Sunday, April 29, 2012


You know how ambivalent I am about Kindle Select and you know I think freebies don't work.  Now other people are saying the same things.  So many books are free that marketing/publicity tool doesn't work anymore. 

There are vast numbers of people who think they can write.  It's impossible to sort the wheat from the chaff.  Yes, people find what they're looking for but the truth is what most readers are looking for is already on the bestseller list and how you get there is an alchemical process that no one knows how to duplicate.

I can give you some hints.  Be a moderately good writer.  Write something SUPER commercial.  Have a pretty good cover.  Good description.

What's commercial?  I don't look at the bestseller lists.  Go look for yourself and see if you can determine.

Some years back there was an article in the New York Times about 3 guys who wanted to write a bestseller.  So they researched it and read a couple hundred books by people like Robin Cook and they determined all the commonalities in plot and characterization.  They came up with something and got a ridiculously high advance--11 million dollars or whatever because publishers and editors are some of the biggest dupes on the planet.  (Waving cheerily to them.)  Of course it tanked.

That was not the first time the system was gamed and it won't be the last.  You, too, can probably do it.  Read everything by Konrath and Eisler and Crouch and come up with similar and you will probably have a book that does pretty well.

For those of us waiting for our niche market audience to find us, I don't know how to find them.  Then it occurred  to me we need professional shadchans.  What's a shadchan?  It's Hebrew for matchmaker.

We need the e-Harmony for books.  We need a site that will match up a reader with the "perfect" book match.

That's what I have to say about that.  Gee, Amazon could easily do it since they have the largest literary database in the universe.  The slices need to be sliced thinner.  Targeting needs to be more precise.  Right now it's all very hit or miss.

My pal, what a pal, sent me the most beautiful laptop yesterday.  It's a Dell with a magnesium shell, a business model.  It's older and went out of warranty so apparently you pick these things up for a song if you know how and he does.  It's looks brand new, there isn't a scratch on it and it has 4GB memory.  I wanted to get able to keep working if the power went out or write for 20 min. in bed.  He's excited because it can do 3D in Photoshop which this PC can't really manage with 3 GB.

I sent for a camera bag from Etsy.  I want something padded to stick the camera in so I can take it with me the way I used to do but never thought to use a camera bag.  There are professional bags but they're huge and for photographers going to Manila or something.  I'm trying to go to the supermarket and if I see a good shot of mist on the river, then I want the camera.  I want it to fit in the shopping cart because bringing the camera means not letting it out of my sight for more than 5 seconds.  Take means taking it everywhere.  No, I don't have a trunk in the car.  And as far as I can tell if some criminal sees a camera or what looks like 1, breaking  a window to get to it is not a big deal.  So that bag should be here soon and if it works I'll post a picture of it and her address.  She makes these at home. 

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