The REAL elephant in the room

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elephant in the roomAt a recent meeting of the Woman’s Writing Festival, the future of mainstream publishers was brought up.  Though it was a casual comment at first, the subject became more insistent, with some suggesting that soon the majority of books available to the public would be self-published, essentially putting most traditional publishers out of business.

Although the discussion of these writers centered around the impact on writers of the traditional publishers’ absence, I don’t see that as the big issue writers should be addressing.  I also don’t see the balance between self-published and traditionally-published books to be the big issue.  The real issue here is this: When most books available to the public are self-published, how is the public going to find them? Continue reading

Facebook: 10.4 percent of nothing

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Let’s see… 10.4% of nothing is…

An article on Saturday’s Mashable illustrates the relative amount of traffic driven to publishers from various methods of social media, and makes it clear that Facebook sends more customers to publishers than any other social media combined.

Editor Neil Marr went so far as to say to his Facebook followers: “Trying to sell your book? Seems you’re at the right place.”

But once again, I’m presented with the incredible dichotomy between the realities for mainstream publishers and the realities for self-publishers… most notably, myself. Continue reading

Encouragement and Zen

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Steven Lyle JordanI recently heard from a producer with whom I’m collaborating on a possible television vehicle, who told me he’d heard from an actress who had been a major character in the original production that inspired this new vehicle—and yes, that’s all you’re getting from me, as the project is still in stealth mode.

Anyway, this actress—I’ll call her M—had a chance to read through the material we’re preparing for the new vehicle, including two short stories of mine, and she reported back to my producer friend that she was left “in tears” over the wonderful treatments and ideas gleaned from the original production, of which she still has very fond memories.  M specifically mentioned my short stories as being among the most moving material she saw. Continue reading

The book promo waiting game

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Sarcology ad cardSo, I sit here in grudging acknowledgement of the fact that I am no self-promoter.  I am also in grudging acknowledgement of the fact that social media has done absolutely nothing to help me promote, since I am not blessed with enough money to saturate the interwebs with ads or friends to pass the word on to others about my books, nor am I clever enough to create a viral campaign that will bring in the hordes of lovers of independently-written futurist novels.  My efforts to promote Sarcology, and the rest of my catalog, have gone for naught.

So much for the future supplementary retirement income.  Oh, well.

I have exactly one trick left… and it’s already in motion.  I’ve had promo cards for Sarcology printed up.  On Memorial Day weekend, the first 2000 visitors to Balticon will find them in their swag bags… unarguably it will be the largest single group of people, presumably all science fiction fans as well, who will be introduced to my work.

And so, with nothing else to do, I sit and wait for June, when I will find out if this last-ditch effort will bear some fruit.  If it does, I will know how to advertise my books at other conventions and similar venues.  If it doesn’t… well, hopefully by then I will have figured out what my new hobby is going to be.

Announcement: Right Brane is now mobile.

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Right Brane logoAnnouncing the official unveiling of the Right Brane mobile website!

Yes, RightBrane.com now has a mobile component, and anyone going to the RightBrane site from a smartphone or other portable device should be taken directly to our mobile pages.  Designed and produced (by me) to facilitate ease of use on small devices, the mobile site includes all of my novels and free content, information about the books, and the same multiple ebook formats and easy buying methods as before.

As the mobile site is just opening, I may be tweaking it further as time goes by, and especially if I get any comments as to its functionability.  It does not have all of the pages that the full site carries, but there are links taking you back to the full site if you need that info.

So please check out the mobile site, and use the social media icons to share the pages with your futurist-fiction-loving friends (and anyone else you know who might pass it on to others).  The site includes a QR code for easy sharing with others.  If you have questions or comments, you can post them here or contact me directly.  Let me know what you think… and, as always, enjoy!

“I’m sorry you have no friends.”

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Steven Lyle Jordan, author and futurist

Steven Lyle Jordan, author and futurist

Years ago, my wife and I bought our house in Maryland. Our real estate agent was a man whom we’d met at a house sale elsewhere, and we liked him so much that we’d asked him to represent us; with his help, we found a great house, and have been more than satisfied with it to this day.

One day, a few months later, we chanced upon him, and after mutual greetings, he said to us: “I’m sorry you have no friends.” It took us a second to realize he was sarcastically referring to his hope that we would have recommended him to our friends in the market for new homes, thereby bringing him fresh business. We didn’t take it personally, of course—and at the time, we didn’t happen to know anyone who was house-hunting, so we couldn’t have helped even if we’d wanted to—but the point was taken. Continue reading

What’s going on

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Steven Lyle Jordan, author and futurist

Steven Lyle Jordan, author and futurist

It’s no secret that I’ve been holding off from writing anything new lately, as I’ve been concentrating on the flagging sales of my existing books.  I’ve also been spending time discussing the issue on various forums.  Unfortunately, most of the advice I’ve gotten hasn’t been very helpful—mostly variations of “suck it up and write, already” and “you’re crazy to want money out of your books.”

Though many of the responses have been essentially negative, I haven’t been chased out of the writing biz yet.  Nor have I changed my mission, which is to create a stable of books that contributes in some small to my bottom line.  However, I have also not altered my plans to work on improving sales of my existing books; if I can’t get the present ten books, many of which have 4-5-star reviews, to sell in this marketplace, I just can’t see a good reason to write more books that won’t sell.

So, the mission continues: Writing is taking a hiatus while I work on marketing and promotion; and if anyone has some good ideas for my marketing and promotional efforts, helping me to get back on track sooner (and that includes any efforts made to spread the word to new readers), there may be something in it for you.

Carry on.

The secrets of indie success: There is no spoon.

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Neo and a disciple of the Oracle (from The Matrix, Warner Brothers)

Neo and a disciple of the Oracle (from The Matrix, Warner Brothers)

 

L.A. is a great big freeway.
Put a hundred down and buy a car.
In a week, maybe two, they’ll make you a star.
Weeks turn into years, how quick they pass.
And all the stars that never were
are parking cars and pumping gas.

A thread on the MobileRead site has engaged a number of independent authors for three months and sixteen pages exploring The Secrets of Indie Success… only to find out that there really aren’t any. Continue reading

Do we need a publishing industry?

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A recent article by Eoin Purcell examined the damage done to the publishing industry by the Agency pricing scheme.  His take on it was that publishers had lost the battle and the war to maintain their position in the publishing industry, and that it was about time for existing publishers to make way for the new breed of publishers, or find a way to re-invent themselves to take advantage of the new digital era.

Eoin’s impression is that the publishing industry must evolve, or perish and be replaced.  But I wonder about that: Do we need a replacement for the publishing industry’s existing players?  Do we need a publishing industry at all? Continue reading

Ebooks: Scarcity, abundance and economy

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A recently revived subject by Kristine Kathryn Rusch, Scarcity and Abundance, examines the ebook industry in terms of the shift from a “scarcity” economy, in which things are valued and priced due to their limited availability, to “abundance,” in which items are available in effectively unlimited supply, turning the old economic model upside-down or destroying it entirely. Continue reading