Sunday, April 1, 2012
I See A Short Gray Stranger in Your Future
Back in early 2006 (or maybe 2007) at a writers conference (Sleuthfest) I went to a product demonstration. There were only about 5 other writers who showed up. Most of the other authors were in craft or publishing business workshops, or pitching to editors and agents. A few authors I talked to viewed this new fangled gizmo with suspicion. I heard the usual comments of, "Too cold. I love the feel and smell of books." I listened to skepticism, "Seriously? Please, that thing will never catch on." I even saw fear in the eyes of some (that it would catch on, and that their beloved paper books would go away).
D.P. Lyle, MD and I ended up the last two authors who stayed to the end, and even lingered, talking to the young man showing us the feared, sneered at new fangled thing; the Kindle. Now Dr. Lyle didn't know me from Adam's house cat (don't ask, an old southern expression). In fact, he wouldn't know me today if he fell over me. But I remember him because I love forensics. The other authors lost interest and left. Yeah, I hear some of you laughing. I'm smiling at the memory myself.
The thing is I fell in love, as in Marvin Gaye singing, "Let's Get It On!" when I looked at the thing. Kindle had me at download books in seconds, no contracts or access fees. I'm not ageist, especially since I'm of a certain (cough, cough) age myself. I'd say most of us were well over thirty-five, and I think that played a part. But I remember distinctly that the other authors I talked to about this wonderful new thing looked at me like I'd lost my mind. Some maybe started to avoid the "crazy person babbling about e-books". My dinner companions gave me polite, and quite chilly, smiles as I talked about a new phrase, "content creators", and how writers should be in control after all because we write the stories that drive this book business. I'm sure they were thinking, "Who the hell let her in here?"
Well, we all know how this story ends. Kindle release, world domination. I had started to write A Darker Shade of Midnight with a psychic heroine. But even I didn't see the rise of the indie author, not in my wildest dreams (proving that though I created a psychic, I'm definitely not one). I was just thinking of how wonderful it would be for me as a reader. Browse books, see book I want, order book with a few taps. Minutes later read book on a whisper light device. Now that's Supernatural!
Today. Write book the way I want to. Design book cover. Upload book + cover. Global distribution. Get paid monthly. Sales slowly build each month. Money drops into my bank account.
Kindle Select- valuable sales tool. I plan to use it to promote my soon to be released book. A few other things I've learned as an indie author: series and connected books do well. Readers love reading more about characters they read before, or the next episode in an on-going story. Some of my friends are making four figures and higher per month because they had 3 or 4 books in a series. Amazon helps authors tremendously by guiding readers who like the kind of book you've written to your books. So use those keywords and tags wisely and well. Promotion does work. The problem is no one can tell you which "thing" will work, or when, where or how. Or even if this or that "thing" will work for you. Authors are making good money not promoting at all, or doing very modest promotions. Writing faster, and writing shorter books work well in this new business model. Therefore I'm writing shorter, 75,000 to 90,000 words.
I finished the sequel to A Darker Shade of Midnight, called Between Dusk and Dawn. I'm stilling finishing the edits, and will announce the release date. In my humble opinion the cover is going to be amazing. The third book in the trilogy will be Only By Moonlight.
Let's Get It On.
Posted by Lynn Emery at 12:01 AM