B.R.Stateham's Blog – March 2009 Archive (9)

Want to hear something funny?

Just got off Rankforest.com, a web site that tracks books using Amazon and Barnes&Noble numbers, and I had to laugh my head off. I've got two books I'm tracking, and frankly, they're not doing too well. But out of a sales rank where your book is ranked bascially from 9,999,999 down to 1, my books are at the 600,000 range. At least they have rankings.



But get this, a book with the title something like I Hope There's Beer In Heaven, is raked at 127. 127!!?… Continue

Added by B.R.Stateham on March 30, 2009 at 12:00am — 2 Comments

Barnes and Noble execs get a pay freeze. Geez! What's Next?

Publishers Markeplace, in their Automat section, has a report that B&N execs. are having their pay frozen until Jan. 2010. Ouch! That'll hurt the discritionary spending budgets. Who knows? Some of'em might have to refuse paying the dues to one of their private clubs.



And if you read the article, check out how much the Top Dog makes--and he's also allowed to make 150% over his base salary. Still.



Conversely, PM talks about how Random House and Simon&Schuster are… Continue

Added by B.R.Stateham on March 27, 2009 at 2:08am — No Comments

In the last year, the best living detective writer.

This has been hammered out in some ways, but here's the question with the twist:



In the last year, the best writer of crime fiction you've read is? What did this writer bring to the table that made him/her so good?



Rate the writer: Five stars max. Five being, "Just goddamn the greastest writer since Print was invented!"

down to one star, which is' "Throw the frick'en book in the trash bin and start a big bonfire!"



I want to increase my library. I… Continue

Added by B.R.Stateham on March 20, 2009 at 7:30am — 3 Comments

Barnes&Nobles profits tank

I saw in Publishers Marketplace a story reporting B&N suffering thru a 7% decline in 4th quarter profits. And they're expect something a little less than 7% further loss in the immediate future. Yet they are still going to open between 10 and 15 new stores.



I don't know, but it seems to me there is something bascially wrong with this business model. The only way for growth is to constantly open stores--while at the same time, closing stores. Is this the only way to make money?… Continue

Added by B.R.Stateham on March 20, 2009 at 2:32am — 2 Comments

Who did you mimic?

There are some pundits who suggest a new writer first mimics, or outright copies, the styles of their favorite authors. Okay, that sounds like a plausible explanation in how to acquire your own style. So who was your favorite authors? And how closely did you begin your writing career in copying them?

Or did you?

Added by B.R.Stateham on March 19, 2009 at 4:51am — 7 Comments

So what's the average number of books sold?

Publishers Marketplace had an interesting article about the average number of books sold by most POD publsihers like AuthorHouse or Iuniverse. The number is around 200 or less--with most of these being books bought by friends, relatives, etc. Okay. I buy that. No arguements here.



But what's the average number of books bought by readers from a standard 'traditional' publisher? I know a lot of traditional paperback houses print roughly 2000 to 2,500 for a first printing run. But do the… Continue

Added by B.R.Stateham on March 18, 2009 at 5:40am — 9 Comments

Gag me with a spoon!

I get up this morning, fix breakfast, sit down with it and open the newspaper up to read. And I immediately throw the paper away and dump the breakfast in the trash in disgust.



The first story I read is a about a college student, about to graduate as an elementary teacher, getting a publishing contract from a major publisher. Her first time trying to write something and she gets a contract!



What really pissed me off was she wasn't trying to get published! Her professor… Continue

Added by B.R.Stateham on March 7, 2009 at 8:21am — 12 Comments

The First Page Hook

We all write novels. We all want to 'hook' the reader. The question is; how soon do we hook'em? Do you go out of your way to write that first page, maybe that first paragraph, to compel the reader to dive deeper in your book? Or do you progressively open up your story and hope the reader follows along?

How important is the first page? The first chapter? And should we rely on a 'hook?'

Added by B.R.Stateham on March 5, 2009 at 1:23am — 5 Comments

How do you work a meet-the-author book-siging gig

I had a book-siging gig on Friday night at a large Barnes&Noble bookstore. Had a table right at the front door of the place, people coming and going. I literately had to rope'em with a lasso and drag them over to the table to talk to them.

Sold a few books, but not nearly the amount I wanted to. So I was wondering if anyone in here had tips on how to get the crowd to mosey over to your table and strike up a conversation.
'

Added by B.R.Stateham on March 2, 2009 at 11:17pm — 2 Comments

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