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Author Topic: I'm Disappointed
Just_Jess_B

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Icon 2 posted April 26, 2007 09:00      Profile for Just_Jess_B   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I shouldn't be. I really shouldn't be, but I am. I mean, I sold six books, right? I even got an email about it from someone here who bought it and liked it. That's awesome!

I know it's my job to put it out there and sell it (selling myself, in a way). I know it's only been ten days. I know it's a tight genre; trying to convince a culture which worships the Idiot Box (and doesn't read any more) that they need yet ANOTHER Sci-Fi/Fantasy book is like trying to convince a female mouse it wants to have sex with a male elephant.

Ain't gonna happen.

So, my confession is that while I really should be deliriously happy that I sold six books, I'm being a binty for wishing with my little wishing heart that I could have written a breakaway novel that everyone wants to read through some freak psychic event which makes everyone hit my site and put that "How to Be an Alpha Male" book in the dust on the lulu.com site.

I'll go now and be happy I got the six books and the one email. That's six books and one email more than I had 3 1/2 years ago, when I started writing. [Smile]

Okay, I feel better.

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Opinion is not Truth; that is why each has its own definition. Illiteracy sucks.

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HalfVast

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Icon 1 posted April 26, 2007 09:29      Profile for HalfVast     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Well I got notice yesterday that my copy had shipped.
I don't know if that was included in your count or not.

I don't think even breakout titles 'break out' in the
first week. You have to wait for people like me
to read it and tell everyone we know how great it
is! Give it a couple of more weeks and I'm sure
it will start to move.

Posts: 796 | From: In the mitten around the abductor pollicis brevis. | Registered: Jan 2005  |  IP: Logged
WinterSolstice

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Icon 1 posted April 26, 2007 09:38      Profile for WinterSolstice     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
We just need to convince people that reading rare sci-fi gets them laid [Big Grin]

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An operating system should be like a light switch... simple, effective, easy to use, and designed for everyone.

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CommanderShroom
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Icon 1 posted April 26, 2007 09:44      Profile for CommanderShroom     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
And people like me that shelled out the last of their paper money on a couple of beers in Costa Mesa.

BTW, it was great to meet everyone.

--------------------
Does he know our big secret?
Has one of us confessed?
'Bout the wires circuits and motors
Buried in our chest

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Just_Jess_B

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Icon 1 posted April 26, 2007 09:45      Profile for Just_Jess_B   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
For me, too. [Big Grin] We need to do something like that again, closer to your neck of the woods.

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Opinion is not Truth; that is why each has its own definition. Illiteracy sucks.

Posts: 1370 | From: Whaddya mean, Arizona? | Registered: May 2003  |  IP: Logged
WinterSolstice

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Icon 1 posted April 26, 2007 09:47      Profile for WinterSolstice     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
It was fun indeed [Smile]

While it is a little slow to launch, I think we were expecting no more than 2 or 3 copies to sell ever. Therefore I'd say it's exceeding expectations by 100% [Big Grin]

It's not even live on Amazon yet - this is still the soft launch. No ad campaign, no reviews yet. Just relax and have confidence that what you wrote will get to those that want to read it.

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An operating system should be like a light switch... simple, effective, easy to use, and designed for everyone.

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Stereo

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Icon 1 posted April 26, 2007 10:34      Profile for Stereo     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
And more are coming! Well, at least one - mine! But as I want my copy signed, and I don't see the need to have the book cross the border thrice, I'm waiting until Jess tells me she has copies ready to send (a pm, plus the name and address to send the check/money order to - I'd even create a paypal account if needed!) to make it an official sale.

To cheer you up, Jess, a site about Isaac Asimov says:
quote:
By March 18, 1941, Isaac Asimov had written thirty-one stories, sold seventeen, and fourteen had been published. At that time, he considered himself nothing more than a third-rate writer. That evening, he sat down to write his thirty-second story, based on an idea suggested by Astounding editor John W. Campbell the day before. By April 8, he finished the story, titled "Nightfall", and on April 9 he took it to Campbell. Two days later, he received [a] letter from Campbell, and the history of science fiction was changed forever.


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Eppur, si muove!

