Monthly Archives: August 2013

New App Helps Readers Find Books

A new app called BookVibe sorts through your Twitter feed and pulls out information on books people you’re following have recommended.

The app isn’t perfect yet but it’s a great start. Try it to keep up with what your crowd is reading.

The Difference Between a Ghostwriter and an Author

I once met a man who told me that five books he’d written had hit the bestseller list…but that no one knew his name because he’d ghostwritten all five. He seemed very bitter about the lack of recognition. I wanted to tell him he was in the wrong business. If he couldn’t let go of his books at the end of the project, he needed to stop ghostwriting!

He seemed to have forgotten one of the key differences between a ghost and an author: Ghosts write the work then disappear. Authors build the platform for the book’s sales and market the work.

I have had clients ask if I will go on tour with them after ghostwriting their books. I tell them they’re the experts; readers want to see them, not me. And with the new focus on branding for all authors, really a ghost can’t help with the marketing aspects. The author is the brand, not the ghost. No matter how high on the charts the book climbs.

Goodreads has 20 Million Members

Recently Goodreads announced that they doubled their membership to 20 million. That’s a big number of people who love books. And since many of them are interested primarily in fiction, authors should get their profiles upgraded to an author member profile.

Recently I did a giveaway on Goodreads for my first novel. I expected maybe 100 people to sign up for the ten copies; over 400 did. That’s great exposure.

The exposure resulted in specific actions by Goodreads members. More than 200 added the book to their to-read list, and another 200 added it to their shelves.

Sales figures won’t be in for a while, of course. But since the book is available in print and e-book versions, I’ll check that month when it’s available to see what happened.

The other books I’ve written also received some small attention but not nearly as much as the one featured on the giveaway. If you can spare a couple of copies, give it a shot. For only a few dollars in postage, you might gain a substantial number of new fans.

New Self-Pub Book Market: Penguin’s Book Country

Note: Penguin’s Book Country operates separately from their other self-pub arm Author Solutions.

Book Country allows self-published authors to sell their works through their website. There are the usual marketing packages authors find at many self-pub companies but there is one difference: authors keep 85% of the royalties. This is higher than both Amazon and B&N.

Book Agent Info: Jennifer De Chiara Literary

Linda Epstein of Jennifer De Chiara Literary seeks accessible literary fiction, upscale commercial fiction, vibrant narrative nonfiction, some fantasy, and compelling memoirs. She also accepts middle-grade and YA fiction.

Nonfiction areas include alternative health and parenting books, cookbooks, select memoirs, and spiritual/self-actualization books. 

Audio Books

Just connected with a woman who does voiceovers for audio books. She specializes in children’s books but has samples up from a variety of categories. Link here and call or email Becky to see how she can help you.

Publisher or Self-Publisher? The Boundaries Blur

These days, only folks who cling to old notions of what used to be turn their nose up at self-published books simply because they weren’t backed by a big house. Now the boundaries between the two kinds of publishing are dissolving even more rapidly as traditional publishers, including some of the biggest in the world, enter the self-publishing arena.

Confused? It’s easy to see why. But Simon & Schuster has Archway Publishing while Penguin Random has Author Solutions (and the much maligned AuthorHouse). So if it’s self-published through a company that is part of a big publisher, is it still self-published?

For now, yes. The manuscripts aren’t vetted by anyone; some authors don’t even bother with editing before hitting the print button. And for now, the publishers aren’t likely to look more kindly on any author who approaches them and admits to using the self-pub arm at their company (unless of course that author has managed to sell well on his or her own).

Remember that self-pub is still self-pub. The big publishing house is looking for the same thing as the other printers: a check. The ground is turning to liquid beneath their feet and they’re trying new things to keep afloat. There’s nothing wrong with that, and if it helps them continue on with the old methods, great. Just be aware of what you’re getting…and what you’re not.

New Book Market: Hotels

Top hotels are adding a new amenity for their clients: libraries.

The move is intended to keep patrons in the bars and lobbies longer. Books are being stocked in central areas, dedicated suites and even reading rooms. The cozy feel and the availability of their favorite authors helps them connect with younger patrons, who want a community feeling even while away from home.

Country Inns and Suites, with 447 hotels across the nation, now has an exclusive deal with Penguin Random to stock their authors.

If you’re a local author, don’t downplay the importance of that with your local hotels. If any are stocking books, stop in and place a few copies with the manager yourself. Be sure to sign the copies!

Book Agent Info: Grosvenor Literary

Berta Treitl of Grosvenor Literary is seeking nonfiction: science and technology; current events, law and politics, biography, business and marketing; and art, design, cooking, health, and lifestyle.

In fiction, she’s interested in historical and high-quality mysteries. Focuses on projects with unusual communities, travel and foreign locales, and female main characters.