Monday, December 20, 2010

Advertisements And Added Content

As of this weekend Summer Horse has almost doubled sales of last month and the month isn't finished.  Any growth is a positive sign and I still cheer with every sale.  They're all important, especially to me, since I'm not writing in genres that are huge selling categories.

I got a non-personal email from Scott Nicholson over at and he's selling ad space in his ebooks.  Joe Konrath has talked about this but I wasn't paying much attention since my audience is miles away from anything either of them do.  But it occurred to me there is a writer who does do what I do and ads in her books might help me a lot.  And that author is me.  So I cross-promo'ed Dream Horse in Summer Horse and vice versa.  I promo'ed Bad Apple in Just Kate.  I did not promo Kate in Bad Apple because momentarily Burning Daylight will be promo'ed there.

People are probably doing this already for themselves but I was busy and the thought eluded me.  I'll try to pay more attention to that.

What I do consider, fleetingly, is added content.

The only place we have added content right now is a DVD.  Take the last Harry Potter I saw (and the movie stunk on ice).  There was an entire DVD of added content and actually the whole thing with JK Rowling was more interesting than the movie.  Do people care about this added stuff?  I'm not sure.  I feel the answer is no; that's because I generally don't care or watch it.  But if the audience wants to "extend" the experience, then added content is good.  (Extend being the word used to describe added content or action figures in a Happy Meal everywhere but San Francisco.)

But what is added content in a book.  One thing I do not want to hear about is the writer's process.  It's boring enough to have to live a writer's life, I don't want to experience second hand boredom.  If that writer is going to illuminate the process, make it universal in some way, help us identify with some aspect then I'm all for it. 

In Dream Horse, I wrote a couple paragraphs I called Behind The Book.  I talked about the real Charlie, to some degree.  Partial truth in some cases can be far far better than the whole truth.  The book is a novel, a fiction, why ruin the illusion?  Not every book comes with a history.  Not Low Maintenance doesn't have one.  Love After Lunch has too much history.

We'll just have to find content that's appropriate for our books.  Most self-published authors won't be able to afford professionally produced videos and would readers want to pay for it.  This isn't a movie set with cameras already rolling so the costs can be swallowed by the entire budget.  Ebooks are a bargain even at what Joe Konrath considers the perfect price of $2.99.  The price will necessarily go up if there is an increased financial investment for the writer/publisher.   I suspect we don't want to do this, especially not in this economy.  Besides the new gadget aspect, people come to ebooks for convenience and lower cost so we need to keep the costs low and the quality high.

I love Irving Berlin, one of the greatest geniuses of popular music ever.  Here's one of my favorite songs from White Christmas

1 comment:

author Scott Nicholson said...

Hi Robin, some good thoughts there! Glad you realized your books are your own best platform for your other books! Happy to hear of your success--my children's book started to become a sleeper, which is unexpected because I am known for "grown-up stuff." Congratulations.

Scott Nicholson