What’d ya do WRONG?

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Angel and Devil

My decision to lay off novel-writing, since I could not work out the promotional end of selling the books, has led to a common (and predictable) reaction from many of my friends and relatives, to wit: Since I enjoy writing, I should keep writing anyway, just for my own satisfaction.  The idea that creation is its own reward is ingrained in the thoughts of modern society, as well as the essentially honorable concept of the “starving artist.”

And though I, myself, bought into these ideas for years, I find that I can’t get behind them the way I used to.  And it’s not because I get no satisfaction from creating; I do, in fact, enjoy the process of writing and creating a good story.  But since giving up novel writing, I’ve found that I’ve had to cage up a tiny demon in the back of my head, one that has become a constant distraction to me.  He’s not my creative demon.  He’s my analytical demon.  And he demands to know what I so thoroughly fucked up. Continue reading

Do movies get a logic pass… because they’re movies?

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Elysium

Elysium, courtesy Tri-Star Pictures.

I recently managed to get out to see Elysium in the theater.  This much-hyped movie garnered high expectations, especially as images from the movie were released and it became clear how much beautiful work had gone into its production.  However, once the movie premiered it became clear that the story itself hadn’t gotten as thorough a treatment as the sets and effects, creating a movie with innumerable logic inconsistencies and downright dumb plot points, clearly designed to get the hero from Predetermined Action Point A to Predetermined Action Point B, no matter how contrived that journey might be.

To be sure, Elysium is not the only movie guilty of these transgressions; they are quite common in action-adventure movies of every type.  It’s as if a “logic pass” is being bestowed, an unofficial declaration that these momentary lapses in logic and sense are “unimportant” as long as they further the basic narrative (“basic” being defined here as hero fights and wins).   But why are movies getting this “logic pass”? 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.

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

Time to concentrate on selling

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sellingWe are almost at the end of 2011; a year that has seen many new ebook reading devices, new services by ebook sellers, more schools and libraries opening up the possibilities of ebooks, and a lot of activity in general in the ebook world.

This was also my worst sales year ever.  Even with my two most highly-acclaimed books becoming available this year and last.  It seems I haven’t been able to work out a way to encourage sales of my ebooks, nor have I been able to find affordable advertising outlets.  I haven’t made enough in the last year to take my wife out for a single decent dinner. Continue reading

Magazines are finally helping to sell ebook devices

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Barnes & Noble Nook ColorA New York Times article recently pointed out that Barnes & Noble’s Nook Color is enjoying healthy sales, and that quite a lot of the content being sold for it is in the form of women’s magazines.  The article continues by pointing out that, according to a recent study, women outbuy men in reading material by 3 to 1, and that publishers have been surprised and encouraged by the volume of magazine sales on the NC (as I like to call the device… sorry, but “Nook Color” just doesn’t roll off my tongue).  And the article compares the device’s popularity with the iPad, the other device through which publishers like to sell their magazines, but which is not doing as well in magazine content as the NC.

None of this is surprising to me… in fact, it often amazes me that we hadn’t seen this growth much sooner.  Continue reading