Wednesday, December 11, 2013
Stumbled across this site on Books & Reading, News & Resources.
Aerogramme Writer's Studio. Videos, tips, book news, you name it.
Nice Site! Go visit and let me know what you think of it.
Tuesday, December 10, 2013
I’ve encountered some interesting statistics regarding Ebooks, Ereaders and the folks who use/read them in an article via USA Today, and thought I’d pass along a bit of it to you with, of course, my own comments.
First we readers aren’t hitting the bookstores as often as we used to. It’s true. In a world where the digital is available instantly there’s less actual need to prowl the stacks. And of course there seem to be less actual bookstores. Which came first I’m not sure, but Borders went defunct well before I got my hands on an Ereader (mine is admittedly Amazon’s KindleFire HD Tablet) so I’m not even going to enter into that argument. It’s not an argument anyway since progress is plodding forward (or is that flashing?) and the changes it’ll cause it’ll cause. There’s not really much hope in derailing it if that’s your desire.
Here are some of the statistics I saw and they’re only growing. About 40% of all adults now own an Ereader or a tablet which is doubling fast. Plainly they can download books. But now the smart phones can even do it so the percentage is growning and I don't believe the article even took those phone into account. Readers are even more popular among the higher educated and the higher income households. As many as 60% of college graduates say they own one and 62% of those households with income of at least $75,000.
And that’s not all. The best of all this is those who own reading devices say they’ve upped their reading since getting it.
WhoHoo! Three cheers!
People who just read in their spare time before are now racing through book after book on the bus, the train, the plane, at the airport, as a passenger in a car, at a doctor’s or dentist’s office. So many more books of many types are being consumed.
Then there’s vacation. For those who carried armloads or carry-ons filled with books, there’s now the reading device that can be loaded up before vacation or if you’re near a wireless connection, in transit. Books, magazines, newspapers, whatever you need. And to top it off most can download music, games and more as well. I know I'll be taking mine with on my next trip.
Do I still buy hard copy books? Yes I do. But admittedly fewer. Those I really cherish and want to keep on my bookshelf I buy. Those I think will be a quick read for fun are now downloaded. My ‘carousel’ is crammed and I’m constantly reading. That’s not a big change since I read a lot before, but it sure has made it easier in many respects – and that doesn’t take into account the fact that most digital editions are less expensive than their hard copy cousins.
Interestingly apparently those who are reading more because of their new readers are enjoying a lot more of science fiction and fantasy (23% cited those genres). Then there’s mystery and crime 16% increase, romance at 14%increase and non-fiction at 14% increase. This is saying good things for our future with reading taking such a leap.
Again of interest is why people say they read books. Somewhere above 60% they just want to be entertained, but about 70-ish% say they want to learn something.
Another thing that’s changing is the way people learn about books they want to read. There’s Amazon of course, the elephant in the room, but many others are visiting places like Goodreads.com or seeing opinions on Facebook, Twitter or other social media. Then there are the free books offered, often for a short time as promotion and the sites with many members who watch those books and get the word out. If it looks good people will download it and if they like it, look for other books by the same author. Great for authors!
All that aside, the favorite place for book opinions still lies with friends and family, people who’s judgment the reader trusts.
So here we are folks, the digital age is here to stay – presuming no natural disaster humbles us all. But, presuming the best and that natural or unnatural disaster will hold off indefinitely, I’ll be downloading a whole lot more in the future. How about you?
Tuesday, December 3, 2013
Today it begins.
Warrior Flight is Free for three days on Amazon, Dec.3 through 5.
Grab your copy with my compliments - an early gift for the holiday season.
Wednesday, November 27, 2013
John Kremmer runs a nice site on Book and Ebook Marketing. He answers lots of questions, give some great advice and of course offers his services as a book coach - won't do your publicity work for you but will teach you how to do it yourself effectively.
If you have a quick question he'll answer it free. If you have one that requires a lengthy answer he'll quote you his consulting fees. A very busy man, John, I follow him on twitter as well at
Tuesday, November 26, 2013
We’re coming up on a holiday here in the US – Thanksgiving. So, I thought I’d spend a little time musing about creativity and what it takes to keep that part of us pumped up, nurtured and ready to go. Some suggestions, as it were, to help the blocked, confused and wandering – also the steady writers and artists out there who might need to take a breather or find a new path.
Hopefully some of these ideas will perk you up, give you a new slant or just assure you you’re not alone.
