So the book signing in Hadley, MA took place on Sunday as per schedule.
First off, I must say a huge thank you to the Hadley Barnes & Noble folks. They were very friendly, wonderful, and I feel did their best in the face of whatever is going on in B&N’s HQ these days.
Which brings me to the full detailed version. Again: local store awesome; corporate to blame.
Is 1 week prior to Father’s Day a good date to have a Teen Fest thing? I don’t know, maybe something closer to July or closer to Memorial Day or nearer to an approximation of Spring Break? Suffice to say the teens that were there were shopping for Daddy, not for themselves.
Advertisement. You’re Barnes & Noble for crying out loud. Did you leave all the promo up to the individual stores? I hope not. Especially for something you were doing across all your stores. This is a good time to get maximum bang for your advertising dollars by running national ad campaigns to draw attention to this thing. Sure, local stores do a little on their social media and in-store, maybe local papers to highlight just who is going to be this store’s guests, but … come on. Then again, B&N doesn’t seem to have a firm grasp on marketing. I mean, have you ever seen them advertise much? Never mind their stores, how about the Nook? Their stores are their primary POS for the thing, and their website, but how many B&N banner ads have you seen on websites, or radio/tv/billboard/newspaper adverts have you seen for the Nook, the B&N website, or the physical stores? Sorry guys, but you’re second or lower to Amazon (who is an evil evil bunch of people whose downfall I shall cheer greatly) … follow Avis car rentals’ example “We’re number 2, but we try harder” philosophy!
A clearer vision and communication of what the Teen Fest would be. Looking around online at what other stores were doing, it was rather mixed methods and mixed thinking. Some stores had workshops that … well … someone explaining how to write a long line description – you know the dreaded Twitter Blurb! Okay, first off, that’s hard for a lot of writers to do. Come on, for crying out loud, we just took 400 pages and 500 000 words to say “boy meets girl, girl falls in love with boy, they date and fall in love and get married and have 65 kids, 8000 grandkids, and 14 goats, and the kingdom was saved!” we really aren’t going to squeeze it all down with ease. I mean, a writers’ panel with Q&A for geeky fannish teens to come to, certainly, but traditional writers’ workshop kind of stuff doesn’t tend to be a crowd draw for any age demographic, targeting it to teens is going to get you maybe 3 people.
Honestly, I rather expected something like this. I mean B&N was virtually the only bookstore around in the part of Georgia I moved from so it was the place that got people like Steve Harvey … and few people showed up because few people knew about it. I now know why Terry Brooks‘ appearance that same day in South Hadley, was at a little place called Odyssey Bookshop. Big name authors often are very expressive about wanting to support the small mom & pop sort of stores. Which, I believe, is definitely a big part of it. But it’s also that I believe the smaller stores have a better means of reaching people and bringing folks in.
A small bookshop actually is more likely to have regulars engaged both in face-to-face conversations as well as social media interactions. Your smaller bookshop is more likely to have the customer walk in for a copy of Wintersmith and wind up staying to chit chat for 3 hours while browsing around for 2. Watch folks at a big chain store, they walk in, pause at the display of the latest from Stephen King, then make a beeline for what they’re there for, spend a few minutes finding it on the shelf, a couple more minutes looking around that same few feet to see if there’s anything else by that author they want to grab, then back to the cash register. If they stay, it’s to drink coffee and use the free wifi. The small shoppe is almost always in a location with a lot of passerby foot traffic and so puts out a chalkboard sign that is colourful and attention getting so all those window shoppers and bankers-off-to-lunch pass and see it. B&N is starting to trend itself into malls, but there’s no chalkboard signs. B&N isn’t likely to take out an ad in the paper. Small shoppe knows that most subscriptions doesn’t equal most readers, they know the little (usually free, so ads cost a little more, but it’s worth it) local indie paper (i.e. The Metro Spirit in the CSRA) is the way to go and put in a good sized ad there. The little shoppe also knows that an investment in a few minutes with a desktop publishing software, a printer, and a few dozen sheets of paper taken around to the local coffee shops and other places with a bulletin board … or adhered to a few strategic lampposts …
Really; never blame the local personification of the chain store. They’re following corporate dictates which nearly never make the slightest sense and trying to run on a very restricted and controlled budget. It’s the folks in HQ who deserve a great big “Are you one drugs?” response.
I should have posted this sooner, but I’ve had a distracting week. Some of it good, too much of it bad.
Regardless, Now & Forever is on sale for the entire month of December wherever it’s possible (which pretty much just means Not Nook, though some Amazon stores might not have marked it down properly either).
As always, this exclusively applies to the eBooks. The way the print books are done gives me almost no promotional capacity myself. Also, the books are sold at very little profit so promotions on the print edition would not go well.
I like supporting various e-readers and their associated services. It’s, frankly, not usually very difficult.
Sadly, Kobo has decided to make it so. For no reason I can fathom they do not accept ePub files that even the most exacting alternatives accept without question and that work on their App (I don’t have one of their devices so have no idea), won’t accept a MOBI file that Amazon took no issue with, and does very strange things when fed a raw .doc/.docx file. Therefore, while Love or Lust will continue to be sold there for the foreseeable future, Ready or Not will not be carried there nor will any future books.
