3 S.R. Johannes: September 2011

Friday, September 30, 2011

ebook format and pricing (nooks and kindle and itunes - oh my)

First, a heartfelt thanks to everyone who signed up for the tour! I really appreciate all the support. I still have a few slots so you can still sign up to read an ebook for the tour and the book is up on Goodreads :)

Now, back to the ebook eXperiment!
Before I talk about formats and pricing, I thought I would share some 411 about where I am in the process - because I promised to be totally frank and honest:

What I have spent so far: My budget is about $1,000
As a financial disclaimer - I have no money to do this. I am actually taking on a job that is crap pay and hard work but will get me what I need to put this book out right. So don't think I'm rich and throwing a bunch of cash in. 

$9 for stock photo
$400 for editing with professional editor
170$ for an 3 day ad (I will talk about this next week)
Time - priceless (someone asked me to log how many hrs Im spending - right now about 5 hours a day to get everything set up. I don't expect to spend as much time once the book is out.)

Here are some of the things I've done so far:
  • Added my book to Goodreads
  • Added my book to my web site
  • Updating my website
  • Answered every email and comment of support I've gotten (I out this just so I would think I've accomplished something b/c it takes time!)
  • Created widget (okay my hubby helped me :)
  • Started gathering names and scheduling blog tour for Dec
  • Teenbookreads scheduling blog tour for Jan :)
  • Researched ebooking online (it's hard to find it all in one spot!)
  • Reached out to ebooker friends for advice
  • Wrote acknowledgement/dedication pages
  • Finished professional edits
  • Discussed secret cover project with secret person (you will find out next week)
  • Tested formats online to see how they would look (okay hubby helped me)
  • Researched and contacted bloggers in teen world (love them!)
  • Learn about ISBN
Left to do
  • Come up with marketing slogan
  • Find copyeditor for copyedits. (This is my biggest concern right now. And, yes I'm going to pay for this. If I do this ebook, I'm going to do it right. You get out what you put in.)
  • Get free copies to bloggers for review
  • Create online media kit
  • Set up online launch party
  • Look into CA, AU, and UK ebooking markets?
  • Brainstorm creative contests
  • Read blogs on ebooking
  • Look into creative giveaways
  • Research charitable organization(maybe in nature or animals) that I can give some of my earnings to. 
I'm sure there is much much more but I just don't know yet.

Which eBooking format is best?

First, I decided I wanted my books to be available to every single person who has any kind of ereader. I assume this is common but from my research - I don't think the majority of ebookers think about many formats outside of Nook and Kindle. But there are so many I couldn't possible figure out how or where to go.

There are TONS of different format of ereaders: Kindle, Nook, iTunes, Sony Reader, Kobo reader and I'm sure there are more I don't know about.

Well I am certainly not equipped (nor do I have the time) to create every format or sell any myself.

So I heard about Smashwords - you can utilize them to create all the formats for your ebooks for a minimal fee. They also have an upgraded program that includes an ISBN process.

However, their royalty on iTunes, Kindle and Nook are not as good as the direct places themselves. I believe Smashwords is 60 or 65%. I can get 70% on Amazon which is where I foresee most of my sales.

Smashwords will let you opt out of certain ereader formats. So I'm going to do Amazon and B&N myself (opt out of Smashwords) and then let Smashwords handle distributing all the other formats. That way I get the higher royalty on kindle and B&N, which I expect will be most of my sales, and the other ereaders will be taken care of by Smashworks. Downside, I have to fiddle with more than one uploading system which will change all the formatting - yuk!

After researching - this is the model Amanda Hocking started out with too - so I'm going with my hunch.

Now, I hear the formatting is a pain and that is takes several days to upload so I am already practicing to make sure every format is aligned and perfect. And planning to start uploading Thanksgiving week.

If anyone has any other tips on formatting, please speak now!

How to choose ebook pricing?

I'm still deciding on this one - it's either 2.99$ or 3.99$.


