As you all know I am very interested in marketing particularly that relating to e-books. I have devoured every shred of information I can find on the topic and yet I am finding myself more and more disappointed. Marketing is supposed to be at the cutting edge, ahead of the curve, innovative, creative and rooted in psychology. What I am seeing instead is something which is stuck far behind the times, in a period which is exciting, progressive and moving at a rapid pace! Supposed professionals are claiming that the same tired methods they have used to promote and market print books for the last 15 years are still relevant and ideal in this time and place. How can this be possible? Why am I not finding an upsurge of memorable, creative and wonderful new methods and ideas to get these new forms of book into our reader’s hands? Are there not new methods and platforms available to us?
I am a little behind the times with this post, it being past Valentines day and all. I thought it was about time for me to post something here once more.
It has been hectic and rather emotional over the months between the last post and this one. I am alive and well enough to push on and strive towards my goals. There was a lot of talk before Christmas about my romance novella I had planned to publish. As you can see that didn’t come to fruition. As much as I love sinking my teeth into a good challenge, trying to write a genre I just cannot connect with during all the other challenges of that time, proved to be too much. I’m determined but even I have limits.
You’ll be pleased to hear that I am writing again. Of course you’re pleased, you are after all rocking yourselves to sleep each night, desperately waiting for my novel, aren’t you? It isn’t one which I expected which I hope will improve things. There were a few plans thrown around Google+ before Christmas but as with the romance, things happened. Now is the time for a fresh start, a new me and wonderful, bigger, better and even more ambitious plans!
Literary+ is on hiatus at the moment I can honestly say I don’t know what will happen there in the future. The site, Google+ community and blog remain up if you wish to peruse what we did last year. My role as indie authorial agent is, evolving we shall say. I took a complete break from it for a few months but the future is yet to be written. I can’t and won’t promise to write here regularly again but this certainly won’t be the last post from me. There is far too much to be said and done to leave things like this.
Be well my poor crazy little fans.
This is Len Berry’s guest post talking about his new book Vitamin F as part of his Literary+ blog tour. I’ll hand you over to the talented Len:
When I write, I tend to give my characters room to breath. I essentially put together a setting, assemble the cast, and let them do almost as they please.
Yes, I’ll set up a plot for the characters to run through. However, there is nothing that says how the characters go from one plot point to another. To me, these are living people with minds of their own.
Vitamin F takes place in a society that is 88% female and regulated by omni-present genetic controls. The reason is a massive drop in the male population, thanks, in part, to a plague called Babykiller. All activities related to reproduction are closely monitored in ideal situations.
With the setting in place, all we need now are a few upstanding—reviled—members of the population to focus on.
Bridgett is just starting college as Vitamin F opens. She’s a fairly normal person in most regards. She likes music, gets teased by her best friend, and has a crush on one of her classmates. Unlike most people, Bridgett is an orphan, a young woman raised by her grandfather.
The object of Bridgett’s affection is Penelope, a young woman who has never had difficulty fitting in. Like most of her peers, Penelope grew up with her Mom and her Mother. Despite her ability to fit in, Penelope is passionate about the people and things she cares about.
Oriane Panettiere is an elite Genetic Security agent, instantly identifiable by her overextended eye shadow and the horns styled into her hair. Her intentions are simple enough, to maintain the gene pool, but her motivation comes from personal tragedy. Oriane’s twin sister was sexually assaulted as a teenager. To compensate for her loss, Oriane has a zealot’s devotion for her work.
The direct contrast to Oriane is the terrorist leader Adam John. An unregistered male, Adam John seeks to overthrow the government and change society back to a previous incarnation. His ideal society is not our own, but a state more similar to feudalism where men rule over women in a harem lifestyle.
One character slowly draws these people closer together. His name is Charles Summers, but his granddaughter, Bridgett, calls him Gran. Gran has bought medication from a gifted pharmacist for years. When the pharmacist is killed, Oriane begins asking questions of clients like Gran. Adam John also has questions about the medication Gran was ordering, though the terrorist has to figure out who Gran is first.
How these characters all meet up is, in many ways, up to them. As they draw closer to each other, tension grows with the intention of cranking up the pace of the story and the reader’s involvement.
Of course, getting the characters to agree to meet up is another matter altogether.
Len Berry a lifelong resident of Missouri studied biology before turning his imagination toward writing. In his spare time, Len enjoys drawing, watching anime, and playing an occasional video game. He is the author of the dystopian e-book Vitamin F, now available for Nook and Kindle. Since Len is an active blogger, you can find out more about him and his projects at his blog
Today I am very pleased to say that I am hosting the talented and lovely J.D Savage on his blog tour! This talented author is also a very gifted graphic artist, certainly one to watch!
Writing for the Market
-Or Just for You?
When a big series of books comes out, makes a killing, gets turned into movies that make bajillions of dollars, it becomes pretty easy to guess what the market will be flooded with soon after. With the Twilight series still roaring along, it’s pretty easy to find young, attractive vampires in love triangles along the book shelves.
