re getting lots of requests for, regardless of how they are published. If you’re sending people to one store - instead of fragmenting them to a bunch of different ones - you could start building an ongoing interest in reorders, and sometimes all it takes is one store to stock it before the neighboring stores will follow suit.
Getting into bookstores isn’t impossible, but it does require a dash of creativity. Keep in mind that if bookstores still aren’t receptive after you’ve tried the tips in this article then maybe you’re sitting in a tight market. Areas likeLos Angeles,New YorkandChicagomight be tough areas to get noticed, because these are often the first stops traditional publishers seek when planning author tours and getting stocked on the shelves. If you’re near those areas, try looking outside of the city for alternatives that are often overlooked byNew York. If that doesn’t work for you, then consider non-bookstore shelf space and events. If you're not sure how to do this, check out my other article on events outside of the normal bookstore market, http://huff.to/cx05E2.
Over the years we’ve planned events for our authors in all sorts of non-bookstore venues such as: video stores, electronics stores, gyms and even grocery stores. If events are your focus, keep an open mind and remember: often the biggest piece of getting your book into a bookstore is the relationship you build with them.
Penny C. Sansevieri, CEO and founder of Author Marketing Experts, Inc., is a best-selling author and internationally recognized book marketing and media relations expert and an Adjunct Instructor with NYU. Her company is one of the leaders in the publishing industry and has developed some of the most cutting-edge book marketing campaigns. She is the author of five books, including Book to Bestseller which has been called the "road map to publishing success." AME is the first marketing and publicity firm to use Internet promotion to its full impact through The Virtual Author Tour™, which strategically works with social networking sites, blogs, micro-blogs, ezines, video sites, and relevant sites to push an authors message into the virtual community and connect with sites related to the book's topic, positioning the author in his or her market. To learn more about Penny’s books or her promotional services, you can visit her web site at http://www.amarketingexpert.com. To subscribe to her free ezine, send a blank email to: mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org Copyright ã 2010 Penny C. Sansevieri
By: Penny C. Sansevieri
These days it seems like everyone's book marketing budget is a little tighter. If you're feeling the pinch, or if you're just looking for some great free stuff to do on your own, here are some tips that could help keep you on track.
1) Buy your domain name as soon as you have a title for your book. You can get domain names for as little as $8.95. Tip: When buying a domain always try to get a .com and stay away from hyphens, i.e. penny-sansevieri.com - surfers rarely remember to insert hyphens.
2) Head on over to Blogger.com or Wordpress.com and start your very own blog (you can add it to your Web site later).
3) Set up an event at your neighborhood bookstore. Do an event and not a signing, book signings are boring!
4) Write a few articles on your topic and submit them onto the Internet for syndication. You can submit them to sites like ezinearticles.com and articlecity.com.
5) Check out your competition online and see if you can do some networking.
6) Do some radio research and pitch yourself to at least five new stations this week.
7) Ready to get some business cards? Head on over to Vistaprint.com. The cards are free if you let them put their logo on the back, if you don't they're still really inexpensive.
8) Put together your marketing plan. Seriously, do this. If you don't know where you're going, any destination will do.
9) Plan a contest or giveaway. Contests are a great way to promote your book.
10) Google some topic-related online groups to see if you can network with them.
11) Send thank you notes to people who have been helpful to you.
12) Send your book out to at least ten book reviewers this week.
13) Do a quick Internet search for local writers’ conferences or book festivals you can attend.
14) Create an email signature for every email you send; email signatures are a great way to promote your book and message.
15) Put the contents of your Web site: book description, bio, Q&A, and interviews on CD to have on hand when the media comes calling!
16) Submit your Web site to the top five directories: Google, MSN, Alexa, Yahoo, and DMOZ.
17) Write a great press release and submit it to free online press release sites like: PR4 - http://www.prlog.org/ , http://www.1888pressrelease.com/, http://i-newswire.com/, http://www.prfocus.com/
18) Write your bio and have someone who can be objective critique it; you’ll need it when you start pitching yourself to the media.
