Friday, September 06, 2013

Friday Fun Facts: Good News! Good News!!

Just 2 quick shares today:

First, I blogged yesterday over at The Romance Studio about 5 great things that audio books can offer. Also, heads-up that next week, I'll be running a contest on my blog (in addition to participating with the Safari Heat Summer Blog Hop!), and 2 of the prizes are a free copy of the audio book of The Promise of Paradise.

Second, I shared this news on my Facebook Fan Page, but in case you missed it, I found out this week that I was accepted to a Master Class for YA writers this-coming November in upstate New York. Sponsored by the Eastern NY SCBWI, this conference offers me and 30 other writers a chance to work in small groups under the guidance of editors from publishing houses like Kathy Dawson Books (Penguin), Delacorte/Random House, and Scholastic. Very excited!

OK folks, I'm off to tackle the day. Have a great one!

Wednesday, September 04, 2013

Writers' Wednesday: So How About Those Box Sets?

Here's a question for you: how likely are you to purchase a box set of books? Of course "box set" is kind of a funny term in the age of e-books, because you won't get a nifty actual box that holds 4 or 5 or 8 books on your shelf. But the concept is the same: you'll receive a group of books, usually in the same genre or sub-genre, to download and work your way through. Often there's a common theme. Sometimes these sets are all by the same author, and sometimes they're a collection by different authors.

I did a quick search on Amazon for popular selling box sets right now, and here are a few I found:

Sugar and Sin - 6 romance novels by 6 different authors for $5.99 (my friend Liz Matis is one of the authors - check it out!)

Historical Romance Boxed Set - 2 historical romance novels by author Brenda Novak for $5.99

J.K. Drew Boxed Set - 6 Young Adult mystery novels by author J.K. Drew for $3.99

Wounded Heroes Boxed Set - 5 historical romance novels by 5 different authors for $0.99

As you can see, the variety in what you can get, and for what price, varies widely. I was approached over the weekend about collaborating with some other authors in a box set of contemporary romance novels. After some thought, I decided to decline. Here's the thing: for readers, box sets are a sweet deal. For writers, they're a mixed bag. First and most important for me, you're splitting your royalty profits among all the participating authors. Of course, you're also benefiting from the name recognition of the other authors, so your have to decide which one outweighs the other. If you want to gain visibility and readers you may not have reached before, then go for it. But if you don't want to see your book sold for much less than it will sell as a stand-alone title, then a box set with other authors might not be for you.

Of course, if you're boxing your own titles, then you're reaping all the royalties, of course. But when it comes to profit sharing, especially since I don't have a title to contribute that is a first book in a series, that will lead purchasers of the box set to want to read my other titles, I've decided to wait.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I'm interested to see whether it will become a popular marketing and selling technique for indie authors. Which brings me back to my original question: how likely are you to buy a box set of books? And if you're an author, how likely are you to contribute a title to one?

Monday, September 02, 2013

Monday Mentionables: What We Can Learn By Observing Labor Day (Every Day)

To all those who reside in the United States, Happy Labor Day! Here's an official definition of what today is meant to observe:

In the United States, Labor Day, the first Monday in September, is a creation of the labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of their country.

So no, it isn't a day for sales in the stores (though undoubtedly people will rush to those), and it isn't a resting day off for those who labor - although that's a nice way to think about it, isn't it?  In fact, it's a tribute to the hard work that people do every day, often without thanks, sometimes without wages that really equal the job done.

Here's to all of you today who work hard and contribute to our country's well-being. And here's to remembering that in a sense, every day should be Labor Day. Every day we should take pride in the work we do, strive to do our best, and ask ourselves whether we are contributing to the growth and well-being of our country (and I think we do that in a myriad small ways, by reaching out to the people around us, by sharing ourselves and our skills).

I'll be spending today grading papers, writing a little, and yes, relaxing, all of which I hope will make me a better worker and member of our country's labor pool. Happy Labor Day, everyone!