March 17 Weekly Roundup

Happy St. Patrick’s Day all!  I’m finally done with three weeks of work/convention/work life and hoping to get back into the quieter activities of life here.  Hopefully I haven’t missed any huge stories, but if I have … tell me about it!

For some reason, an author goes to Huffington Post to put down the idea that blog tours are all that useful 

This seems to make people mad.  This might be bad form too, because the owners of the blogs who reviewed the work get mad.   Writers who use blog tours also get mad!  The irony in this is that the author’s provocative and complaining blog gets him more notice than all of the blog tours combined.  (As a cynical netizen, this is really what I think the author was after to begin with. That said, I still predict that few sales will result from the blog post at HuffPo, despite its high profile given the author’s original hypothesis that blog tours don’t do squat.)   But at least there’s a reasonable comment from someone who sounds like they understand the internet!

Blog tours are, for some reason, part of a lot of ‘Marketing’ strategies that book writers seems to take. I’m not particularly sure why given that a lot of blogs haven’t proven that they have a) an audience b) the audience you want and c) an audience that can be motivated to purchase product.

Authors should spend less time talking to authors IMHO at blogs.  They should look at marketing magazines and sites.  They should go to where the readers are.

Generation M or Generation Mobile

This might be repackaging of information already well-understood by many webfiction/ online novel/ serial writers, but the basic premise is that consumption of media is shifting to mobile platforms.  Webfiction writers need to understand this in terms of how they publish their content.   See this article which reports/repackages data from the Pew Report in ways we might understand: 

Waterstones offers extra content to lure readers away from Amazon

An interesting strategy that webfiction authors might consider to compel readers to buy a compiled, edited version of their serial fiction. We’ll have to see how this works for Waterstones… 

The crude realities of money and fiction

This piece in Salon.com illustrates why neither rank or sales necessarily translates into the ability of writers to actually make a living off their craft. While the success stories of millionaires in the self-publishing world are great, they are the outliers.  Most of the success stories that are touted heavily involve authors with not just one book, but a deeper backlist who are able to mobilize to take advantage of lucky situations like the one that happened to the author. 
I’m not sure why there’s a pervasive belief that writers are going to publish a book and become instantly rich.  Maybe there’s a misunderstanding that in a creative field you can manufacture your success.  That is something artists all know is far from the truth. Much of it is in the hands of lady luck and the audience on the other side.  
And the comments section is pretty interesting as readers attempt to really dissect the numbers.  I’m not sure it matters to me what 4000 copies this guy sold or not. Really the point is the economics of writing is sad.

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