Friday
Jul222011

The Era of Big Chain Bookstores is Passing

Today, Borders Group, the direct competitor of Barnes & Noble, is beginning liquidation of its 399 stores, and “everything must go,” folks. And that means $700 million of the company's inventory, which includes books, stationery, CDs, and DVD movies. Even the furnishings and equipment, right down to the shelving will also be sold off. Yikes!

According to one paper, “A liquidation company that is part of the process said late Thursday that the sales will be held starting Friday at all 259 Borders superstores, 114 Borders Express and Waldenbooks, and 26 Borders airport stores.”

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Saturday
Jul162011

Give Me Stories That Aren’t Bogged Down

I read a lot of feedback dished out in reviews for popular book series and sagas of the day; series and sagas written by big name authors, and put out by large, far-reaching publishers with deep pockets. What I tend to see time and again are complaints that are pretty much summed up in one reviewer’s title: “Good writing, but little forward momentum.” What this means is that, after spending ten years reading a series written by a big name author who takes years to produce one book, when said book comes out (which just happens to fall somewhere in the middle of a planned series), the reader fails to add checkmarks to their list of plot resolutions, character arcs, or basic movement in the overall storyline. Why? Because these big name authors are dragging out the story on purpose at the behest of greedy publishers. They essentially milk their saga for all its worth for the sake of making more boatloads of $$$.

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Sunday
Jan092011

Becoming a Bestselling eBook Author

There was once a time when Hollywood wielded so much power that studios had near complete control over an actor's career. Those were the "contract" days, when actors had to be loaned out to rival studios if they caught wind of a juicy script and wanted in. This kind of power was only possible due to one very important thing: lack of competition. Without the ability to approach any studio they chose via an agent, and pick and choose scripts regardless of the lot it was being filmed on (something that is rather routine today) actors were often forced to commit to roles that were completely dissatisfying.

Competition is both healthy and destructive. While it makes for competitive pricing (an essential boon to the consumer) in turn it can sweep through an industry and leave companies in shambles. Take the big publishing companies. For a long time, publishing was considered an elite industry, almost exclusive to the literati; the movers and shakers; and writers who were fixtures in the publishing world via close associations with influential editors, or other famous authors, agents, or what have you. It took some time before a regular Joe or Jane could shoot off a query letter to an agent, along with a few sample chapters, and later land a deal on the strength of a novel that forced the publisher to groom them for stardom.

Today, however, with the gigantic strides being made by the self-publishing model, less than average Joes and Janes are able to get in on the action.

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Friday
Oct012010

B&N Opens Up Nook to Publishers Via Pubit

Barnes & Noble launched a new eBook platform recently, one can almost say in stealth, and with little fanfare to boot. Designed to compete with Amazon’s Kindle Digital Text Platform, B&N’s Pubit platform has similar bells and whistles, allowing publishers to upload files directly to an online account that houses both Tax ID info and bank account info for the purpose of royalty payments that, according to their pricing and royalty terms, would land in checking accounts via EFT 60 days after the sales month in question. At this point, being early in the game I suppose, Pubit users, unlike Amazon Kindle DTP users, will see their new book submissions go live relatively quickly—we’re talking under 15 hours following title setup and submission.

What is strange is that B&N has yet to disclose full details on their royalty scheme, which still leaves a lot of questions among those in the independent publishing community. Publishers and authors can, however, set their own retail sales prices, which are subject to change at B&N’s discretion—again, according to their terms, and we advise you to read those terms carefully before signing on.

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Tuesday
May112010

My Publishing Partner Appears on The Dr. Oz Show

My publishing partner, glass shattering vocal coach Jaime Vendera, is set to perform on the Dr. Oz show on Wednesday, May 12, 2010. Jaime is best known as the first documented singer in history to shatter a wineglass by voice alone. He is the author of eight books, including Raise Your Voice, and the creator of The Ultimate Vocal Workout. When not shattering glasses, he trains professional singers and bands such as Dream Theater and Thriving Ivory.

Jaime was asked to appear on Dr. Oz, along with Bill Nye the Science Guy to dispel the myth of whether a singer could shatter a glass by the power of voice alone. Dr. Oz himself is also set to prove that a singer CAN shatter a wineglass with amplification. Did he and Jaime succeed? Tune in to the Dr. Oz show this Wednesday the 12th to find out!

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