I have to spend the day hauling giant loads of copper, chemicals, and silicone (don’t ask), so if you don’t mind, I will do a quick news round-up, and talk about some stuff appearing here and elsewhere in the coming days.
Publishers & Agents Trying to Skin Their Authors
The Passive Voice is my new favourite blog (thanks to Dean Wesley Smith). He provides excellent overviews of the disruptive changes occurring in publishing, and as a former lawyer, he is especially strong on how publishers are introducing worrying provisions in contracts, attempting to tie-up rights they haven’t paid for.
This post from Saturday is especially good, but I recommend having a nose around the whole blog, I learn something every time I go there, and the pieces are always entertaining.
Barry Eisler, Joe Konrath & Amazon
I already covered the big news from BookExpo America on Thursday, namely that Barry Eisler has signed for Amazon’s new imprint, Thomas & Mercer.
Now, Barry Eisler and Joe Konrath have announced they will be posting a long dialogue on their blogs on Tuesday. If it is anything like their last conversation in March, it will be required reading.
Sales & Publicity
Transfection is out over a week now, and despite a weird drop off (to zero) in sales during the week, sales overall have matched the pace of my first release.
When I break down the numbers, this time sales have been much stronger in the US, and much weaker in the UK. I haven’t got to the bottom of that yet, but I have a few theories.
Some time towards the end of this week, maybe Thursday, I will publish all of my sales figures for the month of May, in terms of units and dollars.
I will go through a full break down, indicating what led to the spikes, what could have caused the drop-offs, and what action I took to remedy them. I hope you will find it useful.
If You Go Into The Woods was featured by Ken at the Electronic Text & Literature Cloud, and received a wonderful review from Jenny Mounfield (author of The Ice-cream Man) over at The Compulsive Reader. She really said both stories had “shades of H.P. Lovecraft”.
She rounded off her piece saying “If You Go Into the Woods is probably not best suited to readers who prefer their stories neatly boxed with all the answers lined up. But for those readers who, like me, love punchy, entertaining reads with a bit of mental gymnastics thrown in, you can’t go wrong with this one.”
Thank you Jenny, that made my day. You can read the whole review here.
The Never-Ending Blog Tour
The ramshackle, ever-hungry beast that is The Never-Ending Blog Tour keeps rolling on. For those who missed it, I’ve already done a piece on where I get my short story ideas from on Declan Connor’s blog (scroll down to thirds). I’ve done a few brief interviews, and an extended interview with Dave Cleinman.
Over the weekend, horror writer Todd Russell forced me to tell him what scares me. I will also have a flash fiction piece appearing elsewhere shortly.
The first round of the blog tour from the Indie Writers Unite Facebook group will be taking place this week. On Wednesday, I will be appearing on Melissa Smith’s blog, and Cheryl Shireman will be answering questions here.
Cheryl has a great story to tell – she only published a few months ago and one of her novels is already in the Top 300 of all books for the Kindle. Amazing stuff. Don’t forget to drop by Wednesday.
I’ll be making more stops on my tour, and I will have more guests here throughout the summer. If you are interested in making an appearance, or having me over at your place, drop me a line at david dot gaughran at gmail dot com.
I can’t make any promises, but I will do my best.
Indie Publishing for International Writers
On Friday I posted the eighth part of this continuing step-by-step guide to digital self-publishing. It was a monster post focusing on all the different pricing strategies, and which you should employ depending on your goals.
Next up in the series (as demanded by readers, i.e. Tony), is another marketing piece, this time on promotions, giveaways, competitions, and blog tours. The final post in the series is top secret and will be called “What Happens When The Sales Just Stop”.
There will also be an addendum on practicalities such as tax, copyright, and ISBNs that I have been avoiding writing from the start, because it is about as exciting as it sounds. And then that will be that.
If there is anything you want me to go over again in more detail, anything you felt I skipped over too quickly, or anything I left out that you would like to know about, now is the time to say so.
I will leave all the posts up for posterity, but as mentioned before, I will be compiling them all (along with lots of other stuff) into an e-book.
Let’s Get Digital
Regular readers may have heard a little about this upcoming project – part manifesto for the digital revolution and part hands-on guide to digital self-publishing. I have cut it down to sub-40k and it’s a lot tighter.
It still needs one more pass (and two more chapters) before I send it to the editor, but I hope to get there by the weekend. It’s looking good for a June release. It will be on sale on Amazon for $2.99, and free, right here on this blog.
There will be lots of new stuff in there, even for those who have been following the blog closely. A lot of stuff had to be rewritten from scratch. In the early posts especially, I was still finding my feet, and I think things have gotten a lot tighter.
Also, things change fast in this business, and I want everything to be 100% up-to-date when it is released.
I’m hoping the free download will be popular, and that if people enjoy it, if they find it useful, they will purchase one of my books.
But really, it’s a way of giving back to the self-publishing community, or, to be more accurate, paying it forward. I will probably lose money on it, but you never know.
EDIT: And thanks to fellow-author Shea MacLeod for the nice review of Transfection over at her blog.