If you’re stuck on a story or whatever you’re attempting to create – and I know you’ve all heard this, but you probably need to hear it again – for heaven’s sakes take a break. Do something mindless or that will force your conscious brain to focus elsewhere and give your subconscious a chance to free range a bit. Take a walk, shovel the drive (in winter), mow the lawn (in summer), do the ironing or maybe cook dinner. Surprise your spouse with that dinner, he or she is no doubt so used to you being so immersed in your creative work that they rarely see a decent meal. Seriously, give yourself a break, give everyone a break, unclench.
Here’s something else you can do to enhance creativity. Just watch people. Really. Watch them. People…the things they do and say. They can be funny, startling, offensive, romantic – you know, all that stuff you want to infuse into your creative endeavors, quirks and happenings you want to put into your stories.
Another ~ Let your mind wander. Unhook the discipline for a bit and let it be what it is, let your thoughts take you where they will.
And how do you keep track of random thoughts that crop up with all this relaxation and subconscious stroking? Well you can easily keep a note pad handy, but if you like you can also think about using your phone to make a record of those thoughts. If your phone has a record feature, use that, if not, call yourself and leave a message in your box. You don’t want to lose those gem ideas.
Another idea? How about going to the place you’re setting your story or where you most associate with the creative work you’re doing. If you’re a writer and the story is set at a beach and one is nearby, head on down and do some jotting there. Airport? Bus Station? Hospital? Mall? Small town? Go on, take a field trip. Might not be practical if you’re planning on writing about Jupiter or the depth of a volcano is your inspiration for your next creative work. But no doubt you’d be able to come up with variations on a theme.
Variety is another great inspiration. The more you have, the more likely you’re going to be successful in generating the ideas so vital to your creativity. Start a garden, get a hobby, play with your dog, take up knitting – do more than one! I garden in the summer, create jewelry all year (want to take a peek – I have a little shop on ETSY, Silverstreak) I also knit, read, make lampwork beads in the flame (that really is focus!) and do some occasional bead weaving.
So the long and short of it is you need to give yourself some time to let the ideas percolate and to come up with fresh one. Deadlines may loom, pressure build, but that doesn’t mean you can skip the creative process in the middle – and that takes some nurturing.
Wednesday, November 20, 2013
Stumbled across the The Fantasy Title Generator at Fantasy Literature.com and it's a fun one. I really enjoy generators because they help kick-start the juices on a slow day. Might find something you can really use - or might just give the push you need for that one of a kind original title.
Play around with it, have fun - but wait, there's more to the site - when you're done playing, if you enjoy fantasy, check out the home page and explore.
Tuesday, November 19, 2013
“The only real mistake is the one from which we learn nothing.” ~ John Powell
There’s a statement it’s hard to dispute and it can apply to many things in our lives, but I’m going to apply it to writing, and I’m going to take it a step further.
Actually you can’t make a mistake in writing. Yes, you can write poorly, but of course, hopefully you/we will learn from that so it’s not a mistake at all, right? Your grammar or your spelling may be awful, but that’s not unfixable, right? There are tools to help and of course you can, what was that again?, learn.
You can write for the wrong audience for you or you can write in a genre not suitable to your abilities, but again, those can’t be classified as mistakes as from doing those things you’ll learn --- not to do them. Or you’ll learn to change and enhance your abilities or write better/more appropriately for those audiences you want to enthrall.
What I’m saying here is writing, like life, is a learning experience. And, more, the two are intertwined. The more you live, the more you experience, the more you let your curiosity lead the way the more you learn. And if you’re a writer, the more your writing will change, evolve, and improve.
And once we look at it that way, all the little booboos we make in life take on a whole new direction. If you’re focusing and understand the learning process for yourself then learning from mistakes is not that difficult. I mean some are obvious. In the big picture if you slam your thumb with a hammer you learn several things. It hurts, your nail may fall off and you’ll do your best not to do that again (whether you succeed or not, well that’s another question).
The same applies when you narrow your focus from the world at large down to your writing and getting your work out there for folks to read. If you make some big gaffs and the book doesn’t sell you may learn you really DO need to market that thing. Or you may learn HOW to market that thing. Or you might learn you didn’t write that very well and you need to rethink your creation.
All in all you can turn what many might feel to be a mistake or mistakes into something you can learn from and come out even better because of it.
These things are worth pondering at times because frequently we writers tend to beat ourselves up all too often over what we should have done or could have done or what we feel we did poorly.
So get yourself out of that zone and focus on what you did right and well and how you can learn from those other things we aren’t going to call mistakes.
Oh, and apply it to the rest of your life as well.