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Showing posts from April, 2013

Do authors really need a brand?

I came across a blog post called Discover Your Author’s Brand by Philip Martin. In it, he says that “for an author … [brand] is what people expect when they hear your name attached to a book (or story).” We instantly conjure an image of the author when we hear a (famous) author’s name, not necessarily of their work. And that, according to him, is an author’s brand. He encourages all authors to build their own unique brand.

So should we?

Brand, as a word, instantly sets my teeth on edge. Who wants to be a brand? A household name, perhaps, but brand is for vodka, as the person who originally shared the post pointed out. However, what Martin really wants us to do is to identify ourselves as unique authors. That can only be helpful.
Ask yourself, what makes you special? Among a million authors, how do you stand out? Perhaps you define yourself with your genre. But how many authors there are in your genre? Too many still to make you stand out.
And stand out you must, if you want to sell your b…

Experimenting with prices

Last weekend, I put Warrior’s Heart on sale. I had contemplated the move for a while, just to see how it goes. The book turned one month at the end of last week, which seemed like a good time to try it. I didn’t want to make the book free, because I have some issues with free books. Mostly, I believe that people who download them don’t really read them – I know I haven’t read all the free books I have, and I don’t actually download them very often. In turn, when they don’t read the books they won’t review them either. So I set the price at $0.99, the lowest Amazon allows, with the hopes that people who spend even that small amount will actually read the book, and hopefully review it as well.
The experiment wasn’t a resounding success. The book moved a bit more than it otherwise would have, but not by much. One reason for it was that I started my sale slightly too late. New books are listed separately for the first month of their publication on Amazon, but it’s probably four full weeks …

Loud here, loud there

I've learned two things this week. One, that if your flu is bad enough, it's perfectly possible to sleep even though a demolition crew is breaking a concrete floor in the basement below you, and two, that libraries aren't the safe havens of silence they were in my childhood. These two lessons aren't unrelated.
I've had a very unproductive week. Mostly it's because of the aforementioned flu. I've simply been uninterested in anything that might strain my brain in any way. Or maybe because I've been busy extracting the said brain through my nose. Feels like it anyway. And partially it's because of the work being done in the basement of my building. They're renewing the sewage pipes, which means they need to access them first, through a thick layer of concrete. So they're chiselling the floor open; an infernally loud work. Think of a road crew with their huge jackhammers, but indoors. Since I've been unable to leave home for most of the wee…

Same sex romance in mainstream UF

I finished reading J. R. Ward’s Lover at Lastover the weekend, the latest in her Black Dagger Brotherhood series. Those of you who aren’t familiar with the series, it follows a group of vampire warriors living in Caldwell New York. Each book is built around a romance of one brother, but since the books are told in the multiple points of view, some storylines are carried on from book to book, allowing them to mature at a slower pace. One of these longer stories has been that of Qhuinn and Blaylock, which has now been brought to a conclusion in Lover at Last.

Gay characters aren’t very common in mainstream romances about heterosexual love, not even in side roles. Urban fantasy romances aren’t an exception, although they seem to have a more relaxed attitude towards the same sex relationships or at least gay sex. In Laurell K. Hamilton’s Anita Blake series sex isn’t limited to partners of opposite sex and Anita herself has had female partners. However, when it comes to her romantic interes…

Creating a paperback

I have four books out and all but one of them is enrolled in KDP Select. Since I'm free to do what I want with the fourth, "Which way to love?", I've taken time out from writing to format it for other marketplaces. First, I thought to make a CreateSpace book of it. Easier said than done.

I thought to make things as simple as possible for me. So I downloaded a preformatted template from CreateSpace. It gave me a good notion what the book is supposed to look like, but in the end I didn't use it after all. There were too many designs in it that I didn't agree with and so ended up wasting a lot of time correcting those to my liking. I needed a simpler way. So I downloaded another template, this one without formatting.
I got a single page that baffled me at first. But it had all I needed: the size of the page, margins and other details I wouldn't have come to think of. So I resized my manuscript to those specifics. But that was only the beginning.
I've sp…