News You Can Use – Sept. 20, 2011

Are There Different Genres of Fantasy? – You bet there are. If want to write in that category become familiar with the difference.

The Positive Side of a Writer’s Frustration – A good way to make gold out of ashes.

10 Things a Writer Can Learn From Rocky Balboa –Besides saying “Yo Adrian” whenever someone mentions Rocky.

The Next Four Industries that will be Transformed by the Internet – Agree or Disagree?

Take a look at this amazing infographic regarding Textbooks:

Thank you to Jenica Rhee for creating it. (Twitter: jenicarhee)
TTextbooks of Tomorrow
Via: OnlineEducation.net

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Save Your Inbox!

Like you, I have a love-hate relationship with email.
I love it because it allows for quick and easy communication.
I hate it because the flood in the inbox can be overwhelming.

(I also get irritated with that hyphen! email or e-mail?)

A “solution” may be at hand! Some pretty smart folks have created “The Email Charter.” Please do yourself a favor, click this link to The Email Charter, read it, and see if some of its suggestion can make a difference.

Then come back here write a comment telling us what you think

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Conquering Conference Jitters

Next week the annual American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) conference is upon us. While this particular conference is one of the largest in our industry (over 700 will be there in St. Louis), writers can become nervous before going to even the most intimate conference. We all want to make a good impression and show other industry professionals our best. You have already prayed and handed the conference over to the Lord, so here are a few more tips based on questions I’ve been asked over the years:

1.) What do I wear?

Each conference has its own personality and you’ll need to adjust accordingly.

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More About Book Sales


My post on Monday about average book sales raised a few questions and got me to thinking a little further.

I wondered what the average book sales were for all the titles our agency has represented. Our authors have sold millions of books but I had never thought to “do the math.”

I give this number with the following caveat. Many of the books have not been out for a year and thus we only have numbers for the first few months of sales. And some titles have a more academic orientation which generally means the unit sales are not as good. Also included are titles that were commercial disasters (selling less than 1,500 copies). But that is countered by a few titles that have been on the bestseller’s lists. Thus the “average.”

Across all titles our agency has represented over the last seven years, the average book has sold 20,000 copies. Wow. We are so privileged to be working with such amazing authors!

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News You Can Use – Sept. 13, 2011

How Fiction Changed After 9/11 – The Economist explores the topic.

How Long Does Your Shared Link Stay Viable? – This fascinating study by bit.ly shows that if people don’t see your link within three hours, they never will. Sobering isn’t it?

Seven Deadly Sins of Self-Publishers – Darby Rae presents some sound advice.

Are You Wasting Time Checking the Amazon Rankings? – BookBuzzer describes a tool that alerts you only if your rankings go up…and a daily digest of activity. Wean yourself off your Amazon Rank addiction.

What Can C.S. Lewis Teach you about Writing? – Kevin deYoung writes this post about the writing life.

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What Are Average Book Sales?

by Steve Laube


We recently received the following question:

“What does the average book sell today? An industry veteran at a writers conference recently said 5,000. What??? I know it all depends….but … nowhere near 5K, right?”

My simple answer?

It’s complicated.
It depends.

HAH!

Average is a difficult thing to define. And each house defines success differently. If a novel sells 5,000 copies at one publisher they celebrate and have steak dinners. If a novel sells 5,000 copies at another publisher you find staff members fearing for their jobs and in total despair.

Let me give you some real numbers but not revealing the author name (and there is a wide variety of publishers represented):

Author 1: novelist – 3 books – avg. sale = 8,300

Author 2: novelist – 12 books – avg. sale = 19,756

Author 3: novelist – 3 books – avg. sale = 7,000

Author 4: novelist – 7 books – avg. sale = 5,300 (Two different publishers)

Author 5: non-fiction devotional – 5 books – avg. sale 10,900

Author 6: non-fiction – 2 books – avg. sale = 5,300

Author 7: novelist – 4 books – avg. sale = 29,400

Author 8: non-fiction – 3 books – avg. sale = 18,900

Author 9: fiction – 7 books – avg. sale = 12,900

Author 10: non-fiction – 5 books – avg. sale = 6,800 (three different publishers)

So you can see it DOES depend. Depends on the author and publisher and topic or genre.

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Fun Fridays – Sept. 9, 2011

This one has been around for awhile but it still makes me laugh every time. It is the perfect parody of the author/editor brainstorming session. At the end the author sounds like one who has just attended a writers conference and received a variety of advice!

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Saving the World, One Romance at a Time

Often I will receive submissions of novels tying in an element of mystery and suspense with romance. Writers targeting the romantic suspense market will find difficulty in placing this type of story. Why? Because romantic suspense readers have certain expectations that won’t be met with a mere element of mystery and intrigue.

In my experience trying to sell and market romantic suspense, I have found that the readers of this genre want all-out adventure and crime solving along with compelling romance. The suspense is foremost, with the romance being tied in so deeply that the story won’t survive without it.

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News You Can Use – Sept. 6, 2011

Trends in Publishing– A clear assessment of where things seem to be headed by Giuseppe Granieri.

Improve the Speed of Your Reading – Try it out! It is amazing how fast you really can read literally one word at a time.

The Secret Language of Pronouns – A Scientific American article about how men and women use pronouns differently. Agree or disagree?

Publish America’s Shady History – Publisher’s Weekly investigates this self-publishing company.

86 Beautiful Book Covers – Do you agree with this blogger’s assessment?

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