Left Coast Voices

"I would hurl words into the darkness and wait for an echo. If an echo sounded, no matter how faintly, I would send other words to tell, to march, to fight." Richard Wright, American Hunger

The Debate Continues

Last month I posted about an author making a living  from selling his fiction through e-books. A friend of mine sent me an update about J. A. Konrath from Henry Baum’s excellent blog about self-publishing.

“Amazon Encore is going to release Konrath’s next novel digitally and in print. AmazonEncore is “a new program whereby Amazon will use information such as customer reviews on Amazon.com to identify exceptional, overlooked books and authors with more potential than their sales may indicate.”

While there is much discussion around the self-publishing route, I think the reality is in the effectiveness of marketing and promotion. For the traditionally published author, there is still a lot of work to do to sell your book and see royalties, even more so perhaps than a self-publisher as you see far less money per book sold. Since publishers only really market their A-list authors, any struggling author regardless of how published needs to have a marketing strategy.

Promoting your platform and books can, for the self-published author be more than just royalties. It can also be about creating enough noise to be picked up by a bigger publisher. This is what happened with Konrath and, the fact that it is Amazon picking up the author adds a whole new dimension.

Some shameless promotion – a friend of mine from the California Writer’s Club is Francine Thomas Howard. She is also a recipient of the Amazon Encore with her novel Page From a Tennessee Journal. It is a historical novel dealing with racial tension in the south. Hearing Francine read makes it very memorable.  And I’ve just heard that Amazon Encore have signed Francine’s next novel, Paris Noire.

The only thing for certain in this business, is that nothing is certain, and nothing is going to stay the same.
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Alon Shalev is the author of The Accidental Activist (now available on Kindle) and A Gardener’s Tale. He is the Executive Director of the San Francisco Hillel Foundation, a non-profit that provides spiritual and social justice opportunities to Jewish students in the Bay Area. More on Alon Shalev at www.alonshalev.com

 

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