19) Schedule your first book event!
20) Start your own email newsletter; it’s a great way to keep readers, friends and family updated and informed on your success.
21) Start a Twitter account and begin tweeting. If you don't think Twitter is significant, think again; it's been a major part of our marketing strategy for over 2 years now (before anyone even knew what Twitter was).
22) Develop a set of questions or discussion topics that book clubs can use for your book, and post them on your Web site for handy downloads.
23) Add your book info or URL to your answering machine message.
24) Start a Facebook Fan page. Fan Pages are much better than groups because they're searchable in Google.
25) See if you can get your friends to host a “book party” in their home. You come in and discuss your book and voila, a captive audience!
26) Find some catalogs you think your book would be perfect for and then submit your packet to them for consideration. If you're unsure of what catalogs might work for you, head on over to http://www.catalogs.com/ and peruse their list.
27) Go around to your local retailers and see if they’ll carry your book; even if it’s on consignment, it might be worth it!
28) Add your book to Google Book Search.
29) Research some authors with similar subjects and then offer to exchange links with them.
30) Start a Squidoo page and make sure it's linked to your Twitter Account and Facebook Fan page.
31) Make sure your blog is connected to Amazon via their Amazon connect program (yes, it's free).
32) Ask friends and family to email five people they know and tell them about your book.
33) Leave your business card, bookmark, or book flyer wherever you go.
34) Subscribe to Google Alerts and make sure that you are getting alerts under your name as well as your book title(s), brand, and keywords.
35) Pitch yourself to your local television stations.
36) Pitch yourself to your local print media.
37) Work on the Q&A for your press kit. You’ll need it when you start booking media interviews!
38) Pitch Oprah. Go ahead, you know you want to.
39) Is the topic of your book in the news? Check your local paper, and write a letter to the editor to share your expertise (and promote your book!).
40) Stop by your local library and see if you can set up an event. They love local authors.
41) Do you want to get your book into your local library system? Try dropping off a copy to your main library; if they stock it chances are the other branches will too.
42) Go to Chase’s Calendar of Events (www.Chases.com.) and find out how to create your own holiday!
43) Going on vacation? Use your away-from-home time to schedule a book event or two.
44) If your book is appropriate, go to local schools to see if you can do a reading.
45) Got a book that could be sold in bulk? Start with your local companies first and see if they’re interested in buying some promotional copies to give away at company events.
46) Don’t forget to add reviews to your Web site. Remember that what someone else has to say is one thousand times more effective than anything you could say!
47) Trying to meet the press? Search the Net for Press Clubs in your area, they meet once a month and are a great place to meet the media.
48) Want a celebrity endorsement? Find celebs in your market with an interest in your topic and then go for it. Remember all they can say is no. Check out the Actors Guild for a list of celeb representatives.
49) Ready to get some magazine exposure? Why not pitch some regional and national magazines with your topic or submit a freelance article for reprint consideration?
50) Work on your next book. Sometimes the best way to sell your first book is by promoting your second.
Penny C. Sansevieri, CEO and founder of Author Marketing Experts, Inc., is a best-selling author and internationally recognized book marketing and media relations expert and an Adjunct Instructor with NYU. Her company is one of the leaders in the publishing industry and has developed some of the most cutting-edge book marketing campaigns. She is the author of five books, including Book to Bestseller which has been called the “road map to publishing success.” AME is the first marketing and publicity firm to use Internet promotion to its full impact through The Virtual Author Tour, which strategically works with social networking sites, blogs, micro-blogs, ezines, video sites, and relevant sites to push an author’s message into the virtual community and connect with sites related to the book’s topic, positioning the author in his or her market. To learn more about Penny’s books or her promotional services, you can visit her website at http://www.amarketingexpert.com. To subscribe to her free ezine, send a blank email to: email@example.com Copyright © 2010 Penny C. Sansevieri
Focus on the Benefits of the Reader
If you’re writing copy for a non-fiction book, you have to focus on the benefits of how your baby will solve your readers’ problems. You can do that my presenting bulleted lists of your benefits. Then you strategically place the FREE bonuses the reader is going to receive within the body of the copy. You’re taking the reader on a journey of what they’re going to receive when they order by a certain date. For best results, you should have a 48 hour deadline. You want the most books bought it the least amount of time to increase the book’s ranking.
