Some Write It Hot

February 21, 2011

Confessions of a Social Media Lurker by Gillian Archer

Filed under: Writing life — dangerouslysexy @ 04:00
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Hello. My name is Gillian and I’m a lurker.

I’m sure my crit partners will find this confession a bit hard to believe. In our crit circle I never have an issue speaking up and saying my part. Whether I’m critiquing a piece or commenting on publishing news, I don’t hold back. But our circle is a safe place—what’s said there stays there. We can debate anything and it never leads to flame wars.

When it comes to places outside my safe haven, I’ve become somewhat of a hermit. I still read blogs and some of the larger writer forums, but I don’t comment. I don’t speak up. It hasn’t always been this way. When I first started writing, I joined a few forums and commented pretty much without a filter. I said anything that came to mind and prolly overshared quite a bit.

Now though… I’ve seen the issues that can come with posting without thought of the consequences. Cringe inducing confessions, hurt feelings and flame wars abound in romancelandia’s corner of the WWW. I don’t want to be one of those authors. Rather than figuring out how to find the proper balance, I’ve back away all together.

But now that I’m on the brink of selling my first story, I need to figure it out. Soon I’ll be promoting and putting myself out there. And honestly I think that part scares me more than any other part of the publishing cycle. Okay maybe not the most but still it’s a large fear. So any advice out there for me?

I’ll be here… lurking in the shadows.

Check out what Gillian’s up to now at her website

February 7, 2011

Are Book Trailers Effective? by KevaD

Filed under: Writing life — dangerouslysexy @ 04:00
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Two years ago The Wall Street Journal asked that very question.

To no one’s surprise, the answer was a resounding ‘probably not’ – “There is scant evidence . . . that the average book trailer actually has much impact on book sales.”

Consider this; you watch a trailer on YouTube and are interested in the book. Can you click on the trailer to buy the book? No. Read the back cover blurb? No. Read an excerpt? No. Click a link to the author or publisher’s web sites and bookstore? No.

In fact, you have to note the title, author, and in many cases, the publisher, in order to locate where the book is available for purchase.

Not to mention… how did you find the trailer on YouTube to start with?

That’s right – you probably didn’t. Unless you linked to it from an author or publisher’s site that provided all the other information anyway. In which case, you no doubt clicked on the trailer for no reason other than to watch it – entertainment.

As yet, there is no credible method of tracking the impact of book trailers on the average consumer. However, publishers and authors are feeling the need to provide trailers to those very potential customers. Because, after all, many trailers are well-done and quite enjoyable to watch.

Which brings us back to the original question – does the trailer aid in your decision as to which book to buy?

That’s what I hope you’ll share with us today. Please leave a comment and tell us if book trailers weigh in your decision about buying a book.

Now I’ll answer one of my own questions. Can a book trailer impact which book you buy or read?

The answer is a resounding “Yes!” But not in the manner you’re thinking.

Book trailers are a marketing tool – another method of getting a product to consumers. Enter the marketing specialists, such as Circle of Seven Productions.

For a set fee, companies like cosproductions.com will put an author’s trailer in front of 300+ booksellers and 5,000+ libraries – the primary purchasers of books.

That’s correct. Book trailers have added a whole new chapter to the concept of book catalogs.

Does the book trailer ensure the book is well-written or will sell well? Not any more than spiffy cover art can guarantee sales. But it can catch a bookseller or library purchasing agent’s eye. Catching the client’s attention is still the salesman’s proverbial foot in the door.

By the way, Circle of Seven noted on a blog that links to a site where your book is for sale can be implanted with your trailer: “You can indeed make a live link from YouTube. You need to put the http:// in front of the www. in the description area.”

I haven’t tried it. Nor am I promoting Circle of Seven. I needed information regarding trailer marketing, and I stumbled across cosproductions.com. Don’t know how effective or efficient they are at what they do.

So, tell us what you think about trailers. And while you’re deep in thought, here’s a trailer I made:

See what else KevaD is up to at his blog

January 10, 2011

Audio Books – Writers, Listen Up! by KevaD

Filed under: Writing life — dangerouslysexy @ 04:00
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Audio books were first formally recognized by the federal government in 1931 when Congress established the Books for the Adult Blind Program. The next year, the first talking book was produced. Today, the National Library Service circulates audio books to nearly a million physically impaired listeners.

The format of audio books has changed with technology. From hard discs, to vinyl, to cassettes, to CDs, to digital. In the late 60s most libraries offered audio books on vinyl or cassette. By the late 70s, the popularity expanded within the ranks of the non-impaired due to the decrease in size of cassette players and the convenience of transporting the players, including their installation in cars.

However, during the 80s, a number of major authors refused to allow their novels to be converted, which created a new concept – audio productions based on the books without the use of the actual manuscript. Music, actors and sound effects painted audio movies in the listener’s mind. By the mid-80s, audio books accounted for several billion dollars a year in retail sales. It didn’t take authors and publishers long to realize they were missing out.

The Internet, broadband technologies and advanced forms of playing the books have increased consumer interest, and thusly, sales, even though the price of an audio book exceeds its printed counterpart due to the added cost of a professional reader and production.

Add that the hired readers themselves have opened a whole new category to the concept of the audio book. With recognized names such as actor Will Smith applying their talent and name recognition to the mix, a new class of readers, those who enjoy listening to a particular reader, has emerged. Some buyers listen to books they may not have otherwise purchased had it not been for the fact their favorite reader was hired to record the book.

So now publishers need not only be aware of the growing demand for audio versions of their authors’ works, they also need to bear in mind who it is they hire to record the book.

What does this mean to authors?

When seeking out publishers, writers should be aware whether or not the prospective publisher avails their products to the audio media. It is a fact, audio sells. The author further needs to investigate the quality of the audio books the publisher produces. Are all of the readers unknown? Are the readers professionals, as in an acting troupe or members of an acting guild? Or are they a third cousin who needed a job and used a cassette player to record the book while the latest episode of Deal or No Deal plays in the background?

Writers further need to be aware of language within their contract as to audio rights. Undoubtedly, the royalty percentage will be different than for e-book and print versions of their work. Read that contract. Is the audio percentage based on true sale price? Or is it based on a percentage after production costs have been deducted? There’s a huge difference between 35% of a dollar, and 35% of 55cents after production costs have been deducted (figures are examples only and not deemed to be accurate).

Writers need to do their homework and spend a little time conducting research if they truly desire to break in to the growing audio market.

Find out what else KevaD is thinking

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