Tag Archive: bookstores



With the holidays coming fast, I thought now was the perfect time to cover a topic I’d hinted at many times: Print books vs. E-books.

I will be the first to say that when e-readers came out I was more than a little skeptical.  I really didn’t think they would take off the way they had.  Online newspapers I could see, because for one thing it was a great way of lessening the amount of paper going into landfills (in spite of the fact that me and great number of people out there try to recycle).  However, I also saw it as a chance for less trees to be cut down because let’s face it, a number of them were being taken down in spite of all the paper recycling (yes I’m very much into ‘green’ living and recycling).  But I digress.  At the time I really did not see a lot of benefit coming from making books electronically available.

Besides, I was already in love with bookstores.  They’re like a magnets to me and my wife Helen.  And the books inside are like mint to a cat (catnip for those who don’t get the reference), we go bonkers over books.  So you can understand why the concept of electronic books did not really capture my fancy… at first.

However, things began to change when I tried my hand at writing.  I went the traditional route, looking for an agent, getting rejected, and so on and so forth for three years.  During that time I was told time and again I had something unique and interesting (i. e. my Para-Earth Series), BUT it was too unique.  I had crossed too many genres to the point that even agents who were interested had no idea who to try and sell the idea to.  Most publishers have been quite strict about genres and from what I understand still are.  So I had to take a few steps back and have a really long think about what to do.

I could go back and whittle certain elements out and make the story a more traditional horror, or a mystery, a paranormal tale, or a work of pure science fiction.  But none of that appealed to me.  The people who had read or heard about what I was creating were fascinated BECAUSE I had created something entirely new and different.  To lose any of those elements would be tantamount to killing the entire series before it began.

Meanwhile, Helen and other writer friends had been talking about going the independent author route and use Createspace or some other print/electronic publishing system.  I’d be responsible for my own marketing, but as I found out through research, most traditionally published authors were responsible for their own marketing these days as well.  Unless you had the power of Stephen King, J. K. Rowling, or some other mega-star author, most publishers don’t help out as much as they used to.

So I took the plunge and “The Bridge” saw the light of day.  As expected, I soon found e-sales rocketing while traditional paperbacks were only so-so.  This disappointed me in some ways, but I found the benefit of still having paperbacks available a benefit.  Because there are no substitutes for owning a SIGNED edition of a book in the eyes of even the most devoted e-reader fan.

Still I did not invest in any e-readers.  Oh from time to time I thought about it, just to see how my own works appeared so I could see if the formatting held up to the transition (I’m very particular about my work looking right for my readers).  But I still bought paperbacks and haunted used bookstores left and right.

Then last Christmas something unexpected happened.  Helen and I were given a Kindle by her mother as a gift.

Helen took to it right away for its photographic capabilities, while I was pleased but slightly hesitant.  I guess a part of me was afraid just touching it would lead to me falling out of love with my beloved books.  But over time I found the internet function useful, but still I resisted trying to read a book on it.  The screen ‘felt’ too small and I didn’t like not being able to see how much was left to read in each volume.  (I’ve since learned how to know the # of pages left)  But still, I held back.

Then some of my fellow writers online were offering free copies of their books for an honest review in return.  Some had done this for me and I wanted to return the favor.  Plus, with our finances being so tight, a free-read seemed acceptable.  (also in one or two cases, they only had e-versions of their books) So I began downloading a couple of freebies and proceeded to read.

I soon became quite comfortable with using the Kindle and even found my reading speed increasing, much to my surprise.  Eventually I started actually buying some new e-books every so often.

Now, I suspect you’re all thinking “That does it! He’s hooked. Good-bye paper, HELLO Electronic!”

To find out, you’ll have to tune in next week when I complete this two-part entry.  Please understand I’m not just doing things this way because I’m hoping to really boost my numbers.  This topic is lengthy and I don’t want one entry to become as long as the classic “War and Peace”.  So please sit tight and I’ll be back next weekend or sooner to finish my tale about print vs electronic and what the results turned out to be.

Until then, take care and keep writing!

