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Guest Blogapalooza!

Howdy Y’all!

I totally forgot to post these links yesterday! My Bad!

I have a couple more guest blog posts I have done for other sites and you should go read them. READ THEM NOW!

(sorry I yelled)

The first is for Mr. James Melzer here: CLICK THIS! CLICK IT NOW!

The second, but just as important, is for Buy Zombie here: WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR? CLICK THE LINK!

Check them out! Read them, learn from them, LOVE THEM!

Exclamation!

😉

Thanks y’all.

Cheers!

Hey you, The Reader! Sound off now!

Hello, Readers! Welcome!

Today’s post is all about you the reader. Not about the writer or the publisher or about what the industry is doing right now. Nope, it’s all about getting to know you better.

Seriously, we, as writers, are all so wrapped up in the “business” that we forget a key component to why we write: because there are readers out there!

And, you know what? We honestly have no idea what you want from us. Really. Sure, we know what you want to read (fantasy, horror, scifi, Care Bears picture books), but we don’t know the “why” part. Or, more specifically, the “why’d you pick that book and not the other” part.

So, I have decided to put together a questionnaire (see below) to ask for your direct input. Now, since I’m obsessed with ebooks right now, the questionnaire is ebook centered. But, there’s a part at the end where you can go off about whatever you want! Vent away!

I know what you’re thinking right now, “What’s in it for me, the reader?” Great question! Download the questionnaire, fill it all out and email it to me at jakedbible AT gmail.com (don’t forget the “d” between jake and bible) and I will send you coupon codes to download the short story of your choice from my offerings on Smashwords. You, dear reader, get free fiction! Hurray, huzzah, hu-, um, I can’t think of another hu word.

Are you game? You got some time to fill this crazy, self-absorbed writer in on what motivates you, the reader?

I really like saying, “the reader”. It’s just fun.

Click below and download that questionnaire, fill that puppy out and shoot it back to me for your free fiction!

Cheers!

You The Reader: A Questionnaire

And don’t forget to set your calendars for the DEAD MECH Kindle Rush on March 1st! Details on the page above!

Guest Post: Jennifer Hudock Talks About Indie Publishing Standards

Howdy Folks!

Welcome back to the blog. Today I have a guest post by author Jennifer Hudock. She gets to express her opinions about the current indie/ebook publishing boom and some of the pitfalls that come with such an open process. I gotta say I agree with her on this. I’ll talk a little after her post about my thoughts on this and an interesting question I have.

So kick back and enjoy!

Jennifer Hudock is an indy author, podcaster and editor from Northern Central Pennsylvania. You can check out her first full-length dark fantasy novel, The Goblin Market, on Amazon and Smashwords. For more information visit her official website: The Inner Bean.

Find her website HERE
Her Amazon fiction is HERE
Smashwords fiction is HERE

Click those links and have at it!

From Jennifer:

“The world is changing. I feel it in the earth. I feel it in the water. I smell it in the air. Much that once was is forgotten; for none now live who remember it…”—Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring film adaptation

As I was stealing that quote from Lord of the Rings, all I could think about was how fast the publishing industry is changing. There very well may come a day when the children of our grandchildren don’t remember those rectangular things made of paper that you and I call books, though they may still read on their portable electronic gadgets. For all I know, by that time they’ll plug something into the back of their head and download Moby Dick into their brain.

Which brings me to my future conspiracy nightmare… I worry that they won’t read good (poor grammar intended.)

Thanks to the Internet we are now connected to nearly every humming hub in the world. We download everything from movies and music to magazines and books, and those same humming hubs allow us to share our creative work with a universal audience.

As an independent author who has chosen to publish her work outside the confines of “big publishing” I feel responsible for the readers of tomorrow.

A lot of authors are taking the fate of their work into their own hands, and some are just putting their words out there without so much as a self-imposed proofread, much less the careful eye of an editor or beta reader. Some of those authors are even making a killing selling their independently published books in print and electronic format because the subject material is appealing to young reading audiences, even though some of the writing itself is subpar.

We get excited as writers. We finish a novel or story and because we wrote with the gleeful intent of sharing it with readers, our first instinct is to throw it out into the world without another thought. Maybe there are plot inconsistencies (cough—Charlaine Harris,) or long passages fraught with poorly written sentences and even worse grammar. I realize that using Charlaine Harris in my parenthetical cough doesn’t apply because she publishes traditionally at this point in her career, but big publishing set a standard of mediocrity that independent authors need to break.

Indy publishing has had a bad reputation for a long time. You tell someone you self-published your novel and they laugh at you. They may even say you’re not really an author and your books don’t count, but as independent authors we have a duty to our readers. We can up our standards, spend the extra time proofreading our work, hire an editor to help clean up your work and take a stand to prove that indy authors are just as good as, and some cases maybe even better than traditionally published authors.

I’m not perfect, but I know I owe my readers more than poorly strewn together sentences. I owe them more than bad grammar and missing punctuation, n3tsp34K and truncated phrases like “Late!” reminiscent of yesteryear’s “See you later.” And I know I owe not just the readers of tomorrow, but the writers too. By taking the initiative to ensure that our work is the absolute best it can be before we put it out into the world, we set an example for the writers who follow in our footsteps.

