Sunday, October 31, 2010

CHAPTER TEN: When I grow up I want to be J.A. Konrath!

Come on, I know that that title is not really what I want to be when I grow up but it is fun to think about. Is the man some sort of superhero or a guy one should strive to be like? Maybe not. However, as a writer and a author I look at what he does and am glad that I am not the only one pushing this new world of publishing.

J.A. Konrath is not the end all be all, but he is someone that "Gets" what is going on. As other writers new and old play the game handed to them people like J.A. make up their own rules and only ask other people to join them.

When I started out as a new author I didn't see the eBook future for what it was. I thought it was a nice way to market and figured in a way Amazon was paying me to advertise. I wondered if the eBook sales would boost my print sales and therefore set out. Little did I know that eBooks were not a good way to market but the way to make a living as a writer.

Do I want to be like Konrath? Not as a person but as a visionary. I am a pusher... a pimp if you will of this new religion called ebooks. Come what may I will preach the message to the world because I see the frustration all around me on the faces of writers who are still playing the publishing game.

Why? Because I am a writer first and a publisher second. This is about reaching out to fans and making a living as a writer. Never before could we compete with the big names on a level playing field as James Patterson, Dean Koontz and Stephen King. "Sweet Dreams" is outselling a Stephen King novel... really! I don't say this to be proud or anything but to give you the idea that some guy in Boise Idaho can do this than so can you.

Konrath is convincing his other author buddies one by one to convert over to this new model. eBooks are not only a good thing for a new author to build a fan base but a amazing thing for established authors to kick their publisher out and begin to receive the benefits of all their hard work. Small publishers like StoneHouse Ink are the ones who will come out looking pretty after the dust storm settles because they get what is going on and bend to the market. Social media, blogging, and online sales not to mention new and very out of the box marketing.

But the real question is what side of the fence are you on. Will you stand with us and fight to give the power back to the author or will you fall with a great and terrible crash as the big 5 kingdom falls.

J.A. Konrath Bolg:

StoneHouse Ink:

Saturday, October 30, 2010

CHAPTER TEN: Off topic...

And here we go again! If you have been following this blog you will find out in a hurry that I tend to go off topic every now and again. Times like these and my wonderful personality lend to rants and posts of funny and offensive materiel. Can you dig it?

The subject today has nothing to do with books, writing or anything like that. It is the time we all go out to trick or treat and send our children into the dark streets dressed as a witch or a hooker and sometimes as a killer. So fun is it not? Wait, you mean getting candy from random strangers as your pre teen wanders around in a skin tight outfit so the creepy neighbor guy can look at her legs is not cool? Really?

Come on people! When was it ok to buy a hooker outfit from wal mart? They can go with their boyfriend the pimp, maybe we should give out Meth and dookies as well! I am making pot brownies this year and hope to hang with some Jr. High girls out back, want to come over? No just send your kid.

The holiday is lame to start with and laced with nothing of value besides making the candy people a butt load of money and giving me the creeps.

But wait! This year it falls on a Sunday so every one around here is not only going out on Sunday night but did it last night, tonight and on Sunday! When was this a three day event? Does that mean I have to cook more brownies?

Fine, fine you think I am over reacting. That is just proof that I am smarter than you. If you as a 30+ mom wants to go to a party dressed as a sexy nurse and gross out everyone around you because of the way to much skin going on, be my guest. As for me, I might hide out on the roof and dump freezing water on some kids parents just for fun this year... because when they asked for a trick or a treat I just gave them the trick.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

CHAPTER TEN: The Old and the New.

I think I forgot that I had a blog for a week or so. With the Idaho Book Extravaganza and all the things going on in the book world I lost it there for a time. No worries, I am back or so I think.

This event was great and the thing that got me was the response from the classes. So many authors out there are hunting a deer that does not exist. The big publishers all seem to have this hold over the minds of us authors and breaking through is like trying to get a boy to stop jumping in mud puddles.

Here is what I got from most the authors I come in contact with.

Why? Well they are told from the start that the way to publish is to write well, submit a great compelling query letter and wait for a response even if it takes a lifetime. And to make matters worse they want to make everyone go to the approved agents who are not taking on new work or they cannot get the big guys to buy any of the books they are selling!