1) Impulse Buys
It is a marketing fact - that anything under $5 is considered prime for an impulse buy.I've done research and believe that $2.99 is a sweet spot for impulse buy on books. Not that I want my book to be an impulse buy. But if a book is under $4.99, the chances of someone buying it right when they see it is much higher.  Anything over $5, especially when you get up to over 10$ is a "thought purchase". This means the consumer will go away,  think about it, and hopefully come back (or not). So since I am a debut author and no one loves me yet :), I'm going for impulse buy and hope that my cover and jacket copy sells the lower price when they see it.

2) Royalty
Also on Amazon and B&N the royalty I get is higher if the book is over $2.99. If I did under that - the royalty is much lower and the benefits they offer are lower as well.

For example - From amazon - they offer 2 different pricing structures:

With the 70% royalty option, the minimum list price for a book is $2.99. The 70% royalty option also has the Kindle “Book Lending” feature enabled by default.

Any book under this price must be listed under the 35% royalty option.  Under the 35% royalty option, you can disable this lending feature. So, the tricky part is to figure out where you will sell more books, either under the 35% royalty or the 70% royalty option.

3) Value vs. cost debate

Why not the infamous $0.99? I'll tell you why :)

I believe you get what you pay for. And statistically, value is ingrained in people's heads - subconsciously we go for value over price most times. 

Example: This is why I still buy Philadelphia cream cheese and not Publix/Kroger brand. Even though Kroger is cheaper - the value I think I'm getting with Philadelphia is greater so I will pay the higher price - gladly. They could be made exactly the same way and I might never know in a taste test - but my perception is that I get more value with Philadelphia.

Giving consumers more value and a lower price is golden marketing concept. Finding that price point is the key. And I do not claim to know all - these are just my thoughts from what I know.

Now some will say my example above is more due to brand recognition - but the supermarket brands are just as well known as Philadelphia so I disagree.

Anyway, my book is worth more than .99$. Why? It's been edited, has a professional cover, and is good enough to justify a higher price.  I want people to know they are getting a book worth 2.99$

So That's it - Untraceable will be available in all formats - I will control Amazon and B&N and Smashwords will control the rest. The price point will either 2.99 or 3.99 (I'll let you know when I decide but would love your feedback. Which one would you be more apt to buy it at?)

If you have a different opinion or different research - please let me know. I am BY NO MEANS the expert. This is a ebook test and totally a test. I'm just sharing my thought process along the way and my marketing mind set. 

And BTW, any of you could do this research too. So this is not me being all brilliant. It's me taking the time to look into what I feel is important. 

My goal is to take what I know in marketing, use all the best practices I know from traditional publishing, and then marry them with what I find out about ebooking process. 

Hopefully a winning formula!

Let me know what questions you have or what you think!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Bookaniasta Buzz- Fracture by Megan Miranda

Megan Miranda's Fracture is coming in January and is already starting to get massive buzz.

Eleven minutes passed before Delaney Maxwell was pulled from the icy waters of a Maine lake by her best friend Decker Phillips. By then her heart had stopped beating. Her brain had stopped working. She was dead. And yet she somehow defied medical precedent to come back seemingly fine -despite the scans that showed significant brain damage. Everyone wants Delaney to be all right, but she knows she's far from normal. Pulled by strange sensations she can't control or explain, Delaney finds herself drawn to the dying. Is her altered brain now predicting death, or causing it?

Then Delaney meets Troy Varga, who recently emerged from a coma with similar abilities. At first she's reassured to find someone who understands the strangeness of her new existence, but Delaney soon discovers that Troy's motives aren't quite what she thought. Is their gift a miracle, a freak of nature-or something much more frightening?

For fans of best-sellers like Before I Fall and If I Stay, this is a fascinating and heart-rending story about love and friendship and the fine line between life and death.

Know what I love about this book?  Everything! Seriously not one thing I don't like - well except that it could have been longer because I didn't want it to end!

I love love the cover! Gorgeous and eerie and spooky all in one.

I love the tension - seriously I read it in one day.

I love the setting - cold and dark and spooky.

I love Decker - he's hot....yeah.

I love that I love the book because Megan is a great friend of mine and I get to watch her succeed in something she loves and is good at it.

I love that not only is she a great writer, but she is one smart cookie. She won some kind of big award for research in bioengineering at MIT. TWICE!  Do you hate her yet?? Smart, cute, and published! She first became interested in brain injuries after supporting a friend who suffered a serious traumatic brain injury.

