Hatrack River
Home   |   About Orson Scott Card   |   News & Reviews   |   OSC Library   |   Forums   |   Contact   |   Links
Research Area   |   Writing Lessons   |   Writers Workshops   |   OSC at SVU   |   Calendar   |   Store
E-mail this page
Hatrack River Writers Workshop Post New Topic  Post A Reply
my profile login | register | search | faq | forum home

  next oldest topic   next newest topic
» Hatrack River Writers Workshop » Forums » Open Discussions About Writing » Sands are shifting--Indie POD

   
Author Topic: Sands are shifting--Indie POD
LDWriter2
Member
Member # 9148

 - posted      Profile for LDWriter2   Email LDWriter2         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
If you are interested in or are Indie-POD publishing read this rather long post on the Business Rusch blog

WOW

Posts: 4847 | Registered: Jun 2010  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
extrinsic
Member
Member # 8019

 - posted      Profile for extrinsic   Email extrinsic         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Bottom line: "It is now not only possible, but likely that an indie book with good word-of-mouth will sell as well or better than a book with the same word of mouth published by traditional publishers." (Rausch, Kristine K. "The Business Rusch: Shifting Sands." Kristine Kathryn Rusch. 5th paragraph from end. 15 May 2013, Web.)

The significant point: "Word of mouth."

Though the article does express a measure of self-involvment, and thus self-interest and perhaps bias, that only the marketplace concentration centers are shifting is the central objective point. And that the oldest principle still prevails: In order for any given writer to sell, an audience must want the product and have the time to consume it. Changing reading habits is a whole other conundrum, competing with other entertainment channels. The writing must measure up in order to be competitive.

Posts: 3402 | Registered: Jun 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
LDWriter2
Member
Member # 9148

 - posted      Profile for LDWriter2   Email LDWriter2         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Pardon me for saying this like this but


Well, Yeah.


Yes, we have to produce a good product or at least one people are interested in. So we practice and learn.

Posts: 4847 | Registered: Jun 2010  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
extrinsic
Member
Member # 8019

 - posted      Profile for extrinsic   Email extrinsic         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I foresaw the shifting sands six years ago when Lulu.com began notifying that its relationships with national book distribution channels began including POD titles in big demand. Six years to fruition is not a long time in the general scheme of publishing culture. But half a lifetime for a struggling young writer.

I would like to see a blog or essay about how to generate word-of-mouth buzz, not the marketing processes thereof, of which I have a plan I will not share. It's my A-material and I don't want it dilluted by overuse, one of a few areas I keep my cards close to my chest.

I want a blog or essay on word-of-mouth buzz so I can compare notes with my product development plans, which is probably more than many writers would consider to begin with. Perhaps a Hatrack discussion will be a strong starting place. I have a few first principles from which to start. I don't mind sharing them.

Posts: 3402 | Registered: Jun 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
LDWriter2
Member
Member # 9148

 - posted      Profile for LDWriter2   Email LDWriter2         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I'm not an expert on it or even a talented amateur but I could think of two ways of doing it.

One is easy and one is takes work.


Hate to do this but more on the second later, I'm sure the first one you know already.

Posts: 4847 | Registered: Jun 2010  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Grumpy old guy
Member
Member # 9922

 - posted      Profile for Grumpy old guy   Email Grumpy old guy         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Generating a 'word-of-mouth' buzz was no simple task, until now. However, just like writing the story, you need to devote all the spare time you have available to you in promoting it. I conducted an experiment on-line and went from a person with absolutely no internet presence to the point where, if you typed in my name, well, sometimes it's at the top of Google's first page and sometimes it's in the middle of that page. That took three months of ad-hoc self-promotion.

Translating that experience into promoting a book is a next step. The techniques I employed to promote me, will also, with suitable modification, promote my story (when I ever finish it). At least I think it will. I have developed a marketing plan, of sorts, and, for the most part, it costs very little, except time.

