Used Books

My wife bought me a used copy of David Mitchell’s Cloud Atlas. First thing I did was thumb through all the pages to see if anyone left any interesting bookmarks or cash in the book. Nothing this time. Found a Fifty Dollar Bill once. Which is why I always look.

The one prospective employer I have interviewed with sent me a thanks, but no thanks email yesterday. It wasn’t going to be a great job, but that’s all the more reason to feel like a used book myself, sitting on a shelf, collecting dust. My wife told me it just wasn’t the right opportunity. She’s awesome. 

I’m listening to Haydn’s 101st Symphony, editing that old project I want to upgrade. It appears the free ebook route is the only one that might get the word out for an unknown author. So part of my plan is to make the older book free, and try to get some traffic on my Amazon page. I no longer feel this is crass.

Indie Author Marketing

I’ve purposely sought out and followed a large number of independent authors here in WordPress in order to investigate the possibility of creating another place where indie authors can pitch their product. My vision is that a large number of writers could use a single site to promote their works for free, cooperatively. But I’m not sure I know enough writers or enough readers to make it impactful. Sites like Goodreads.com have zillions of members, and newbies get lost in the crowd. A new site would struggle at first to get readers.

Kate Policani created a blog site called Discover Authors to do just what I was talking about. She has also posted a matrix she created, based on viewer feedback, that lists marketing sites for authors and how well the authors did using those sites.

If you’re an author, how are you marketing your book? Would you participate in a network of authors for mutual promotion?

If you’re an avid reader, do you use these kind of sites to find new authors to read? Or do you like to stick with the same handful of authors because you are confident you know what you’ll get with them?

KindleBoards has created a great site for writers to come together and talk about the craft of writing, get tips from other authors, and even pitch your books. If you use this site as a reader or as a writer, I’d love to hear how it has helped you.

Please post a comment on this. Thanks!

Aha Moment

I’ve been approached by several third-party recruiters for technical writing and project management jobs. This is great because I need a job. It’s the thing to do, after all.

Many of these jobs recently have required expertise in Adobe Captivate. Until a week ago I had never heard of this program. So I downloaded the free trial and started watching YouTube.com tutorials. They were helpful. But I still don’t get what Adobe Captivate is for. I’m sure I will soon enough.

I’m kind of right there with indie book marketing, too. I haven’t had the Aha Moment, but it will come. Another author in Writer’s Cafe was saying how she enjoys writing for the sake of writing, even though no one is buying her books. I want to be like that. I want to write books because I love writing books. And I want readers to appreciate it so much that they buy my books. Lots of them.

I’d like to win the lottery, too.

Someone told me a while back that general fiction, literary fiction, which is what I write, is out of date. Readers want horror or romance or sci-fi or western (or whatever genre they like) because they want to know what to expect from a book. In a romance, this kind of thing happens. A sci-fi story goes like this. And this is what is expected from a horror novel.

Don’t readers want to be surprised? Don’t they want a twisted ending? Don’t they want to be the first in their circle to discover something unique and tell all of their friends?

I haven’t had that Aha Moment, either.

The Next Level

It’s funny to me. I was a sports reporter years ago. I interviewed a handful of professional basketball players, and a lot of amateur athletes. I’ve interviewed people from Hollywood and Washington, D.C. and everywhere in between in my last job. I’ve met two former governors of the state of Oregon, and several locally-famous media members.

But for some reason, a simple question to a leading astro-physicist has me nervous.

I am working on a story with sci-fi elements, and a primary character needs to invent a device that does something science currently deems impossible. But a leading physicist has suggested this thing might be possible, depending on what we eventually learn about some mysterious stuff in space.

Cryptic enough?

So I thought up a way to do this impossible thing, and I wanted to know if this physicist would think my solution is reasonable or just juvenile. But I haven’t written that email, yet. Working on taking the courage to the next level.