Notes from An Alien

~ Explorations In Reading, Writing, and Publishing ~

Tag Archives: book

What Should You Read Next?


How do you choose what to read next?

Intuition?

Ask a friend?

Browse a bookstore?

Browse a WebSite?

Go to a library?

Well, I found another way—based on other readers’ favorites and used over 10 million times

And, it’s called, ever so appropriately, What Should I Read Next? :-)

I’ve checked it out and it seems to have some merit.

What I’d really like, though, is for you to check it out and come back and let me know what you think in our comments.

O.K.?

Good :-)
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Are Readers The Winners In The New Publishing Game?


It’s been said that the transformation going on in publishing is making clear that the only “necessary” participants in the Book-World are the author and the reader.

What do you think?

Will we one day have molded technology to our needs so perfectly that the writer can easily transfer their creations to readers who can easily find exactly what they want?

In a previous post, What Do Readers Really Want . . . ?, there was a survey about readers’ desires.

In the post, Getting Published Is Easy ~ Getting Readers Is Hard Work, some of the issues of writers finding readers was explored.

In the post, Genre Reconsidered ~ Reader-Driven Fiction, among other stimulating questions, these two were asked:

“Should more readers demand that authors forget about genre and write what the unique combination of theme, plot, and character demands of their creativity?”

“Is it conceivable that the reading public could select books based on plot characteristics or character interactions or theme arcs?”

I’ve also written about how I’m a maverick author in the way I find my readers

I do believe that, eventually, readers will have an exceedingly easy time in finding exactly what they desire; and, that they will become the primary “gatekeepers” in the Book-World.

There are already a number of initiatives to help the reader gain more control.

One of the most important is GoodReads.

I want to close this post out with some reassurance for readers that they are a critical and Necessary partner in the fast-changing arena of the Book-World by quoting from an article on Information Today, Inc.:

“Goodreads mission is ‘to help people find and share books they love. Along the way, we plan to improve the process of reading and learning throughout the world’. An interesting, collaborative model, Goodreads supports core needs and interests of both readers and their authors—as well as the supportive system that supports them (bookstores, libraries, schools, publishers). “Reading may be a solitary activity,” [Goodread’s founder and CEO, Otis] Chandler notes. “But what you’re reading and what you think of what you’re reading are ideas. And ideas are much better if they’re shared.”

“Author and blogger John Corwin notes that ‘while Twitter, Facebook, G+ and the other social networks offer you a way to reach the masses (some of whom have questionable literary interests), Goodreads has already filtered out the weeds and offers you some of the most voracious readers on the planet.’”
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Why Do Authors Do What They Do?


Why do authors spend inordinate amounts of time alone, carefully creating stories that may or may not get published; and, even if self-published, may or may not sell well?

There are something like 2,000 books published in the world, Every Day

I found an article by Cory Doctorow, Why Should Anyone Care?, that should be read by any writer who’s uncertain they have what it takes to pour themselves into endeavors that have slim odds of paying off–even if the pay-off is only having a lot of folks read their books.

Here’s Cory’s description of the normal routine in a book’s life in a bookstore:

“…a publisher’s rep would come in and tell us breathlessly about the lead titles–how much promotion they were up for, how much the house believed in the title, how well the author had done before. We’d order a pile of hardcovers, generally a smaller pile than we’d been asked to take, and usually, they’d sell modestly well. Then we’d return the leftovers, and some months later, they’d resurface as remainders, with their dustjackets clipped or magic-markered lines drawn on their page-edges. Then they’d come in as paperbacks, hang around for a few months longer, and vanish. Sometimes, a copy or two would surface as used trade-ins, and sometimes a regular would ask us to order a copy, but within a short time, the book would no longer be in the publisher’s catalog in any form. It would be gone. ”

But, what about the Internet?

“The advent of online stores like Amazon combined with efficiencies in short print runs has made it possible to keep modest sellers in the stream of commerce for something like perpetuity. But one thing hasn’t changed: most books–even those that are deservedly well-loved by publishers, readers, and booksellers–make hardly a ripple on release and fade away to nothing before you know it. ”

Cory also addresses those who feel they have what it takes to market/promote their own books and I encourage you, whether you’re a writer or know a writer, to read the full article.

His closing thoughts are somewhere between “Chilling” and “Realistic”.

“Getting people to care about the products of your imagination is a profound and infinitely complex task that will absorb as much attention as you give it. Every book and every author brings a different proposition to the negotiation with readers, but there’s one thing they all have in common: unless someone takes charge of doing something, something clever and active and good and slightly improbable, no one will care about the book or the person who wrote it.”

Of course, with a person as experienced and well-known as Mr. Doctorow, the comments readers left are equally interesting

Are you a creative writer? Do you know one?

Why do authors pour so much of themselves into creations that may not be appreciated?

Why do so many take on the burden of promoting their own work?

I’m a self-published writer who’s doing my own promotion. Am I crazy?
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EDIT: Joel Friedlander also thought Cory’s article worthy of mention
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7 Reasons Self-Published Authors Know Best


I self-published Notes from An Alien because it’s such a niche novel and deserved to be in readers’ hands sooner rather than later. I didn’t have to go through a long, confusing soul/Internet searching to decide.

I didn’t really learn all the advantages of self-publishing till after my book was published and I was doing regular posts on this blog.

In my scanning of my Google Plus Stream, I clicked-through a link that Mick Rooney shared. The author was Mary Louisa Locke and the blog post was, Why Self-Published Authors Know Best.

There are still reasons to go with a traditional publisher but I doubt any of those will ever apply to me.

I feel traditional publishing houses will still exist in the future but in such a transformed shape that we’ll have to find a new way to classify them.

Go read Mary’s post and then, do please, come back and let me know what you think, ok?
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Looking Past Limits . . .


Whether you’re reading, writing, or publishing, the worst thing that can happen is to believe in a “limit”

Limits on your reading will make you miss meanings.

Limits on your writing will hobble the story.

Limits on publishing will kill a book.

I found a wonderful video by an amazing woman. A woman who soared past a potentially grave limitation.

Watch and soar with her :-)


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