Search This Blog

Thursday, 29 November 2012

Once You're on Amazon...

Make the most of your Amazon presence by filling in everything you can on your author page. This link tells you all you need to know about maximising your author visibility there. 

Thanks to Jenny for suggesting this as a post.

Friday, 23 November 2012

Bev Robitai shares Catherine Howard's post

I read a blog post this week that got me wondering. Here was an author who was selling 1000 copies of her novel in 8 months and she considered it a failure. Here are some key points from her article…

“Results Not Typical was, sales-wise, a complete disaster. Despite a 21—21!—stop blog tour to herald its arrival, excellent reviews from influential book blogger sites and my existing readership, it sold in 8 months what Mousetrapped sells in the month of January: about 1,000 copies. This doesn’t sound so bad until you consider that I gave away over 25,000 copies of it through free promotions and that when I unpublished it, it only had 18 Amazon reviews. I even changed the cover mid-way through, but after an initial bump it had little to no effect.

So I unpublished the paperback through CreateSpace, and a few weeks later, the Kindle edition disappeared too.

In all the time it’s been unpublished, maybe 4 or 5 people have mentioned its unpublication to me. And this is a good thing. Great, even.

I think as self-publishers we assume that everything we do is out in the open, noticed by all. For instance, let’s say you have a novel that’s $2.99 and you want to charge 99c for it for a while. You might feel obliged to inform your blog readers, or your newsletter subscribers or your Facebook fans, explaining why you’re doing this, hoping they won’t be upset if they’ve already paid full price for it. When you put the price back up, you might feel obliged to do the same.

BUT NO ONE NOTICES. There is only one moment when people absorb the details of a book, and that’s when they’re buying it. If I buy your book for $2.99, when am I ever going to notice that it’s now 99c? I’m not watching your book listings like you are. I don’t care; my relationship with the book is over now. And this is a good thing.

Feel free to experiment as much as you want. Up the price. Drop the price. Bundle. Separate. Unpublish. Re-publish, with new material. Do whatever you like. No one’s watching until you tell them to.”

Read the full article at

I don’t know about you, but I’d be delighted with selling 1000 copies in 8 months, and I certainly wouldn’t unpublish the book to remove it from any chance of discovery. It can take time and a number of titles to build your market – why would you handicap yourself like that?
Any thoughts?



Friday, 16 November 2012

Jenny Harrison - Who's Your Reader?

The subject comes up every now and again; who do you write for? I’m not sure how to answer that question. If I had asked that of myself before I started out writing my latest novel, Rusty and Slasher’s Guide to Crime, my answer probably would have been that the book would be for those people who have lost touch with reality and walk around with aluminium foil wrapped around their heads and their shoes on the wrong feet.
Who do we write for? A writer I know and admire recently wrote a description of her ideal reader in her blog. I’m not sure if she realised it but it was a perfect description of herself – over 50, educated and interested in history. I would have added svelte and charming to the list. And I would have also mentioned “loves fine footwear” too.
Vicky, you know who you are.
So, who will my ideal reader be? Boris Johnson, Michael Palin, or Brett McKenzie and Jemaine Clement from “Flight of the Conchords” for a start. They are all lovely chaps with a weird sense of humour. I’d also throw in Rhys Darby for good measure.
But in the end I suppose the people who will get read my book will be thoroughly respectable members of my local library and, hopefully, all those dear folk in our local retirement villages who we are about to conquer with our charm and talent and our wicked sense of humour.

Thursday, 8 November 2012

Rodney Dearing muses about reviews...

I’ve been thinking about book reviews lately.

Having just published my latest illustrated children’s book, ‘Brilliant Mr Badger’, I’ve been waiting for a particular review to emerge which could have a significant influence on what I do next. It’s sometimes difficult to persuade someone to read one’s work and comment on it, let alone buy it, read it and review it.

Then, after the review the re-appraisal of what to do next. Write another book in the same genre? Drop writing altogether? Try one’s hand at another genre?

And what use are they anyway, these reviews? Traditional wisdom has it that they’re an essential marketing tool but who buys books on the strength of a review?

Quite a number of people, apparently. At least, that’s what publishers and retailers would have us believe. So, a poor review and it's all downhill from there. Particularly if the reviewer is a well know personage. Double misery!  

So I opened the latest newsletter of the Scottish Badgers (circulation about 2000!) with some trepidation, guessing that it might contain a few words about, ‘Brilliant Mr Badger.’
It did and fine words they were too. I could have hugged and kissed the reviewer. She had caught the theme of the book exactly and had been generous in her praise.  

Insightful people these Scots! Och aye.

Make mine a double whisky while I start work on my next Mr Badger book!


From the Author's Mouth Event at Orewa library

A lively gathering today, as you'd expect when a bunch of authors get together! Some readings from published books, some talk from each author about how they came to be written, a few notes from Adrienne Morris on editing, proofreading, printing and Bev Robitai on epublishing and marketing - quite a snapshot of today's book world.

Pam Laird talking to the small but intent audience.
The staff at Orewa library looked after us and the rest of the audience well with tea, coffee and biccies afterwards. Roughly equal numbers of authors and listeners, and it was great to see some new faces. Hope everyone was inspired to keep (or start) writing!

Thursday, 1 November 2012

Evan Andrew on Writing Today

1st of November, and spring is finally here! The sun is shining, and I’m filled with positive thoughts for the coming year ahead.
The Frankfurt Book Fair has been a real feather in our caps, for all New Zealand authors, whether you had a book on the stands at the fair, or not.
It has really put us as writers on the world stage, and I feel sure that the spin offs, for everyone, including all our readers, now and in the future, is going to be immense.
My large print books are now available, and I’m delighted at the response and how well received they have been. After all the hard work, it gives you such a fillip of pleasure, when you first hold the new book hot off the press.
Next week our writing group is doing the first of our library tours to Orewa. This will be followed up by more visits, so that we as authors can meet our readers, and discuss our different writing styles and genres with them. Will let you know how well it goes.
The enthusiasm with which the libraries and librarians have embraced the idea is heart-warming to say the least, and like other book groups, and service clubs, we are all only too happy to assist and promote our work.
Biggest problem at the moment is finding the time to write!
Here is a snippet from the new novel I am writing at the moment. Working title, ‘Beware of The Dragon,’ set in China in Peking about the Boxer rebellion against the foreign Legations in 1900 and the enduring siege.

The memory of that ride as they jolted over the uneven pavement would remain with Eleanor for the rest of her life.
The rickshaw coolies shouting out to clear the way, among the seething mass of humanity, which eventually because of sheer numbers finally forced them to almost a walk. The strange oriental buildings, some with red pennants and coloured streamers blowing in the wind, and others with hanging signs representing their trade or business, were almost overwhelming in their complexity and variation.
They turned a corner into one of the main thoroughfares of the Tartar city and Eleanor watched in amazement Mongols in shaggy coats riding on small ponies, old men on donkeys, and closed curtained sedan chairs, and palanquins, perhaps containing some noble Chinese lady with bound feet
Surrounding them peasants shouldering long bamboo poles with caged birds, and baskets containing other animals or bales of goods, pushed their way through the crowds of people as they went about their business.
Mangy dogs slunk out of the way, as a camel driver with three ships of the desert sauntered by, mesmerising Eleanor with their peculiar rocking motion as they passed a local herdsman, skilfully mustering a flock of sheep along the road to the slaughter house, and a wealthy Mandarin surrounded by his entourage of guards on horseback raced by.
More next time! 

Evan G Andrew