market research: tammy blackwell

I am finding indie authors to be so open and kind! Due to the promptings of one of my many smarter-than-I friends, I reached out to another bestselling eBook author, Tammy Blackwell. She quickly got back to me with the following words of wisdom:

The first month my readers were all people I know. What I did do, though, was any time someone sent me a message saying they enjoyed the book I replied back with, “Would you mind posting a review on Amazon or Goodreads if you have time? That would really help me out!” And, really, I think that is what helped the most, having a 4 or 5 good reviews there in the beginning.

So, friends who have read The Rival, watch out! I will be asking you to post your reviews. Let me know what kind of bribes work best for you.

market research update: addison moore

I emailed Addison Moore to ask for some advice on launching an eBook. She very kindly provided a speedy reply. Thank you, Addison!

Here was a particularly good piece of advice, I thought: “Make sure if you go the indie route you really take your time and find a great cover. The cover of your book will sway readers long before they ever find out what your story is about.

To that end, I’ve been playing around with some cover ideas for The Rival. Here’s something I sketched up in PowerPoint, using art by the amazing Jenny Edmondson:

market research: addison moore

One of my many smarter-than-I friends suggested I find out what’s selling in eBooks for Young Adults. The majority are eBook versions of books in print; but there do seem to be an increasing number of indie eBook-only authors selling in the top 100. Addison Moore is another good example. And… I’m starting to pick up on a few themes: paranormal / romance / paranormal romance.

Not sure whether or not this is good news or bad news for The Rival. It has some sci-fi elements. More action and adventure. But no romance to speak of. Variety is the spice of life, but you can’t argue with the readers!

query tally: the rival

No response over the last month from agent #11. Sigh. It’s the one-year anniversary of sending this manuscript out. The query tally for The Rival: Part I of Bex Blixen and the Electroleviathans is now:

Agents giving constructive feedback: 1

Agents giving generic feedback: 6

Agents providing no response: 4

I’ll need to find time to work on query #12 this weekend.

technology = impatience

I’m getting sooo frustrated with the huge number of not only ereaders, but types of ebook files. I’ve had to start a spreadsheet of all of the websites I need log in info for, and all of the different conversion software I need.

This is exactly why I call myself “the impatient writer”. C’mon, Bethany, it’s not like you’re having to write on parchment with a quill by candlelight! Get over it!

Reminds me of one of my all time favorite Louis C.K. clips.

market research update: katie klein

I emailed Katie Klein asking her about her eBook sales success, and how she had initially gotten the word out. She very kindly replied! Thank you, Katie.

Katie shares: “The truth is, I didn’t do any major advertising/promotion when I released my books. I released them quietly in the middle of the night. :)”

This was not the response I expected… but seems to be perhaps an encouraging sign. Maybe there is an element of “if you build it, they will come” in this business.

kindle:past :: android:future… ?

I finished reading The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle on my Kindle. (I have to agree with my sister on this one – TW-UBC is not Murakami’s finest.) I enjoyed reading the book, and the whole eBook thing really didn’t intrude a whole lot on the experience. However, one of my many smarter-than-I friends called the Kindle a dinosaur, and I have to agree.

My phone, the Samsung Galaxy, is pretty f**king awesome. I can do just about anything on this phone that I can on my computer (except hard-core Microsoft Office stuff), and when it comes to facebook / twitter / photos / video, in a lot of ways the phone is better than my computer. With Android Market, I can read books on my phone AND my computer. The books are in the cloud; I can read them from anywhere. Cool.

Is the book formatting on my phone kind of wack? Yes. But is it any better on the Kindle? Surprisingly, NO. The fact of the matter is, the Kindle does not display books any better than on my phone or computer.

That said, it is a labyrinth trying to figure out how to get books up on Android Market. I messed around with this for a couple of hours today but despite wandering into Google Books, Google Checkout, Android Developer, Google Partners, etc. etc. I feel like I’m no further along than when I started. Sigh.