Galileo Galilei

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Metasquares
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Icon 1 posted April 26, 2007 10:47      Profile for Metasquares   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
You just need to wait until it hits Amazon and then market it like crazy [Smile]

I bought a copy, but left it at home, so I haven't been able to read it over the week.

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Just_Jess_B

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Icon 1 posted April 26, 2007 11:38      Profile for Just_Jess_B   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Thanks everyone -- WinterSolstice and I will talk about getting some copies in, then, for signing and sending out through the website, itself.

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Opinion is not Truth; that is why each has its own definition. Illiteracy sucks.

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Snaggy

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Icon 3 posted April 26, 2007 12:48      Profile for Snaggy   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Definitely sell some yourself on your website... that's what Nitro and I do. Way more are sold on Amazon and the like, for much cheaper than we can offer, but people appreciate the custom messages and signatures.

other ideas... offer them as giveaways. It's a great way to get some attention. You may also want to place a few ads on suitable sites. (discloser: I am both a purveyor of ads and giveaways. [Razz] )

create news: write a story about yourself and flog it to the press... (but you prolly know that already.)

make the cover of the next book even sexier. [Big Grin]

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Serenak

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Icon 1 posted April 26, 2007 14:05      Profile for Serenak     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Just Jess

I started reading a few pages on the preview you get and was gripped, I want to get a copy as soon as I can - but my car just cost me £200 (that is about $400 US) for a new radiator and my wife blew the "margin" for the month very kindly buying me series 4 and 5 of SG-1 on DVD...

So at least one more sale will happen - maybe next month... maybe a month after that - mortgage, bank manager and family expenses allowing

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"So if you want my address - it's No. 1 at the end of the bar, where I sit with the broken angels, clutching at straws and nursing my scars..."

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Serenak

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Icon 1 posted April 26, 2007 14:10      Profile for Serenak     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Damn - double posted, don't cha just hate that?

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"So if you want my address - it's No. 1 at the end of the bar, where I sit with the broken angels, clutching at straws and nursing my scars..."

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boo
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Icon 1 posted May 04, 2007 22:05      Profile for boo     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Chin up, Jess. I haven't been writing for a couple of years, but from what I remember, something like 95% of books sell fewer than 5,000 copies! Sell a measly 5,000 copies and you're considered a success, lol. [Big Grin]

And it's true that publishers do expect you to be relentless in self promotion (something I was never very interested in.) Of course, it helps when they schedule the big stuff like tv appearances and such, but fewer and fewer writers are doing that sort of thing, it seems. Viewers tend to be more interested in Hollywood celebrities than authors. But there is always your local market morning show, cable access, etc. Radio promotions are pretty common and easy to do though, and you can do them in your jamas. [Big Grin]

Numbers are good, numbers help pay the bills .. but what is priceless are the letters you get from people who have been deeply touched and affected by your work. It's only been a few days. Wait til those start coming in and you'll forget to worry about the numbers. [thumbsup]

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Metasquares
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Icon 1 posted May 05, 2007 06:22      Profile for Metasquares   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by boo:
Chin up, Jess. I haven't been writing for a couple of years, but from what I remember, something like 95% of books sell fewer than 5,000 copies! Sell a measly 5,000 copies and you're considered a success, lol. [Big Grin]

Something like this happens in general in economics; it's called the Paredo principle (or "the 80/20 rule").
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maximile

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Icon 1 posted May 05, 2007 07:13      Profile for maximile   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Perhaps you should do some weird, culty ARG or some other kind of game set in the book's world? Although that sounds like a lot of effort.

But I certainly intend to buy one once this term finishes. And once I'm convinced that you're going to release the sequels, cause I don't want to be left hanging... [Wink]

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Just_Jess_B

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Icon 1 posted May 05, 2007 13:19      Profile for Just_Jess_B   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by maximile:
Perhaps you should do some weird, culty ARG or some other kind of game set in the book's world? Although that sounds like a lot of effort.

We've talked about it for a tabletop, but that would be at least a year after publication.


quote:
Originally posted by maximile:

once I'm convinced that you're going to release the sequels, cause I don't want to be left hanging... [Wink]

Hard Publication Dates:

Book 2: Nightmare Specters will be released 15 October 2007.
Book 3: Solaray Dawn will be released 15 April 2008.