You’re going to have to invest sweat equity. Give yourself 6 weeks before you’re ready to launch your campaign. Go to chat rooms, forums, do a Google search of popular websites that are in your particular self-help genre to locate marketers who might team up with you. To reach bestselling status, you need ezine list owners that are a compliment to your book. Be prepared for some list owners to not respond. Be persistent.
Make no mistake: If you wrote a self-help book for women, an Internet marketer with mostly male biz-opp names is NOT going to want to get involved with you!
Don’t Let List Owners Take Advantage
When they give you the freebie without mailing to their own list, they’re being selfish and piggy-backing off your hard work. This is a joint venture where everyone that’s helping you will also benefit when buyers of your book become subscribers of their ezine. It’s a win-win for everyone. Also, instead of using text copy in an e-mail, get a web designer to create an inviting, pleasing landing page so everyone could get the offer.
Outsource Tasks For Better Results
To become a bestselling author yourself, to get people to open their wallets, you need:
- Strong, compelling copy, along with a short deadline for the reader to take action by.
- An inviting and pleasing website page, NOT long, wordy copy in an e-mail.
- Present your offer to the properly targeted list and you’ll sell LOTS of books.
When you make it all happen according to your plan, then you can brag to family members, friends, and foes that you’re a best selling author!!! Won’t that be fun?
First of all, this article validates much of the basic philosophy long held by Infinity Publishing which has always believed in the resilience of the nation’s independent bookstores and their ability to stay in business and go toe-to-toe with chain super-stores. The national chains are in bed enjoying sweetheart deals for deeply discounted bestsellers from major houses, whose intent of the super-discounts and making their famous authors available for book signings were clearly to out-price and upstage those nearby indies.
We have always stressed the importance of regional connections by encouraging our authors to schedule events in their local independent bookstores. The owners/managers know the value of community roots and the appeal of introducing a newly published author with books -- autographed for their customers. Niche market books have always sold well through indies, and Infinity offers a dazzling array of niche topics – fully returnable at a 40% discount is a good deal. Plus, we have authors in the store’s backyard poised to do readings.
It’s interesting to note that the chains and major houses who hooked up early on with POD publishing services haven’t done much that’s noticeable in support of the resulting books. Perhaps the universal fault in the business model was their impersonal approach with contracted and over-taxed authors.
By engaging in self-publishing through Infinity, the author retains all rights to the book and Infinity pays monthly royalties on every book sold – we earn our profit selling books to ever expanding niches and discount books to our authors who create and control the content.
The importance of increasing independent bookstore sales, coupled with expanding customer purchases of niche books from small presses and evolving publishers, demonstrates the ability of indies and small regional chains to thrive and profit under the giants’ shadow. They’re doing this by expanding their on-shelf selection of niche books, introducing new flavors of fiction, spreading out romance, and howling over a vast offering of how-to books. We live in fascinating times – and the happenings in our evolving branch of publishing are especially interesting. The content and course of the book in the market place is being returned to the control of the author to decide upon – and not the corporate bean-counters who have counted too long on formulated publishing to produce the over projected profit. Authors who know and care about the content, published by a cost-effective book publishing system, delivered to a customer-aware and author-friendly indie is a winning combination that’s producing increasing sales when the rest of the industry is rather flat.
