Thursday, April 16, 2015

IndieRecon Day 2

It's Day 2 of IndieRecon - the free conference for self-publishers featuring all things Indie. Being on the West Coast of the U.S. and 8 hours behind London and 3 hours behind the east coast, I'm doing a lot of catching up on the early morning sessions (midnight, 3am, etc.) and then jumping in on the one's that are Google Hangouts later in the day.  The best part is that everything is recorded--whether in advance or saved to YouTube after the Google Hangout. So you can still go and listen if you are interested. Lots and lots of interesting sessions. Below are the ones that wowed me today.

Getting Orders and Pre-selling Before You Publish - Amanda Barbara
On the surface this presentation was about crowdfunding, but not in the usual Kickstarter, Indiegogo, or even Patreon type way. More important, Pubslush is just for books or other literary pursuits--so the platform concentrates on that and draws the reader/writer audience for that. Charge is 4% of total earned. Pubslush accepts all types of literary-based projects, including books, magazines, screenplays, apps, educational, and philanthropic projects.

In reviewing the site what I saw is that non-fiction projects tended receive a lot more support than fiction projects. I suspect that is because non-fiction books also cost more and narrative non-fiction has a much larger audience. People love the "true" story or the real person overcomes adversity book. I'm considering it for fiction, just need to think about the project and what I would offer and what I need.

Creating Soundtracks on Booktrack - Jason Hovey
Booktrack is a company pioneering the use of music and sounds to enhance the reading experience. This is not a video or a trailer or an audiobook. It is a method for providing sounds specifically related to exactly where the reader is reading to enhance the experience.

Now I admit that for me, personally, reading in silence is preferable. I want my imagination to fill in all the sounds.  However, that is not true of many younger people I know.  I know writers who write with music that inspires them. I know youth who want that "movie" experience while they read--not necessarily video but the sounds of a river, or waves crashing, or guns shooting. The point is that as indie authors we can provide both experiences and meet both audience needs.

Check out the recording of the session. After listening to Jason, I signed up to try it out. It looks easy--though definitely would take some time to do an entire novel. They are monetizing the platform at the end of the month which means authors can sell their enhanced books on the Booktrack site, on Booktrack apps, and provide excerpts on their own websites and other social media.

Definitely interesting. Definitely something that is disruptive technology. Definitely something to watch.  I'm considering serializing the Chameleon series by combining an audiobook with booktrack sounds. I think YA readers are more likely to appreciate this. What do you think?

What's Your Message - Yen Ooi  This presentation asks you to look at your message and determine whether it is memorable, relevant, effective for each platform and audience. This is a quick 13 minute recorded presentation that is clear and gets you to think about your own messages--whether they be for your book, platform, or brand.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

IndieRecon Session - 10 Million Sold and Counting

I'm attending ALLi's IndieRecon off and on this year.  How do I do it off and on, because it is completely FREE and all online.  If I can't make a session, I can still get it thorugh the website. All I needed to do was register.  It's not too late for you to register either.

The formats range between Google Hangouts, Recorded videos, blog posts, and FB posting.  My most favorite presentation this morning is by Bella Andre and Barbara Freethy. These two very successful women have been self-publishing for 4 years and have plenty of experience to share. Whether you are new to self-publishing or have out 10 books, it is still helpful to listen to these veterans.  My biggest personal takeaway is "Don't lose faith in yourself and your work."  You have to commit to the writing and keep putting out the next book even when the previous one isn't selling like you hoped.
10 Million Sold and Counting - Bella Andre and Barbara Freethy talk about their personal journey to bestseller status. They also talk about their strategies and techniques for discoverability and more sales.  It begins from the premise that you have a good book, edited well, and packaged well with a good cover, validated formatting, and good book descriptions. Topics covered include:

For Authors New to Publishing
  • Understanding and researching your genre
  • Book descriptions
  • Wide distribution
  • The reality of marketing vs catalog and backlist
  • Holding books back for more vs releasing when they are ready
For Traditional Authors Transitioning to  Indie Publishing
  • The transition from traditional publishing to self-publishing--"testing the water" versus commitment to self-publishing with a set of books
  • "Advance addiction"
  • Changing the editorial relationship from traditional to indie
For Both New Authors and Authors Transitioning from Traditional Publishing
  • Is it harder to enter the indie world now than it was four years ago?
  • Strategies for writing series and the patience to see it through
  • Staying alive during the cycles of popular genre sales when it's not YOUR genre
  • Writing for the long career
  • Putting together a team to make the best product
  • The news about building print runs instead of POD (Ingram's new efforts)
  • Building your email list--most important marketing techniques
  • Making priorities--not trying to do it all at once
  • Virtual assistants