In a previous post (Round Three - Hachette vs Amazon) I covered the developing stoush between Amazon and Hachette which at that time, although threatening to affect both writers and readers, really seemed only to affect the companies concerned. But as the ‘negotiations’ continue to drag on the fight is starting to get bitter with writers now taking sides.
The taking of sides started with “letter to our readers” spearheaded by bestselling writer Douglas Preston and signed by 69 of Hachette’s authors. However the reaction to this ‘letter’ by many smaller authors can be best characterised by Amy Eyrie’s response on the Bookseller’s blog: “… the reaction of these rich writers protecting the status quo is deeply disappointing. A little more time acting as mentors to fledgling writers and a little less time guarding their monopoly is what I expect from artists. What I see is a bunch of shallow, cynical business people.
In response, as Barry Eisler explains (see Barry’s blog or his specific post) Hugh Howey created an alternate petition to Hachette’s CEO that as at 13 July had obtained 7,110 signatures. The petition reads: Continue reading
Travis Neighbour Ward posted a question on the Independent Publishers of New England google+ page as to whether anyone who used Netgalley to post books before they’re published felt it was worth the money? And how many reviews had it generated per book for you on average? NetGalley provides digital review copies to professional readers, including booksellers, librarians, media, bloggers, reviewers and educators. The cost to list a title with them for 6 months is $400, or $300 if you are a member of the Independent Book Publishers Association (IBPA) and do it through them. As others might be interested in my response I thought it would be useful to put an edited version of my reply out to a wider audience.
We’re using Netgalley for the third time at the moment for Janis Hills’ Isis, Vampires and Ghosts – Oh My!. We used IBPA for our second book Shelley Davidow’s Lights Over Emerald Creek. While listing with IBPA is cheaper, and it also gets you a mailout which you would have to pay for separately if you don’t list with them, the level of information you get about those downloading the book isn’t as useful (although IBPA will provide you with detailed information on request). As I am interested in building up our own email list of past reviewers I’ve reverted to listing seperately. Continue reading
Earlier this month reports started to circulate that Amazon had acted to slow the speed with which it fulfilled orders on Hachette’s titles, with delays in some shipments reaching five weeks.
The news was first broken by the New York Times on May 8. However this appears to have only been ’round two’ in an extended series of ‘negotiations’ which may have started back in February when Michael Sullivan first noticed that the discounts for all his Riyria books listed on Amazon.com had vanished, raising the price of his ebooks from $8.59 – $8.89 to $9.99 and his print books from $11.41 – $13.80 to $16.00 or $17.00. What was even more disturbing, however, was the discounts on most of his fellow Orbit (the fantasy imprint of Hachette) author’s books had disappeared as well.
Michael also started to see stocking issues from March 9 with both Hachette and Amazon blaming each other for the delays (Hachette accusing Amazon of placing small orders, Amazon blaming Hachette for not filling them). However, we are now well and truly into round 3 with Amazon upping the ante by removing the preorder capabilities on many major forthcoming Hachette titles. Continue reading
This blog is running a little late due to illness, my apologies. And just a warning that there won’t be a blog next week due to my attendance at SwanCon.
Keep within the genre
I’m not sure why a writer would submit a manuscript ‘outside of genre’ to a publisher, but they do. This is despite our website saying we publish speculative fiction, with a focus on Science Fiction and Fantasy. Case in point – knowing this, and in fact already having had a manuscript rejected by us, why would someone email us a detective story? Even going so far as to say in their covering email – “I know this isn’t Science Fiction but Detective stories are similar.” Actually they’re not, particularly for readers of either genre.
My advice, check a publishers website, read a couple of their books, or at least read the samples provided, and try and find someone who is going to be interested in your work before they open it for that important first read.
In a nod to Jerry Pournell’s Chaos Manor articles which he used to write monthly for BYTE (starting in 1979 which is when I must have started reading) I’ve decided to try and give a more personal view at the end of each blog on what we’ve been doing during the week. I suspect it may take a couple of weeks before I get into my swing – but here goes…
I’ve finished the penultimate edit on the sequel to Ruth Fox’s sequel to The City of Silver Light. The cover has also been finalised so hopefully we’ll be in a position to announce a release date for Across the Bridges in the near future. It just needs one more quick read through and then its off to Coreynn, who’s our copy editor, to do the final check on grammar, spelling, and consistency. Its been a long haul, but I still like The City of Silver Light and I think readers of the series will like how Ruth has taken the opportunity to develop some of the character is this sequel.
Still waiting on a response from Overdrive as to whether they will distribute us. I’ve just send a second query off to Overdrive as to how their QA on the five eBooks I sent them is proceeding. So far its taken two months without any sort of update.
