Sunday, March 30, 2014

Reflections and Moving Forward - Analyzing a Book Launch by Stephen Tremp

As I was working with my editor in the months leading up to the release of Escalation: The Adventures of Chase Manhattan, I needed to also devise how I would market my book. I decided to have two plans, each with a different way of promoting. Plan A and Plan B.

Plan A: The Quick Strike: I had a number of large target audiences and I would try to get most of the downloads the first week. Get that huge spike in sales. Rise to the top of one or more categories on the Amazon Best Sellers List such as mystery, action, adventure, or SciFi. The result would be sales and bragging rights as an Amazon Best Seller. The downside: a faster decline in sales after a few weeks.

Plan B: More Consistent Sales: A steady curve upward and lasting over time rather than the quick spike. I might not have that “Amazon Best Seller” in a particular category, but that’s okay. I would still sell a lot of copies, just over a longer period of time.
It became clear right away Plan A would not happen. I used what worked so well for me for Breakthrough and Opening; social media. But for whatever reasons, I never got that huge surge of sales this time around. The Escalation Blog Tour, Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, and LinkedIn failed to sell 100 books. This is strange as I’ve had well over 10,000 in sales and downloads of Breakthrough and Opening.

What, Me Worry? Going into this I understood I would need to move in another direction. What worked then will probably not be enough to work now. However, I am very much surprised I did so poorly the first few weeks using social media.
But I know I have something really good with my completed trilogy. And Plan B has a lot of open doors. However, they will take place throughout the rest of this year rather than happen in an all out quick social media blitz.

Bookstores: I’ve had my first two books in Barnes & Noble and Borders Books across the country. I’ve done dozens of book signings and living in southern California met hundreds of tourists from all over the world. But that ship has sailed. I no longer have this luxury or this exposure. However, I will be doing book signings at Indie bookstores in Los Angeles and Hollywood.
And I do have some things in the works regarding a movie as there are people in the business more than intrigued with my story. I also have some other stuff planned that will reach thousands of people across the globe. Stay tuned.

Moving Forward: Hey, I have a complete trilogy. This does give me a bit of clout and momentum. And I live in the entertainment capital of the world and southern California attracts tourists from all over the world. I’m actually selling a lot of physical books up and down the beach to tourists and locals. Once Escalation is in print next month, I’ll have one more book to sell.
I also have a couple really cool and kind of creepy novellas I’m working on. For these I’ll seek out a small publisher. Then I’ll come back to more adventures of Chase Manhattan.
Well, that’s all for now. Thanks to everyone who has helped and supported me along this wild and crazy journey. I could not have done this without you. And thank you Diane for hosting me! The future is indeed looking bright. I just need to move beyond social media.

Stephen Tremp is the author of the Breakthrough series. Together, Breakthrough, Opening, and Escalation follow the lives of the unlikely participants from innocence to a coming of age through sacrifice, betrayal, passion, lust, unconditional love, and hope. Escalation will appeal to fans of modern-day science fiction, paranormal, action, horror, and even romance.

Stop by Stephen’s Blog for more information on the Breakthrough series.

And to download Escalation: The Adventures of Chase Manhattan CLICK HERE.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Industry News, the Insecure Writer’s Support Group, and the A to Z Challenge

Some interesting tidbits from around the web:

Scholastic reported a slight loss for Q3, but is not concerned. RTTNews

NOOK Press™ Self-Publishing Platform Is Now Available to Authors and Publishers in the UK, France, Germany, Spain, Italy, the Netherlands and Belgium. Book Business Magazine

As of March, there are over 10,000 newspapers and magazines now inside the Apple Newsstand. Talking News Media

The A to Z Challenge kicks off on April 1. I participated the last three years and was a co-host last year, but with so much I need to prepare for in May, I will not be involved this year. (I’m also dropping to Mondays only for a while except for IWSG Wednesdays.) It is an amazing opportunity for bloggers though, and I highly recommend it.

The Insecure Writer’s Support Group will be posting for the A to Z! The admins have divided up the letters and we’re each offering short tips throughout April. If you’ve not joined the group or checked out the blog, please do so.

