Writer Wednesday


Oookay, how’s your week going? Great I hope! If you’re a writer, are you suffering career block? If yes, you have both David Farland and Kris Rusch to help! Here’s Dave and here’s Kris’s post on numbers – with “war” in the comments. Personally, I don’t have a career block. I’m slowly and boldly going wherever I want to go. Yes, I’m handpicking my readers (which is something I was discussing with a friend who told me “one thing is to write for yourself, another is to write for others” – sorry to disagree, I’m my own first fan and write what I want to read, if it appeals only to 100 or 1000 and not millions or billions, fine with me. I’m sure those 100 or 1000 faithful fans will find me eventually) and yes, I keep writing what I want to write (hence the procrastination on Silvery Earth now that Star Minds characters have taken possession of my head. I hope they’ll be quiet for a few days so I can finish the Records of the Varian Empire and wait for the beta-readers’ feedback, because I’m sure that as soon as someone reminds me of them, they’ll suck me back in until I publish the darn books. Sigh).

About Kris’s post and numbers and sales and whatnot. Today I remembered to check my sales numbers and found sales from last week on Kindle (US&UK). When I check every day I never find any, LOL! So I’m not going to check again until next week, haha. Anyhow, that’s not what I wanted to say. I wanted to comment on the part numbers in non-English-speaking countries and the English Proficiency Chart:

So, as I began this, I decided to go for the numbers. I went to Google to discover the number of English speakers worldwide, and I encountered this: It’s the English Proficiency Chart, done in 2011, showing which countries have the most proficient English speakers. According to that chart, in my recent travels, I  visited one country with high proficiency (Germany, ranked number 8 in the world), one country with moderate proficiency, (France, ranked number 17 in the world), and one country with low proficiency (Italy, ranked number 23 in the world).

My humble opinion of Italy is as follow. Italians don’t read. And like Kris says, many don’t speak English. I know some indies who have sold on Amazon Italia. I haven’t. Not even the Italian titles. If you have sold there, either it was me (my Kindle is now registered on Amazon Italia, but I usually prefer Smashwords, so unless you’re an Amazon Exclusive, it might not be me) or one of the few who speaks English. Like I discovered last December, Italians use e-readers for everything but read. Yes, everybody has i-pads and i-phones, but THEY DO NOT USE THEM TO READ! Even the Sony e-reader, they use it to listen to music! :(

And then I talked to one of my first readers (meaning he bought my photocopied zines back in the 1990s, not that he beta-reads for me, LOL) who told me he doesn’t like e-books. And, unlike other friends, it’s not because he prefer dead tree books, but because E-BOOKS ARE TOO EXPENSIVE! Which is part of last December’s discoveries as well, e-books in Italy are from 10euros and up, so even the few who like reading haven’t discovered indie authors who price their novels lower… Next year I’ll experiment by publishing the Italian version of Star Minds (being science-fantasy it might sell more than the current titles), and I’ll let you know how the experiment goes! :)

Another thing I experienced myself with Italian e-books last week. I got 3 free downloads from DayJob (I had “points”, so I asked for one printed book for my parents and 3 e-books – I chose non-fiction titles, but there were fiction titles available as well). First of all (might have been a problem of that particular site, but it looks like it’s the download shop of one of the Big Trad Pub of Italy) the lack of formats. Either e-pub or PDF, only rarely both. Having a Kindle, I chose the PDF when available. So I ended up with 1 PDF and 2 e-pubs – ALL DRMed. One e-pub had a “social DRM” – I put it through calibre and turned it into mobi and PDF. The other two both had “adobe DRM” which meant that

1) I had to download the new version of Adobe Digital Editions because the old one wouldn’t open the DRMed file.

2) the PDF is not print-enabled and being DRMed, even if I try to open it with Adobe Reader it sends me back to ADE.

So I’m stuck with two files I can read only on my laptop and can’t print – which means I’ll probably never read them. Glad I didn’t have to pay for them. I ranted about it on my Italian blog, so I won’t bother you any longer. But I hate DRM. As an author, I don’t use it. As a reader, you just lost me by DRM-ing your e-book.Here’s another way DRM hurts the visually impaired and affects all readers. I agree we should get rid of it – it doesn’t protect from pirates and upsets the consumer. By the way, anyone has a way to crack that Adobe DRM? ;)

A couple of Amazon related posts: laws in India might force Amazon to close it’s brand-new Indian branch. Any of my Hindustani friends know anything about this/these laws? Also risks and rewards of Kindle Select – both links found on Passive Guy’s blog, who didn’t really comment on them, so I’m not giving the link with an excerpt but the original full post.

Now, to the Blogoversary Giveaway! Because Joleene commented on both posts, she’s a winner anyway! :) She can choose between a preview of Star Minds (she will have to interview the characters sooner or later anyway, LOL!) or any of my titles. As for all the lovely ladies who commented on the Happiness is… post… well, because 5 is my favorite number, you’re all winners as well. So Katy, Shafali, Viv and Madison, please contact me to get your prize! :)

Thanks for the wishes and don’t worry… this blog won’t close anytime soon! :D

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10 Comments

  1. It was wonderful to read you say you’re getting slowly and boldly whre you want to go with your writing career–inspired me to get on with it myself :).

    Too bad many in Italy won’t read. If only there’s a spell that would take care of that!

    • yay, get to writing NOW – even if Amazon India closes tomorow! ;) BTW at Chicon I heard them say in India there’s no such thing as genres in fiction – fantasy or sci-fi is all under the “fiction” umbrella. Does this ring true to you?
      And… even if you’re late, you’re a winner too, because you’ve been following me since almost the beginning… so contact me to get your prize! :D

      • Yay, I won!! Thanks, Barb–will send you email right away.

        I haven’t stopped writing, only slowed down to take time for other things. Because writing can become quite obsessive, I’ve noticed. :) Having lived in India only as a child, I don’t know how genres are viewed there. I myself read anything and everything.

        And I haven’t really researched into the publishing industry there. Maybe this is a sign that I should?

  2. Hi namaste from India :) landed on your lovely blog via Hema’s blog.
    The new laws under consideration is that 3o% of foreign investors need to source their inputs from Indian resources. But this still under debate. So lets wait and watch :)
    Cheers for a nice blog.

    • Dhanyavaad or shukriya, dilipnaidu! :)
      (got that from Hema a long time ago – mostly for the spelling, LOL)
      Thanks for stopping by and answering the question… we’ll wait and see, then! :D

      • Nice touch there, Barb, covering your bases by thanking in both Hindi and Urdu ;-)

        • Well, YOU provided both, although I had to wade through old emails to find yours with the “how do you say thank you” question! :D
          Although I must say that in Bollywood I seem to hear more Shukriya, or maybe it’s just that I can’t distinguish Danyavaad from the other Hindi words… sigh! :(

  3. whoo hoo! Tanks! Let me check but I think I went nuts recently and bought all the pre-existing titles so preview me! :D

    yeah, I am not much of a number watcher either. I have thought about “selling out” and just writing what sells – it’s an internal war sometimes – but in the end I know how boring it would be.

  4. Aaw! :D
    OK, I’ll wait for your e-mail and either send you a coupon for the latest title (The Warrior Woman) or for my other pen-name (the body switch is quite fun, if you want to try it) or the ARC! ;)

  5. Reblogged this on Blithe Spirit.

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