C h a z z W r i t e s . c o m

Write and publish with love and fury.

The Author Earnings Report: You can stop being embarrassed now

I wasn’t going to blog about this since I wanted to get out my microscope and go through all the data and get deep. However, this week on ChazzWrites.com is all about resources for writers and publishers. The Author Earnings Report is out and there are some shockers in there. And not steak-knife-in-the-eye-first-thing-in-the-morning shockers, either. These are pleasant, somebody-else-made-the-coffee-and-oh-look-donuts! surprises. Well…lots of good news for indie authors, anyway.

It’s a big moment for us. I cannot let this slide until I’ve gone through it all. Besides, greater minds than mine are on the case. Joe Konrath, a must-read resource mentioned in the previous post, has jumped in with lots of easily digestible analysis at Newbie’s Guide to Publishing.

One important fact I’ve gleaned so far? I’m glad I’m writing in the genres I’m writing. Read for yourself. These numbers are inspiring.

In coming days, prepare yourself for some flailing spin from the Big Five saying the numbers mean nothing. They were quite happy with previous studies that touted the efficacy of traditional publishing, but those studies were flawed in favour of their confirmation bias. Whatever they say now is quite suspect, so read and think for yourself as more analysis gets out. You can also join the Author Earnings Report project and submit your data so it will only get more accurate and in-depth in the future.

Looking at the volume of ebooks sold, it does appear trad publishing has a lot to worry about. I expect this information will seduce some trad authors to move to publish themselves, as soon as, or if, they can get out of the cruel straitjackets of their contractual obligations and non-compete clauses. (And if traditional publishing is working for you, that’s fine, too. We’re not about naming fingers and pointing shame here. It’s about making informed choices and informed consent.)

This week a friend of mine (who had been screwed over by a small press) decided to self-publish. There was interest in the manuscript and she’s eminently promotable, but the years-long process filled with dead ends finally helped her hit the tipping point. She’ll start selling her book soon. Hers is both a marvellous and important addition to literature and readers won’t have to wait much longer to finally enjoy it. Once we get more data and analysis, I’m sure the numerical conclusions will support the decision she’s earned through personal experience.

Is it premature to say the revolution is complete?

Probably, but if you were embarrassed about going indie before this report, you’ve got enough data to dump that psychological baggage now.

Call up your parents and tell them that, despite their misgivings, your decision to publish your books yourself wasn’t an idiotic failure of mind and character. You stopped trying to woo frigid agents and pursue disdainful traditional publishing and it can be good, maybe even great. Your parents can be proud. You can be proud.

Let your indie freak flag fly!

Filed under: author platform, publishing, Useful writing links, , , , , , , , , , ,

One to read. One to hear. One to love.

“This is the post I shouldn’t write. I shouldn’t therefore I must.”

You know that post I just wrote about being contrary? Sometimes something catches fire when you say what you aren’t supposed to say out loud. It just happened on one of my other blogs, ThisPlagueOfDays.com. It was picked up by the Passive Voice and spread hither and thither. So far I’ve received two stern talking-tos (one of which I didn’t understand), appreciative notes and emails and offers of Prozac. The piece is about writing: the frustrations, the joys and the braingasms. You’re invited to have a look at my heart under the klieg lights.

And the All That Chazz podcast is finally back.

Have a listen if you dare. It’s not safe for work. I touch on control issues, the joys of colonoscopies, and get to an overdue reading from my crime novel Higher Than Jesus.

Oh, and Season Two of This Plague of Days is going great. If you’ve read it but haven’t reviewed it yet, please do. Thanks!

October’s mandates are stacked higher than September’s to-do list, but I’m dancing as fast as I can.

“Have you ever danced with the devil in the pale moonlight? I ask that of all my prey.”

Filed under: author platform, Author profiles, ebooks, Useful writing links, Writers, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Preposterous Twaddlecock: How to Deal with Writers Effectively in One Easy Lesson

Via Scoop.itWriting and reading fiction

Writer Wordart

Writer Wordart (Photo credit: MarkGregory007)

Not everyone respects writers enough to pay them for their work. Writers are sometimes at the bottom of the list of who gets paid. The light, heat and phone bills get paid on time, but writers? Not necessarily. Yet “content provision” is supposedly the basis of the publishing business. Editors and publishers can’t moan on at length about their respect for the written word if they don’t have respect for the people who come up with those words. Then there’s the “paying your dues” defence, but the people who ask that tend to ask that sacrifice of everyone. Click the link for a humorous rant on a subject that isn’t so funny. ~ Chazz

Via preposteroustwaddlecock.blogspot.fr

Filed under: Intentionally Hilarious, publishing, Useful writing links, Writers, , , , , ,

The Writing World: Author Interview- Robert Chazz Chute

Via Scoop.itDevolution

This was a big bucket of fun. RaeBeth McGee over at The Writing World interviews me on my weaknesses (carefully hidden), my books (mostly obscure but gaining ground) and the bodies (corporate and otherwise) strewn behind me.

Fun interviews are one of the perks of this job. I love having fun with author interviews. Click the link to The Writing World and have a laugh. ~ Chazz
Via raebethmcgeeswriting.blogspot.com

Filed under: All That Chazz, Author profiles, Books, publishing, Useful writing links, What about Chazz?, What about you?, Writers, writing tips, , , , , , , , , , ,

Between Fact and Fiction: 10 Things I Wish I Would Have Done Differently

Via Scoop.itWriting and reading fiction

(Natalie Whipple of Between Fact & Fiction details 10 things she wishes she had done differently on her publishing journey. Good tips here and a good blog. Check it out. ~ Chazz)
Via betweenfactandfiction.blogspot.com

Filed under: authors, publishing, Useful writing links, writing tips, , , , , , ,

Mad as Hell! Huge Problem with the Book Pricing Options!

Via Scoop.itWriting and reading fiction
We’re always talking about self-publishing ebooks here, but what about paper books published independently. At WDLady’s The Nightmare Never Ends blog, she details her trials in dealing with CreateSpace and paperbook pricing. Check this link for more (and some cool illustrative cartoons.) ~ Chazz    

This is me calling the Createspace Support Representative about my book pricing options…This is me finding out that I’m going to be making -$2.13 for a book that’s $4.99…

Via wdlady.wordpress.com

Filed under: publishing, self-publishing, Useful writing links, Writers, , , , , ,

Why Amazon’s KDP Select Is God’s Gift to Authors

Via Scoop.itWriting and reading fiction

In this guest post on The Creative Penn, my buddy Jeff Bennington lays out how KDP Select worked for him, with numbers! ~ Chazz
Via www.thecreativepenn.com

Filed under: ebooks, Publicity & Promotion, publishing, self-publishing, Useful writing links, Writers, , , , , , , , , ,

Two Legs Bad: An Open Letter to Mark Coker | Remittance Girl : Erotic Fiction, Stories and Series

Via Scoop.itWriting and reading fiction

This post is a public response to an email sent by Mark Coker, founder of Smashwords, asking all erotic writers to take down any books that contravene their…
Via remittancegirl.com

Filed under: censors, censorship, publishing, self-publishing, Useful writing links, , , , , , , , , ,

Using Twitter Effectively: The Magic of Tweet Adder

Via Scoop.itWriting and reading fiction

(Great breakdown of a powerful tool. Mike has a lot of great stuff to enjoy and think about on his site. Click the link and consider Tweet Adder. ~ Chazz)
Via authormichaelhicks.com

Filed under: Publicity & Promotion, publishing, self-publishing, Useful writing links, Writers, writing tips, , , , , ,

What moves books? And what is ‘Parketing’ anyway?

Successful book marketing campaigns often do a lot of things at once, especially at first, before awareness of your book grows. Author Jeff Bennington, for instance, has noticed that online marketing of his books takes an hour out of each day or sales begin to dip. (More on getting you and your books’ global fame in a minute, but first let’s talk attitudes, parketing and my terrible personal deficiencies as a book marketer.)

Someone’s already saying, “An hour a day? Who has that kind of time? When will I have time to write?” You’re an artist, but you’re an artist in business. Businesses need to advertise. You’d make time to send out invoices, so make time to make people aware of your books unless you’re content writing for yourself and your kids. (Fortunately, lots of online marketing is cheap, free and fun, so there’s that.) Down the road, once you reach critical mass, maybe you’ll be able to get away with doing less marketing, but I doubt it. Coke still advertises. Manage your time and make it work.

Here’s one cheap way to promote local awareness of your books: I first heard of parketing (though it wasn’t called that then) at a writers’ conference three years ago. The marketing guru fired lots of ideas at us: blogging, tweeting, podcasts…the usual, though it was all newer, scarier stuff then. Then the guru asked, “How many of you have a car magnet advertising the cover of your book?” Not a single hand was raised, of course. The marketing guru snarked, “Yeah, why would you want to let anyone know you have a book for sale?” Park your car where lots of people will see it with your lovely book cover on it and voilà! That’s parketing.

It’s a digital world, so old-school attempts to market a book are often overlooked, often with justification. However, you may want to consider parketing in certain circumstances. This is one of those advertising strategies that has “short term” written all over it. It could work for the short term because no one is doing it. No one is doing it because your first reaction is that it sounds silly or maybe even naive or worse, beneath your dignity. If you habitually park your car in a high-visibility area (say, outside a bookstore at the mall) it sounds a little less silly. When you consider the number of businesses that do advertise this way, successfully, it sounds even less nuts. If your pockets are shallow, you can still do this. I got my car magnet from Vistaprint for less than $20.

Parketing works much better if you’re prepared to ask a bunch of friends to put car magnets on their vehicles, too. If your pockets are very deep, you could even go for the full paint job. Do that and you’ve got a marketing campaign started in your city and the basis for a press release to local newspapers and magazines. Sure, we market our ebooks globally, but we shouldn’t turn up our noses at getting noticed locally. That’s one way to get critical mass going. People in your own city, especially media, are more interested in local authors because they have a sense of ownership and familiarity with local authors. There’s a business in my city that seems to be everywhere because each employee gets a free paint job on their vehicle advertising the business. Everywhere they drive, they are advertising. It’s not that large a company (or even a particularly good one), but their ad-plastered cars seem ubiquitous, reminding everyone daily, “Here we are!”

The ad on my van gets attention because it’s just so damn weird. There is surely not another author advertising his or her book with a car magnet for hundreds of miles, so people slow down to read it. I’ve watched them slow down to look. Has it translated to sales? I don’t know. It’s just one car magnet for one book, but I do know people are reading the ad. For me, this little strategy is really  just about promoting awareness so I get my name familiar. For what I spent, I’m okay with that. We gravitate toward the familiar, buying name brands instead of the unknown product (which could be just as good or better but you don’t recognize the label.) When I shop the local Asian food market, I’m actually physically uncomfortable with the cans of unknown weird stuff even though I know it’s not weird. It’s merely different. (I’m weird.)

It’s all the other stuff I do that will make the difference in the long term. There is no one way to move books. Online marketing is going to do much more  because it’s everywhere. For instance, I’ve been on the air, or talked about, on six different podcasts recently (besides my own weekly podcast). That will go a lot further toward gaining some vague familiarity with my name as an author than a car magnet will for one book. Plus, I love podcasting, so I’ll always have that.

Have you guessed this post is not really about putting a magnet on your car? It’s about using multiple strategies to get attention to your books. Marketing campaigns that are single-pronged attacks do not move books. Try a lot of things, even the weird ideas if they make sense to you. Experiment and have fun with it if you can. Try to get your name out there, arriving from several places, preferably at once. We must reach outside of our circles of family and friends to move books.

I’m often reluctant to try new book marketing  strategies until I see them tested by others. That’s why I missed out on the benefit of KDP Select while some others made whacko cash last December. I haven’t jumped on Pinterest because I read one blog about their scary terms of service. These are my deficiencies. I’m often too timid about doing things that are good for me. Everything new feels weird at first. Unfamiliar doesn’t mean wrong. Unfamiliar simply means unfamiliar. In our marketing efforts, should we proceed with caution? Sure. Don’t get taken,  but do proceed and make progress.

What are the book marketing basics? Write a good book. Get it edited. Get a great cover design. Price it right. Yeah, yeah, yeah. You know all that.

What then? Then go buy my buddy Jeff Bennington’s new book, The Indie Author’s Guide to the Universe. I’m reading it right now and I especially like the things you can do to sell your books that are free. Let him show you the way forward. The best marketing strategies are not static. They come and go and rise and fall so we have to stay current and open to experimentation with new opportunities as they arise.

That’s what I’m trying to do, anyway, and that’s what this blog is about.

~ Robert Chazz Chute is the author of a bunch of great ebooks of suspense with titles he now realizes generally repel you. He podcasts a comedy/narrative show, Self-help for Stoners, every Thursday night. To learn more, go to AllThatChazz.com.

Filed under: ebooks, Media, My fiction, podcasts, Publicity & Promotion, publishing, Useful writing links, web reviews, What about Chazz?, What about you?, writing tips, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Winner of Writer's Digest's 2014 Honorable Mention in Self-published Ebook Awards in Genre

The first 81 lessons to get your Buffy on

More lessons to help you survive Armageddon

All the dark fantasy fun of the first three books in the Ghosts & Demons Series for one low price.

"You will laugh your ass off!" ~ Maxwell Cynn, author of Cybergrrl

You never know what's real.

Available now!

Fast-paced terror, new threats, more twists.

An autistic boy versus our world in free fall

Suspense to melt your face and play with your brain.

Action like a Guy Ritchie film. Funny like Woody Allen when he was funny.

Jesus: Sexier and even more addicted to love.

Write to live

For my author site and the Chazz network, click the blood spatter below.

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