New author website!

Thanks to the wonderful tools provided by Squarespace and a wee bit of time on my part, I now have a new author website! (And, judging by this photo, a bunch of old-school tech devices lying around in my office…)

Website screenshot

As you’ll see, this site is all about my JB Dutton nom de plume, since I’ll be putting more focus over the next 12 months on other stories that feature the Embodied, as well as my dreadpunk series that will also be published under JB Dutton. I’m sending John B. Dutton out on a sabbatical and I hope he thoroughly enjoys it!

 

Homegrown sales from foreign soil

Author Elliott Katz details how he went about selling the foreign language rights to his book and then leveraged those agreements to produce promotional fuel like this back home: “Translated into 24 languages by publishers in Europe, Asia and Latin America.”

The series of dreadpunk novellas I’m currently working on is set in nineteenth century Montreal, so it would make perfect sense for me to sell the rights for a French translation (at minimum) when the time comes. I’ll definitely refer back to Elliott’s success story.

Any followers of this blog had experience with foreign-language rights sales? Let me know down below!

Do libraries and chain bookstores carry self-published books?

I think in most authors’ minds, the answer is no. But there are ways to break into these seemingly impregnable fortresses of traditional book distribution for indie writers, and most of them involve a lot of leg-work. Plus driving (unless you live next door to a library).

Library

As one commenter says below this informative article from Publisher’s Weekly, “Don’t just dream the dream — crunch the numbers and decide what options are best for you.”

Leeds Library photo by michael_d_beckwith / Foter.com / CC BY

One huge advantage of epublishing

Two days ago I released my sci-fi story The Information Monster as a Kindle ebook and wrote about it in this post. I was very happy with the cover, created by myself and my regular cover designer Alex Nereuta, but then I decided to run an Amazon ad campaign for the first time and noticed that the cool font we chose didn’t show up at all when reduced to a thumbnail. Not only that, but the “monster” made of stars also disappeared at a smaller scale. The upshot was that I was asking Amazon visitors to basically click on a black rectangle! I’m guessing that rule 101 of ebook marketing is that you should actually be able to see the cover, so changing it was an easy decision to make.

Although the original would have made a lovely print cover, Alex and I are very happy with the new one and it certainly a) stands out more, and b) is creepier. What do you think?

The Information Monster cover V5 smaller

So here’s the beauty of epublishing: if this was a traditionally published print book and I needed to change the cover, I’d be screwed. With Amazon, all it took was a couple of hours and the new version was proudly online.

Oh, and before I forget, please leave a rating and/or review on Amazon if you read The Information Monster. Stars for stars!

Pubslush and Colborne join forces

This news is about three weeks old, but it’s worth reposting Porter Anderson’s article on the merger between literary crowdfunding website Pubslush with Canadian publishing services company Colborne Communications.

I myself had looked into setting up a project on Pubslush around a year ago as part of my research into whether I should go the crowdfunding route for Starley’s Rust or other books in the future. For the moment, I’m unconvinced that crowdfunding is a worthwhile option for me, given that it requires a significant time investment with no guarantee of success. That’s already the case with self-publishing, so I feel like crowdfunding would significantly detract from the amount of time I’m spending on actual writing. And although finding a readership is lovely (and gaining income from fiction a bonus!) the writing itself is what I’m here for. Creating, crafting and honing stories… that’s guaranteed achievement.

I’d love to hear the thoughts of other authors on crowdfunding. Have you tried it? If so, did it work for you?

The Rime of the Ancient Marketer

Websites, websites every where, Nor any way to link…

The ancient mariner in Coleridge’s wonderful poem that I’ve so horribly pastiched here was undone by an albatross he killed. For indie authors, that albatross is the multitude of social media options and reading-oriented websites that your books can appear on. Half of the latter variety apparently consist of writers promoting their books to other writers, which hardly seems very efficient (unless your book is actually about the writing process).

The statue of the Ancient Mariner, in Watchet, Somerset, about 10 miles from where Coleridge lived and the same county I grew up in.

The statue of the Ancient Mariner, in Watchet, Somerset, about 10 miles from where Coleridge lived and the same county I grew up in. Oddly, he appears to be holding a skateboard. Maybe he got into that after quitting the sea life.

The reality is that there are so many online outlets to publicize and market books for both indie and traditional authors alike that it’s impossible to cover them all. Beyond the obvious ones like Facebook, Twitter and WordPress, there are secondary-but-still-significant ones like Instagram, Wattpad, Bloglovin, and StumbledUpon. In fact, there are so many that it’s not even realistic to list them all on your own blog. I use the right-hand side of this page to lead readers directly to the Amazon pages of my books because that’s the best way to serve someone who might be interested in buying them, but my media kits include well over a dozen other links to different online stores like Apple’s iBookstore, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, and Smashwords.

There are other incredibly important links that I’ve not even mentioned above that can fall by the wayside in the tsunami of marketing activities (hmmm… I smell an ocean theme today!) My YouTube channel, for example. And the ones I’m now going to plug right here: my author pages on Goodreads and Amazon. So to rectify the situation, here are the links to both pages:

My Amazon author page

My Goodreads author page

There. Done. It’s always a bit weird to write about yourself in the third person, but readers visit these pages because they are genuinely interested in the living, breathing writer behind the books. And besides, I don’t have time to invite them all over for tea. Maybe one day I’ll rent a boat and we’ll all sail off from the north Somerset coast for a bit of fishing…