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Showing posts from August, 2013

Guest Post: Ruby Barnes on Snake Oil

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Author Skin Exposed? Apply Some More Snake Oil.

Here’s the thing; no one knows how to sell e-books. It’s all smoke and mirrors. Permit me to demonstrate.

The Social Media Guru
Three or four years ago a lot of people were starting out as independent e-book authors. They managed to cast off the stigma of self-publishing like a snakeskin and tread boldly without the cloak of traditional publishing validation. Some were doubtlessly examples of the king’s new clothes, but social media was the elixir of success. A prominent guru in the field of social media for authors proclaimed that traditional advertising didn’t work for e-books. Social networking to the max, push until it goes viral, that was the answer. Blog on subjects of interest to your target readership, make them your friends, coincidentally introduce your book as it fits the conversation and have them refer you on in turn to their friends. Build twitter teams, personally engage with your followers, sell subliminally. Network marketi…

Guest Post: The Willow Man - Sue Purkiss

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Do you know that feeling, when you’re going through customs and you’ve done nothing wrong and you’re really not smuggling anything at all, but you meet the steely eye of the official and he very much doesn’t smile back at you, and you know you not only look guilty but you feel it as well?

Well, that’s how I feel, having had the temerity to ask for a slot on Authors Electric. Because going by your posts, you’re all hundreds of country miles ahead of me when it comes to ebookery. All I’ve done is put one backlist book up, and it took me well over a year to get that done. But when I’d managed it – in the end, despite all the trepidation, without much trouble at all – I felt such a sense of achievement that I wanted to shout about it! It wasn’t – and isn’t – that I expected to sell many copies. It was that this book, which had meant a great deal to me, was no longer consigned to a great black hole, or to the ‘Cemetery of Forgotten Books’ (which Carlos Luiz Zafon has created in The Shadow o…

Introducing Our Newest Members...

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The 29th day of the month, and the introduction of a
new page for Authors Electric.
          The 30th - and the 31st, if there is one - have always been given over to Guest Posters, and that will continue, under the very able management of Debbie Bennett.

          The 29th was, until recently, Hywela Lyn's day - but we're sad to say that Hywela has had to resign, because her other commitments make it impossible to keep up with Authors Electric. Blogging is time consuming - thinking of a new subject every month, writing it, rewriting it, finding pictures, rewriting it... (Because writers obsessively rewrite: that's what we do.)
          So we well understand Hywela's reasons for leaving us, and we wish her well for the future.
          But as we now have a free day at the end of the month, it seemed a good idea to use it to spot-light one or another of our members, or one of the several genres we write in. I think it's true to say that we love being member…

Diana Athill and other things - Enid Richemont

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A few weeks ago, on a hot Sunday afternoon in July, I went to a talk by the writer and publisher Diana Athill, now in her middle nineties. Like so many people, I'd read her semi-biography: SOMEWHERE TOWARDS THE END (I must now get hold of her short stories which I gather are amazing). She is a fantastic person, and so beautiful - really beautiful (I've filched this image of her from the flyer, but it's not air-brushed - she really does look like that).
          She came on stage with a little assistance from her biographer, Ronald Hayman, sweeping up the aisle in a violet-turquoise gown, and proceeded to talk, without any backing notes, for about three quarters of an hour (I couldn't do that), after which she dealt very competently with questions which had to be conveyed to her by her agent because she's a bit deaf.
          One of the things she talked about was of how she had pared down her life in order to move into sheltered accomodation - the books and artwork…

Homemade Cakes and Revolution - Andrew Crofts

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I was invited to take tea with Mrs Mubarak at her husband’s palace in Cairo, just before the Arab Spring broke through and toppled his regime, bringing hope to a city which seemed darkened by storm clouds of popular resentment.
          Inside the palace Mrs Mubarak, who is half Welsh, half Egyptian, was a gracious hostess and white coated waiters dispensed cakes which she assured me were home made. The tranquillity inside the gilded salon was reminiscent of our own Queen’s garden tea parties – where they also provide excellent cakes – completely insulated from the boiling stew of hatred festering in the hot, over populated streets outside the heavily guarded walls of the palace. It was that contrast, which I had experienced in similar palaces all over the world, that made me start writing“Secrets of the Italian Gardener”.
          The initially peaceful revolutions that erupted at the beginning of 2011 seemed to promise something wonderful for the world, but it proved to be…

Where I Find Inspiration (Part Two) - Joint Post: Bill Kirton, Sue Price, Die Booth

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Writers are often asked where they find their ideas. So to answer that question three of our team - Bill Kirton, Sue Price and Die Booth have got together to share where they find theirs.____________________________________________________


Bill Kirton - visit website

Ghost Drum and BookBub - by Susan Price

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I had good sales in June and July, for some reason. I had done nothing in the way of publicity that I hadn't done before, but my sales nearly doubled in June, and then doubled again in July. We're still talking low figures, mind. The Lear jet isn't on order yet...but still.
          For one thing, something odd was happening in Germany. Having steadfastly ignored my kindle output since I started, Germany suddenly sprang to attention and bought ten of my books - one copy each of ten of the eleven books I've self-published.
          I've no idea whether this was one person buying all ten books, or ten different people buying a different book each, or some mixture of the above - one person buying five different copies, say, another buying two, and three other people buying one each. Amazon doesn't allow you to find that out.
          But how likely is it that ten different people, in Germany, would coincidentally buy ten different copies of my books on t…

Summer is on its way out - Jo Carroll.

Summer is on its way out. The evenings are longer and soon we’ll wake to that chill to remind us that autumn is inevitable. I love summer. I love the long, warm days. I love the buzz of bees on the lavender; the sweet smell of orange from the philodendron; the cries of children from the playground. Most of all, I love being outside. Doing what? I’m no gardener. I used to try – there was something about February that made me rush to the garden centre and buy seeds. I’d soak them and sow them and water with tenderness – not too whooshy to wash them away, not too feebly as they needed to get the idea they might have to cope with real rain when I planted them out. I thinned them out, easing out tiny plant after tiny plant, leaving only the sturdy and optimistic. I planted them in pots, nurtured them until they might be strong enough to cope with slugs and May storms. And, as the risk of frost passed, I planted them out. They died. I went to buy cuttings. (There is a metaphor there, about writi…