Over the last two years I’ve been constantly working to improve the landing pages we use to try and convert interest in one of our books into a purchase. The latest iteration of the design is now fully responsive, allowing people to read a sample of the first four chapters of ‘Lights Over Emerald Creek on their smartphone. That said, I’m not actually sure why someone would want to read a book on their smartphone, but they can. More importantly, with the addition of the QR code to our book-business cards I thought it important that when someone did scan the code they were provided with a page they could actually read (see Marketing 101 for authors: business cards for books).
But first, back to basics, what is a ‘landing page’?
In this post I discuss what I have found to be the most effective marketing tool for ebooks – the business card.
In a November 2013 blog I discussed a poll conducted by USA TODAY which found that a majority of those surveyed (57%) cited their own opinion of the writer’s previous work as the major factor in creating interest in a particular book for them. Opinions of a relative and friend (“word of mouth”) came in second at 43%. Lower on the list were professional reviewers and other writers (each 17%), the book cover (16%) and Internet opinions by non-professionals (10%).
From this, it would appear that the most effective way of selling a book is for the reader to actually meet the author, allowing them to form a positive view of the author and their work. It is for this reason that authors attend conventions, and it also why authors (or their publishers) take big stacks of paperbacks to conventions that the author is attending, for sale. That’s all very well for authors with a traditional book, but how do you achieve the same for eBook, because by the time the reader has gone home and is sitting at their computer, ready to purchase the book, they may have forgotten the name of the book, or even the author.
Hague Publishing tackles this problem by producing business cards for each book it publishes. Continue reading
Our January newsletter has just been released.
2014 promises to be a bumper year for Hague Publishing with four eBooks slated to be released, as well as the release of our second paperback sometime in late March. As I explain in next weeks blog, relying on Facebook, Twitter, or (now) Google+ to be kept informed of what’s happening at Hague Publishing is somewhat problematic so why not subscribe to our email newsletter and never miss a release …
In the Newsletter
- New Releases
- 28 February – Lights Over Emerald Creek by Shelley Davidow
- Forthcoming releases for 2014
- Frontier Incursion by Leonie Rogers
- Frontier Resistance by Leonie Rogers
- Isis, Vampires and Ghosts – Oh My! by Janis Hill
- Across the Bridge of Ice by Ruth Fox
- Hague Publishing on Social Media
- Blog Talk
- Submissions Status
- Now available from HaguePublishing.com
Click Image to Enlarge Image Source: AuthorMarketingClub.com
In my last blog I discussed a poll conducted by USA TODAY and Bookish, a website designed to help people find and buy books. The poll found that a majority of those surveyed (57%) cited their own opinion of the writer’s previous work as the major factor in creating interest in a particular book for them. Opinions of a relative and friend (publishers call that “word of mouth”) came in second at 43%. Lower on the list of major factors: professional reviewers and other writers (each 17%), the book cover (16%) and Internet opinions by non-professionals (10%).
This week I wanted to share with you the results of another recent survey by ebookfairies which confirms many of the USA today survey’s results. The ebookfairies survey was conducted from June 1-30, 2013, via Survey Monkey, and as many as 2,951 people replied to most of the 44 questions formulated by more than a dozen authors.
Some of the more relevant information from the survey include: Continue reading
The availability of online bookstores, and particularly the arrival of eBooks is starting to transform how people discover the books they may want to read. The traditional place to do that was bookstores. You’d go in to buy one book and discover another.
Officials at Amazon and other book websites argue that clicking can replace browsing, but is that just a vague and nebulous hope, or are people actually selecting the books they’ll read in different ways? A recent poll conducted for USAToday and Bookish, a website designed to help people find and buy books, asked readers what factors create interest in a particular book for them. Continue reading
After last week’s posts which dealt with the relatively heavy topic of eBook earnings I thought it might be time to try something a little lighter. As a result this is will hopefully be the first in an irregular series entitled: When submitting to a publisher don’t:. In this case don’t submit your partner’s manuscript without seeking their permission!
Now you might think this warning isn’t really required, but it has actually happened to me. In the case in point I received a short, illustrated manuscript suitable for a parent to read to a young child. I liked the story, and the illustrations, but wasn’t sure if we were the best fit for the book .
When I emailed the author I discovered than not only was he not aware that his partner had submitted the manuscript without telling him, they had also commissioned the artwork without his permission and he hated it. Probably made for rather a chilly conversation over the breakfast table the next day. I do have to say, however, that I felt it was rather sweet of the partner to have that much faith in their partner’s work. But the bottom line remains: don’t.