Come on over to the New Website:

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Why don't I offer Christmas specials on my books?

As Christmas nears, I've noticed several of my fellow authors are offering special deals. These deals go something along the lines of this: Purchase title "X" for only $5... and have it signed by the author!

I'm not posting this to discourage my fellow authors, or to put them down for choosing to offer these deals, but I've often been asked to share my sales techniques. So here is my take on why doing those deals is a bad idea.

Retailers give my books shelf space and exposure to new readers every day. I can either reward them by encouraging people to purchase only through the retailers, or I can make a higher profit margin per book by selling directly to readers. 1) Sales made through the retailers show up on my royalty checks, which impresses the publisher, which in turn translates to future contracts. 2) Sales through retailers help keep the stores in business, which in turn means that we authors have more opportunities for the all important book signing events. 3) Beating the price of retailers who sell my books, puts me in competition with them, rather than a partnership.

An important part of wise salesmanship, is developing and then maintaining good relationships with your retailers. These points are invalid for an author who decides to go 100% e-books, or focuses on driving Amazon sales, but for a career author publishing through traditional houses, my advice is: Do not put yourself in competition with the retailers! They can be your best friends.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

What would you like to read more about on this blog?

In a recent post on Michael Hyatt's blog, he listed advice on what topics novelists should blog about. Quite honestly, I have not been as consistent with my blogging as I'd like to be. In fact, most of the time my posts seem rather random and all over the place.

So I am asking you to give me feedback. I want as many of my blog readers as possible to tell me what you like, what you don't, what draws you in, and what disinterests you. I have been seriously considering revamping my online marketing strategy to center around my blog. A blog can be a lot more versatile and reach many more people than I have, so I need to give it better focus.

This is your opportunity to weigh in. Do you want more advice/tips on writing? Interviews with publishing professionals? Insights into my writing days? More details on how I am marketing/selling my books?

What strategies have you found successful with your own blog?

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Star Wars: Revan ...the novel

I am not much of a video gamer, but since I was a kid I've been a big fan of Star Wars. And I played both of the Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic games on my PC. The character of Revan was ingenious, truly an original icon in the SW universe.

When I heard they were coming out with a Revan novel I was very excited. I pre-ordered it and received it two days ago. 3 o'clock this morning I finished it!

This is a well-crafted novel. The characters are believable and the concepts are fascinating. It felt a lot more epic than some of the recent SW novels I've read. Also the ending was completely unexpected; it leaves you wanting to know more. This book is really about Revan, a sith named Scourge, and another jedi (who SW gamers will know as the Exile). I highly recommend this book. I may even re-read it. The insights to the ancient emperor were startling. I have listened to a couple of the other SW Old Republic novels on audio book, and they were equally good. But this one is definitely my favorite!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Amazon and the Changing Face of Book Publishing?

Back in October the New York Times had a most interesting article. You can read the article here. After you read the article, I'm sure you will draw your own conclusions, but it puts me in mind of all the speculation out there.

What does the near-future of the book publishing industry look like? I think Amazon is overestimating its ability to monopolize the market. They have a lot of clout on the retailing market, but do they have the trust of the consumer? Traditional publishing houses have succeeded by creating brands that readers trust or follow. Yes, Amazon can sell a whole lot of product, but that is not the issue. Traditional houses create art, and art is what people want. Amazon wants to position itself as publisher, retailer, monopolizer. But if everything was grown on the same branch of monetary return, books could not be as diverse or unique.

The above mentioned article in the New York Times states rather accurately that Amazon is trying to position itself as a direct competitor to the major publishing houses. But I think they miss the point, or rather Amazon is overestimating their pull. Is it possible that the big publishers will start pulling away from Amazon, placing their high-demand products with other vendors? I'm not saying it will happen, but it only takes the right situation--just one step too far--If Amazon were cutting out, or perceived to be cutting out the major houses, that could force their hand. Anyway, I'm merely speculating...

Certainly the industry is changing, but not as much as we think. There are new faces in the market. New, smaller publishing houses meeting niche markets. The recent acquisition of Thomas Nelson sent waves through the Christian publishing industry. I myself am curious how all these changes will change the market and the industry, yet I'm eager to watch.

...Now I have to sit down and write. I have a novel to finish! (-:


"Pleasant words are as an honeycomb, sweet to the soul, and health to the bones." -Proverbs 16:24

In a world where morality is forsaken and Christ neglected, wholesome books are uncommon. The themes of my writing are love, self-sacrifice, and honor.

I see my generation turning from God to the gods of this world. I see homes torn apart in the pursuit of pleasure and self-gratification. Children are murdered by the millions every year . . . without ever seeing the world outside their mothers' wombs. Through fiction I strive to encourage those who are willing, to stand against these things and be heroes and heroines; chivalrous, gentle, full of righteous indignation, and the fear and love of their Creator.