-John F. Harnish
Author Advocate, Brittany Lavin, January 7, 2011:
As I said in my very first blog, I grew up with dreams of becoming a published author. This wasn’t something I took lightly. I knew the odds were against me- but I didn’t want to give up. I’ve done my fair share of research of what it takes to get published. During my quest, I would see ads for author-originated publishing but I would only glance at them. At the time, they were just an after-thought. I suppose it was my own naiveté- my dream of getting picked up by a big publisher and being a huge success. I didn’t think of how limited I was being, or of the limitations I would come across.
Now that I work in the publishing industry I have a better understanding of the differences. So here is my understanding:
1. Rejection. I’ve said this before, but it’s one of the biggest differences out there. When you send your manuscript into a publishers or literary agent, they can reject you in an instant without any reason or feedback. This can be discouraging for many aspiring authors. In the self-publishing industry, however, aspiring authors can finally get their voice heard and their work is accepted.
2. In traditional publishing, you usually have to send your work to a literary agent before even getting to the publishing houses. You need the agent to talk your book up to the “big boys” and convince them to buy it. When self-publishing, there’s no politics or convincing needed.
3. Rights. This country is all about the rights of the people. In the publishing industry, they buy the rights to your book whereas in self-publishing, you keep the rights.
4. Content is King. When you give your life’s work over to a publisher, they can edit it how they see fit. They can take out that one part you love and worked so hard on. In self-publishing, you have final say over the content.
5. The main difference here is control. I’m not saying that traditional publishing takes away all of the author’s rights. I’m just saying that by publishing your work independently, you have more say in the overall process and more freedom to express your vision the way you want it.
In the end, what really matters is what you want and how you want your work to be presented to the public. The publishing industry is always changing and I know my understanding will change with it.
VP of Author Services, John F. Harnish, January 4, 2011:
One of the original limitations of eBooks was after the purchaser finished reading the book on their eReader, the electronic version couldn’t be passed on and shared with a friend. I’ve always considered the ability to pass a book on to someone I know would enjoy reading it, to be an intrinsic value of the book I bought and paid for. On gift-giving holidays, my son would frequently give me a hardcover edition of the latest Clive Cussler or Tom Clancy novel knowing that when I finished reading it I’d share the book with him so he could enjoy the adventure story too. Throughout the years we’ve shared books with each other—and then my son bought an early iPhone several years ago!!!
Ugh, this ended our sharing of good novels, because once he downloaded an eBook to his iPhone it was trapped in there forever. Bummer. But I still received his gifts of just-released novels by my favorite authors.
In October 2010—thanks to some found money, I gave myself the gift of a new Apple iPad. I wanted to experience first-hand what this eBook revolution was all about. The first novel I downloaded was John Sandford’s Storm Prey. Wow, reading his novel on the iPad was very pleasant and sooo easy on the eyes—I bumped the text up to 12 point type with a tap of my finger on the screen. It did seem a bit strange to turn on the iPad to read the book, and of course remembering to plug the eReader in to recharge.
My next download in early December was Tom Clancy’s new release, Dead or Alive. Indeed, a very good read, but my thoughts while reading this highly entertaining novel was I hope my son doesn’t give me the hardcover edition as a Christmas gift; and wishing I could share the eBook edition with him.
Then on December 30, 2010—as if sometimes wishes do come true, I received an email from Amazon announcing their Kindle eBook Lending Program—and as part of my research to write this article I discovered Barnes & Noble had previously launched their LendMe program in June of 2010, along with the release of their new and improved NOOK Book eReader. Suddenly eBooks downloaded from B&N and Amazon were shareable!!!
They had successfully overcome one of the major shortcomings of eBooks—the inability to pass the book you’ve just finished reading on to a friend who you know would also enjoy the book. The lending programs are rather similar—they allow the purchaser of the eBook to email a free copy to a friend. The friend will have complete access to the eBook for 14-days—plenty of time to read a novel. However, during the 14-day period the purchaser will not have access to the book, but the friend receiving the shared book will have the entire book on their personal eBook reading device. At the conclusion of the 14-days, the lent eBook is back on the purchaser’s bookshelf and fully accessible again. This also solves the problem of shared books that are never returned by the borrower!!!