Although this book isn't as much about "brain injury" as it is about what makes us - US. But knowing that she knows what's behind an injury just adds more believability.

Check out more Bookanista Buzz!

Elana Johnson interviews Elle Strauss, author of Clockwise
Christine Fonseca  is wowed by The White Assassin - with giveaway
Shannon Whitney Messenger loves Lola & the Boy Next Door – with giveaway
Beth Revis delights in The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer – with giveaway
Carolina Valdez Miller adores Ashfall – with giveaway
Jessi Kirby marvels at The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer
Shana Silver steps up to Audition
Corrine Jackson is crazy about Cracked
Stasia Ward Kehoe swoons for Swan and To Dance

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Testing the Power Of Bloggers in Online Marketing

As I think about the launch date I posted yesterday, I started thinking about what was the best way to get the word out about ebooks online. I mean before an author figures out how to do it or where to put it - they may need to plan in advance for any support.

One answer came to my mind - Bloggers!

I read an article recently (and can't remember where or by whom) questioning whether bloggers can make a difference in book releases. The article basically stated that bloggers really don't have any pull or power when it comes to helping books succeed.  That the success was more due to the money put into advertising and the money from publishers.


I have seen the power of bloggers first hand in all the online fundraising that goes on. The online auction for Bridget Zinn, the word of mouth on the Nashville auction, the success of Write on Con. Not to mention, the political arena loves bloggers in fundraising and companies love bloggers to push their products.

So, why not publishing??

Amanda Hocking - bestselling ebook writer contributes her success to ---you got it ---bloggers. She had no platform or experience in the industry, no agent and no publisher and sold 500,000 books within her first 10 months. Now granted, those numbers spanned the 9 books she released during that time and her working her tail off getting 4 hours of sleep a night.

That article got me thinking because I believe bloggers hold more power than everyone thinks they (we) do.

So who wants to test this with me and find out??? I was going to wait until next week to talk about bloggers but I think it will take some organizing to pull off so I pushed it up.

Mission: Launching with Bloggers

I am looking for about 50 bloggers who are interested in reading my book for free.

Now, disclaimer - I have NO clue or stats that show if this idea will work - AT ALL. This is an experiment. So I could be wrong but it's just a hunch I have.

First read the summary on Goodreads to see if you are interested in the book. (Again wilderness thriller and hot boys with a kicka$$ heroine.)
  • You will get a free ebook of my book, Untraceable.
  • In exchange for the free copy, all I ask is that you commit to actually reviewing the book (WHETHER NEGATIVE OR POSITIVE) somewhere - on their blog and on at least one other review site on the internet. (Example: Goodreads, Amazon B&N etc.)
  • Again, the reviews DO NOT HAVE TO BE POSITIVE.  I only ask that the reviews are honest, respectful, and constructive.
  • If I get more than 50 bloggers sign up, I will choose them in a random generator tool. I don't want to give any favoritism because I appreciate anything anyone is willing to do.
Just to say THANKS FOR SIGNING UP, (because I have a hard time asking without giving) I will do a random giveaway of a secret marketing prize (it could be a marketing book or a marketing consultation with me or a small form of free swag design).

Now, I am NOT going to police this process. It is on word of honor alone.

Also, I have gotten email questions about interviews. I would be happy to do any interview about the marketing process, ebooking, or author marketing in general for the month of Nov and Dec. You can email me at sjohannes@bilaninc.com if you are interested.

So if you would like to read the book, please fill out this form. There is no follower limit or secret formula for your blog to be included. You can be published, unpublished, self published, agented. Just your passion is required :)

So guys, what do you think? Do you think bloggers have power and why? Why questions do you have about online marketing?

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

How to choose the best Launch Date?

I'll say up front that my post yesterday was too long. I'll try to keep them as short as I can but I also want to explain my marketing mindset and research as I move through my decision.

