As the debate about traditional vs indie publishing goes on – and probably will do for some considerable time – it was great to hear from one author who has experienced both. Author David Treanor has kindly given us his perspective on the two sides of the publishing coin.
In my old life as a BBC journalist I would occasionally have to interview people for jobs. I’d take home a stack of application forms — maybe a-hundred or more — and try to draw up a shortlist of twelve. I used to like it when people made spelling mistakes. It meant I could rule them out right away. But I know I didn’t always get it right. Then would come a couple of days of interviews. Sometimes I felt that half the people I’d seen would be great at the job. But there was only one vacancy. So I did my best. But I will have made mistakes again.
I feel traditional publishing is like that. Far too many submissions, far too few opportunities to get into print. And those taking the decisions will have made mistakes. We all know the stories of the best sellers rejected a dozen times.
This ‘Crazy Southern Irish Gal’ has definitely got the ‘gift of the gab’! Having been brought up in Florida during the seventies, she tells us about her life through a wonderful series of colourful characters, mishaps, confessions and events. I found myself completely drawn into her stories from the first page, recalling some of the personalities from my own childhood along the way.
You feel privileged to have been part of her journey down memory lane. Her true gift of storytelling conjures up cleverly selected images from the seventies right through to present day. This book is well written, funny and covers the complete spectrum of topics and challenges we all come across in our daily lives, but we often take their significance or importance for granted. It handles sensitive issues with great openness, honesty and humour and will leave you with a warm fuzzy feeling inside; wanting to reconnect with your past.
In many ways this book is quite cathartic and it will make you think about some of the decisions you have made throughout your own life. It teaches us that sometimes it’s good to stop and recollect the simple things and take stock of who we are and what we have achieved; celebrate the positive, forgive and forget the negative and move on with your life.
So what’s the deal with the title you ask? I won’t spoil it for you, all will be revealed, you will just have to clear your schedule, turn the Blackberry off and buckle up for an extraordinary heartwarmingly funny ride.
I am delighted to be able to welcome author Nick Thacker to add his thoughts on marketing. The more information and suggestions we glean from a wide variety of people, the more we are able to decide which approach to marketing works for us.
The Only Thing You Need to Know about Marketing Online
In the 1950s and before, “marketing” was a term that more accurately described bringing a product to a market, rather than bringing people to a product.
The distinction is subtle, but it’s everything.
As Seth Godin wrote in Permission Marketing and Purple Cow, it’s now “pull,” not “push.”
I have to say that I thought this book was wonderful. It is the gentle tale of two people who shouldn’t be together by the normal rules of morality and the times. Kate is a young, extremely bright college student who has never had much time for boys. David is a professor at the college she attends. Brilliant but somewhat aloof, he is trapped in a loveless marriage where nobody – not even his children – can see any worth in him. But this is Seattle in the 1950s, and nineteen year olds don’t have affairs with married men in their late forties. Nobody would find that acceptable. And yet, these two find a rare love for each other.
I came across this amazing resource for writers a couple of weeks ago, and I contacted Elizabeth S Craig to see if she would be kind enough to pay a visit and tell us all about the Writer’s Knowledge Base. If you don’t know about this, you need to visit the site and bookmark it, because it is crammed with really useful information. We agreed to swap posts this week. I have written one on her site for Indie Authors : Getting those All-Important Reviews and you might want to check that out too.
Here’s what Elizabeth has to tell us.
A Free Tool for Writers—the Writer’s Knowledge Base—by Elizabeth S. Craig
The Writer’s Knowledge Base, or WKB, is a free search engine that’s specifically for writers. For years, I got frustrated with Google when I was trying to find articles on the writing craft. There were tons of writing blogs out there, but these individual blogs, frequently with fantastic tips for writers, were getting buried by other, non-relevant sites.
If I were trying to find an article on POV, internal conflict, scene structure, or dialogue? The highest ranking posts in Google for any given writing search were frequently either an assignment that a college professor has posted (an assignment on the topic, not a resource), or a vague article by a content mill site that didn’t address the topic in any kind of depth.
As promised when I started the series of “Killer Plan or Lady Luck?” I have asked other authors for their input and to let us know what they did to become a best seller. Today’s guest is Scott Hunter who writes thrillers – historical and contemporary. His eBook, ‘The Trespass’ is an Amazon bestseller. His website is athttp://www.scott-hunter.net
It’s very interesting to me to check out the commonality between his comments and mine. And, of course, where we differ. Both are important, and I hope you pick up some good tips reading his thoughts. Bear in mind that some of Scott’s comments refer to a printed version of the book, not an ebook, and he is clearly British – so some of the store references relate to the UK only. But the vast majority of his thoughts are appropriate to any format and any country.
So, you want to be an Indie Author. Where do you begin?
Write a great book in a genre that people want to read
The Viper Contract tells the story of an ex US Air Force fighter pilot, Colin Pearce, who has been forced to take up a career as a contract pilot, ferrying businessmen and the like around. The money’s good, but it doesn’t excite him the way his former profession did.
And then something happens to change all that. He is approached by the CIA to act as an undercover agent in a daring and deadly airstrike which could have disastrous consequences reverberating around the world.
It goes without saying that the most important aspect of getting to #1 on any best seller list is having a book that people actually want to read. If you choose to write in a genre that is less popular, you have to set your expectations accordingly. Choosing to write a thriller – a very popular genre – wasn’t part of my Killer Plan. It really is simply Lady Luck that I love thrillers.
Taking advice on some aspects of my writing and trying to do better, however, was definitely part of my plan, and so this section aims to share some of the hints that were passed on to me. Once again, I am definitely not trying to set myself up as any sort of expert. I still have so much to learn, and there are so many ways that I can improve my writing. But maybe this post will help others who are on the same journey. These are a few of the things that I have been guilty of, and some things that I have noticed when reviewing indie authored books (naming no names, of course!).
Since reaching the coveted number 1 spot in the Amazon charts, I have been asked on an almost hourly basis for tips by other indie authors. I have tried to respond to these, but it occurred to me that the best thing that I could do would be to create a whole series of blog posts on the subject, and try to get feedback from other authors too.
Can I start by saying that I am not an expert in any of the fields that will be discussed. I am an amateur in every sense of the word. So I will be talking about the process that I went through – without any guarantees and in the sure knowledge that there are people out there who know more than I do about each and every step in this journey. I will reiterate this every five minutes, so that nobody is under any illusions!
I was delighted to be able to interview Alan McDermott, author of the fast-paced thriller Gray Justice. I read Alan’s book some time ago, and thoroughly enjoyed it. It has been receiving amazing reviews, and his responses to my interview questions give a real insight into his thinking.
Gray Justice is Alan’s debut novel, and tells the story of Tom Gray, an ex-soldier running a successful business until his world falls apart. His young son is killed by a joy rider and his wife, overcome with grief, takes her own life months later. When his son’s killer walks free from court, Gray decides that the current justice system needs an overhaul, and kidnaps five serial offenders. Parading them on the internet, he lets the people of Britain decide if they should live or die, and the government are powerless to stop him. Gray believes he has the perfect plan, right down to the last detail, but one man travels four thousand miles to prove him wrong in an explosive climax. continue reading …