As far as POD goes, there is also a way to use that 'hard-copy' to promote the book as well.

Phil.

Posts: 582 | Registered: Sep 2012  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
extrinsic
Member
Member # 8019

 - posted      Profile for extrinsic   Email extrinsic         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I realize word of mouth's strategies in three of the four corners of marketing: advertising, promotion, and publicity, all of which mostly inform a target consumer base of a product's availability and a measure of the product's appeal. The fourth corner is both so ubiquitous and subtle that it's often overlooked in all marketing: packaging.

The tangible qualities are not what I mean. I mean the intangible qualities. For literature, they are very complex. For starters, the functions and roles literature plays in culture and society beyond solely entertainment. Propoganda for one, on another level, indoctrinating, reinforcing, informing, instructing, cautioning, correcting, and controlling behavior.

On another level, and this one is appreciable and profound though perhaps subtlest, is providing vicariously safe exposure to otherwise dangerous, frightening, and horrific experiences.

A fourth role or function distinctly different for literature that is also profound and subtle is providing a sense of both belonging to a social space more meaningful than the narrow, routine everyday one and that existence is far more mystical and meaningful than that tedious mundane one. This is what I mean by packaging: producing a product that artfully realizes those functions and roles for audience appeal.

I was recently asked to evaluate a literary critcism essay about the overlaps between science fiction and religion. Noteworthy within the essay was an unstated but strongly implied connection between science fiction, religious mysticism, and how the two intermingle. The participation mystique of awe and wonder in science fiction closely follows that of religious ritual's patterns and conventions. These authenticating strategies serve to package a narrative in a way that both meets audience expectations and satisfyingly surprises with fresh voices and inspirations. Like toothpaste, many people want the product to do the job the way they expect, but also to satisfyingly surprise.

Posts: 3402 | Registered: Jun 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Reziac
Member
Member # 9345

 - posted      Profile for Reziac   Email Reziac         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
So how do you get word-of-mouth? The best advertiser of all is the Free Sample. So... what I figure to do is fling the first book of my Epic to the filesharing winds and let it go where it may, with a link to where they can buy the rest. Folks who enjoy #1 are likely to want the rest; those who didn't like it aren't customers anyway, and they're no skin off me.
Posts: 632 | Registered: Dec 2010  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Grumpy old guy
Member
Member # 9922

 - posted      Profile for Grumpy old guy   Email Grumpy old guy         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Originally quoted by extrinsic:
quote:
The tangible qualities are not what I mean. I mean the intangible qualities. For literature, they are very complex. For starters, the functions and roles literature plays in culture and society beyond solely entertainment. Propoganda for one, on another level, indoctrinating, reinforcing, informing, instructing, cautioning, correcting, and controlling behavior.

On another level, and this one is appreciable and profound though perhaps subtlest, is providing vicariously safe exposure to otherwise dangerous, frightening, and horrific experiences.

What you say may be correct; personally, I have no idea if it is or is not. What I do know is that if you want to sell a book the first thing you need to do is let as many people as you can possibly reach know it is available . (And the internet means that's potentially everyone on the www)

The next thing you need to do is write a story that a proportion of those people will find entertaining. It doesn't have to be a significant proportion, a fraction of 1% would be enough to make you wealthy. Style, voice, pacing and half a dozen other literary concerns are all irrelevant. What's important is that it is an entertaining story.

After all that, it's just simple marketing. I had the thought that with the advent of e-books you could give away almost all of the story for free, except for the resolution to the story. If people like it, they'll pay to read the ending, if not then you'll know you haven't done a good enough job in entertaining your readers.

Phil.

Posts: 582 | Registered: Sep 2012  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
extrinsic
Member
Member # 8019

 - posted      Profile for extrinsic   Email extrinsic         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Grumpy old guy:
After all that, it's just simple marketing. I had the thought that with the advent of e-books you could give away almost all of the story for free, except for the resolution to the story. If people like it, they'll pay to read the ending, if not then you'll know you haven't done a good enough job in entertaining your readers.