So - for those with a short attention span (like me) - here is the short version:
  • Thx for the support
  • My books is out Nov 29th (b/c I said so)
  • This is not my final cover
  • It's up on Goodreads if you would like to see what it's about or even add it to your "to read" list even if you change your mind after getting to know me. Also - friend me there too!
  • My widget is up and only cost 9$ - you can get them for free but I'm marketing spoiled so I wanted it personalized and where bloggers/you could embed it into your blog if you like (insert cheesy grin here and a shout out to my hubby for helping me pull it together)
  • And my book, Untraceable, is a contemporary wilderness thriller with a kickass heroine and 2 hot boys sweating in the woods. (need I say more? ;)
Now, for those who are serious or curious about the ebook process - here is the longer, intelligent version...

First - a shout out and sincere THANK YOU my lovely followers and supporters!!!!!!! (if you don't care, you can skip this and go straight for the launch 411 below.) 

Let me just say that after I stuck the post up yesterday, I had a major panic attack and had to be talked down by some supporters who (poor things) have been unknowingly assigned the task of Shelli's mental caretaker during this crazy and scary time. About 3o minutes after I posted - I questioned if I did the right thing for many different insecure reasons. 

1) I am very sensitive. 
2) It is so against my nature to promote anything I do - I'm hired and paid to promote others so it's uncomfortable being on this side.
3) I work hard and don't want to fail at something to do with publishing....again!
4) The very same day, I come clean, my previous agency announces they are starting their own ebook division, which kinda got me questioning all my decisions and steps all over again. (I mean Really? the same day?? Don' you think it's weird we announce on the SAME DAY??? (Who says God or a higher power does not play jokes - even if he/she is not too funny.)

Because I am known for my stupid analogies (which usually have to do with high school and boys) It was like I was finally stripping away my layers (and layers) of Spanx and standing butt naked in a field saying "Yo, look at this great post baby body." Were people going to throw tomatoes, toss towels/blankets, blindfolds, or yell "DUDE, cover up!" Maybe a couple of stray bullets or someone trying to push me back in the water....hoping to save another winter white, beached whale ---- ha! you get the point. 

So thank you for the love, the tweets, the emails, and the comments. I know I'm not the first person to put myself out there or the first person to blog about ebooking - there are many other brave souls. I hope I can offer a different perspective from a marketing eye as well as coming from starting out on the traditional side (although unpublished).

Launch Date and why?

So do you all see my little widget countdown above? Awesome right? Got it on Getwidget.com. I got the personal kind that you can each embed into your blog if you like. And since I promised, I would be totally honest on aspects of the process including cost, this little guy cost me 1$ for the stock photo and 4$ a month for the personalized widget. (so 8$ for 2 months). Currently I am up to a whopping 9$. :) Not too shabby.....

And if you are wondering, NO this is NOT my cover. It is my placeholder until my big reveal. I will say it gives you an idea of what I'm going for. But mine will be extra superduper special. I'll talk more about the cover next week and answer the question: will I use stock or will I get an original???

Okay so for the launch....it was a strategic decision.

It does not fit into my PTA schedule or my brownie troop schedule. It is not on a night where I don't tape a show. It was specially chosen - just for me :)

So my launch date: Tuesday, November 29th, 2011.

First, I happen to know from marketing in the traditional publishing that Tuesdays are big book release days (BTW Thursdays are big movie release days b/c of the weekend.) WHY? For one, the NY Times runs their bestselling list from Tues to Tues (so you know I have to keep my schedule clear in case I get a call! ;) Plus, you never want to release a book close to a weekend or holiday  b/c you lose momentum and people forget you after they've been partying and sleeping.

Here was my mindset on the MONTH:

