Monday, November 22, 2010
Wednesday, November 3, 2010
The Book Tent at the world-famous New Orleans Jazz Festival. At this week's NOLA Book Fair, readings in the street, a screening of the documentary about John Kennedy Toole at Snug Harbor, and author panel discussions at Three Muses. In many ways, NOLA native brothers Ronald and Bryan Williams, owners of music company Cash Money Records, and kingmaker of Lil Wayne, learned streetside the worth of selling books like music. Much has been made of lessons learned from the dramatic shifts in music promotion and sales as predictors for the book industry. Use more digital, expand to unconventional venues, reward your fans consistently....with one exception. As access to products collapse their profit potential, music acts can still make a moola by touring. Authors can't, for the most part.
Their first line of the Cash Money Records books suggest the Williams brothers strategy rests with impulse buying. Plus, their backing from Atria/Simon & Schuster should grant decent production oversight and distributorship. But much of their list -- Raw Law: An Urban Guide to Criminal Justice; Justify My Thug; and Pimp, a memoir by the late Iceberg Slim -- trend toward street lit, a successful genre, but not one that encourages fan loyalty. Mr. Obie Joe will be intrigued to see the pricing. Will fans be tempted to spend $10 on Raw Law, or put it to the $35 tour t-shirt?
Love this quote from Vernon Brown, the Williamses' attorney and business manager: "Our books will also be sold at our concerts. When you're out in front of 18,000 people, some will buy books, some not. But right now many of those fans aren't being told what books are great. We'll do that."
Told. Interesting verb. Not asked, not invited. Still, if they've got first dibs on Lil Wayne's post-Rikers memoir, our cash is ready.
Sunday, October 10, 2010
Saturday, July 17, 2010
So just how discriminating, skilled or objective are the blogger book reviews you can get from newly launched booksneeze? Judging by the Browse Reviews section, fandom seems to inspire most of the book reviews. Categories in children's books; entertainment; conservative politics and Christianity have the most reviews. Many of the books are from small publishers; The Faith of Barack Obama by Stephen Mansfield is the only title we recognized as major.
That said, the number of reviews is impressive: most books garner on average 50+ reviews. Even more killer is the SEO booksneeze does for your title. On searching for The Chronological Study Bible, the first five google results were reviews by bloggers coordinated by booksneeze. It didn't replace amazon.com, but it gave another layer of conversion possibility for a new reader. Plus, there seems to be informal cross-posting with Amazon.com and other sites; each review gets around.
Wednesday, July 14, 2010
Not every book get to be an audiobook, but every book gets ito be heard. Check with your publisher on their policy on excerpts, and if their definition of "fair use" is generous, get out the iPod. Make an excerpt of your book as an audio feature on your site; a podcast on another site; or a download via iTunes. If you're comfortable with your voice, go do that, but if not, look for a volunteer via your local college drama departments. Why do the audio and not just the book trailer? Because an audio recording is stickier in the task of familiarizing a new reader to your work. (And definitely check out LibriVox for free recording software, hundreds of free downloads of books in the public domain.)
Saturday, January 23, 2010
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
A good cover can convey the content inside, whatever the story.
Sunday, December 13, 2009
What if your reader could collaborate with your book? As in, say somethin' about the way you put your book together? A new site, a book outline Wiki, posts a book's outline, and then allows registered users to give their notes on your genius. (also good for books still under development.)
Ms. Obie Joe is liking the Act One by Moss Hart book.
Monday, November 16, 2009
Recognition, gathered via awards from officious places, or premature death, always bring sales of your book.
Many authors spend their entire careers unjustly unappreciated by awards and/or sales. Trust that you are not alone, and that every sale is worth something. Mr. Obie Joe was intrigued to read of the book sales for the five nominees for the prestigious National Book Award:
(winner) LET THE GREAT WORLD SPIN, by Colum McCann 17,200 copies
LARK AND TERMITE, by Jayne Anne Phillips 15,250 copies
IN OTHER ROOMS, OTHER WONDERS, by Daniyal Mueenuddin 8,750 copies
FAR NORTH, by Marcel Theroux 1,275 copies
AMERICAN SALVAGE, by Bonnie Jo Campbell 1,100 copies
Sidenote: A hearty congrats to McCann, a fav around Obie Joe Media for his book, Zoli, about the Romany, and the struggle to be left alone by the dominant culture. Best line: "I still call myself black, even though I have rolled around in flour."
(Photograph: Tina Fineberg/AP)