From Jake:

Thanks, Jenny! Great stuff, really.

As a writer I agree with this 100%. The more crud put out there the harder it will be for those of us that really work at our craft to gain a professional reputation within the writing community as a whole. She’s right on with this.

But, I have to wonder about something. After years of being in sales and marketing, specifically natural products/supplement sales, I have watched marketing companies cram the marketplace with “cure” supplements and basically, well, sawdust in a capsule. The interesting part of this is that there would be an initial backlash against all supplement companies when the frauds were weeded out, but then there would be a big push in sales for the good guys, the ones with ethics, morals and a right good product!

Why? Because there was publicity! But, most of all, customers aren’t total idiots. Those that hadn’t heard of a certain supplement, but needed that supplement, were now looking at the good guys’ formulas for help and relief. Without the scam companies, these folks would never have heard of some of this stuff.

So I ask, can this be applied to indie/ebook publishing as well? Can bad writing spur on a search for quality? Will quality rise to the top like cream? (Mmmm, cream…) Will the debate just bring more and more customers to the ebook marketplace?

I don’t know the answer to any of this, really only time will tell. Can’t wait to find out, though!

Thanks everyone and be sure to check out all of Jennifer’s links. In fact, let me post them again:

Find her website HERE
Her Amazon fiction is HERE
Smashwords fiction is HERE

Cheers!

Not Since The Printing Press…

¡Viva La Revolución!

Yep, I said it and I’m not the first. There is a true revolution happening in writing today. Like my title says, not since the printing press was invented have writers seen the freedom they now have to print their words the way they want to.

That last part is key: “the way they want to”. Not the way an editor wants, not the way a publisher wants, not the way an agent wants and not the way critics want, but the way they, as artists, want.

I’m, of course, talking about ebooks. Specifically fiction, whether flash, short, novella, novel or epic, ebooks give the writer the freedom to publish how they like and when they like. No longer are writers beholden to the whims of some outside entity that has their own agenda, psyche, tastes, lack of mental health or reasoning skills, or just hasn’t had their second cup of coffee. Writers get to make the decisions about their work just like back in the good old days.

Now, I have been on the fence with ebooks for quite a while. Why? Because it all hadn’t sunk in yet. Also, because there wasn’t enough evidence that ebooks were a viable business model. And that is a huge point for me: a viable business model. They gots to makes the cash or I ain’t interested. But now there are many authors that are making great sales with their ebooks: JA Konrath, Nathan Lowell, Lee Goldberg, Michael R. Sullivan, Amanda Hocking. All are killing it with ebook sales each month. The pudding has shown the proof. (For more details check out Mr. Konrath’s site and all the guest posts and links here)

So what does this mean for me?

It means I am now in the ebook biz! Check out the “Buy The Fiction” page above and give it a click or the links to the right. I have put out two short stories at $.99 each to test the market and get my feet wet. I want to understand the process well before I put out a novel.

Of course, just putting it up on the Kindle store doesn’t mean something will sell. You still have to have a good product, good cover and good marketing. Up the quality of all three to great and your sales will go up also. Now, I think I have good products. I know I have good covers. And the marketing? Well, that’s part of what I’m doing now with this post and blog. But, most of all, it’s what my podcast is now for!

In the beginning, when I first started podcasting, I was following the model of others: write book, podcast book, market podcast, get many subscriptions, capitalize on subscriptions and success of podcast to get publishers interested. And that’s what I did, resulting in my first novel, DEAD MECH, to be published. Then what? Well, that’s a whole other story or blogpost.

A year ago, the above made sense. Now? Not so much. The deal is that podcasters have been trying to figure out a way to monetize their podcasts and only a scant few (if any) have found success with it. Now, at least for fiction writers, the ebook makes monetization 100% possible! The podcast model is now full-on marketing for the fiction! Not just a way to market to publishers or agents, but direct marketing for the ebooks! Price those ebooks at the sweet price of $2.99-$4.99 for novels/collections/anthologies and $.99 for short stories and you have yourself a winner. All the marketing you have to do for the podcast in turn translates into marketing for the ebooks. Add some extra marketing for the ebooks and you can have yourself some decent sales given time.

I know many of you will say, “But what about…?’ Well, the “What about”s are the same as they ever were, whatever those may be. Reality doesn’t change, just our freedom to control our own distribution and marketing of our art. You still have to work hard, you still have to make sure you are putting quality out there and you still have to keep the hustle going indefinitely. That’s business folks, and if you can’t get on board with that then don’t bother with ebooks. Commerce is commerce and the time tested rules still apply.

Lucky for me, I LOVE commerce and I have a plan!

What is that plan? Well, that’s for another time. In the meantime I will keep posting about ebooks and insights I find as I start this journey. I’ll be blunt about sales (once I have some) so you can learn from my mistakes, successes, failures and luck.

This should be one heck of a fun ride and I look forward to sharing it with all of you!

Cheers!

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