Okay - and maybe - I looked at my horoscope, saw my psychic, mapped out the moon/star alignment, and chose one of my predicted lucky days of the year. Kidding.....
  • Sept - not unless I'm crazy out of my mind. Can you have a baby in 2 weeks - I think not!
  • Oct - um....still way too soon.
  • November - well, it is NanoWriMo and since my goal is to tap into the power of my awesome blogger community - that month - everyone will be writing and I cant do this without my bloggers buddies behind me. Oh yeah and its Thanksgiving.
  • December - After doing some research - I found out ebook sales go up almost 3% in December and the two biggest ebook sales days for 2010 were Dec 25 and 26th. Last year it rose over 300%.
  • Jan - too many big releases in the beginning of Jan, you miss the biggest giving holiday, and to be honest, I'm really not that patient.
Okay , so now for the magical DAY.
  • At first I was shooting for Dec 6th. 
  • Then - I looked up on yalit.com to see all the book releases. 
  • On Tuesday, Dec 6th - there were about 10 books being released by the big 6 publishing houses. So I assume they will be crowding the blogsphere that week. Lord knows, I can't/won't compete with Cassandra Clare. Yikes.
  • Dec 13th and later was not an option- I don't like the 13th plus its too close to when my kids get out for Xmas break and then everyone goes on vacation the following week. So the attention to ebooks may not be high. Plus I miss 2 weeks of Dec sales.
  • So now I am backing into the last Tuesday of November, the 29th. There is only one major release (at least that I know about) and it's completely different book than mine. (And I love Legend by Marie Lu - just finished it! :)
So that's it. My magic formula.

What do you guys think? Any thoughts? Questions? Comments? Talk to me...this will really boring 2 months if you don't.

Tomorrow, I will talk about what format and where the ebook will be available and of course -why and for how much!

Monday, September 26, 2011

The Marketing eXperiment - To eBook or not to eBook

I have a huge exciting thing to announce....

I'm doing an eBook eXperiment!!!!!  And I am documenting my entire journey on this blog....and I want you to come with me.

Disclaimer: Before I get started, let me say one thing. I wholeheartedly BELIEVE in traditional publishing. I have many friends in this industry (editors, agents, publicist, authors, and self published authors). And to be totally honest, if traditional publishing had worked for me, I may not have thought about ebooking on my own. Why? because I have always wanted to see my books in print on a book shelf,  do book signings, and meet with a big editor in NYC over tea. By me doing an ebook eXperiment, I am not making any statement or judgement AGAINST traditional publishing or FOR indie publishing. This will not be a debate. Just another documented journey. I support indie publishing as well as physical books and would never want to see bookstores or libraries go away, yet I have always supported self publishing as an option because it is a viable one for some people. I am doing this as a challenge and experiment to see if someone who was on the traditional path can do something different that what was originally expected.

But this is not going to be me plugging an ebook to you..... this is an eXperiment.

The difference?? I'm going to document EVERY single thing I do from a setup, launch, cover, marketing, advertising (minimal) and tell you my decision making process from a marketing perspective. I will even keep you in the loop with the sales so we can see what works and what doesn't and how well it does or doesn't. 

In this eXperiment - there will be no pretenses. No secrets. I'm pulling back the curtain and digging in to see what can be done with ebooks. I hope to interview ebook authors to get the scoop and find out what works for them and learn from their successes. They don't get enough credit because ebooking is hard! It takes alot of work.

I'm going to share my thought process and muddle my way through to see if someone on the traditional path can make this work. Sure, some authors with established names and published books do well and then are some authors are ebooking through top agencies that provide marketing. But statistics show that 80% of ebooks sell less than 1,000 copies? What is the secret?

I'll pick up where I left off last week...

To ebook or not? That is the question!

A few months ago, after my agent and I parted, a few of my author friends said "Why don't you just ebook it?"

Well - there are so many questions I had to answer:

Will it cheapen my book?
Will everyone will think I'm not good enough to sell traditional?
What if it doesn't sell?
What if editors think I'm a loser and ban me from the print world?
What if agents think I'm a bust and never give me a chance?
What if all my followers unfollow and think I suck egg?
What if my marketing background doesn't work and I look like a complete and utter fool?

I know what you are thinking - sounds like a lot of ego to me....EXACTLY!

My answer now: who cares! I mean, let's be totally honest here, it's not like me doing all the right things has got me sailing through this industry! After my summer setback, I'm back to where I was 2 years ago. Starting a new book, no agent, and back at the querying process.

The books I love that I've worked hard on for years didn't go all the way. Sure it sucks, but in my defense - they did come real damn close. But like my dad always says. "Close is not always far enough."At least not for me.

Because of all that - my self-inflated ego left the building a while ago and to be honest, HE is what causes most of my anxiety. HE causes most of the problems. HE needs to go on a permanent vacation.

And, I'll be totally honest at the risk of losing followers today, my EGO has unfairly (and silently) judged or questioned others. Those who may have ebooked before, those who may have stepped forward and then back like me, those who lost agents, those who have not sold. EGO would whisper in my head, "maybe they are not good enough? That won't happen to you." (Yeah, I told you EGO was not a nice person and I wholeheartedly apologize to you and the universe for those unfair thoughts and behaviors. Trust me, he won't be around any longer.)

So, now there's nowhere to go but up... right? And to be honest, I was not up for ebooking for the questions I listed above. Until a friend said this to me (so it's her fault if I fail ;) "if you can get a top agent for two years and go to acquisitions more than once - you're good enough."

You know what? They are right. A lot of publishing is being at the right place at the right time with the right project.What gets published is not always the best rising to the top. I know that now.

Now that EGO has left for Tahiti (hey, he gets somewhere nice because -after all -has protected my self esteem for so long too) - I thought through some of the pros:

Maybe I could help others decide if it is right for them
Maybe i can see if marketing "word of mouth" can really sell books.
Where do you get the most benefit?

What constitutes high quality?
Maybe I'll get a few bucks in my pocket.
I'll get my book out sooner
Why not - its edited?
How does marketing differ in traditional vs indie?

Ultimate question: What do I have to lose? Nothing that hasn't already been lost. Could it hurt - I don't think so. Could it help? Maybe. Maybe Not. But I won't know if I try.

Now, to be frank, I decided to do an ebook about a month ago and was going to do all of this under a secret pseudonym for all the reasons I listed above and to test the waters without anyone knowing. That way,  if I failed, no one would ever need to know. Problem is from a marketing perspective and business perspective, it just didn't make sense. My fake self had no online friends, no platform, no contacts in the industry. And nobody was going to support that person. Not to mention, I am just NOT a good liar. And yes - that level of honesty gets me in a lot of trouble so I'm not sure its a good thing - but deceiving people is not in my blood.

That leads me to my conversation with my beautiful friends and CPs Megan, Elana, Katie, Lindsey, and Kimberly (and a couple agents) - who I feel have different views of the industry, are in different stages, and who I trust for different reasons.  Talking about pros, discussing cons, emailing what-ifs, bugging them with the same questions they answered the day before...if it wasn't for their support, I would not be putting myself out here like this....and to be honest....

I'm scared my feelings will be hurt. That I'll lose friends.

Coming up with the experiment

Last week, I was talking with Katie on the phone still pondering using the pseudonym and she simply said: "Why not blog about it? I've always wondered how to do an ebook. Just put out your fears and do an experiment and talk about the marketing and decision making process that goes into it."

Could I do that? Put out all my fears of failure and "not knowing" and be okay with it. Am I brave enough? All those brave indie authors put themselves out there all the time. Why is it harder in the traditional sense - I don't know.

Then I realized, so many traditional authors have talked to me about ebooking over the last 2 years including editors and agents. I've gotten emails from readers on questions about ebooking and ebook marketing. I've been asked by established authors for advice on ebook marketing and by indie authors how to best market ebooks. It's such a new and viable place for books and not a lot of people know what to do with it or how to do it. And it's hard for writers on the traditional path to make a change. It's not what we worked for or expected and making that switch is hard.

And for those of you who know me, if I can find a way to feel like I'm helping other people, then I feel better about doing something for myself. Call it codependence - but I am not one to do things just for me.

So starting today, for all of you who are curious about eBooking and have had the questions I've heard or had over the last 2 years. Can you balance traditional publishing goals with indie publishing goals? Is it viable? Can you make money? How do indie authors do it right? Is it hard to get buzz around it? What is the best way to do it? What is the price point?

I promise to share everything I encounter with you. All the bumps and milestones along the way including my failures, my challenges, and even the financial aspect around it. Even get in some authors and experts in the indie world to teach us what works. It's time we sought out their advice.

Can I be the next Amanda Hocking? Probably not.

Statistics show that in 2010, ebooks sales were only 10% of the market. Unfortunately, many of those only sell about 100 books. Only a small percentage ever sell over 1,000 books. Earlier this year, PW put out an article with eBook sales number sand you can see that even bestsellers can only sell so much.

