Different versions of your book – racy and literary.

After contemplating becoming a transvestite in another posting today ‘Self-Publishing And The Sexes’,I’m also pondering the advice given by Fay Weldon.

Fay Weldon

http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/books/news/fay-weldon-interview-abandon-your-dignity-and-write-a-racy-pageturner-10086140.html

She reckons that we should write two different versions of our book – one for traditional publishing,which is literary in tone,and another dumbed-down racy version for readers who use Kindles and other e-reading devices. This means ” abandoning one’s dignity.”

After eighteen months of trying to sell my books,I’m not sure that I’ve got any dignity left – and if I have,it’s probably slipped down the back of the sofa and is beyond retrieval. Fay Weldon has a history of making tongue-in-cheek provocative statements,but I think that she may have a point.

I’ve mentioned in other blog postings that I’ve been giving my ebooks on Smashwords away for free. I started this three months ago,as a promotional tactic to help launch my novel. It’s also a basic form of market research,to see what draws readers. I’ve tried changing tags and book covers,to see if this increased the downloads of a title that was being ignored.

The only conclusions that I’ve made,is that people like sad titles,rather than happy ( who’d have guessed that ? ),as well as titles with a name in or that’s in the form of a question. Unsurprisingly,any mention of sex or erotica helps to shift copies – so bear that in mind when choosing your descriptive tags and book title.

This is proved by the success of my first volume of erotic verse,which is called ‘What Do You Like ?’,with the subtitle ‘9 Erotic Poems’. This has been downloaded 500 times,as of today,which makes it the most popular of my forty-four free titles.

Fay Weldon’s advice may impel me towards a career writing torrid romances featuring villainous lovers with smouldering eyes,heroines with heaving bosoms + of course,the obligatory randy vampire and horny werewolf !

Advertisements

Self-Publishing And The Sexes

A report in today’s Guardian newspaper makes some interesting claims about self-published books.

In particular,I was struck by the figure that 67% of books on the top ebook publishing platforms are written by women. This percentage comes from an organisation that’s new to me,called Ficshelf.

http://www.theguardian.com/books/2015/mar/06/self-publishing-lets-women-break-book-industrys-glass-ceiling-survey-finds

They claim that 61 of the top 100 traditionally published books on Amazon are written by men. This is seen as further proof that men rule the long-established world of book publishing. Male writers dominate in lists compiled by newspapers for best novels.

Somehow,none of this surprises me,for I’ve always believed that more women regularly read books than men,and there’s a tiresome old boy network among book firms. It’s unusual to find a literary agency or publisher that has a woman as CEO.

It’s food for thought. Perhaps I should become Pauline Whybrow to publish my ebooks that have a romantic and spiritual theme,to encourage more female readers …

It might confuse the taxman,which would help.

The writer who made millions by self-publishing online

A couple of years ago, Amanda Hocking needed to raise a few hundred dollars so, in desperation, made her unpublished novel available on the Kindle. She has since sold over 1.5m books and, in the process, changed publishing forever.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2012/jan/12/amanda-hocking-self-publishing

While I’m pleased for her success,I sometimes wonder at how skewed people’s buying patterns are by what they see as worth reading. J K Rowling could sell millions of copies of a book containing her shopping lists,simply because of her previous success. People buy what they know,especially when money is tight.

I sometimes wonder how many authors a typical reader could name,and also how many of them they regularly read. I’m guessing that it’s not many. I once knew a man who was proud to read books,but the only author that he ever bothered with was Stephen King. That’s all he read,and had hundreds of copies of his titles – some of which were collectible. He wouldn’t even try other horror writers,such was his obsession. He couldn’t be unfaithful to his idol.

Two ex-girlfriends had strange reading tastes. One loved misery memoirs,to the point where I realised she was both a masochist and a ghoul who relished the suffering of others. The other woman forced herself to read all of the short-listed books for the various literary prizes,even if she didn’t enjoy them. This was all part of her desire to improve herself,which was laudable,but didn’t offer a lot of enjoyment. Have you tried reading Keri Hulme’s ‘The Bone People’ ? It won the Booker Prize in 1986,even though it cries out for editing and guidance on some truly awful writing.

We all have different tastes,and people’s likes and dislikes are as diverse as their preference in food,music and the clothing that they wear. I’d never read an Amanda Hocking novel,have only read the first four of the Harry Potter series and a few of Stephen King’s novels – I prefer his straight dramatic stories such as ‘Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption’ and ‘The Green Mile’ to his horror output. I gave up on ‘The Bone People’. Life is too short to force myself to read work that fails to engage me.

Turning down Amazon

An erotic romance author turned down an Amazon publishing deal. Aubrey Rose, successfully self-published writer, said that the offer from online giant was far less than she could make on her own.

http://www.theguardian.com/books/2013/aug/08/amazon-publishing-deal-turned-down-author

After my limited dealings so far with Amazon,I know what she means. After publishing on Smashwords,which felt like doing business with a friendly neighbourhood corner shop,putting my books onto Amazon had all of the charm of swimming in a pool full of sharks,while covered in bacon !

Corporations don’t become huge by being nice.

Self-Publishing And Literary Awards

Why is self-publishing still scorned by literary awards?

As an increasing number of DIY authors climb the digital bestseller lists, book prizes will have to rethink their entry criteria

http://www.theguardian.com/books/booksblog/2013/aug/16/self-publishing-literary-awards