Writer Wednesday


I shall open this post with Kris Rusch analysis of the publishing world in her excellent post about Scarcity and Abundance. I think there is abundance indeed, which is good for readers, but can be very frustrating for writers. A Goodreads author “retires” from the marketplace after four books on KDP, burned out by his marketing efforts – who can blame him? Although he was brave to put out those four titles, but then he wasn’t very patient, having burned out after only eight months.

I still think we should diversify and don’t let all the eggs in one basked – specifically Amazon’s. Not because Amazon is Eeeviiil (like Scott Turow insists on saying rebutted again by Joe Konrath), but because the more wide-spread is the title, the better it is for the author. I haven’t sold any copies of SKYBAND on Lulu in two years, and when I uploaded the PDFs to DriveThruComics, I sold one copy after a couple of months.

As for 2011 sales (and I mean actual sales, not free review copies, ebook weeks or giveaways), I had 11 on Smashwords and 18 on KDP vs. 4 all-time sales on Lulu – which, by the way, seems to have been kicked out of Amazon. Glad I didn’t pay the MarketplaceReach for all my titles, although I’ll probably have to make new editions on CreateSpace, sigh. Anyway, they said I should have received emails about the change, but I didn’t. Oh, well, I will sort it out some other time – I don’t feel the pressure to have print versions, considering I haven’t sold any in the past two years. Oh, yeah, I sold 2 out of the 4 Lulu sales.

This year (two months and a half in) 8 sales on Smashwords, 7 on KDP and 1 on DriveThruComics. See how slow is the growth? I’m happy with these numbers, but I understand someone doing it in the hope of getting rich quick might be frustrated. I’m in for the long run. I’ll celebrate in April when I’ll get my first Smashwords payment (minimum for Paypal payments is 10$ and I closed 2011 with 9$ and change…) – one year since I started this adventure (and as the minimum for the Amazon check is 100$, who knows when I’ll see that one! 😉 Maybe I should try to get into the Kindle Singles…).

So what? It’s a 5 year plan. I’m not panicking yet (OK, I panicked last December, but now I’m happy again). I won’t be able to quit DayJob this year nor the next, but I hope to get the first 100 fans (95 to go, yay!) by December. They might be spread throughout three pen names, but I don’t care – OK, I’ll be jealous if B.G.Hope sells more than Barbara G.Tarn, but that would only prove the point: no need to have marketing burn out! 😉

I don’t Tweet (under any pen name) and B.G.Hope has no official blog nor Facebook page – and she doesn’t have a novel out yet. But she tackles a more popular genre – contemporary fiction probably has a wider readership than adult fantasy, so she might sell more, eventually. Time will tell.

I’ll just keep writing and looking for alpha/beta readers – and if you want to know what I’m really looking for, please check this post (thanks, Stephen, for the link) and also how other writers such as Michelle take the feedback (I follow the Stephen King rule mentioned in her post). Oh, and even Blood Red Pencil has a post on beta reading.

Now there’s this Meme going around, I saw it on Loralie and Viv‘s blogs, they haven’t specifically tagged me, but said I could pick it up and pass it on. So here are the rules.

  1. Go to page 77 of your current MS.
  2. Go to line 7.
  3. Copy down the next 7 lines – sentences or paragraphs – and post them as they’re written. No cheating.
  4. Tag 7 authors.

I’m posting an excerpt of CVE – The Left-handed Warrior, soon to be revised for publication (so this is the pre-editing version of p.77 from line 7 the 7 paragraphs).

They materialized on the battlefield – or the place of the carnage. The caravan of wagons was already in sight of Hurlevent, where a ship awaited them, but the attack had stopped them.

Sunray started shooting arrows, never missing his target, while Blondsun concentrated on his power. Balls of energy started hitting Humans, setting them on fire.

It didn’t take long. Sunray and Blondsun went closer to check the survivors: some Genn children hidden in the luggage, two women and a boy who stared at them with green eyes filled with terror.

Blondsun rushed to his brother’s cart, knowing it was too late for Silverstar. His body had already vanished, leaving Penelope alone on the seat, with her throat cut open.

