Greetings from the Indies Unlimited Broadcasting Plaza. Our satellites scour the cyberverse for news, views, and crap you can use.
Chris James is still on sabbatical, promoting his new book. So, get out there and buy some copies so I can put him back on the job.
In protest of his absence, I am now in the third hour of my six hour hunger strike. This is grueling, people! It’s hard not to just post links about bacon. Is that what you want? IS IT??? (ahem) Sorry, I get cranky when I’m hungry.
The Guardian (UK) had an interesting interview with author Tracy Bloom. Tracy’s book, No One Ever Has Sex on a Tuesday, was her first romantic comedy. Quickly after finishing it, she found an agent and a foreign-rights deal. As per usual, publishers were not interested. She went indie, and a few weeks later, her book was sitting at the top of the Kindle charts. It’s not so much that Tracy says anything that hasn’t been said, but she says it in a major newspaper:
I feel I learned a huge amount about the industry that has given me skills and knowledge that can only help strengthen my future career. I’m not sure this would have happened had I been traditionally published. I also believe that self-publishing gives debut authors opportunities that are increasingly scarce within mainstream publishing. Without it my career in the UK may never have got off the ground. Having a route to get new work out there without relying on a small number of gatekeepers has to be a good thing for everyone, including the large publishers.
I see more and more of this type of thing beginning to surface in major periodicals and newspapers. This helps destigmatize indie authors, and comes propitiously as the big publishers have managed to repeatedly tarnish their own reputations.
Along the same theme, Alanna Brown’s article in the Huffington Post explains Why Indie Publishing Beats a Mainstream Book Deal. One of the highlights from that article (though the whole thing is worth a click) is this bit:
James Altucher, an author who’s taken both routes, candidly discloses the abysmal lack of marketing effort he’s experienced with mainstream houses. Of the handful of books he’s released, the two he self-published sold more than five of his traditionally published books combined. He affirms that the chief inquiry of a big publishing company is, “How big is your platform?” Before even looking at a new author’s proposal, “They want to know how you can market the book and if they can make money on just your own marketing efforts,” says Altucher.
Over on Kristen Lamb’s blog, I noticed an article on writer’s block. We’ve had debates here about whether such a thing actually even exists, and yet, I have hit roadblocks in story writing that have caused me to put a particular project aside. Her take is something new to me, and something you might find helpful as well.
Daily word count is one of the vital signs a lot of authors use to evaluate their productivity. A lot of the conventional advice says if you’ve written 1500 or so words, you can feel good, call it a day, and just curl up on the couch watching Matlock and eating potato chips. For some people that’s not enough. Passive Guy has an article on how you can write 5,000 words a day. I may have to give this a try. It looks like a big improvement over my old approach to writing 5,000 words a day: write 4,999 words, then write one more.
I leave you with this very interesting tidbit of marketing research. It seems the aroma of chocolate might subliminally encourage people to browse longer and even purchase books. Now, I imagine that research was probably funded by the Chocolate Coalition and aimed at women. What we need is to find a way to get more men reading. That’s why I have the Indies Unlimited Laboratory Division hard at work on a study of the effects of bacon aroma on book buying behavior in men. Mmmm… bacon!
That’s it for this episode of Indie News Beat. Join us next time as we assemble a panel of experts to interpret the meaning of this newly-discovered ancient artifact: