Writer Wednesday

After a few years of just Torino Comics, I finally managed to go back to the Turin Book Fair, albeit only for one day. Unfortunately I missed the European Manager for Kobo Writing Life (she was on a panel while I was on the train and Kobo didn’t have a specific boot, although Kobo e-readers were available in a couple of places), so I couldn’t ask her my questions. I guess I’ll have to write to KWL support and see if I can get an answer.

Anyhow, I managed to pay half price entrance ticket as a writer and now they have me on the list if I want to go back next year. I found the startups at Books of the Future quite interesting, but I missed the panel on sending ebooks to bookshops because it was already full. Maybe next year I’ll check the program in advance and stay for the whole 5 days or something! 🙂 I also saw old friends (one I hadn’t seen in years and he commented on it – yeah, I had vanished from his radar, but with good reason! ;p) and was even asked to do a workshop on how to write fantasy. Uh, no thanks, I can’t teach, so I won’t have your money for something I can’t do.

Now I’ve prepared a schedule for the next two weeks, since I’m off DayJob and need to work on a few things, such as bundles and other experiments. And yes, writing, of course. I made a priority list also for the short stories I need to write this month. And I need to publish a novel in Italian, so today I’m re-reading that old file, then I will format it and publish it during the weekend. Busy indie life! 🙂

Some links: Scott’s surefire formula for achieving artistic commercial success! Yes! Truly! You wouldn’t believe how simple it is! And in case you don’t think it’s true, check Dean’s post on killing the sacred cows of indie publishing. And then Joe Konrath’s tend your garden. Read that? Five to ten years. It’s not a get rich quick scheme. So now get off the internet and go back to writing.

Unless you feel you need to improve your craft. So check either Dean Wesley Smith’s online workshops or David Farland’s Story Doctor. I might take one of these soon too – although I prefer in-person teaching and intereacting with other writers. I’m already a hermit in my writing cave, online workshops don’t help my sociability! 😉

David Gaughran on piracy (I have a Kindle, but I don’t buy from Amazon unless it’s one of those wretched KDP Select authors) and Mark Coker on Scribd’s improved copyright protection systems. And if you’re still worried about pirates, at the book fair I heard of these people who check the web for you – dunno if it’s a paying service or not but they put this up for indies, or so they say. They gave an example of monitoring one day of Stephen King’s Dr Sleep (Italian version): 26K+ illegal files and 700K+ total downloads from torrent and peer to peer sites… But that’s Stephen King! 🙂

Now really stop worrying about sales and piracy and get back to writing. Even if you don’t have the time or inclination to follow any course, keep writing AND reading, and your craft will magically improve! Just don’t give up and you’ll be fine. Have a great week!

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  1. Hey Barbara, the service you linked to is a paying service, which is why you should take their claims about pirated versions of King’s Dr. Sleep with a truckful of salt.

    Needless to say, it’s in their interests to inflate the numbers, or be disingenuous in how they present them. Even if their numbers are accurate, they are irrelevant. It’s not important how many illegal files or total downloads of King’s book there were. Most pirate downloads are never opened, let alone read. Pirates can download bundles of 10,000 books in one go (and never open any of them)

    The relevent and important number is how many of those downloads represent a lost sale for King and his publisher. And I would bet anything that number is much, much closer to zero than 700k (or 26k for that matter).

    And that’s King – whose books are generally very expensive. The English version of Dr. Sleep is something like $10 but in Italy it’s more like $16. If you factor in that (a) Italy has a much lower cost of living, (b) books are generally more expensive than the US, (c) readers will be aware of this price differential, then it’s easy to see why piracy may affect King more than us, particularly in this kind of market.

    For those of us selling at $2.99-$4.99 – and selling at the same price in all markets – piracy is going to be a non-issue. Yes, our books will be pirated, and yes, they will be available all over the place – but the amount of sales we lose to piracy is virtually nil.

    And, in fact, it could be argued that we have exposure benefits from piracy that outweigh any sales that are lost.


    • The Amazon price is around 6euros and yes, I’m aware it’s Stephen King and none of us will ever sell as much or be pirated as much! 😉 Yeah, the loss for the trad pub was over 4million euros, based on that Amazon price – but again, I’m sure it’s like you said.
      I put the link for those who still worry about piracy and apply DRM to their books (or go KDP Select), since I’m much like you and I don’t care (although I still have some books with DRM on Kobo since the early days of KWL – they haven’t been able to fix them).
      I love the Neil Gaiman approach to piracy…
      Thanks for chiming in – I always appreciate your posts!



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