I also have a couple of short stories. I'm hoping if people get into it, they might add some fanfic that I can put up on the site -- or at least some science fiction short-stories of whatever.

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Opinion is not Truth; that is why each has its own definition. Illiteracy sucks.

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boo
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Icon 1 posted May 05, 2007 22:30      Profile for boo     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Metasquares:
quote:
Originally posted by boo:
Chin up, Jess. I haven't been writing for a couple of years, but from what I remember, something like 95% of books sell fewer than 5,000 copies! Sell a measly 5,000 copies and you're considered a success, lol. [Big Grin]

Something like this happens in general in economics; it's called the Paredo principle (or "the 80/20 rule").
I'm familiar with that principle. But I took the statistic to be representative of what a poor job publishing houses are doing in understanding what the public wants to read and is willing to buy. They do put out a fair amount of tripe. And not surprisingly, it doesn't sell. [ohwell]
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Just_Jess_B

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Icon 1 posted May 06, 2007 09:41      Profile for Just_Jess_B   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by boo:
I'm familiar with that principle. But I took the statistic to be representative of what a poor job publishing houses are doing in understanding what the public wants to read and is willing to buy. They do put out a fair amount of tripe. And not surprisingly, it doesn't sell. [ohwell]

I suppose, then, the anarchy that is print-on-demand publishing is allowing people to finally reach a democratic situation (where a purchase equals a monetary vote). The publishing industry, I agree, is a lot like the American Democratic Process: you get to choose from a list you may or may not like, and it's more often miss than hit.

The Pareto principle, however, wouldn't really apply to the sale of 5,000 of this individual title (it would imply that, of 5,000 copies sold, 1,000 people bought 5 copies apiece). I'm gambling that, by word of mouth and lending and repurchase of lost copies (due to lending), it becomes a breakout novel. I know there are more than 5,000 English-reading in the world who enjoy science fiction. The hope is to reach at least 5,000 of them -- or reach enough people who are willing to shell out more than a mainstream novel costs for the content. If that happens, then the costs will drop for future novels (having proved that, with nothing but word-of-mouth, I gained a potential market share which would expand if put into stores).

Part of the reason I chose the pseudonym surname of Alter: it gets me dropped right between Douglas Adams and Isaac Asimov -- not a bad place to sit, if you ask me.

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Opinion is not Truth; that is why each has its own definition. Illiteracy sucks.

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Maggs
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Icon 1 posted May 25, 2007 18:16      Profile for Maggs     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by WinterSolstice:
We just need to convince people that reading rare sci-fi gets them laid [Big Grin]

Hmmm. Interesting [Wink]
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Huicho
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Icon 1 posted May 31, 2007 09:55      Profile for Huicho     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I'm sorry people have not been buying your book more. I really liked it. I'm still waiting for advance chapters on the third book. Maybe the way to market it is to write a video game based in the story. It would not be a shootem up game. It would be like an adventure or role playing game. People would be trying to solve the mistery of Dome world or ty to take it down.
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garlicguy

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Icon 1 posted May 31, 2007 10:11      Profile for garlicguy   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
JJB -

I've stayed out of these threads thus far due to being irresponsibly behind on my required reading - thus I'm not going to be looking at your work anytime soon.

However:

There are literally millions of good books, good recipes, wonderful products that are brought to market in the world. Those that survive and thrive are not, necessarily the best in their class. They are the ones with the best marketing.

For freebies, try PRweb. But before you put up your first release, be certain to read all their guidelines or you'll get blown out of the water. After that, it is a very powerful launching tool.

Good luck,

gg

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I don't know what I was thinking... it seemed like a good idea at the time.

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fs

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Icon 1 posted June 01, 2007 03:11      Profile for fs   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Just_Jess_B:
I suppose, then, the anarchy that is print-on-demand publishing is allowing people to finally reach a democratic situation (where a purchase equals a monetary vote). The publishing industry, I agree, is a lot like the American Democratic Process: you get to choose from a list you may or may not like, and it's more often miss than hit.