In addition to a blog group and a website, there ‘s also IWSG Facebook. We have four themed days:
Motivational Monday
Wow it’s Wednesday
Fun Fridays
News & Promo Saturday
We invite you to join the group, ask questions, and get encouragement.
Please be respectful and limit your promotional items to Saturday only.

And since it is finally spring: 

Monday, March 17, 2014

Getting Silly at Disney - With Hats

I wanted to give you something fun this week.

We recently went to Disney World and I came back with over 700 photos. (That was after deleting the bad ones - no, I won't scare you with all of them.)

Since I am a professional photographer by trade, taking photos inspires me. It's liberating when I can just shoot for fun, too. The trip was refreshing and a lot of fun. Sometimes we need to get away and do something different!

Like riding the roller coaster at Animal Kingdom.

Wandering the streets at Hollywood Studios.

Watching fires and explosions.

Hanging out with the Muppets.

Watching the hot air balloon at Downtown Disney.

The ultimate silly came courtesy of my husband, who insists I look great in hats and made me try on every hat we encountered...

And the hat photos go on and on and on...

Have you done anything silly lately?

Friday, March 14, 2014

Industry News - Barnes & Noble and Microsoft Revise Partnership, Online Fiction Service Rooster. And a Spunky Update

News from around the Internet -

From Nasdaq - Barnes & Noble, Microsoft Revise Nook Partnership

“Barnes & Noble Inc. ( BKS ) and Microsoft Corp. ( MSFT ) have agreed to revise their partnership, allowing the bookseller to stop developing an app for its Nook e-reader that would work on Windows 8 devices or a Windows Phone. Instead, the maker of the Nook will provide reading content for Microsoft's new consumer reader platform.

“Microsoft made a big investment in the bookseller's Nook digital-book business about two years ago. The deal pitched Microsoft into a high-stakes battle with Inc., Apple Inc. and Google Inc. and allows Barnes & Noble to continue investing in the business. But since then, Barnes & Noble has scaled back in the hardware space amid a sharp decline in sales and has laid off a big chunk of the segment's work force.”

Looks like B&N us doing what it can to stay afloat - will it be enough?

From Wired - The Future of Books Looks a Lot Like Netflix

“Today, the San Francisco-based literary startup Plympton launched an online fiction service called Rooster. It’s sold by subscription. It’s priced by the month. And it automatically delivers regular content to your iPhone or iPad. In other words, it’s a book service that looks a lot like a magazine service. And it’s just the latest example of how books are being packaged like magazines.

“With Rooster, readers pay $5 per month in exchange for a stream of bite-sized chunks of fiction. Each chunk takes just 15 minutes or so to read, and over the course of a month, they add up to two books. The service builds on the success of Plympton’s Daily Lit, which emails you classic literature in five-minute installments.”

This might be a great way to expose readers to new authors and books if the big boys don’t dominate it.

And a little update on Spunky - he’s five weeks past his surgery and doing great. This weekend we let him out of the crate for good and he can be a normal cat again.

The photo was taken a week ago, but you can see the fur is growing in over his scar. Yes, it’s a big one!

Monday, March 10, 2014

National Wormhole Week, Wormfest, and Stephen Tremp's Latest Release, Escalation

It’s National Wormhole Week and we are hosting a blogfest called “Wormfest.

Hosted by Stephen Tremp, Alex J. Cavanaugh, and myself.

We are celebrating the release of Stephen’s new book, Escalation, the third and final book in the Chase Manhattan series. Congrats, Stephen. You can pick it up on Amazon here.

Rules are simple:
Name one thing where science advances mankind, and one where technology will go too far and set us back. They can be the same thing or different.

It took me a while to think of something, and then I realized it was staring me in the face - the Internet!

It’s probably one of the most revolutionary inventions of the past century. Searching for information could mean a full day at the library. Now it’s fifteen minutes online. We don’t have to leave our house to shop. We can take care of all our accounts online. We can connect with others around the world and news travels instantly. It’s brought our world together in a way we never dreamed possible.

It’s also isolated us more than ever.