So eBooking is a very tough market. It's not an author's easy way out. If you don't put the time into marketing, I'm guessing/assuming your ebook won't fly. So to just put out an ebook and then sit back and watch it - is not the way. Indie authors work 24/7 on marketing their books. Something many traditional authors don't do or don't know how to do.

So here I am, using my lovely little book, Untraceable, (that I love) and my marketing background to try out this little project. All in the name of research and a challenge for myself. A way to find some light in this process and see if I can push forward through adversity. 

Worse that could happen? Anyone who knows me knows I go straight to the worst case scenario here first....

I could fail and be a laughing stock of the Internet, indie people will hate me, I'll sacrifice a book I love along with any future possibilities,  ruin my reputation (though it be very puny) in the industry and as a marketing person, lose friends, and be banished to the island of the publishing fails. 

But I just decided if that happens, I'll just vanish and come back secretly under that fake persona I've been creating these past few months ;) No one will ever know its me and I'll just start over. I've done it before and I can do it again.

Best case?  I usually never go here but I will for discussion purposes....

I end up the next Amanda Hocking (which is a long shot and the chances of happening are zip.) I mean statistically, she is the JK Rowling of eBooks. Sure she sold 500,000 copies over a year period but many don't know -  that was because of 9 books she wrote during that time, she never slept, blogged at 4am, and doesn't have kids. Though, she did work hard at a FT time job when she started - so that counts as having 1/2 of a kid (at least 1/2 of mine) . I'm NOT diminishing her success AT ALL - I've followed her blog since she started querying agents before she ebooked - and trust me - she's a sweet and honest genius in her own right who has always worked harder than most, been honest, and also very grateful for her journey. I'm just saying the average person can't write that fast or stay up that late - esp with kids! :)

So, if I go midroad, what could I get? 

I might make a little money (and to be frank I could use it to justify my "writing hobby"to my family and friends who probably think I'm a washed up executive who freeloads off her British husband under the disguise of taking care of kids) - even if it brings in $100, it's more than I make from my writing now. I could make some new friends in the indie market and help them market some of their wonderful books. And, most importantly, I could possibly help other people figure out how to succeed. I could take all my negative energy and put it into something positive. Create a challenge for myself.

Doesn't sound that awful anymore. Does it?

It's purely a way for me to move forward and test the waters. 

So here I am: scared, excited, hopeful, yet realistic about this experiment.

So please, come back and follow me. Let me know if you have friends that have succeeded at ebooking that can share ideas with us. Let your writer friends know about this little eXperiment I'm trying so they can join in the discussion. 

I've including my upcoming topics for the week to the top right corner so you can see the journey I am on...and what is coming up.

Leave me your thoughts, comments, or even the questions you want me to address!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

The Bookanistas: The Future Of Us

Now for a short Bookanista post -

I just finished Jay Asher's The Future of Us. While I still love his first book more, I loved the concept of this book and it hit home with me at a time when I wanted to control my future.

It's 1996, and less than half of all American high school studentshave ever used the Internet.

Emma just got her first computer and an America Online CD-ROM. Josh is her best friend.
They power up and log on and discover themselves on Facebook, fifteen years in the future.
Everybody wonders what their destiny will be. Josh and Emma are about to find out..

Basically, this book hit home on my summer theme of controlling my future. That decisions you make today, impact your future. And you don't always know how much they will impact your future until they are already done. In hindsight, you can look back and see the road and why certain stops paved your way. Unlike the book, we cant always change those paths. Some of them are set in stone and how we get there might change. But I do believe that whatever happens, will happen.

So if you question how the present affects your future and struggle with the idea of controlling what yo do so you can determine where you land, this is the book for you.

Other Bookanista posts

Elana Johnson shivers over Shifting
Christine Fonseca is definitely Falling for Hamlet
Shelli Johannes-Wellscontemplates The Future of Us
Shana Silver finds Fateful Fabulous
Sarah Frances Hardy leads you into the Circle of Secrets
Corrine Jackson delights in a Hex Hall &Demonglass double feature
Stasia Ward Kehoe shares her passion for Possess