Notes from An Alien

~ Explorations In Reading, Writing & Publishing ~

Tag Archives: Suw Charman-Anderson

Selling Books from The Trunk of Your Car . . .

I’ve heard tales of authors buying a gang-load of their book, loading them in the trunk, driving thousands of miles, stopping at hundreds of bookstores, and selling their creation by hand

Well, Suw Charman-Anderson, over at Forbes, has an article called, Self-Publishing And Direct Sales: Pros, Cons And Problems.

Though, Suw isn’t talking about hand-selling from the trunk of a car—she mentions a digital direct sales provider called, DPD: Digital Product Delivery.

They have a 30-day free trial and flat-rate pricing, beginning at $10/month for 1 Gb storage of up to 20 titles.

Suw began using DPD because she “was fed up with the hideously basic tools that Amazon provide and wanted to experiment more than Amazon would let me.”

The tools she needed are ways to track sales and hook distribution to an email subscription service, among other niceties

For another take on direct selling of books, check out the article From Me to You: Selling Books on a Direct Basis.

Both articles bring up the scale-factor—spaces like Amazon have a huge appeal since the site has built-in marketing advantages

As far as the tracking of purchases, connection to email clients, and other statistical concerns, I’m content to leave that to others more concerned with maximizing their reach or pull or bottom-line

I have this transcendental attitude that Forces greater than the Market will, if my book deserves it, create the Paths to the Readers’ eyes and minds and hearts

Still, if you want to consider a robust direct sales and marketing strategy, you could start by reading this article
To Leave A Comment, Use The Link At The Top-Right of The Post :-)
For Private Comments, Email: amzolt {at} gmail {dot} com
GRAB A FREE COPY of Notes from An Alien

Select as many as you like:

Is Self-Publishing Really A Do It Yourself Proposition?

Are you a writer who’s rejected the idea of offering your work to a traditional publishing house?

Do you believe you can do everything it takes to self-publish?

Now, be honest with yourself—you can actually accomplish Everything it takes to publish and distribute a book?

If your answer was yes, you can stop reading this post :-)

If you’re a writer who knows the traditional route is not for you and you also know you’re going to need help with self-publishing, you’ll need to find other people who can help—Publishing-Aid Folks.

When I self-published my last book, I did the cover, I located a graduate student in English to help with editing, and I used the Publishing-Aid Company FastPencil for book production and distribution—total cost, $300.

Of course, there’s the whole issue of promoting the book… <— there are 31 posts at that link.

Some writers may be able to spend a lot and some are on a tight budget but, if you need help with All  aspects of self-publishing, you’ll appreciate a three-part article by Suw Charman-Anderson.

Here’s a bit of her bio:

[She’s] “…the former Executive Director of the Open Rights Group, a campaign group based in London. She is also a journalist, social software consultant, blogger and public speaker.”

And, here are the links to her article:

An Introduction To Author Services, Part 1

Author Services Part 2: Choosing Who To Work With

Author Services Part 3: Marketing And Promotion

Now, for a few excerpts from that three-parter (to encourage you to go read it):

“Any self-published author knows just how much hard work goes into preparing a book for publication and how many new skills authors need to develop if they are going to truly do everything themselves.”

“There are a lot of freelance professionals out there who have the skills and experience to help you create the very best book you can and bring it to market in a timely fashion. Many authors rely on finding individual freelancers that they can work with, often via their own contacts.”

“But how do you choose an author services company or a freelance to work with? How much does it cost? And how do you need to adjust your processes to work with editors and other services?”

“It’s also important to prepare emotionally for your collaboration with editorial professionals.”

“We’re not necessarily a gregarious bunch, us writers, and I would bet that most of us would happily pay someone else to do our marketing and promotion for us, if we could. But is it worth it? And what, out of all the things you could pay for,  should you pay for?”

“It also helps to think about your goals in the short, medium and long term.”

There is much detail and many examples in Ms. Charman-Anderson’s article.

Check it out and then come on back and share your thoughts and feeling in the Comments :-)

And, in case you haven’t considered how much money you can make being an Indie Author, do go read this post by my friend, Angela Yuriko Smith: The truth about author earnings.
To Leave A Comment, Use The Link At The Top-Right of The Post :-)
For Private Comments, Email: amzolt {at} gmail {dot} com
* Google Author Page

GRAB A FREE COPY of Notes from An Alien

Select as many as you like:

So, How Much Writing Does An Author Have To Do Before They’re “Good”?

I hear a few of my readers shouting, “It depends on the Author!!

Some of you may be thinking the word “author” up there “should” be “writer”


Well, some folks think “writers” are still trying to be “authors” and “authors” have “made it”.

And, for more thoughts on whether you must be published before you can call yourself an author check out my past post, This Is The Way It Must Be Done!