They think that the books they spent their hours and soul on are not good enough to be published. They are rejected over and over or not even responded to from the so called big houses. The "Lucky" ones who make a deal are taken on a ride filled with low royalties and empty promises. The end comes and they are left with their work gone and their dreams crushed.

The rest of the story:

I look at this and wonder why no one told this mass of authors and writers that all the rules have changed? Why did no one tell them that book agents are going away and the small publishers are taking their place? The publishing world is not just changing it is no longer the thing it used to be. And is that a bad thing?

I say no.

The big 5 have had their day in the sun, they controlled the hill for far to long and it is time for the indi presses and authors to take back what is rightfully theirs. Now I am not saying that all traditional publishers are like this. most of the small ones are great but this monster that needs to be fed called the book business is about to loose its food source.

Now for you authors that fall into this mess cycle I have good news. You do not have to submit to a agent. You do not need to go to a big publisher to have your dream of having a book on the market realized. You have the power now and if you will only take it back, if you will do instead of wait things will turn.

Here is how things can be:

Stress free:
You write a great book and you submit it to a small publisher one that is a out of the box sort. Maybe one that loves eBooks and social media. You go through the process with a real person to hold your hand and in the end you are able to see your dream and become a published author.

This new way of publishing is not the one where a group of 5 men pay you an advance of 5-10k and after that you make 5-7%. NO, this is not sell your soul and rights away to a big publisher. This is freedom and 50% royalties on all eBooks and high back end royalties. This is "Make a living" selling books and be paid by the fans not some high on a hill house.

Really, which would you rather have, a advance because you convinced 5 guys at a house or money every month because the public loves your work? Do you want 5k up front and .25 per book after that or do you want 5-10k every month because your fans are buying? Are you in this long term or just want the pat on the back that comes with Random House?

The other thing is most publishing houses are not looking for new titles. Most good agents (the ones you want) are not taking on new work. So you can keep submitting your letters to people that are not buying or you can take control of your own future.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010


Holy cow! What in the world have you been doing Aaron? I follow your blog and after you send down some cool posts you drop off the face of the map! What up?

"You know, I am as busy as a fly on day three. I mean I get up and it is go, go, go and crash at night and hope to get a chance to read something before I fall dead to the world in my huge bed."

Whatever... you just think you are all that with your books and the new Nook B&N so gave you and now you are all like cool and junk.

"Deal I got to go to a slam the other night and filter out the smoke with my body so what more do you want? I really think you need a life and quit jibing the poor blogger who needs rest in a bad way."

Sure, you just want to leave us all in the dark. eBook are going crazy and we all want to know how to take it to the streets but you wont tell us the secret. Just sit up there on your high hill...

"-Hold it... back up now. You want something? You want something I think is a must, a event you must attend? Give you a shred of hope? Fine. The Idaho Book Extravaganza, in Meridian Idaho this weekend. Be there and don't bother me."

Dude... you rock!

"Peace out man."

Friday, October 8, 2010

CHAPTER TEN: eBooks and Bookstores

I am at the PNBA trade show here in Portland and most of the vendors here are publishers and book sellers and the attendees are bookstores. I attended some classes and watching this interaction between bookstores and the fear that is shown toward eBooks is something I wanted to touch on here for a minute.

I am a author first and a publisher second. Bookstores are way down on the chain and with the eBook world taking over the bookstores are left to wonder the future. Here is the facts and some thoughts and predictions.

The local bookstore will become what we now know as a record store. They will exist for used books and the rare books or signed copies. This will drive up the cost and we could see in the future books selling for 50+ dollars per book just because they will not be printed any more.

This future may scare some but some bookstore that get this future are doing the things needed now to stay in the game. Books are a way to get content into peoples hands. eBooks are just the new way to do this same thing.

Here are some ideas to hang in there and move the local bookstore to a local e-Bookstore.

Author events and community events. This is your link, what you have to offer to people that a online store cannot. You can bring in the author and connect them to the readers. This is powerful. But doing this needs to be 3 times a week or more and the involvement in book clubs and things like that are what will keep the business in your store.

Social media. Facebook, Twitter ect are the future. If you are not using these forms of advertising and reaching out into your world you are already behind the game. All i can say is this is a from of interaction that you MUST take advantage of... MUST.

Online stores. There are many ways to do this. Have a store where you can sell books and eBooks. This takes you from a small store to a worldwide store and you can talk and sell to people all over instead of just to buyers who come in to your store. Use the social media as your new way to talk and recommend books and all the things that make you special as a store. You can do the same thing and sometimes a better job online.

