How Genre Labeling Keeps Some Books from Being Discovered

Guest post
by Sylvia Engdahl

Fans of my past novels are sometimes surprised to learn that I have become an indie author. I’m known to librarians as the author of six successful Young Adult science fiction novels, including an award-winner, that were first published by Atheneum in the 1970s and have all been reissued in hardcover as well as paperback by different publishers in the 21st century. They are enjoyed by adults as well as teens, and three of them were reprinted by a small press as adult science fiction. So why did I publish my recent adult science fiction trilogy, now concluded with Defender of the Flame, myself? Continue reading “How Genre Labeling Keeps Some Books from Being Discovered”

The Indie News Beat Goes On

Chris James, our regular Indie News Beat ace reporter, is away on hiatus. In the meanwhile, I’ll be stepping into the breach to bring you all the relevant news an exhaustive fifteen minute Google search can deliver.

I know I don’t have the same looks, youth, style, wit, charm, literary acumen, intellectual firepower, or raw sex appeal that Chris has, but…I kind of forgot where I was going with that. Now I just feel sad. Oh well, here we go…

The story that seems to be sucking up the most oxygen right now is the Apple Price-Fixing trial. Our own Lynne Cantwell posted on that story here. Business Insider takes a look at it here. Closing arguments were made late last week. I think it is safe to say that it may take a while after the decision to understand the full ramifications, and how the ruling will ultimately impact indies.

The Independent (UK) reports that best-selling author Barbara Taylor Bradford thinks E.L. James’ (no relation to Chris)  50 Shades Of Grey is a big old steaming pile of crap. I for one, am shocked – shocked, I tell you, to learn that an eighty year-old woman doesn’t like a book about rough sex. Well, it takes all sorts, I guess.

Forbes reports that Amazon Publishing has its first million-selling hit. News of this sort is bound to upset the old guard publishers, especially considering Amazon pulled a Roswell and scrambled to “clarify” a statement made by Amazon Publishing Top Dog Larry Kirshbaum that Amazon algorithms would favor books published by its own imprint. I’m sure nothing could be further from the truth (cough). Amazon using its search algorithms to favorably position its own books? That’s just crazy talk.

Another author walks away from big publishing. The reasons seem to be the same: big publishers don’t treat authors with respect and don’t come across with any marketing muscle. You have to wonder how big publishing, basically only a middle-man between the writer and the consumer, ever came to think so highly of themselves.

We were sad to learn of the death of Vince Flynn. At age 47, he left us too soon. Vince was the bestselling author of the Mitch Rapp series. His first novel, Term Limits, collected 60 rejections from big publishing. He decided to self publish and the book caught fire. Big publishing then roused itself off its fat behind to sign him. He sold millions of books in the series of fourteen titles.

That’s it for this edition of Indies News Beat. Join us next time, when we try to find out if this guy and this guy were separated at birth. Or something.

Press Release Tutorial

I’ve been getting a lot of questions about press releases recently – probably because just this week I distributed nearly 300 of them. Frankly, I’m surprised by the number of authors and entrepreneurs who are not taking advantage of this FREE opportunity. Sure, your time is worth something, but all it takes is a little legwork (and a lot of clicking). Once you’ve gotten your distribution lists together, it’s just a matter of sending emails.

First of all, you need to write a short and interesting release. You can see my latest here which announces the release of Mr. Pish Goes to the Farm. Notice it’s merely four short paragraphs: the introduction which includes all the pertinent information (title, release dates, author name, genre); a brief description of the book’s contents; a hopefully compelling quote from the author (or a reviewer or celebrity); and the closer with links to get more information. Also, the information after the ### should be about the author and anything that links him/her to the publication. Don’t forget to include contact information. Fore more tips on how to write your news release – check out Lynne Cantwell’s article here. Continue reading “Press Release Tutorial”

Roll Up For The Mystery Tour

In this digital age of ours, it is important to grab a share of the vast internet audience of readers who lurk in cyberspace. Of course, we have our regular followers and Facebook friends, yet how can we get out into that big bad internet world, filled with people who haven’t heard of us? What about a book tour? If you feature on blogs where you are not known, and where there are different followers to yours, surely you’ll pick up some new readers?

Last month, I decided to test this theory and took part in my first ever virtual book tour. Up until then, I had had very mixed feelings about them. I’d researched several companies and always decided against them. They seemed to be costly. Some seemed overly pushy. Some of the tour hosts had very few blog followers and, finally, I couldn’t really find any evidence that justified wasting my money on one. Instead, I organised my own book tour, and, although I got onto stacks of blogs, and had plenty of interviews, I exhausted myself. It was a nightmare trying to coordinate posts and promote it all, after all, I was only promoting to people who already knew me. Continue reading “Roll Up For The Mystery Tour”