Book Birth Day
Kris Did An Awesome Post…
And an important one. In fact, she and I have been thinking this way for a long time, just having a name for it now is really, really helpful in the attitude change that is required for this new world of writing.
And as Kris does so well, she explained this attitude shift perfectly.
So go read her post. You can find it at Book Birth Day.
Might be a piece of advice that will save your career if you have been locked into the launch mentality of old publishing. Time to crawl out of the last century if you are and join 2020.
Books don’t spoil in a month like the old launch thinking believes. But a book can, with help and the right attitude, grow and become a major part of your life in the future.
Again, go read her article.
(And on that topic tonight I put up seven new videos in the Licensing Transition and will be doing videos in The Decade Ahead class as well on the difference in attitude and how to think out ahead.)
I read her article and I’ve been sharing it on my social media. (And pissing people off.) At the same time, I’ve seen some authors who just want to write and not waste time and money promoting like mad. And those were the ones most relieved by Kris’s article. So, thanks so much to you two for encouraging those of us who would rather write than go bonkers with promotions that don’t work!
Yup, writers who are in a hurry to get rich and not write much really hate this book birthday idea. They are invested against it, actually, because, for the most part they are not writing to tell stories, they write because they think they can make quick money writing a book (with very little study of craft) and them promote it to make a lot. You would be better off buying a bunch of lottery tickets. So yes, this article will make some angry. And it is a good test to see who really is in the writing because they just love to tell stories.
I shared Kris’ article too. Funnily it came just after some discussions during end-of-year-summaries, where a lot of authors said how they hated doing ads. And some already abandoned it; others said, her new-years-resolve was to stop throwing money at something that doesn’t work anyway. Wise people.
I always suspected that for most the bottom line would be the same whether they did ads or not. It’s only Amazon and Facebook, who get rich with ads: Now authors in Germany, France and ? can do ads too. Thus the wohl ad thing will get even more crowded and produce less visibiliy for the single author -if they don’t spend even more for ads.
The great Paul Watzlawik called it the strategy of the “more-of-the-same”: People try something, but it doesn’t work; so they try harder and more convinced that it didn’t work because of lack of effort. Instead they should stop and change something. But they can’t, because that would mean to admit the strategy is a failure.
In our case that would mean to admit they threw their money out of the window. Pbviouly most can’tadmit that. It’s the usual issue of social expeiments: There is no way to proof they would have made their 1,000 Dollars likewise without spending 5,000 Dollars in ads. They are just playing roulette, putting their gain immediately in the next round to win again. And then they don’t win anymore.
As a parent, I love this idea. It’s a great analogy that will make publishing a lot easier to handle for people. Get the book out there, but don’t exert too much pressure.
Since I’m ready to take that plunge myself for the first time, I would like to know if you would critique the sales blurb for my debut novella. I’ve gone over your series of posts on the topic, so I’m putting your advice into practice. No passive verbs, and no plot reveals.
A clever detective and a young reporter: the classic crime-fighting team, looking for their first big break.
A puzzling murder, a prominent victim, and a web of deceit throw a peaceful college campus into chaos and spur the pair into action, but they face two small problems.
The police don’t need their help, and they still have to study for their exams.
Glen, have fun with the publishing.
And I normally don’t do this, but thought I would (as a teaching thing here) comment on your sales copy.
Pretty good, but could be better. For exacmple, instead of the run-on sentence in your second paragraph, why not but a period after action? Then hit the return key and have the third paragraph be “And they face two small problems.” Run on sentences always drain energy in sales and make readers feel tired. Weird, but true.
Then kill the passive verb structure of the last paragraph. “Don’t” and “have” are extremely dull. And passive. In sales, you should never have contractions, they always hide dullness.
Harder than it looks, isn’t it? (grin)
But your sales copy was good enough. I am assuming you want more than “good enough” which sadly most writers don’t even know to get to that.
‘Good enough’ never is. Except when it’s time to publish the darn thing and get it out there. Thank you so much for the feedback. I figured it was worth a shot. 🙂
I’ll fix those gunky parts and make it sparkle. My reader/editor just gave me a thumbs up and admitted she didn’t solve the mystery, so I’m excited. When someone says, ‘I couldn’t put it down,’ I can’t think of a better compliment for a writer.
You are a gentleman and a scholar, not to mention a great teacher. Thanks again.
One of the things I do is practice by writing sales copy for other people’s books.
So, for example:
If the body had fermented any longer it’d be a sparkling wine. It had just appeared in the middle of the annual University ball – dropped right on the head table like Lucifer falling from heaven. Splatting in front of his boss the supercilious Police commissioner, Britain’s third best local news reporter Theresa, and the senior lecturer in Religious studies.
He didn’t have any clues, the reporter wanted to join up with him “to solve crimes” and still worse:
He needed to study for his exams.
Thomas, I am going to use you as an example. I am sorry.
I hope that was an example of a really, really bad sales copy you were showing us that you would rewrite for someone. That sample is so passive and dull to be scary. And way too much text for a reader to read. And without any kind of direct points.
For example, just the first line of that has not one, but two passive and dull verbs. Second line is dull and passive as well.
What you are subconsciously telling a reader with that kind of sales copy is that the story is dull and not worth reading.
And way, way, way too much plot. Readers read to figure out what is in a story. They want to know from sales what the story is about, not the plot. And who is the story about? Can’t tell from that sales copy and readers need to know that as well.
And also no last pitch line. “A gripping mystery that holds you to the very last sentence.”
So Thomas, thank you for an example of a thousand things not to do in sale copy. Appreciate that.
Great article by Kris! I love the idea that our books are just beginning at launch time. I believe that readers can/will enjoy our stories for years to come. Why wouldn’t they? There’s no expiration date on a good story. 🙂
Shhhh…. Lorri…. Don’t tell traditional publisher’s that. Their entire system is built on books spoiling in 30 days.