The key is REACH OUT! Be the place to hang out and the place to meet the local and national authors. But in the middle of this do not forget the local starting author. You are never to big or cool to have a local signing or help one person out. If you do you will be able to be around in the future even if it is online.

Friday, October 1, 2010

CHAPTER TEN: Book Extravaganza... accept no substitute...

I wanted to take a minute to let everyone know about THE event coming to Boise Idaho October 22-23. It is called "Idaho Book Extravaganza." This event will be the first for Boise and we have needed one for a long time now. We have all kinds of art in the park and Shakespeare festival type stuff but not much of anything for books.

Maryanna Young started years ago the "Woman's Fitness Celebration" and is not new to big events or books. She is a great person to boot. She is leading the charge and backed by Aloha Publishing, B&N, Hastings, Starbucks, StoneHouse Ink and Ampelon Publishing it will be the event to be at in October.

There will be vendor booths with local authors, agents, publishers, cover artists, web designers, marketers and more. Every half hour there will be classes with a wide range of subjects from some of the best speakers in the country.

Friday October 22, 2010

SESSION 1 Out of the Box Writing and Marketing 4:00 – 6:00

1. Vincent Zandri, (Best Selling Author and innovative book marketer) Out of the Box Marketing. 4:00-4:30
2. Donna Fletcher Crow (Author of 28 books) How to write a Realistic Novel. 4:40-5:10
3. Speaker to be announced 5:20-5:50

SESSION 2 Future of Publishing 6:00 – 7:30

1. Panel Discussion- Cutting Edge Trends in Writing and Publishing. Caxton Press, Stonehouse Ink and others. Facilitated by Aloha Publishing 6:00-6:30
2. Aaron Patterson (Best Selling Amazon Author) New Ways of Publishing and Selling: E-books, Social Media and More. 6:40-7:05
3. Rick Carns (E Commerce and Non Profit Consultant) How One Non Profit Took Their Book Sales from $15,000 to $470,000 in ONE year. 7:10-7:30

Saturday October 23, 2010

SESSION 1 Authors 10:00 – 12:00

1. Shira Heikkola, (Community Relations Director, Barnes and Noble) How to get my books placed in Barnes and Noble stores and 10:00-10:30
2. Ron Benrey, (Author of Writing Christian Fiction for Dummies, speaker, attorney) The Paradigm Shift in Publishing. 10:40-11:10
3. Aaron Patterson, (Best Selling Amazon Author) The E World is Coming, Are You Ready? 11:20-11:50

SESSION 2 Fiction Writers 12:00 – 2:30

1. Janet Benrey, (Author and nationally known literary agent) How to approach an agent. 12:00-12:30
2. Andrew Garcia (CEO of CustomBook Trailers.Net) Creating Hollywood Quality Book Trailers on a Budget. 12:40-1:10
3. Robin Lee Hatcher (Best Seller Author, writer of over 60 published novels) Staying Organized in the Chaos of Writing to Publish. 1:20-2:10

SESSION 3 Non-Fiction Writers 2:20 – 4:10

1. Maryanna Young (Author and CEO of Aloha Publishing) Writing the Book You’ve Always Wanted in Thirty Days or Less! 2:20-2:45
2. Nick Zelinger (World Class Book Designer) Your Book Cover … Create That ‘Love at First Sight’ Look … And Grab Your Target Market’s Attention.2:55-3:20
3. Tom Roy founder of international sports ministry UPI/Jason Chatraw, former sports writer and CEO of Ampelon Publishing. Writing for the sports industry. 3:30-4:00

SESSION 4 Its All About Selling 4:10 – 6:00

1. Peggy Jordan, (Editor and Full Time Writer) Your Ideal Reader—the Key to Writing a Book that Sells. 4:10-4:40
2. Justin Foster, Personal Branding for Authors 4:50-5:20
3. Jon Colson, You’re Done Writing, Time to Start Speaking: Sell You Book to Any Audience With Confidence. 5:30-6:00

You can sign up for the classes online at their website.

Now that you know a little about what this event is all about I ask you to mark your calender and do not miss this event. It will be held at the Silverstone plaza in Meridian. Come and meet the people in the Bizz, and say no to cheap imitations!

See you there!