Phil.

Orson Scott Card's electronic digest Intergalatic Medicine Show follows that business model. Baen Books hosts a free novel library of quite a few of their flagship authors. Free Speculative Fiction Online out of Denmark indexes links to quite a few free narratives. The site hasn't been updated since 2011, though. Flash Fiction Online hosts free access. Strange Horizons hosts free access. Everyday Fiction has quite a collection. Many indie publishing writers offer several free full samples of their works. I could go on at length.

I've grazed an appreciable number of free pieces and samples, novels included. Quantity is ample. Quality spans the gamut. Needless to say, I've read quite a few free online narratives and samples. I don't often bite and pay, though. Not that I think the wares aren't worth their asking prices, but the consequent spam I find annoying. I ignore high pressure sales tactics.

Posts: 3402 | Registered: Jun 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
LDWriter2
Member
Member # 9148

 - posted      Profile for LDWriter2   Email LDWriter2         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Sorry it took me so long to get back here to finish my post, something came up with that post...bedtime maybe.


Anyway:

First, the easy way is to write a book everyone wants to talk about.

Second, harder way is to spend time doing things online. I mean a blog tour--as some writers are doing--, as Reziac suggested giving away books and/or stories, do a drawing online, try some of the free advertising sites. ralan.com has that--if it's not free it costs very little. There is a community on Google+ whose purpose is to show off e-books. Get other people to write about your Books and/or stories on their blog. Phil might be able to suggest other ways.

Oh and in this case packaging-as extrinsic referenced-can be important. Dean Wesley Smith has found this out. At first he just put up any type of cover just to get a story online. Now he's going back through them replacing the very badly done covers. It's a learning curve that took him a while to get. He uses either free use pics or ones that cost very little as I recall.

I want to use covers done by a cover artist for my books even if it costs a bit. Stories are another matter. They will either by free pics, a cover with solid colors and no pic or a pic I took. I will also be giving out coupons for free books even though the book itself won't be. With POD I might give out some actual copies.

Posts: 4847 | Registered: Jun 2010  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Grumpy old guy
Member
Member # 9922

 - posted      Profile for Grumpy old guy   Email Grumpy old guy         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
From what I'm beginning to understand, readers want a more immersive experience when they buy a book. One way of providing a 'little something extra' is to set up a website dedicated to that story (or trilogy or series, whatever). On such a site the author can explain all the processes and pitfalls encountered along the way to finishing the story. You can also include an interactive blog or BBS where readers can ask questions and get feedback from the author.

A lot of work--sure is. But, if you're trying to make a name for yourself and promote future books at the same time, such extra effort will pay off in the end.

Two marketing tips: What's the first thing a reader sees? The cover of the book, so make it eye-catching, intriguing and make damn sure it is related to the content inside. What's the second thing they'll see? The back-jacket blurb, so make it the best it can be and get someone else who has read the book to write it. The author is too close to the story.

Phil.

Posts: 582 | Registered: Sep 2012  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
shimiqua
Member
Member # 7760

 - posted      Profile for shimiqua   Email shimiqua         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
If you want word of mouth, you have to talk.

Simple.

I loved this blog which say's basically that.

http://warriorwriters.wordpress.com/2013/04/10/let-them-eat-cake-the-slow-death-of-the-old-paradigm-author/#comments

Posts: 1184 | Registered: Jan 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

Quick Reply
Message:

HTML is not enabled.
UBB Code™ is enabled.
UBB Code™ Images not permitted.
Instant Graemlins
   


Post New Topic  Post A Reply Close Topic   Feature Topic   Move Topic   Delete Topic next oldest topic   next newest topic
 - Printer-friendly view of this topic
Hop To:


Contact Us | Hatrack River Home Page

Copyright © 2008 Hatrack River Enterprises Inc. All rights reserved.
Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited.


Powered by Infopop Corporation
UBB.classic™ 6.7.2