I’ve always been a huge Star Trek fan. Watched all the original series episodes and even the animated series over and over as a kid. Went to Trek cons as a young teen. Had a pair of Vulcan ears and a tribble.
But one thing made me grit my teeth every time the show came on.
Great! You’ve gotten a potential reader to visit your book’s product page. Maybe it was your fabulous cover that intrigued them, or the brilliant title, or — hey! — maybe it was your name, you celebrity author you!
In any case, it’s now time to seal the proverbial deal. Make the sale. Get the interested customer to become a reader and, hopefully, a fan.
The first thing you need in order to sell your book(s) is a quality product — well-written, well-edited (not by you), and well-designed (both the ebook, the print edition, and, possible, the audiobook — not to mention the cover). But that’s not enough. If you build it, they probably will not come.
Creating books is only the first half of the job. The other half is actually making sure that you’ve created an audience who want to buy them.
Now, when I say that to new author-publishers, they immediately think I’m talking about paid ads on Facebook, Google, Amazon, BookBub, etc.
This morning, I was giving a talk to a group of writers on Joseph Campbell and the Hero Journey or Monomyth (in this case, specifically with regards to setting, rather than plot or character). I ran the group through a basic overview of Campbell’s schema, and gave them a number of examples from movies (since visuals are always helpful) — including two movies that I know for a fact consciously used Campbell’s The Hero with a Thousand Facesas inspiration: Star Wars: A New Hope and The Matrix. And I mentioned that, while I loved the first Matrix movie, I felt as if I could hear the pages of Campbell’s magnum opus turning as Neo’s journey progressed. Call to Adventure? Check. Crossing the Threshold? Check. Belly of the Beast? Double-check…
One of the participants asked, very reasonably, how to use and honor the Hero’s Journey schema without falling into the trap of writing a story that is formulaic.
When I was studying to be an actor, we had a wonderful master teacher named Archie Smith. Now in addition to being a terrific teacher, he was also (though in his late 60s) still an actor and a student of acting; he would sit in on many of our classes with other teachers and go through the exercises they had us work on, then apply them to his own work on stage and talk to us about what he’d learned.
One day, one of our classmates asked Archie how we could keep all of our acting fresh, even as we tried to apply all of these technical concepts that we were learning. Archie told us to learn all of the techniques that he and our other teachers were giving us, to internalize them… and then, he said with great glee, “Toss them out the window!” Continue reading Toss them out the window! Using and forgetting the Hero’s Journey→
Since The Cuckoo’s Calling, I’ve enjoyed the Cormoran Strike series, written by J.K. Rowling as Robert Galbraith. Each entry has been a mind-tickling, exciting mystery in the old-style gumshoe detective vein, with all of the flourishes that made Rowling’s Harry Potterbooks so enjoyable — memorable characters, sly humor, exciting plot, and a deft hand at shifting moods unexpectedly. The latest entry in the series, LethalWhite, provides many of the delights of the earlier books while revealing increased skill on the author’s part — but also revealing a disappointing tendency toward formula. Continue reading Review: Lethal White — Deadly Fun→
I originally published this post on Joel Friedlander’s wonderful resource for self-publishers, TheBookDesigner.com
If HTML is the blueprint, showing how an ebook (or a web page) should be laid out, Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) are the interior design, saying how everything should look. While that may sound superficial, in fact learning to use CSS can have a profound impact on your ebook.
This is a somewhat complicated topic, so I am going to take three posts to cover it. This time round, I’m going to show you what CSS is and how to apply it. In the second post, I’m going to look at some of the different properties that you can use to define how your ebook looks. And in the last post, I’m going to talk about how to know which rules take precedence when.
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