Thursday, 25 August 2011

Opinions requested.

That second short story collection is nearly ready to go. It will include this one by popular request (well, one request, but that's more than any of the others had). Plus some others that have appeared here but weren't in the first book and a few brand new ones.

Tonight I've been working on the cover. The cover matters because it's the first thing anyone sees and if it's a turnoff then nobody will open the book anyway. It's worth spending some time on it. I've gone for a basic image composed of a couple of photos. All photos are taken by me so there's no copyright issue at all. No title as yet, this is just the background image for the cover.

How does it look? Total crap, or spooky enough? Should I branch out into cover art or shut up and get back to the writing?

I'm also thinking of splitting the book for Kindle so I can sell it in cheaper bits rather than as one whole book. That way, people can buy a 99p sample and if they like it, they can buy the rest. It won't be all separate stories as some are pretty short, so the short ones would be bundled. I'm currently thinking maybe three or four parts. Good idea, or a terrible notion? The downside is that each will need its own cover, but then I have an awful lot of photos to choose from.

The print version will be one book, a little shorter and therefore hopefully a little cheaper than the last one. I made that a single ebook, and I'm wondering if that was a mistake. Any marketing experts out there?

As for the published one, I see the sods at Amazon have put the price up. That's not going to help sales. I can sell signed copies for £9.50 including UK postage and that's with me paying to get them shipped over from the USA in small batches, so why Amazon needed to tip it over the £10 mark is a mystery. It's not a big book. If you can stand to read a PDF, the cheapest option is still direct from the publisher. I hear there are problems with the chapter breaks on the Kindle version and as far as I know, that's still the case.

Right, best get back to that fantasy world that's almost as mad as the news. I'd like this collection out of the way soon because it's time to nag the publisher about the second novel I sent them three months ago. That needs to be done diplomatically because the easiest response to a belligerent author is 'no'.

Diplomacy is not my forte.


prm said...

I like the photo, but I worry that people will immediately think 'werewolf/twilight' type thoughts.

I imagine the sample might work, especially if it was free - I subscribe to an amazon list that lets me know about free stuff, and I've found a couple of books from samplers. Personally, I wouldn't go with the multi-part idea, just the standard book and the sample story-or-two. The reason I say that is that I d/l FotOatK, read one almost absent-mindedly (nice and short) and found myself reading half a dozen. I could imagine a couple in the sampler would lead to a desire for more. But then, I didn't think the first book was too long.

And why were there so many complaints about the phone story? Why did people single that one out as particulary horrifying, do you think?

Leg-iron said...

That's a better idea, the free sample leading to the whole book. Thanks for that.

The phone story complaints came from the automated cold-call machinery, where you pick up the phone and the quota is already filled so nobody's there. There were a few who had such calls just after they'd read the story.

There were also one or two white faces over the dishwasher one. The ordinary seems to be the most scary.

JuliaM said...

"I like the photo, but I worry that people will immediately think 'werewolf/twilight' type thoughts."

Good! Get that crowd to pick up a real book for a change!

Anonymous said...

Dear Mr Leg-iron

The cover is definitely a cliché for the supernatural – not in itself a bad thing if that is what you are selling.

Short stories are like records: they come as singles and albums. Usually singles are packaged in something else, like a magazine. e-publishing allows the record route to be followed more closely with singles, extended play, albums and boxed sets.

Splitting the stories for Kindle seems a sound idea to me. One approach for the cover is to use the same one with a different coloured moon – red (total eclipse), blue (coincidentally about half a dozen covers of the song Blue Moon were used in the film An American Werewolf in London), green (cheese) and regular, with the titles themed in some way to link them together – Parts I - IV or something more subtle.

Are there any fora for Kindle authors to share experiences?

If Amazon have put up the price it suggests your book is selling. If you want marketing expertise, Amazon are probably pretty good at it.

I hope that helps.


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