Before the Internet, we had to leave our homes and face the real world. We had to go out and experience life and meet people. Relationships were face to face.

Now we spend all day in front of our computers. And while we do make real friends online, a thousand Facebook fans means nothing if you don’t have a real friend who could help you with a flat tire late at night. Or sit and listen to you. Or go to dinner and a movie and laugh.

We’ve also grown lazy with the Internet. No need for proper punctuation or capitalization. We don’t get the joy of learning when the answer is instantaneous. Why go out and see the beauty of a real sunset when we have access to thousands of photos online? Why be a genuine, caring person when we can type whatever we want online?

It’s an amazing invention. But do you ever wonder how it’s affecting us and the next generation?

Wednesday, March 05, 2014

The Insecure Writer's Support Group

It’s time for another edition of The Insecure Writer’s Support Group, hosted by Ninja Captain, Alex J. Cavanaugh.

Something neat happened at the Oscars (and the Golden Globes) that most people missed. For those of you wondering if your work will be remembered, this will give you hope.

In 1971, the band Electric Light Orchestra released their first album. It produced one hit, a little-known song called 10538 Overture.

They went on to have much bigger hits, including Mr. Blue Sky, Don’t Bring Me Down, and Hold on Tight. But 10538 Overture would not be forgotten.

That first hit resurfaced four times on their various greatest hits albums.

It appeared again on Def Leppard’s album YEAH, where the band covered some of the songs that influenced them.

Last year it was featured in the movie American Hustle.

And at both the Grammy’s and the Oscars, 10538 Overture was American Hustle’s theme song.

Not bad for a 43-year-old song that most people have never heard!

So if you’re wondering if your book will be remembered or have relevance many years down the road, just remember 10538 Overture.

And so you will remember it, here’s a live performance video:

If you’re curious, this is Def Leppard’s version:

I’ll never forget it, because it’s my favorite song by ELO and in my top 10 favorite songs of all time. (And hearing Def Leppard, one of my favorite bands, perform it was pure Heaven!)

Think you’ll be remembered now, too?

My next post will be on Monday - it’s National Wormhole Week and we are hosting a blogfest called “Wormfest.”

Hosted by Stephen Tremp, (celebrating his upcoming release, Escalation) Alex J. Cavanaugh, and myself.

Rules are simple:
Name one thing where science advances mankind, and one where technology will go too far and set us back. They can be the same thing or different.

Sign up HERE
See you on Monday!

Monday, March 03, 2014

The Threat to Net Neutrality - Read Across America Day

It’s the National Education Association’s Read Across America Day!

“Grab your hat and read with the Cat in the Hat on Monday, March 3, 2014, for the 17th annual Read Across America Day. The Seussical celebration kicks off a week of reading across the nation as NEA members gather students, parents, and community members together to share their love of reading.”

Net Neutrality

You’ve probably been hearing about it lately in the news. What is Net Neurtrality?

From Wikipedia:
“Net neutrality is the principle that Internet service providers and governments should treat all data on the Internet equally, not discriminating or charging differentially by user, content, site, platform, application, type of attached equipment, and modes of communication.”

Right now, Net Neutrality is being challenged. ISPs (especially those owned by cable companies) want to charge for extra bandwidth. A court of law has already declared an end to Net Neutrality, although it is under review.

“Neutrality proponents claim that telecom companies seek to impose a tiered service model in order to control the pipeline and thereby remove competition, create artificial scarcity, and oblige subscribers to buy their otherwise uncompetitive services.”

I’ve seen the argument that someone who doesn’t use NetFlix won’t be affected. But what happens when Amazon is added to that equation? (Because not only can you download from the site, you can live stream from it.) What if the ISPs start placing a value on every site and adding them to the tier? What if YOUR site is in one of the higher tiers? And can you imagine conducting searches that give you only partial results because your tier doesn’t have access to all of the sites?

Right now, the Internet is free. As it should be. We lose Net Neutrality, all that will change. There are sites such as Save the Internet who are striving to keep it.

Where do you stand on Net Neutrality? Did you understand what it meant before today?