Things worth doing

Okay, so my last post was kind of a downer because I talked about “what not to do.” That’s always sobering. Today is the day before Turkey Day in the US, so I wanted to post a few positives going into the long weekend.

I want to talk about what one new author is doing RIGHT… and doing very, very well.

First, I want to mention that this is a brand new, never-before published author. A newbie. The kind of author VT specializes in. So everything I’m saying here is meant to truly inspire you, because she is just amazing. Continue reading

Growth, not Guilt

I was reviewing my first post and I wanted to clarify something. I stated that I’ve noticed (through my experience with VT) that “some” authors don’t seem to be actively trying to sell their books. What I want to make clear now is that I don’t think it’s because they don’t WANT their books to sell. More than anything, I think it’s that they just don’t know what they should/could be doing.

So this blog isn’t going to be a “blame game.” There’s enough guilt to spread around in all of our lives, each and everyday. This is not about pointing fingers. My intention is for this to be about growth, not guilt. You’ve written a book and it’s been accepted for publication. You’ve gone through the editing process, the galley drafts and now, your book is out there on Amazon.com and a whole lot of other places. You want people to find out about your book and read it… even more importantly, you’d like people to actually BUY it so you can earn some royalties.

But that’s not YOUR job, is it? I mean, you wrote the book. You did all this work to actually write the darn thing, and then you practically rewrote it during the editing process (at least, it felt that way). You’ve done your part… now you get to sit back and watch the money roll in.

The problem is, if you really believe that, the money won’t roll in. Because your book won’t sell unless you are willing to help market it. Continue reading

Starting a blog

Well, I guess you could say that I’m going into this kicking and screaming. It’s not really what I want to do with the little free time that I have, and yet, it’s to the point where I feel I have to.

You see, I’m the marketing director for Virtual Tales, an independent press based in Vancouver, Washington (part of the Portland, Oregon metro area) in the United States. We are very, very selective about the titles we publish. In fact, I would say that if we review 20 manuscripts a months, only 2-3 authors will be invited to submit their complete manuscript. After that, I would say that only 1 in 5 manuscripts we read complete is offered a contract.

Sometimes, we will ask the author to make certain changes and send it back to us in 6 months for another review. Very few do this, and of those who do… we’ll end up offering a contract on about half of them. We just don’t think that readers are willing to buy crap, to put it bluntly. In order to appeal to readers, we believe that:

  1. A story must be well-written;
  2. The manuscript has to be edited professionally;
  3. The book/eBook needs a great cover to capture initial attention, and finally;
  4. It must be marketed effectively to drive sales.

I think that Virtual Tales does a fabulous job on the first three requirements; where we seem to come up short is the last one. Marketing. Continue reading