My opinion is that with print-on-demand and electronic distribution channels, publishing houses become a very valuable quality control that helps me, as a reader, weed out a vast number of works that would never have made it out of a slush pile but now can be self published without any editorial input, including a simple spellcheck. (The other tool is reviews in magazines and journals.)

quote:
Originally posted by Just_Jess_B:
I'm gambling that, by word of mouth and lending and repurchase of lost copies (due to lending), it becomes a breakout novel. I know there are more than 5,000 English-reading in the world who enjoy science fiction. The hope is to reach at least 5,000 of them -- or reach enough people who are willing to shell out more than a mainstream novel costs for the content. If that happens, then the costs will drop for future novels (having proved that, with nothing but word-of-mouth, I gained a potential market share which would expand if put into stores).

Some ideas for building that word of mouth:

Maybe you could talk to some local bookstores and see if they would be willing to let you put some copies in? Also maybe see if you can do readings? I know the B&N where I used to live had readings and also a section for work by local authors.

Also, check out local gaming stores and other places geeks congregate. A coffee shop near where I used to live would feature work by local artists, writers and poets. Maybe one would let you put some copies by the register?

Donate a copy to your library and maybe your school's library. Pick a few magazines, newspapers, and web sites that do book reviews and send them copies.

Good luck on the promotion [Smile] It'll probably be harder than the writing. [Wink]

quote:
Originally posted by Just_Jess_B:
Part of the reason I chose the pseudonym surname of Alter: it gets me dropped right between Douglas Adams and Isaac Asimov -- not a bad place to sit, if you ask me.

Not bad at all, you are in some good company there. (Clever idea, I'd never have thought of something like that.)

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I'm in ur database, makin' moar recordz.

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Rhonwyyn

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Icon 1 posted June 01, 2007 04:29      Profile for Rhonwyyn   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Here's another thought: Market yourself as a public speaker and bring the book with you. After you've given a knock-'em-dead speech about the subject of your choice, but probably one related to the craft of writing, your experience writing and publishing a book, the technology in sci-fi/fantasy, etc., casually announce that you brought books with you that you'd be happy to sign.

That's how it works with the gentleman I met yesterday. He's a Holocaust survivor who wrote a book about his experiences and what happened after the war was over. After speaking to a group of eighth-graders for 30 minutes, he told them of his books, and of course the kids were clamoring for them!

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Change the way you SEE, not the way you LOOK!

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fs

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Icon 1 posted June 01, 2007 05:21      Profile for fs   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Rhonwyyn:
Here's another thought: Market yourself as a public speaker and bring the book with you. After you've given a knock-'em-dead speech about the subject of your choice, but probably one related to the craft of writing, your experience writing and publishing a book, the technology in sci-fi/fantasy, etc., casually announce that you brought books with you that you'd be happy to sign.

That's how it works with the gentleman I met yesterday. He's a Holocaust survivor who wrote a book about his experiences and what happened after the war was over. After speaking to a group of eighth-graders for 30 minutes, he told them of his books, and of course the kids were clamoring for them!

That's a really good idea. I'm sure there would be a lot of interest in the "how to" aspect of putting together a book for self-publication that Jess could write short articles about too. (And of course get a little bio that pimps her book.)

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I'm in ur database, makin' moar recordz.

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Just_Jess_B

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Icon 1 posted June 01, 2007 08:09      Profile for Just_Jess_B   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Slight minus with that. I'm a REALLY bad public speaker -- cold sweats, stammering, etc. It's hard enough to muster the temerity to even talk to people about selling the stupid thing because I am not a salesperson.

I couldn't convince a person in summer in Death Valley to buy free lemonade.

It's not so bad, really, at this point. I'm accepting that I published it for me. I've seen that most people have either put it in their queue or have decided to give it a miss. That said, it takes the pressure off for the next two books (which will come out).

Every writer wants to be a breakout writer. I fulfilled the goal, though it took me a while to realize I did. The lukewarm response (I've gotten one person who has written directly to tell me what he liked about it) tells me that I didn't write the book I thought I did. Everything else is secondhand or thirdhand, if at all. Actually, it is the book I thought I wrote: the one I wrote to entertain me. I just had too big an ego when I walked in and have been humbled by the experience greatly.

That said, I committed to all three and will put them out, with the Cesar-Mari covers (because they're kick-ass).

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Opinion is not Truth; that is why each has its own definition. Illiteracy sucks.

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