Another Idea to Keep Indie Bookstores in Business

I'll be honest in saying that I haven't been to an independent bookstore in ages.  The closest one is about 20 minutes away; not far, but then the car is getting old (just had a crap-load of fixes done to it), and I really don't want to wear it out.  I drive far enough to and from Ye Olde Temp Job as it is.

But that store is in a very nice area, where there's a river and an old mill; very picturesque.  (If I told you the name of the town or of the mill - it's pretty well known - I'd have to kill you. ;-))

So what brought all this up?  This particular post about what one indie bookstore is doing to stay in business.  True, Cambridge, Massachusetts, isn't as small as the little town I live in (less than 1,000 people), but the idea of printing out ebooks is intriguing.  And, yes, they do print ebooks of local authors, which is always cool. :-)  They're using the Xerox Expresso Machine to print them out

It's Been 27 Years...

It's our wedding anniversary!

It was 27 years ago today that we were married.  The day before was rainy, but it cleared up the next day (a Saturday).  Whew.

About a month before that, I found out that the church screwed up; they scheduled another wedding for the same day.  Of course I freaked out!  (Young bride, all that.)  But cooler heads soon prevailed, and people at the church realized the mistake.  What we did turned out to be nice - we had our receiving line outside the church instead of inside.  The other wedding then entered the church, etc., etc.

Pretty flowers all around, a sunny day, and my honey bunny. :-)

BTW, I was only 3-1/2 years old when I got married. ;-)  J/K.  I was all of 21, my hubby, 22.  I was 3 weeks shy of my birthday.  (I'll do the math for you - I'll be 49 on June 21, the first day of Summer.)  Although most people don't think I look that old, lol.

I now return you to your regular (or irregular) life. :-)

Readers Are Morons

Have you seen this post at Rachelle Gardner's blog?  (She's an agent.)

The gist of it, as far as I'm concerned, is that readers are morons.  Why?  Because unless your book is vetted by the big NY publishers, you won't know what to read!  ::gasp!::  You won't know where to find the books you need to read!  ::double gasp!!::


Is this how agents feel about us, the lowly public?  Cast aside the whole writers thing; think like a reader.  Remember that first time you read through a book and understood the story?  Remember when your mother/father/relative encouraged you to read, read, read?

So in Ms. Gardner's insular (ooo, a gold star word!) world, readers are idiots who can't find their way around books without a leash of some sort.  And she thinks that indies/self pubbers aren't going to be serving readers?  In what way?  Self pubbers are eliminating the middlemen (agents) and serving up their stories directly to readers; readers will then decide whether a writer and his/her stories are worth their time, by buying or turning a blind eye to their stuff.

The writers who continually produce crap will fade from the scene.

The NY publishing world will keep recommending "safe" books to their bosses, while self pubbers and the small independents out there will keep putting out "unsafe" books: those that NY deems unworthy of publication.  Self pubbers and the small independents will do something that NY hasn't done in a while.

They'll give the readers what they want.

Power to the people! :-)


Gift Cards as Books

I love getting gifts; I order them for myself all the time. :-)  Anyway, if you're into the indie/self pub thing, and you want to get more people to read your book for relatively cheap, why not try this:


You might have to search around for the right print company (even check printers in your area; you never know), but if you can do some promo for little money, it might be worth it.

To summarize the above article, you can put a PDF copy of your cover (color) and a PDF copy of the back of the book (b&w) on the card, and have your first book for free on Smashwords (use those coupon codes Smashwords provides), leave the redeem period open, and (hopefully) a lot people will start to download that book...and then look for your other books.

Yeah, I LOVE getting gifts.  Sounds like a cool idea. :-)


A Step-by-Step Guide to Formatting Ebooks

Just Write! with Anne Marie Novark Romance Author: How to Format Ebooks

The above is a post is one that will help simplify formatting your ebooks. This is especially true if you're afraid of computers or just aren't convinced you're that good with Word, etc.

Not me.  I am a computer goddess.  (I'm also quite modest. ;-))

Although Guido Henkel has a similar guide for the same thing, it's spread out over several posts; he should probably put up an ebook just on that, because I'd probably buy it just to have it all in one spot.  (Still is worth a look-see, though.)  This is succinct, and it really does step you through what to do.  Just be wary that she uses a Mac, so her menus, etc., will be different.

Ms. Novark says it took her a while the first time through, but it's gotten easier each time she uploads.

So don't be afraid to try and do it yourself.

The End of the World?

The nuts and whackos (no, not me; I know you were thinking that ;-)) have been coming out of the woodwork and cobwebs about the end of the world.

Well, I want to get the jump on them, by one day anyway...

For your viewing and listening pleasure, here is R.E.M.'s It's the End of the World As We Know It (and I Feel Fine).

Think of it as the last fun video you watch before oblivion tomorrow. ;-)


Gross is Better Than Net

So what the hell is silly ol' Nancy talking about, hmm?

Well, between this post on Dean Wesley Smith's site, and this post on J. Daniel Sawyer's site, you'll know exactly what I'm getting at.  And it ain't pretty.  (I could segue into some agents setting up as publishers, but I'll digress at this point...)


Promotion and Readers

There was a discussion over on Dean Wesley Smith's site, in this post, in the comments section.

I found a comment there about readership studies and the effect of promotion on reader's buying habits.  Unfortunately, one of the studies was off limits, and although the commenter remembered a more recent study, she linked to this one, from 2009.

Yes, it's RWA (Romance Writers of America), so maybe their buying habits are skewed in some way, but it's interesting reading nonetheless.  There are several nuggets in the study that are something to think about; not on a day-in, day-out basis, but to kind of tuck away in your gray matter.  (Well, I'll be tucking it away in my gray matter anyway. :-))



Slowly I turn, inch by inch...

Oh, sorry, that's an old comedy routine (probably made most famous by The Three Stooges).

Anyway, I finally set up a separate checking account for my own publishing company (lol), March Winds Publishing.  It's with a local bank.  The lady at the bank was very polite and helpful; it's truly free checking.  No minimum that you have to keep in the bank or you get fees - nothing like that.  And I get a debit card with it, too; for me, that's necessary, in that I need to upgrade my laptop very soon.  (I'd like to get it before the Amazon Prime trial runs out.)

Now I've just got to get out of editing the first book, which I'm hoping is the end of this month.  I've already got the idea for the cover, yadda, yadda, yadda.  So many things to think about, but it's fun despite all the headaches. :-)

I'm shooting for my late father's birthday (June 1).  We'll see.


More Writer's Block Stuff - Using Music As a Breakthrough

With a title like that, you can see how much I use the word "stuff," eh? ;-)  And why I named my blog the way I did.  (It was actually part of a challenge to my husband, altho he's a slacker as far as blogs are concerned; YouTube is more his speed, while I'm ::meh:: about YouTube.)

Anyway, found this post through Konrath's blog (in the comments section), and then further looking through the writer's posts.