Some of the authors that will be published in the wake of such a juggernaut have been writing and seeking a publishing home for years before such a thing happens. They find themselves in the right place at the right time, and boom! They get their sparkly vampire love triangle story published. Good on them. Others see the trend coming, craft a story that fits the genre, work really hard to polish it and make it a good book, and they get published, as well. Then they are doomed to an endless sea of comparisons to a book or series that may be less polished but more accepted by the reading public.
We should all be so lucky.
In the midst of this, writers are faced with choices. If they have a relationship with a publishing house, they may be under pressure to follow the latest trend. Or, they may be feeling the pressure from their own fans, clamoring for a similar story written in their style. What trends are coming, ready to be seized?
There are plenty of blogs out there that track these sorts of things. The Hub, (http://bit.ly/LCUxe9) has a list of trending topics that are beginning to emerge in YA literature, (my personal favorite, young girls that know how to kill). I have no personal connection to this site, I just thought they provided a pretty balanced list. If you are looking to make a living as an author, it may be that capitalizing on an upcoming trend is the way to go.
But, before you go and write the next happy-go-lucky dystopian shoot-em-up, consider this. Somebody started those trends. Some author wrote something that was still done in a unique way. Maybe it wasn’t wholly original, (is there such a thing?), but eye-opening, nonetheless. It was cool enough to garner a bunch of readers, get people talking about it, and be interesting enough to start a trend.
When you first sat down to write, is that what you wanted? Did you want to take the world by storm with your unique viewpoint? Or, did you hope to be the voice in the crowd who rises above the din, doing what everyone else is doing, only doing it better? There’s no right and wrong here. Oh, to be sure, some will sniff haughtily at the trends and think themselves too artistic for all of that. But writers, in general, are not wickedly interested in seeing you fail. Success is hard to come by, and whether you walk the well-worn path or blaze your own, most writers, (avid readers, all), will applaud your efforts.
So, the choice is yours. Read up on the trends, pick one, (or two or three…), and make it your own. Or, tell that unique story you want to tell, make it great and keep at it. The really prolific might even try to
This guest post was brought to you by J.D Savage as part of the Literary+ blog tour.
Literary+ is a writer based project brought together and lead by Shen Hart. It brings together passionate, quality self-published writers to help each other promote their work, bringing more readers to every member. It was sparked by the simple fact that there are many top quality self-published authors being over-looked because they do not have the time and resources to efficiently and effectively market and promote themselves. With ambition and passion, Literary+ will take its members to the heights they deserve through a tight-knit community of like-minded writers.
I have been working really hard on Literary+ this last week and I’m really proud to say that it’s coming together. This is thanks to the wonderful, talented and dedicated group of writers which form Literary+
I’ve been working on the site and have put in some new things such as a calendar: Here – So you can keep a track of all the wonderful things we’re up to!
We have an archive for the previous assignments we’ve done so you can look down through all the great work these fantastic writers do, Here
Then we have three great articles up. Firstly we have Rocky Cole’s article on taking 5 minutes.
I wrote a short article about using your own voice
Then Katje van Loon told us all about her publishing journey to date
However – the title of this post gives away the bit which I’m really, really excited about. We have started a serial, Smoke and Shadows. T.Pascal jumped into the hot-seat and did the opening story for us! I’m not going deny I’m really pleased with what he did! Tressa is up on Friday and I know her story is awesome (Yea.. I got a sneak peak!).
So what exactly is Smoke and Shadows you ask. Well! It is a serial where a different author writes each entry. So far we are booked up ’til early September! Each short story takes place in the same contemporary fantasy world but they don’t necessarily interlink or follow on. This gives each author plenty of wriggle room to have fun and make their entry their own. However! If they do want to have a cameo from someone else’s character or carry on their story, they’re more than welcome to do so.
Go and read Smoke and Shadows – You will not be disappointed!
L+ has a nice shiny site now! It took a fair bit of work but I’m really pleased with it. We have some awesome features on there.
There are the writer biographies, a writer spotlight and there’s going to be content from the writers going up soon too! The assignments have gone really well, I’ve got some more fun planned for them too. You can see a bit more about the assignments here: Assignments.
The first writer in the spotlight is Matt Bone – he’s been talked into being my right hand man.Writer Spotlight
Paul carroll is doing a great job as my 2nd in command, he’s pulling together some 14+ writers for a blog tour. You can find Paul here: Paul
Oh and! We’re organising an anthology! If all goes to plan that will be out to buy around about samhein. How exciting!
At the moment ideas for the content include photo based contests, things such as best workspace and Sanna had the fantastic idea of ‘guerilla writing’ which personally, I love! Then we’ll have articles from our writers and maybe even a weekly serial from everyone.
I can’t believe how quickly this has taken off and evolved but I’m so pleased.
You can find literary+ on the site above or on Google+ here: Literary+ Page