Thursday, May 31, 2012

Publishing Paradigm

There is a new paradigm in the publishing world thanks primarily to and the introduction of Kindle. It is now quick and easy to publish your own books bypassing agents and publishers all together. There are many benefits to this new paradigm not the least of which is that you don’t have to wait two years to be published. It’s more difficult if your work has lots of graphs and pictures but plain writing takes about fifteen minutes and all it requires is a good cover.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

More About Book Signings

Another place to sign books is at a store that is related to your book subject. Example… an antique store if you’re writing about antiques – You become their draw. Let them do your marketing to their list – you bring your own books so you get the profit. They get people who hang around and shop after they’ve met you.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Back Of The Room Book Signings

Do your book signings at the back of your own workshops. That way you’re already there, you have an audience that already is excited about you and may want to know more about what you have to say.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Book Stores and Indie Writers

Big bookstores are not friendly to indie writers. They are still married in a symbiotic relationship to the big publishers. If you are an indie writer your indie publisher has to guarantee that they will buy back any books that don’t sell at a book signing. That buy back guarantee may cost you between $350 and $1000 – it’s a profit center for many unscrupulous indie publishers who generally nickel and dime writers to death and deliver nothing better than they could make happen for themselves.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Figuring Out Your Genre

I tell all would-be writers to go to the bookstore to find the sections in which their competition is carried. Bookstores need to know exactly where to put your book in their store or they won’t carry it. Smart publishers put the genre of each book right on the spine. Books too much unlike any other won’t be carried in a bookstore. Knowing your genre is still very important even on the digitals. Readers have been trained to search by genre. You want to make absolutely certain that your book fits in one genre and only one genre. Cross genre tends to make readers of both genres unhappy.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Surprising Character Moment

Writing fiction is a constant surprise. Once you start the process you never know what the characters are going to do. I had no idea how “Relentless: The Search For Typhoid Mary” would end. I knew the facts since it was based on a true story but not what the character would do with them. Yet it is the end that makes Mary Mallon simply marvelous to any of us who has ever stood up to and triumphed over a bully.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

What a Character Doesn't Do or Have...

Sometimes what a character doesn’t do or have is as telling as what he does do and does have. Movies are particularly good at visually demonstrating that. In Bone Collector the Angelina Jolie character has not unpacked her moving boxes after months of living in her apartment… In Angel Eyes the Jim Caviezel character simply has a mattress on the floor of his large apartment. That is the first sign of a character with an interrupted life – the grounding of the ark of change.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Robert Reich Goes Digital

Why did Robert Reich a really famous author publish his newest book Beyond Outrage as an e-book? Because it takes two years to get a book out in the standard book publishing world and what Robert Reich had to say he wanted to say now while it was still really relevant. A publisher might have put it up for him – or he might be getting 70% instead of 15% on the profits from the fruits of his labor. The digitals are more than 50% of the market right now.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Conflict Makes Great Writing

In writing fiction conflict is the driver of the story. I spend hours figuring out conflicts not only between villains and heroes but between lovers, children and parents, dogs and cats…. The more conflict there is the more interesting the characters, their relationships and the story itself. The Initiative is available on Kindle and Nook for only $2.99

Thursday, May 17, 2012

In Your Choice Is Your Talent

My teacher Stella Adler said, “In your choice is your talent.” She was one of the inspirations for my book “The Character Book.” I love creating characters and it shows. Here’s what one reviewer said about me: “The first big thing that hit me about this book is a specific talent that Joan has as a writer that I've rarely seen, and I've read A LOT of books. Throughout the book we're presented with several characters who have contracted the anthrax virus through one means or another. In a matter of a few short paragraphs, Joan was able to make me care about those characters.”

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

It's Impossible To See Your Own Typos

In my book “How To Write A Book That Positions You As An Expert In Your Field” I explain that it’s close to impossible to see your own typos so at the very least you need a good copy editor to give your book a once over. Writers have killed their reputations by publishing badly written, badly proofed material on the digitals.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Be Careful Who You Publish With

Be careful who you self-publish with - I learned that with “The Initiative”. There is a site called writerbeware that evaluates self-publishing companies in terms of honesty. At this time I recommend Amazon’s Create Space. At this time Amazon is definitely helping its writers more than other companies. Although you should know that other publishers, bookstores, and pub sites are making war on Amazon – it’s a war they will not win.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Why You Don't Need Agents & Publishers

The reason publishers and agents are no longer necessary for must of us will be addressed in my classes on "How To Make Money Publishing On The Digital Sites." It's a new world fraught with potential rip offs and at the same time very exciting.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

How Price Points on the Digitals Impact Your Bottom Line

I learned the hard way that if you’re going to post short stories on the digitals make them over 3500 words long and sell them for $2.99. On Kindle you earn 35% for stories you sell under the $2.99 price point, but you earn 70% of your sale over $2.99. Quite simply you have to sell six short stories at the $.99 price point to equal the income generated by the sale of one short story at $2.99.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

What I Learned From Publishing "Relentless: The Search For Typhoid Mary"

I learned with “Relentless: The Search For Typhoid Mary” that I could capture a worldwide audience by publishing on the digital sights – Amazon’s Kindle, Barnes & Noble’s Nook and Smashwords which services Apple, Sony and six other e-pub sites. The best part - just as I don’t have to wait to publish, readers don’t have to wait to read.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

The Premise Of My Triller Novel

The premise of my thriller “The Initiative” is that “Within every solution lie the seeds of the next problem.” In this story our President employs germ warfare to end an unpopular war….and two of the bombs are returned to be used on New York. The story is a race to save New York. I quite like the ending which took my own breath away even though I had set it up.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Tip From Date Rape It's Not Your Fault

In my book “Date Rape: It’s Not Your Fault” I advise women in bars and at parties never to drink anything that they haven’t opened themselves. Never drink anything you left on the table while you dance or use the restroom even if you did open it yourself. 1 in 4 women 16-24 are raped – be vigilant.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Notes on Writing 5/7/2012

In my book “How To Write A Book That Positions You As An Expert In Your Field” I explain why you shouldn’t write your autobiography. What you DO and how you do it is often more salable than who you are. Even movie stars wouldn’t get bios if they were simply pretty housewives.