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 My Quandary - How to Support Each Other's Books

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Malcolm
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PostSubject: My Quandary - How to Support Each Other's Books   Wed May 28, 2008 8:32 am

Like most people who read a lot of books, I've usually blown my yearly book budget by mid-February.

This makes it hard to support the books of the writers I meet here, on Author's Den, MySpace and in various blogging communities.

If we all lived in the same town, we could trade books around and then go leave reviews on barnesandnoble.com and amazon.com. Obviously, this isn't feasible for members of this forum since lending books by mail, sometimes internationally, would cost a lot for postage.

Unfortunately, few libraries have POD books, so we don't have the option of getting each other's books there.

Some months back, I made a list of the books written by the people online that I have the most interaction with AND who had books in genres I know anything about: $500. I don't know about the rest of you, but as a "starving writer" I don't have the $500.

Since we can't afford to buy all of each other's books, is there any other way we can support each other out in the cruel world of readers without using the review process?

How do the rest of you approach this quandary?*

Malcolm
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Shelagh
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PostSubject: Re: My Quandary - How to Support Each Other's Books   Wed May 28, 2008 8:58 am

We swap pdf files.

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Jenny
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PostSubject: Re: My Quandary - How to Support Each Other's Books   Wed May 28, 2008 9:51 am

As always, a great suggestion, Shelagh.
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Karina Kantas
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PostSubject: Re: My Quandary - How to Support Each Other's Books   Wed May 28, 2008 12:49 pm

Yeah, I'll go along with that as long as the reader then posts a review on amazon, etc..
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Pam
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PostSubject: Re: My Quandary - How to Support Each Other's Books   Wed May 28, 2008 4:42 pm

PDF's work...honestly though, I hang out here to dangle my toes in the water with other writers. I did start out ordering books when I first arrived here Malcolm, but ran into the same problem you did. $$ and cents. But I did read some really good books!

I think that a meaningful way we can be here is to coach each other through the questions, quandaries and weirdnesses of writing for a living or a hobby, just like we do.

A current weirdness I can think of...I cannot post a review on Amazon's US sitefrom here unless I buy a book off the US website, which I wouldn't do because then I also pay duty on it as it comes across the border. Just another reason that we are not talking, Amazon and I.
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Shelagh
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PostSubject: Re: My Quandary - How to Support Each Other's Books   Thu May 29, 2008 1:52 am

You can thank the bashers for that Pam. Members of the Absolute Write forum stomped all over amazon.com posting false reviews and using the voting buttons in an attempt to stop PublishAmerica books selling on Amazon. They only needed to wait for Amazon to do that for them! Of course, now the bashers think Amazon's a bully! The bashers think they are smart. Go figure.

This is a link to my book on amazon.com after amazon removed three spurious reviews but the voting buttons on the remaining reviews tell it all:

http://www.amazon.com/Planemakers-Flying-Machine-Shelagh-Watkins/dp/141377136X/

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Pam
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PostSubject: Re: My Quandary - How to Support Each Other's Books   Thu May 29, 2008 4:58 am

And these are just the sort of things that distract us from the work we do, because it means in addition to watching out for reviews that people post, that we might want to link to on our own sites and so on, we've got to be on the alert for foolishness, and the foolishness abounds.
bom
You'd think that folks had better things to do than to take up bashing. I love that term by the way...bashing. Bashing, bashing, bashing. sunny
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Abe F. March
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PostSubject: Re: My Quandary - How to Support Each Other's Books   Thu May 29, 2008 6:07 am

In the past 15 months I purchased approximately 20 books. Nine of those
were from authors that I met on the various forums.

#Books Publisher
7 PublishAmerica
1 Samhain
1 LuLu (Self-Publish)
1 Infinity Publishing (Self-Publish)

My evaluation:

The least amount of editing errors were from those that were self-published.
Every PA book had grammatical errors.
Two of the seven books were exceptional with just a few errors.
One was well written with a good story line and few errors.
Two had great story lines but the errors were so numerous that it cheapened the entire book. (If those two were edited and re-published they would be great sellers. As is, they just won’t fly)
One book should never have been published. A waste of money to purchase.
One rambled on and on with no plot. A waste of money to purchase.

The idea of reading pdf files is good.
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Malcolm
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PostSubject: Re: My Quandary - How to Support Each Other's Books   Thu May 29, 2008 9:29 am

Good idea, Shelagh about the PDF files. Er, why were the Absolute Write people going after Publish America?

Converting a WORD file (online, for those of us who only have Acrobat Reader) might be worthwhile since the e-books some publishers sell cannot be sent to other people.

I agree Pam, it's good just to be here and talk and that's one form of support. As for reviews, you can post them on Amazon.ca, right? I post reviews occasionally on Amazon.uk since some authors are not always on Amazon.com.

Those errors, Abe, are almost a stereotypical hallmark of POD books. Even with iUniverse's partial editing, I still have them. Most of us cannot edit our own stuff very well and professional editors charge more to edit POD books than most of those books are likely to earn. It's a tough problem.

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JoElle
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PostSubject: Re: My Quandary - How to Support Each Other's Books   Thu May 29, 2008 10:07 am

I try to support my writer friends by adding links to their website on my site and add a description of their work.

If I read their novels and think they are good, I will write good review for them. And I will tell everyone I know how much I enjoyed it and recommend it every chance I get. (I won't lie. I won't review a book I didn't like.) And I won't read a book just because an online friend wrote it. I don't have that kind of money or time. The book has to be something I really am interested in reading.

I LOVE a lot of the clever, intelligent, wonderful people I meet. But I am not going to read a novel about a shoot out in old Virginia City or a certain pivotal battle in Europe ... because I simple am not interested in the old west or wars.

For that same reason, I would NOT expect anyone who does not believe in fairies or who does not like romance novels to get tooth decay by reading my sweet, sappy, happily ever after, romantic drivel. (Even if you do like me)




To be honest, I don't come here expecting anyone to read my novels. I will go to reader forums if I want to "market" my books.

My novels are YA fantasy and fantasy romance.
I wouldn't expect a SciFi writer or Mystery writer to want to read my novels.

I come to author forums to encourage, be encouraged, just for the fun of it, to share ideas, and learn new things, etc.
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Abe F. March
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PostSubject: Re: My Quandary - How to Support Each Other's Books   Thu May 29, 2008 10:26 am

Malcome,
I have never had a problem with writing. It came natural to me. Also with spelling, I was a champion speller in school winning contests. Of course most of my career writing was related to business. Business letters, tranining manuals, proposals, etc. Once I got onto these forums and began to listen to all the discussions about writing, I soon became intimidated. I heard about all the books one must read in order to write properly. Conjugation of verbs, use of adverbs, using the proper tense, etc. etc. I had one book published and was told that it was well written. Since that time, my style became cramped.
I can relate that to my experience in gaining my German drivers license. I had driven for more than 30 years in various countries including congested driving cities like Paris, Rome, Beirut and Athens. When I took my test for driving I had to start from scratch. I became conscious of how I had to do all the things that the tester would look for. I failed my driver's test twice before succeeding.
A person who knows how to drive doesn't think about each move he/she will make. It comes natural. I believe the same is true with writing - at least for me.
I have recently decided to write the way I write, tell my story the way I will tell it, and then have someone else check it out for the proper use of grammar. If I were 20 years younger perhaps I'd have a different attitude about it.
Anyway, those are simply my opinions.
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zadaconnaway
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PostSubject: Re: My Quandary - How to Support Each Other's Books   Thu May 29, 2008 10:34 am

I use links on my website too, and have posted some reviews of other authors' works that I have read. I have been picky about what I've read, and if it wasn't any good, I just don't admit to having read it.
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Brenda Hill
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PostSubject: Re: My Quandary - How to Support Each Other's Books   Fri May 30, 2008 12:51 am

Forest Elf wrote:

To be honest, I don't come here expecting anyone to read my novels. I will go to reader forums if I want to "market" my books.

I come to author forums to encourage, be encouraged, just for the fun of it, to share ideas, and learn new things, etc.

I totally agree. I come here to chat with other writers after my work day.
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Pam
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PostSubject: Re: My Quandary - How to Support Each Other's Books   Fri May 30, 2008 4:45 am

I like the way that you think Abe. I think that some of the books about writing that I have read are helpful in the sense that they show what has worked for a particular writer, and they are also great examples of strong writing. For me, though I want to get the story out of my head and onto paper, and that's much more important than worrying about the mechanics of it. Besides, if we were able to put out writing that was "perfectly constructed", there wouldn't be any work left for the editors.
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Abe F. March
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PostSubject: Re: My Quandary - How to Support Each Other's Books   Fri May 30, 2008 5:15 am

Thanks Pam. I know where I can go for editing.
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Malcolm
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PostSubject: Re: My Quandary - How to Support Each Other's Books   Fri May 30, 2008 1:47 pm

I like that approach, Abe. Yes, Forest Elf, those links are a good way to spread the word.

Malcolm
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Dick Stodghill
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PostSubject: Re: My Quandary - How to Support Each Other's Books   Sat May 31, 2008 8:30 am

Elf, I doubt that your romance novels are drivel, but I'm cut to the quick (whatever that means) to learn that you don't like shootouts in Virginia City or stories about great battles. Please don't tell me you can't stand mysteries. I'm not sure my old heart could take that.

Abe, I have a confession. I wouldn't know an adverb from a rattlesnake. I did all that diagramming of sentences in school and can recognize a noun (well, sometimes) and an adjective. The other parts of speech, forget it. I've read a couple of books a week since I was 11 or 12 and that taught me everything I believe is necessary. Newspaper editors did the rest. I learned about its and it's and that things revolve around and center on.
I sat through a ten minute lecture by a managing editor because I used the term "grammatical error" in a story. If it's an error, he claimed, it isn't grammatical. Had he not been the managing editor I would have said - well it doesn't matter.
The only rule I keep in mind is Cornell Woolrich's - "Never let grammar stand in the way of a good sentence." He majored in English at Columbia, an Ivy League School. I also keep in mind John D. McDonald's advice: If you don't read at least two books a week, you can't write."
So, Abe, I couldn't pass a fifth grade English test, yet earned a living from writing most of my life. I know what looks right and what doesn't. And I sometimes think of the English majors I have known who are so rule-bound and stilted that they are incapable of writing a sentence anyone would care to read.
So now you know.
study
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Dick Stodghill
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PostSubject: Re: My Quandary - How to Support Each Other's Books   Sat May 31, 2008 8:38 am

Malcolm, I'm afraid I hijacked your thread. Sorry. My only thought on the topic is that there aren't enough people here to make a difference when it comes to sales. As for reviews, those from the average person don't mean much.
I'm not trying to be discouraging; any sale is a good one.
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Malcolm
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PostSubject: Re: My Quandary - How to Support Each Other's Books   Sat May 31, 2008 8:49 am

The funny thing, Dick, as I think of grammar rules, is that I don't know the rules and it's my parents' fault.

My parents' use of grammar was flawless. So, in an osmosis kind of way, I learned from them. This led me to never pay attention during grammar lessons in school because I saw no point in it. The rules were boring and if one was speaking and writing correctly already, the rules could only tangle one up, I thought.

Of course, I can't spell either, and I guess that's my fault. lol!

All these years later, I still feel that way about rules. Yet, people say that since I'm a writer, I ought to know that stuff.

Malcolm
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JoElle
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PostSubject: Re: My Quandary - How to Support Each Other's Books   Sat May 31, 2008 8:53 am

Dick Stodghill wrote:
Elf, I doubt that your romance novels are drivel, but I'm cut to the quick (whatever that means) to learn that you don't like shootouts in Virginia City or stories about great battles. Please don't tell me you can't stand mysteries. I'm not sure my old heart could take that.

If you paid close attention, you will notice the jail I was locked up in was in Virginia City. I'm a bit traumatized ... and I just don't care for fighting and guns. I'm one of those "give peace a chance" and we all belong to the same race ... the human race types. flower flower


Guns and war is my kid's thing. I think that's why he enjoyed basic training and the overseas training thing he did in Fort Irwin ... he got to blow up thing and play with guns. Suspect


I DO like mysteries. I LOVE Sherlock Holmes!!
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Abe F. March
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PostSubject: Re: My Quandary - How to Support Each Other's Books   Sat May 31, 2008 11:27 am

Dick, you made my day.
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PostSubject: Re: My Quandary - How to Support Each Other's Books   Mon Jun 02, 2008 5:53 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Like most people who read a lot of books, I've usually blown my yearly book budget by mid-February.

This makes it hard to support the books of the writers I meet here, on Author's Den, MySpace and in various blogging communities.

If we all lived in the same town, we could trade books around and then go leave reviews on barnesandnoble.com and amazon.com. Obviously, this isn't feasible for members of this forum since lending books by mail, sometimes internationally, would cost a lot for postage.

Unfortunately, few libraries have POD books, so we don't have the option of getting each other's books there.

Some months back, I made a list of the books written by the people online that I have the most interaction with AND who had books in genres I know anything about: $500. I don't know about the rest of you, but as a "starving writer" I don't have the $500.

Since we can't afford to buy all of each other's books, is there any other way we can support each other out in the cruel world of readers without using the review process?

How do the rest of you approach this quandary?*

Malcolm

Ahhh, welcome to my world! LOL
I have a great many online author friends, who I try to support by buying their books. I tend to use The Book Depository to buy books from as they have free postage to Australia.
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Malcolm
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PostSubject: Re: My Quandary - How to Support Each Other's Books   Mon Jun 02, 2008 6:23 pm

Yep, too many books, Anne.

Malcolm
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PostSubject: Re: My Quandary - How to Support Each Other's Books   Tue Jun 24, 2008 12:07 am

Hello everybody,

I'm thrilled to see a
discussion about how to support each others' books. It's my main
concern. Mainstream writers have festivals, book reviews in well-known
newspapers and journals. POD writers have next to nothing. So, the way
I see it, we really do need to get busy.

The breakdown of books
by mistakes in the posting above I thought was fantastic. I've read
three self-published books with no mistakes in them at all. One was
produced by a book packaging company and ghost-written from an original
draft by the author. That book was superbly turned out. One book was
edited by a cleric on behalf of the author. That book is extremely
impressive, one of the best. And the last book, although its cover was
created by a graphic designer, appears not to have been edited by
anyone except the author. However, she explains in her notes that she
produced the book according to a review cycle. A team of her
proofreaders checked the work in regular shifts until it was ready to
be published.


I'm currently reading a book published by
iUniverse which is about imperial politics in 18thC China. This book
would be impressive regardless of which publisher's name it bore. My
review of it won't be out for a couple of weeks. But I've been
impressed so far.

In fairness to my selection criteria, I should
add that my review website does have a fillout form where authors have
to put details, including a sample of their writing, in, so there's a
fair chance that I'll be able to avoid getting sent books which are
real howlers.


The books that I've mentioned so far are
featured on my website. I can't praise them enough. I think they're
superb. It's true that I also have reviews of some self-published books
that I didn't enjoy that much. But even they didn't have grammatical
errors in them. I tended not to like the way in which the story was
being told, or only to like some of it.

There is a body of
fine writers who are producing their books using POD technology. I aim
to locate as many as I can and feature their books on my site.

Best wishes,

Pat
I review books here:http://www.litarena.com/books/
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Karina Kantas
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PostSubject: Re: My Quandary - How to Support Each Other's Books   Tue Jun 24, 2008 2:31 am

Pat, I'm sure I've submitted a book for review. Can you check your database as I've yet to hear back from you.

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