There’s a more expanded report on the ramifications of these eBook lending programs in the January issue of Infinity’s Author’s Advocate—if you aren’t a subscriber, you may sign up for a free subscription by visiting www.infinitypublishing.com.
by John F. Harnish
Today, more and more authors have their work published. Authored content will be more in
demand by the public in various versions and formats, from digitally printed paper books to e-books displayed electronically on e-paper with e-ink, spoken books downloaded as digital audios, and gigabytes of text cast upon the endless reaches of the World Wide Web ready to downloaded onto a variety of handheld devices.
The dawn of the digital age has provided aspiring authors with a multitude of publishing methods unavailable just a decade ago. An ever-increasing number of writers have stopped chasing after acceptance by commercial, mainstream publishers in favor of harvesting.
The commercialized benefits available from author originated publishing. Cost-effective digital publishing has made publishing a book affordable for almost everyone. In the middle of the last century, letterpress printing was pushed away by the ease of print production make-ready and speed of more cost-effective offset printing; now, the flexibility of digital content is out producing the offset printing process.
Over six centuries ago, moveable type kissed ink onto paper, bringing printed written words to the masses; today, the Digital Age brings individuals global accessibility to the massive resources of authored content. The giant step forward that both the letterpress and offset printing processes made possible is dwarfed by the quantum leap the World Wide Web provides for the distribution of digital content on trillions of topics.
Authors are becoming proactive in promoting their work to the public, more gratifying efforts than hyping their book pitches to a select few with the waning hope of selling into a sweetheart publishing deal. The turmoil from mergers and downsizing by the publishing giants has reduced the sweetness and limited available commercial publishing opportunities for aspiring authors.
Content is omnipotent and the author is the creator of written content. Mind-flows spark concepts that are nebulous nothings until the conceived ideas are wordsmithed into an expressive, comprehensible written form. Increasingly, authors maintain creative control of
their work by retaining all rights, only granting specific permission to publish and distribute their books while they hold on to the ability to sell distribution rights when interest develops. The manner of publishing matters not because the quality of the content rules and professionally produced and well edited content sells.
Exposure opportunities will increase as a higher percentage of all authors become more in demand to speak at public events – in person and via the internet – and make media appearances as experts on the topics of their books. Authors who master book promotion and
marketing techniques will continue to sell more books than those do-nothing-more authors who just wrote it and do nevermore to promote their efforts.
As publishing advances shrink and brick-and-mortar bookstore sales dwindle, there comes a realization that the author controlling the publication of their digitized book has greater potential for financial success with a book that never goes out of print. The advantages of author-originated publishing, with monthly royalties paid on every book sold, provide earning potential far beyond traditional royalty advances. A motivated author authorizing the publication of his or her work – as opposed to selling the rights – will continue to discover lucrative results from their ongoing efforts.
The flow of the mighty Amazon has usurped the gatekeepers of book distribution by selling any book in print with an ISBN directly to the end consumer – often at a discount and promptly delivered to the customer’s door. In minutes, Amazon.com’s Kindle e-book reader wirelessly downloads any of the more than 500,000 eBooks available from the Kindle online store. Like authors benefited from books printed using moveable type, now authors are profiting from Amazon’s 24/7 ability to move vast numbers of books – many are on niche topics or are appealing fiction by aspiring novelists telling compelling stories – from their endless inventory to customers around the world.
Amazon extended the reach of the author’s digitized words far beyond the tilted playing field of bygone publishing games. The Digital Age is revolutionizing book distribution with powerful search engines instantly retrieving information about any topic and by every author for anyone with access to a computer to retrieve and read.
Never in the history of humankind has such a massive wealth of authored information been so readily available upon request to individuals around the world. Celebrate authors by reading a book, writing a review, posting the review on the Internet, and sending a note of appreciation to the author – you’ll most likely hear back from the grateful author.
Photo courtesy of nkzs.