Saturday, March 10, 2012

Spring Prep

This year has been fairly unfocused so far.  It began with the introduction of Kindle Select--an interesting experiment.  Then February was taken up with formatting books for Createspace purposes and getting them out. This month is about promotions.

Today the Smashwords promotion ends--I feel pleased about it.  Flash was downloaded by a moderate amount of people, not too many, not in numbers that make you feel like they're storing acorns for winter.  The purpose of any giveaway-- at the heart of it-- is for the customer to test the product.  If you're given free shampoo you're expected to use it not hoard it.  If you're given a free book, the reader is expected to read it, not store it on a TBR list that's 800 books long.  There's something broken about this unspoken contract. when people scoop up every freebie they can find, never read them, never review them, and never tell their friends about them.  I know there's a word for this but I can't think of at the moment.

Dream Horse is on a giveaway at GoodReads right now that will last another week and about 130 people have entered to have their name drawn to win the 1 book.  Murder Is Exhausting begins its giveaway today.  I haven't set up the Nothing Serious giveaway yet.

I am writing a book and it's like Love In The Air.  That was the first book I wrote without content.  It was really hard and I struggled.  So this is my 2nd book without content and it will be under a pen name and I won't talk about it here or the BAM blog.  Until the experiment is over if ever.

What do I mean by no content?  No subtext, no alternate meaning, no read for meaning, just the plot.  The kind of thing that does really well at Amazon--something very straightforward and uncomplicated.  A little bit on the predictable side, expected, like everything else, not challenging, doesn't require thought.  Pulp.

There's a story told in Hollywood.  How many stories in Hollywood are true?  You decide if this one is.

A group of missionaries went to a remote village in Africa 70 years ago.  They thought it would be a great idea to expose the villagers to Hollywood entertainment so they set up a projector and a screen in a hut and invited everyone to come see the movie they were running.  The people showed up and stared in amazement as they watched King Kong.  They cheered at the end and left happy people.  The missionaries were thrilled.  They were right, they had improved the lives of these people, they brought the modern world to them.  They decided to do it again and run another movie the next night.  The next night the villagers showed up in great anticipation and the movie started.  It wasn't King Kong.  To say they were disappointed is understating it.  They tore down the screen, wrecked the projector and trashed the hut.  When the missionaries came out of their safe hiding places they asked "What was that about?"  The tribal leader said "We wanted to see King Kong again."

What is the point of this Hollywood story?  People want the same but different.  They want the same.

You will lose more money by being creative and different than you will by giving the audience a "haircut" on something they're already familiar with.

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