Indie News Beat: Which Perspective Would You Like with 2014?

As another New Year kicks off, it’s worth taking a look around at what’s being said about this crazy industry we call publishing. For many of us, it’s the data that matters: the most popular sites for readers, the titles they’re buying, which genres are ‘hot’ (and is there a snowball’s chance in hell we could bang out 50k words before that genre goes cold?). However much we may dislike marketing our books, we need to decide where they should be, what the ideal price point is, and many more variables which could see a few more copies downloaded.

So what might this year hold? If you can make it through the hyperbole, a good place to start is Ten Bold Predictions for 2014. Yes, last year was the best ever, except that now the price of eBooks is “plummeting”. Good news for readers, but if the mainstreams are finally bringing eBook prices down to what Independent Authors have been selling them at for a while, where does that leave the latter? Another telltale factoid is that “ebook revenue has tapered off”, which also supports the suggestion that mainstreams now understand they’ve milked the eBook market as much as they can. The problem for Independent Authors is that it removes a fundamental selling point: that our ebooks were cheaper.

An interesting perspective, and much useful information, is to be had in this article by Paul Jarvis. He describes his own experiences with using Indie sites to sell his books, and talks about publishing a book on Amazon as though it were a bit of a chore: “It took 12 hours [for his book to be on sale] which isn’t bad… Basically, there’s a lot of waiting for Amazon…” I found Jarvis’s use of Indie sites to sell his books to be a refreshing change, given that in my experience, Amazon is the number one place where a book has to be available. Continue reading “Indie News Beat: Which Perspective Would You Like with 2014?”

Taking it to the Streets

Photo by Lin Robinson

Five days a week I walk through empty, walled streets from my house in Tijuana to a coffee shop where I can drink bottomless coffee and write with no goddam Internet. Except on Fridays. On Fridays the walk is through a teeming shopping district, a market village that sprawls over eight square blocks. Call it a sobruelas, tianguis, flea market, jumble sale, or whatever, it is for a half a day one of the hottest places to buy and sell in the third largest city in Mexico. Continue reading “Taking it to the Streets”

Declaring My Independence

Donna Huston Murray

by Donna Huston Murray

Going independent–lots of authors are doing it, and now I have, too.

It was not an easy decision, complicated by the lucky fact that my track record–seven cozy mysteries put out by a major NY publisher–still garnered interest from agents and editors. But since my series character is pretty much a smarter, braver me, when my contracts were fulfilled, I welcomed the chance to live in somebody else’s head for a while. Shunning the “Write what you know” advice teachers hand out with your first yellow pencil, I chose the less-heard and infinitely trickier “Write what you fear” route. I wanted a heroic woman this time, and to my mind nobody is more heroic than a person who has endured cancer. Let’s make her a cop before she got sick so she has skills, even if she doesn’t expect to need them again. Now remove her resources one by one for no apparent reason, and the plot for CURED is in motion. I just didn’t figure on Lauren Beck’s second major life challenge taking up so much of mine. Yet we both toughed it out, and I’m happy to report that CURED is finally finished. Continue reading “Declaring My Independence”

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