OK, so Malcolm Gladwell says it takes 10,000 hours (833.33 12-hour days) to master a skill

Ray Bradbury talked about needing to write a million words to get to the “good ones”

And, Suw Charman-Anderson, in the Forbes article, Gladwell’s 10,000 Hours: A Useless Goal For Fledgeling Writers, talks about both claims

A few excerpts from that article:

“…there are other things that go into being a good writer than writing. Reading, for example. And not just letting yourself get absorbed by a good book on a regular basis, but reading with one part of your brain watching what the writer is doing and how you are reacting to it.”

“There’s also the research, the observation, the film critiques….There’s mulling over ideas as you fall asleep and plotting scenes in the shower.”

“If you want a simple rule to help you along your path to authorial excellence, I’m afraid there isn’t one. Sitting down and writing regularly, daily if possible, is a good idea, but by itself it won’t get you where you need to be.”

What are some of the “other things” that make a “good” writer/author?

Suw also says “…I rather like it that writing requires so many different skills.”

What are some of those skills?

Then, there’s Jared Sandman, linked to from Suw’s article, in his post, 10,000 hours, saying:

“Personally I’d place that benchmark at about 500,000 words.  I spent my first 250K learning the technical basics of writing and storytelling, the nuts-n-bolts of sentence-by-sentence composition.  After that my stories reached a minimum level of publishability and I began to start selling.  Not with regularity, mind you, but any early sale should be feted as a win, especially after a long period of self-imposed isolation.

“It took another 250K of experimentation to properly utilize those tools I’d acquired in my writers’ toolkit.  Style, voice, format, plotting, and the balance of creativity versus productivity were issues I tackled at that stage.  I challenged myself with different projects and forced myself outside my comfort zone.  I tried a lot of things (many of which failed) before finally settling on my default voice and style.  During this period I focused primarily on short stories, but I also broached screenwriting and even wrote my first novel.

“In 2005, after seven years of steady writing, I felt like I’d paid my dues — or at least didn’t consider myself a fraud compared to ‘real’ authors.”

I know many writers/authors read this blog

Perhaps they’ll go read the whole of Suw’s and Jared’s pieces and come back here and share their own experience………
Our Comment Link Is At The Top of The Post :-)
For Private Comments, Email: amzolt {at} gmail {dot} com

The War of The Book Worlds ~ E-books & Common Sense

What happens when an online retailer (like Amazon) slashes the price of an e-book from another publisher?

* Legacy publishers act like they’re at war even though the retailer still pays them full price.

* The readers get a break.

* The authors get their full royalty.

Yet, the screaming and threats and lies in the media make it seem like something bad is happening

Suw Charman-Anderson, former Executive Director of the Open Rights Group and one of the UK’s best known bloggers, in her Forbes article, Ebook Price War Obscures Larger Problem, says:

“Price wars aren’t new to publishing, yet, predictably, various people are up in arms about what’s really just a publicity stunt.”

The war-mongers try to say that this price slashing will make readers expect the new low cost to become the norm and it might even hurt the independent bookstores.

Charman-Anderson says:

“Bookstores of all stripes do promotions and giveaways all the time, and frequently publishers are fighting to be a part of those promotions. And whilst tight-fisted readers can already find more books than they can read in their entire lifetime, your average reader recognises a deal when they see one, knows that deals don’t last, and knows that once the deal is over that prices are going to go back up. This is not a new concept… The idea that this is going to result in the death of the indie bookshop seems like a nice slippery slope fallacy which reads well but makes no real sense.”

She goes on to detail other false perspectives in this war that should be seen as quite normal marketing activity yet is being stoked into a chimerical fire

She continues her argument by bringing up an issue that self-publishers are quite clearly aware of—the Reader is a critical actor in this Drama and must be dealt with on their own terms—treated like the important people they are.

Certainly, the Author is the central character in this drama—can’t have a book world with out them.

I would say the Reader is the co-protagonist—forget their needs and the book world begins to wobble.

The Publisher?

Unless the publisher is the author (who will decisively keep the reader in mind) they’re one of those characters writers know well—changing their nature as the story progresses—morphing to support the protagonists or being thrown completely out of the story

Charman-Anderson argues that one thing the publishers need to do is create their own retail divisions:

“The main argument against publishers expanding into retail, over and above set-up costs, is that people now expect to be able to get everything in one spot.”

She goes on to detail a few of those expectations and deals the reader wants then closes with:

“But these are all deals that publishers can’t offer, because they don’t own the point of sale. And there’s only one answer to that.”

I recommend you go read the full article—this lady knows her stuff.
Our Comment Link Is At The Top of The Post :-)
For Private Comments, Email: amzolt {at} gmail {dot} com

%d bloggers like this: