I like Goodreads. It’s a nice little site. Come visit if you’ve never been. Readers talk about books without all that pressure of having to put on pants and brush their hair. We form book clubs, discussion groups, have a little chat around the virtual fireplace. Literary movements have been and continue to be born there. Even though every time I log in, it reminds me that I’m a slow reader who is not living up to her ill-considered 2013 Reading Challenge Goal, as a reader, I like the place. And if, as an author, you don’t hard-sell or spam (you don’t, do you?), it’s a good place to launch a new book with a giveaway and interact with readers. Unless they are clearly abusive, no vague, Big-Brotherish policy steps in and strips away your reviews. Continue reading
Back in April, author James Bruno suggested in these pages what he believes are the two essential ingredients for a successful novel. One of these is knowledge of the subject matter. His point is that successful works of fiction utilize characters and story lines that closely resemble reality; in other words, they achieve verisimilitude.
The other critical ingredient lies in crafting a good story. Attorneys have a label for something this obvious: sine qua non; which means the thing speaks for itself. Readers of fiction invariably are in search of a good story. They want to be entertained by the written word. Shallow characters, inadequate descriptive passages, choppy or overly verbose dialog, and weak plots won’t attract large numbers of readers or build a fan base.
With regard to the first point, unless the novel falls into the genres of fantasy, horror, or science fiction, the writer has to create a scenario that could be real. Verisimilitude is achieved when the reader suspends disbelief. This means the writer has to fully understand the subject matter about which he or she is writing. There are a limited number of ways to accomplish this. Continue reading
Last week, on March 24, 2012, we looked at a brief history of eBooks, Publishers and the Agency vs. Wholesale pricing model. You can review that post here.
Ironically,on Thursday March 29, 2012, the Huffington Post ran a story by Mark Coker the founder of Smashwords. Most of you are familiar with Smashwords as one of the first distributors to supply eBooks to retailers including, Apple iBookstore, Barnes & Noble, Sony, Kobo, the Diesel eBook Store, and Baker and Taylor. Continue reading