Blondsun’s tears choked him. Silverstar was with Ether, but Penny needed to be buried. He took her in his arms as if she was asleep. Now he knew the same fury and hatred that had pushed Kurt to seek revenge. The Emperor would pay.

***

Vario X woke up with a start. He felt a presence near his bed. He saw a shadow standing next to him, the curtains open on the darkness of the night.

Vario opened his mouth, but no sound came out. His mistress slept, unnaturally still. The silence was overwhelming.

Like they did, I won’t tag anyone in particular. But if you’re a writer and want to participate, leave a comment so we can check your entry! Happy writing! Oh, and… happy spring (if you’re in the northern hemisphere, that is! 😀 For my Australian friends, don’t worry, the heat is almost over! :-))

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11 Comments

  1. Interesting post. I would love to read more of your writing!

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    • free stuff under the “free excerpts” page, everything else under “Find my stuff”! 🙂
      Some titles are free on Smashwords (and only one on Amazon – except Amazon UK – so far) as well…
      Happy reading and writing! 🙂

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  2. Viv

     /  21/03/2012

    What’s this about Lulu being kicked off Amazon? I haven’t heard anything either!

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    • Here’s the complete reply I got when I contacted Lulu support:
      Dear Barb,

      Our MarketReach service was discontinued several months ago due to a change in Amazon’s policies. You were sent several emails regarding this; I apologize if you did not receive them. You will need to assign an ISBN and a new distribution package to your project to have it listed on retail sites. For more information please see the following page:

      http://connect.lulu.com/t5/General-Discussions/Moving-on-After-MarketREACH/td-p/141153

      Thanks,

      Colin L

      Glad I’m not the only one who DIDN’T receive any mail! 🙂 (and the “several months ago” refers to December if you go to that link…)

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      • Viv

         /  21/03/2012

        No email. But I did originally assign all of mine an ISBN and the books are all still up. I’ve found Lulu to be slow but helpful generally but the email thing is worrying. *sigh* thanks

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      • Viv

         /  21/03/2012

        Can’t help thinking that every time something changes in this world of selfpublishing, it makes it that bit harder to cope with. It also seems that Amazon’s recent changes like this reflect their bid for total exclusivity. I am very disappointed in Lulu’s poor performance in contacting all their users. Our emails are in their data bases etc, so how come no mass email to EVERYONE? The responses in that thread got snarkier and snarkier.

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      • I read only the first entry in the thread because, like I said, I’m kinda bummed by Lulu and I’m not sure I want to stay with them. I might try to do the print version of CVE with CreateSpace and see what happens, but I know the graphic novels and art books can only be on Lulu because it has European formats. I know Dean Wesley Smith says 85% of readers still go to bookstores, but sending my books to bookstores in the US from Italy seems too far fetched anyway. So I’ll stick to digital for now… sigh!

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        • Viv

           /  21/03/2012

          I don’t know what to do really. I’ve been happy enough so far with Lulu but the way things keep changing without informing me, I am concerned. I sell a few paperbacks most months, but my main sales are digital. It feels like it’s all getting too much for me to cope with and every time something shifts and changes, I feel terribly anxious. The whole paypal thing was dreadful, because it shows that under the surface of something I thought I understood, there are things going on that I simply cannot connect with mentally. I’ve never understood censorship, except as a means of protecting the under age, and while the fact remains that it’s beyond our control to deal with it, my mind seems to think I should be able to take it on and win. The current political turmoil in the USA suggests that it’s one very small move away from sending women back to the kitchen again.
          Oh dear, sorry, negative spiral here. Need coffee.

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      • Got your coffee?
        I know how you feel, I tend to panic even when WordPress changes something in the dashboard! 🙂

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        • Viv

           /  21/03/2012

          I’m ok with WordPress dash changes, though it does discombobulate me for a moment.
          I think it is just a general feeling of paranoia or that this world is just too big and too complext for me to cope with.
          I shall make some more coffee. That’s a start.

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