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Blind Squirrels and that Elusive Acorn September 5, 2011

Posted by bobv451 in business, Chain story, e-books, fantasy, ideas, VIPub, writing.

Or maybe that ought to be stupid determination? Dogged? No reason to be either blind or stupid about ways of getting your ebooks noticed. But it’s a hard job because there is so much competition. I’ve written on this before. Never give up. Never stop. But what is it you shouldn’t stop doing? Here are a few more thoughts.

Gary Vaynerchuk
has been mentioned here before about his book Crush It! and The Thank You Economy.

Judith sent along a comment on yesterday’s blog about a UK fantasy writer who is selling her short stories by subscription. An interesting idea (and one kicked around by a bunch of us). I’m not as sold on that as I am other ideas. Why not just post on Kindle and all the other usual suspects? The subscription problem, as I see it, is that of bookkeeping. Who has paid? How do you increase circulation? This might work for an online magazine, of which there are many, but as Dean Wesley Smith has pointed out numerous times, a better way of promotion is to produce more stories. The time spent bookkeeping ought to go into book writing. But the joy of VIPub is trying things to see what works. This might work spectacularly for one writer and not another. It may well be that subscriptions will sell more. Try it and see. The worst that can happen is that it isn’t as successful as we’d all hope.

Mike Stackpole started the Chain Story as a way of getting work noticed. It is the #3 search item for people getting to my website. Go on, check out my contribution, “White Fur.” I dare you. And it’s free. Just click on the “chain story” link.

Coupled with the idea of regularity (as in the subscription idea) is one of *having* to do a short story a month. That’s a lot of pressure, especially if other projects intrude. I’ve got an idea to circumvent that problem and keep the readers coming back regularly. A stalwart band of 5 other writers and I will begin a monthly e-post (Kindle and the usual suspects) of stories set in a steampunk universe. Empires of Steam and Rust. Nathan Long has done a nifty logo for the series. My personal time has been vacuumed away the past month so I am late in launching this. I hope to begin it in a couple months, certainly aiming at a January ‘12 inaugural.

The benefit to the writer is obvious. We only have to do a couple stories a year, yet there will be stories in the series every month. The reader benefits on several fronts. Solid stories in a developing serial universe and the expectation that a new story will be along every month.

I haven’t read the book in the trailer below, but I suspect I will. Larry J. Martin is an excellent western writer and comes up with dynamite book trailers. What he has to say about Internet book marketing might well be more important for us than what Vaynerchuk says since it is more directed to our readers, our markets, the peculiarities of writing as a profession.



1. Judith Brownlee - September 7, 2011

Here’s more information about how Liz Williams does it:


I hope the fact that it is in LIve Journal won’t prevent it being seen. Despite being online since the 90s there are still some things I don’t “get.”

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