If you’re a Kobo user you can get ePub copies from Apple, DriveThru Fiction, and Smashwords. Nook is also an ePub version, but it can be awkward to get at the file, though not impossible — so Barnes & Nobleis another source of the file. I do not use DRM so the file you get from any of those sources will play happily with your device so long as Kobo continues to support standard ePub format. My personal recommendation is not-Smashwords as the formatting gets a little weird after the trip through their “meat grinder” which is as horrible as it sounds.
I am actually very sad to be leaving Kobo, and I may return some day if their service to the publisher/author improves. They are almost as respectful to their content providers as Apple and offer many of the same services. Only DriveThru Fiction can remotely say the same. Still I have no intention to spend hours or even days pulling my hair out trying to track down its various imagined code errors.
English: Fireworks on the Fourth of July (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
It’s July. Ready or Not will be out this month (depending how horrible some of my mistakes are between here and the end of the book — a few days to another week or two!) and my birthday all in the same month!
To celebrate this Love or Lust is free, everywhere I can set it to free, all month. Amazon should set itself to free automatically sooner or later (I don’t have control of the price below 99¢); Nook doesn’t like the word free unless it’s a public domain or I personally strike a deal with their marketing division or something that would involve buying a really nice dress I can’t afford and speaking businessese. Everyone else ought to be reflecting a 100% discount as of yesterday.
Due to all the grief and nightmare getting the book to discount for all of you who prefer Kindle meaning nearly half (or more) of the sale was over before it could be taken advantage of, I’ve decided to bump it another week.
So, until the 9th of March you’ll be able to get Love or Lust for 75% off in ebook.
Tell your friends, you enemies, your local radio station, the pope, Ben & Jerry (please inform them, in fact, that — should they wish — I’ll negotiate copies of the book for a pint of ice cream), extraterrestrial abductors, random strangers, and the Easter Bunny about this! Get creative.
Hell … that’s a fun idea! Anyone who actually takes my shameless pleading to heart, and can show me proof of your elabourate and creative endeavour to spread the word … I’ll give you a free copy of the ebook, and one first place winner gets a signed paperback (free ebooks for creative shameless plugging till the end of the month, on 1 April I’ll announce the paperback winner … if anyone decides to play along, that is).
So I was poking around on Smashwords today and discovered something wonderful! They offer pre-order!
This is outrageously awesome.
Now, a few things to bear in mind: I do not distribute through Smashword’s Premium Catalogue. I go to each marketplace myself. Apple, Kobo (if I recall correctly), and (now) Smashwords allows this. Amazon does not, DriveThru Fiction … I don’t think so, and neither does Nook (unless they’ve changed something, too). All Romance eBooks, I’m still getting the hang of, they may offer pre-order and I’ve bungled right past it so I won’t hazard a guess either way.
Still — for everywhere I can — I will be putting Ready or Not up for pre-order just as soon as I have a date I’m comfortable it’ll be ready for release on.
I’m almost ill with excitement and nervousness. I do so sincerely hope you’ll all enjoy it as much or more than Love or Lust! I’ll warn those who have very strict notions of what a plot is: this is very much more slice of life; it’s better seen as several little plots carrying the thread of a central theme … and I’ve exhausted everything I remember from literature classes (I loved my high school lit teachers, but loathed the subject … in college I loathed both the professor and subject). I’ll ask my editor to give me the literary way of saying what it is sometime later today and tell you more tonight or tomorrow. I’m better at saying what things are about, myself.
P.S. for my fellow WordPressers who still want those neat Zemanta services for related articles, suggested links, suggested tags, etc. There’s a browser plugin for that! Safari, Chrome, Firefox, and Internet Explorer (oh God, I nearly typed ‘Exploder’ … I’d rather take a lit class than use IE). Opera is, however, not supported; all other browsers I can think of (Tor, Flock, etc) are modified Firefox, so should be fine to use the one for it.
I can’t make the print book free. Seriously, I don’t have that kind of control over the pricing. There’s a minimum, and the price is already not much above that.
I can’t set it free in all eBook retailers. Sad, but true. Some will set themselves. Amazon, for example. I have no control of WHEN they’ll do so nor when they’ll set the price back. Weird, but true. As I recall Nook and Amazon were the only places, though. Or was that Kobo and Amazon? Oh well, if it’s 31 October and the price isn’t changed … that’s why.
That’s it. It’s the same thing you’d pay us$3.99 (or various other prices around the world — I’m in 51 countries, give me a break here) for, just free for the Halloween weekend. A gift to celebrate Samhain and wish everyone a fun fall, a happy (early or belated depending where you’re standing) Thanksgiving, and so on.
I hope you’ll take advantage of it. Tell your friends. Etc.
I’ve never been the world’s biggest fan of the Nook devices or apps, nor B&N‘s publisher tools (first PubIt, now NookPress) for various reasons (not the least of which is their wont to ignore their own field where one puts the ISBN of the eBook — forcing the use of a BNID) and now I’ve found a new reason: can’t give away the book.
I’ve been looking. Like Amazon, the lowest you can set the price is 0.99USD, but unlike Amazon there is no “Report lower price” function.
Kindle users — keep an eye on Amazon for it to go free there — but in the mean time DTF and SW will work for you as well.
Kobo and iBookers, you’ll be fine. Albeit I, apparently, chose a bad day to think of this idea because iTunes Connect is down for maintenance. Hopefully it will be back up in time for me to keep you guys in the sale. If not you’ll get your days offset to Sunday – Wednesday instead of Saturday – Tuesday. And if you really were looking forward to it on Saturday, DTF and SW options are there. Or you can use the Kobo version, but only if you also use their app.