Archive for March, 2012

The Futility

Posted: March 31, 2012 in Random Thoughts
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Van Gogh cut off his ear for love, they say. Well, I don’t know about you, but I’ve always wondered if he wasn’t batshit crazy to begin with. Maybe art does that to people. Maybe I’m on the verge of an ear-lopping moment because of my art.

I’ve promoted my books to friends and family. Obligingly, they buy one…not two. Sometimes they tell me that they’ve bought a book. The stats tell another story. Still, they’re my family. They’re my friends. I can’t hold it against them that they’re not really interested in the genre; descriptive romance (erotica). I promote on Twitter, on Facebook, through Pinterest (though I’m not sure that’s entirely legal).

Next month I’ll be putting two books on Amazon. Right now they’re on Smashwords for a test run. Ah, back to the numbers. Dismal. Even with the golden coupon for a 100% discount the numbers are dismal. So, what’s that all about? Well, two things: the quality of the writing (maybe I suck), and a glut in the market. Every day of the week I can go to Amazon, Smashwords, or any other number of e-book vendors and find a free book. There are only so many hours in a day, and I know I can’t read them all. I’ve a “backlist” of books for my leisure time.

Friday is my reading day. I try very diligently to pick one book by a new author, read it, review it, and then clear my mind in order to begin writing again on Monday. I have a husband who would like to get a little attention from me, occasionally, and of course, since he’s a 1950’s kind of guy, there are other domestic obligations. After all, he supports my writing addition…and I love him for that.

I’ve never written a bad review for a new author. It’s just not in my nature to cannibalize. I believe in the psychology of offering three positives before a negative, and that negative is said in a positive way. That said, I wonder how many new voices are being drowned out because of the sheer number of new voices all shouting for attention. Some are downright annoying, and I’ve tried to avoid becoming one of those groan-inducing writers. Self-promotion is great, but I don’t want to force myself into one-sided portraits for the rest of my life because I cut off a body part for love.

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Literary Famine

Posted: March 18, 2012 in Uncategorized

We’ve all read various blog posts about the new age of publishing. Internet users have access to an endless stream of information and entertainment, good and bad. I keep seeing statements about filtering out self-published titles from those of “reliable” publishers. Really? Does the publishing world expect to survive by sheer snobbery alone?

Business models and traditional marketing methods used by publishers for centuries have been turned on their sleeping heads while ballsy start-ups take the world by storm. Writers are becoming published authors with the click of a mouse and a URL. Some of these self-confident individualists are actually grabbing the Brass Ring and winning. All of this is a Darwinian wet dream. Some dinosaurs will ignore the changes while they wait for destruction. Some will diversify and survive. It’s that simple. Coca-Cola diversified but kept the original formula as a foundation to fuel growth.

Today’s big publishing houses are at a crossroads. Adapt or become extinct. How has the publishing industry responded to the changing market? By playing the blame game. The problem is, they can’t decide who to blame.

I buy eggs from a local farmer. New chickens lay eggs. Old chickens become stew. To sustain his future business he reserves some of the eggs and hatches them. He nurtures them through hatching and their painful awkward weeks until they become egg layers. This is called a sustainable marketing plan.

The Big Six (or Big Five) are too reliant upon their old chickens. But what about tomorrow? What about ten years from now? Who do they blame for their inevitable failure? The chicken or the egg? Sure, a few bad eggs can impact future growth. But what happens if you never hatch any of them?

Back to my local farmer. He sells organic eggs for $1.20 a dozen. Cheap Cheap. The local market sells them for up to $5.00 a dozen. He sells about 20 dozen eggs a day compared to less than three dozen at the local market. Why is the farmer doing so much better? It’s not just pricing. It’s the fact that I can order my eggs and they’re delivered to my door. They come in various sizes and shades of brown, but they’re still just eggs. I’m getting the same thing from the little egg that I do from the big one.

I’m happy to see publishers opening new e-book divisions and publishing up to sixty books a year. They could do more. They could nurture today’s eggs into becoming something positive. Something nourishing.

Reloadable Electric Sex

Posted: March 14, 2012 in Random Thoughts

*I hope you’ll pardon all intended puns and unintended double entendre

Today’s Wall Street Journal caught my eye. It wasn’t because of any of the financials (yawn), but because women are reading dirty books — privately. Apparently, they’re doing it so much that many of the major publishing houses are planning to begin publishing an increased number of E-Books in the new genre of Romantica.

Let me admit that for this reader of romance this has been a long time coming. At my age I have read just about every form of romantic writing. There are only so many times I can read about a man’s “member” or “manhood” in a sexual sense and not laugh. Speaking plainly, I cannot recall that I ever commented on a man’s member over drinks with the girls. Don’t try to tell me that ladies out there aren’t talking sex. We are. Now we’re reading about it in colorful, descriptive language.

As a writer, I’m thrilled! I’ve been writing this way for two decades. Every writing course I ever studied stressed one thing: find your voice and then write it. Feeling shunned by the writing community and the community at large for doing so, I never could find another voice.

I’d love to see more publishers jump on for the ride of their lives by publishing erotic romance. There are enough readers to go around. There are enough writers to supply their varied demands. Dare I say different strokes for different folks?

So, give us a shot — or two. Be willing to try new things without feeling guilty. You’re not cheating on your primary partners by having a little look on the wild side.