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A couple of weeks ago, I received these packages in the mail…

 I shared this photo on FB and teased people for a couple of days about what might be inside, before finally revealing their contents.

At least one of my FB friends asked, “Wow, that’s a lot of books  Are you having a special event?”

My answer was no.

So then someone else asked, “Well then why did you get so many?  What are you planning on doing with them?”

I responded with, “Well, I’m making them available for anyone who wants a signed edition for just $15.00, plus $3.00 for shipping.  If they want a copy of each book it will be two for $25.00, plus $5.00 for shipping.”

Then came the inevitable question of, “What happens if you don’t sell them all?”

My response was this…

I went to one of the local public libraries and asked if they would like some free copies of a local author’s books for their shelves.  They’re response was a huge smile and “Yes, we would thank you so much…”  From there the conversation drifted to the subject of the books and discussions about whether they ever had authors come and give talks.  I’m currently getting lined up to go back in a month or two to give my first talk about writing and becoming an Indie Author.

My next destination was to return to Cabrillo College, where I received my Associates Degree in Human Services.  I went straight into the college bookstore and began looking over their shelves.  I saw immediately that they carried books by alumnus and local authors (I of course happened to be both).  Then I made my way over to the nearest salesperson and asked to speak to the manager of the bookstore.  After a quick introduction and a brief explanation, she told me they’d be only too happy to carry my books.  But instead of asking me to supply the copies she wanted to know who my publisher was.  When I told her it was Createspace, she smiled and said, “Great, I can order directly from them, we have a good working relationship with Createspace.”

I then asked about authors coming and doing book signings and she was quite interested.  She told me they don’t have many but enjoy doing it whenever they had an opportunity.  In fact they were getting one set up for one of the instructors at the college.  I’m to get back in touch with her in a month, once the books are on the shelves and we will try to arrange a date and time for me to do a signing there as well.

Before I left, I went to say hello to a few of my old instructors and also slipped over to the college’s newspaper office.  There I found out who I needed to contact to try and get some publicity in the campus newspaper.  I’m waiting for when the books are on the shelves before we get anything in print to help drive people to the bookstore.

So all this happened last week.  What did I get up to this week?  You’ll have to wait for the next installment to find out.

Until then, take care and keep writing.


Okay no advertising today.  Just some updates.   In the past two weeks I’ve been pretty busy with novel #2 “THE SHIP” which is a sequel to  my first book “THE BRIDGE”.   It takes up with two of the main characters from book 1, Cassandra and Julie and their trip to Santa Cruz California.  The other leading characters from “THE BRIDGE” Alex and Veronica make brief appearances.

While visiting the west coast, Cassie and Julie, must come to terms with their experiences from the first book as well as their budding romantic relationship and how deeply entwined they wish to become with each other.   But they must also deal with hidden dangers on not just one but 2 fronts.  Two of the antagonists from the first book have followed them here and are watching them carefully.  But even more importantly, a new danger has arisen from the depths of the ocean.  And this new threat is known to Cassandra’s family from the day’s when her ghostly guardian Brandon was still alive.

I’ve been going to great lengths to keep the suspense and intrigue of the first novel alive in this book, while introducing new characters and situations, that in turn will lead to even more stories down the road.   I’m very careful about always setting the stage for upcoming installments and try not to throw anything at my readers that will not one day come into play in the future.  I’m striving to keep my audience fascinated and entertained as much as possible.

Now in addition to writing the second novel, I’ve also been working on the cover for the 2nd book.  Here is a sample of the progress I’ve made on it.  Keep in mind, it is not completed and there is more for me to add to this piece as I want to put in more elements to increase the ‘Eerie’ feel I’m striving for:

Cover Update 314

 

In other news, I managed to get “THE BRIDGE” on the shelves of 2 bookstores  that carry Indie author Books.  I’m hoping to get into contact with even more bookstores in the near future.  I’m also expecting a phone call from a local radio station next week,  to set up an on air interview.  This will be my first one, so I’m both excited and nervous.  I’ll be doing some research about being interviewed on radio to help prepare myself so I don’t embarrass myself.

That’s all for now.  I’ll post again in a day or so with more news.  Take care everyone.

 

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