This Week in the Blogs: April 11 – 17, 2010

by Joel Friedlander on April 18, 2010 · 5 comments

Spring is in the air, along with tons of volcanic ash, so it might be a good weekend to stay home and read some blogs. In between your other activities, of course. Today we’ve got book marketing advice, an appraisal of the iPad vs the Kindle, a new book marketing tool, advice from a librarian, and a rundown on the editing process. Take a deep breath, exhale and have a good time!

Penny Sansevieri on Huffington Post
Why (Some) Authors Fail
“Success is not about hard work alone. It’s also about making smart, savvy choices and not being blinded by your own ambition, creativity, or ego such that it undermines your work. To be successful you need to be relentless, believe in your work and your mission but you also need to be objective, realistic, and humble.”

Carolyn Kellogg in the Los Angeles Times Blog
iPad’s book-like touches may appeal to traditional readers
“(the iPad) has created an interface for e-books that considers what makes books special: They are tactile, they can be beautiful, and they have a beginning, middle and end.”

Abigail Goben on Writer Beware
How Libraries Choose Books to Purchase
“As we’re trimming ever shrinking budgets, we librarians need to be able to justify the materials that tax dollars are being spent on. Libraries don’t have the resources to buy mediocre books.”

Scott Lorenz on Selling Books
For Book Marketing Research, Authors Can Use a Nifty New Tool Called TitleZ
“TitleZ allows users to instantly retrieve historic and current Amazon rankings on competitors’ books and create reports with 7-, 30-,90- day and lifetime averages. More importantly, you can use this tool to research your next book or create a marketing plan using the information furnished.”

Cheryl Anne Gardner on POD People
Thoughts on the Editing Process
“Creativity blossoms behind a closed door, but the revision and polishing stage of the work requires a barn door flung all the way open. It requires beta readers and editors who can remain detached from the author and the story. It requires critical thinking and problem solving, not to mention theoretical knowledge and a firm grasp of the language.”

And for Something Completely Different . . .

Julian Hansen on Inspiration Lab
So You Need a Typeface
“Julian did a flowchart of the choices we go through choosing fonts, with a humerous approach. A brilliant job on such a short project.”

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    { 4 comments… read them below or add one }

    Joel April 18, 2010 at 8:36 pm

    No, Betty, they don’t get a “fair shake” because most people in publishing are working for or working with the big companies that make up the business, that’s what publishing is to them. These beliefs are hard to change, and most people look down on self-published books despite the fact that—as Alan Rinzler said—traditional publishers are acquiring self-published books all the time for their own lists.

    Reply

    betty ming liu April 18, 2010 at 5:46 pm

    thanks for explaining that, joel. you know, in that librarian’s post, she said that librarians really study trade mags like publishers weekly. do self-published books get a fair shake there and in the book review world? i’ve never really thought about this before; apologies for my ignorance….

    Reply

    Joel April 18, 2010 at 11:33 am

    Hey Betty, good question. Librarians tend to rely on reviews in trade papers and from their peers, since there are just so many books being published each year. What makes a book attractive to a librarian doesn’t really have anything to do with who published it per se, but it’s more difficult to reach librarians if you’re self-published. A company like Quality Books, which distributes small-press books to libraries and screens entries quite critically, is invaluable, for instance, if you can get your book accepted. Their guidelines stress whether there are already other books in your genre that cover the same area. Something to think about, especially for nonfiction authors. Thanks!

    Reply

    betty ming liu April 18, 2010 at 6:03 am

    Joel, I always find something surprising during your weekly round-up of the scene. Today, it’s the librarian’s blog post that grabs me. This is the first time I’ve ever thought about a library’s book-buying process — fascinating. Which leads me to a question….are self-published books discriminated against on the library scene? And is the librarian outlook on self-published books changing in any way? Thanks again for providing so much great info!~B .

    Reply

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