Friday, March 27, 2015

A Few Thoughts on Indie Publishing and Bestseller Lists #Pubtalk #Indie #ASMSG

Digital Book World sent out an email today highlighting an article about the world's most expensive Print On Demand machine made for bookstores. The actual article is pretty cool, but its the whole tone of it, and this stupid line in DBW's email that set me off,

Espresso Book Machines' print-on-demand technology impressed many in the publishing world when they debuted years ago, before the ebook boom had hit its stride, but they mostly failed to take off. With ebook growth flat, print holding steady and interest strong among publishers in shaking up the distribution landscape, some wonder if now's the time to dust the technology off.

I read every email from DBW, keeping my thumb on the industry, and these guys never fail to make me cackle at the absurd assertion that ebook growth is flat.

Ebook growth is soaring, if you count all the non-ISBN ebook titlesIf you only count ISBN ebook titles, then its probably flat, maybe even starting to decline...

What does that say about the ebook industry?  ISBN titles are predominantly coming out of the traditional publishing world, apart from some of the ebook titles pubbed on non-Amazon retailers that still use ISBNs (like everything spit out via Smashwords).

Its the non-ISBN titles that represent the largest growth category in publishing today, because that is where the Indie explosion is happening. If a book has no ISBN, there's about a 99.99999% chance its an Indie title. Traditional publishers ALWAYS use ISBNs.

I'm unhappy with Amazon for several reasons right now, mostly involving Kindle Unlimited and the damage that program is doing to Indie publishing, but when it comes to ebook sales, I know the truth. I'm in the trenches with the Indie community. Hell, I have tools like Kindlespy that lets me estimate the kindle sales across categories and keyword phrases. Its not a secret. The data is there for anyone who wants to look for it.

Hugh Howey and dataguy went through the trouble of laying it out, probably using similar software as Kindlespy. They combed the bestseller lists and identified Indie vs. Traditional titles and their sales levels in ebook, and the approximate earnings paid to the authors. The data is out there to be had.

I can guarantee you that sales are not flat. Borrows might be overtaking a percentage of sales in the KU ecosystem, but the level of ebook buying/borrowing activity is definitely not flat.

The only flat statistics come from the ISBN world.

What should be a wakeup call is the alarming fact that the publishing industry is either unaware of the massive ebook sales growth that's passing them by, or they're ignoring it, in favor of unreliable industry stats.

I happen to know numerous Indie authors who are making double-digit thousands a month on titles that have no ISBN tracking. Do you think their ebook sales growth is flat? Not even close. Every time they put out a new book (which is almost monthly--working in short novellas or serial fiction--or just plain writing their asses off), their sales spike, over and over, and continue to grow across their entire catalog.

In fact, I suspect that there would be more Indies hitting NYT and USA Today list status if they understood that non-ISBN titles are submitted to NYT and USA Today separately from the same title of book bearing an ISBN!! In other words, you only get aggregate sales counts at the bestseller lists by having the ISBN MATCH on all retailers.

And, as you may not have been aware, some retailers actually reserve spots on their bestseller lists for their Big 5 trad pub corporate clients. So, even if you're selling gangbusters, you might find that all of a sudden, your rankings drop and you're no longer sitting in the top 100 at a given retailer, because they needed your spot on the list, your book was taking up a reserved parking space. 

Big 5 ebooks get the handicap spot on the bestseller list

So, it begs the question ... how many Indies are actually selling at list status or very, very close--without the publishing industry even being aware of it?

My message today is this: Pub industry speakers and proselytizers, please pull your heads out of you-know-where and start looking at the data that is right in front of your eyes. Start talking some real numbers, PLEASE. Stop spoon-feeding the BS line that ebook growth is flat.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Scifi Romance & Space Opera Release Party! #Giveaways & #99cent #ebooks #ASMSG

Join Travis Luedke and Kayla Stonor for two days of awesomesauce giveaways and fun! Plus loads of guest authors in appearance!

Travel the galaxy with Alien shifters and fierce warlike Cats for adventure, romance, and hot, smexy erotica!

ANGEL 6.0, CONCUBINE by Travis Luedke

Born of illegal experimentation on the human genome, I've been stolen across the galaxy and enslaved as concubine to Captain Cronin of the alien race of Cats called The Gran. I am Angel 6.0 and this is the dark, wicked, violent tale of my struggle to survive among humans and aliens who despise me.



Dol’ce retrieves Colonel Marcel, a prisoner of war, by order of the Qui Treaty with Earth. Her compassionate care soothes Marcel’s tortured soul, but his unruly pheromones wreak havoc on her senses. Marcel needs this glittering alien gem in his life, but can he accept the war is really over?

Enjoy both books at the discount release price of $.99! Hope to see you there at the party for giveaways and scifi-paranormal badassary!

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Cyborgs are so much more than machines: ADAM #Scfi #Romance by @EveLanglais #ASMSG

Cyborgs are so much more than machines…

The deluge of water stopped and left her dripping. She wasn’t quite done.
“Please remove all your garments and place them in the disposal chute.”
Strip to the skin? Surely he wouldn’t make her? Her gaze met the soldier’s, but his smooth expression didn’t reveal anything.
“Must I?” she queried. “I didn’t get any on the coat, so I doubt my clothes are a risk.”
“Orders, ma’am.”
The military and their damned orders.
Lips drawn in a tight line, she stripped from her soaked garments and dropped them into the chute that led to a sealed oven, which used extreme heat to disintegrate contaminated items. Standing in her bra and panties, she dared him to say something.
He did. The bastard. “All of your clothes, ma’am.”
“Can you turn around?”
“Sorry, ma’am. My orders are to watch you for signs of infection.”
Watch? More like leer, the pervert. And to think she’d entertained lusty thoughts about him. Not anymore. Inwardly grumbling, she shed her undergarments, and while she didn’t meet his gaze, she was aware of it and couldn’t help but blush.

Panties and bra tossed in the trash, she hugged herself and glared through a wet hank of hair at her guard. His face might not show emotion, but she couldn’t help but note his gaze seemed more intent than usual. Despite her annoyance at his insistence on following the rules, she couldn’t help the awareness flushing her skin. She also couldn’t help an inappropriate mental question.
Does he like what he sees?
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ItalyCanadaSmashwords, Worldwide

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Let The Right One In scheduled for an A&E Series! #Vampire #Badassary #ASMSG


LTROI series for A&E


200px-LettherightoneinswedishbookcoverFirst there was a best-selling novel, which became a wildly popular film in its native Sweden.  Then an English-language adaptation, a Swedish-language play, following by anEnglish-language play performing first in Edinburgh then London then New York.  Now Let The Right One In is slated to join the line-up of A&E.  Teen Wolf  writers Jeff Davis and Brandon Boyce are currently writing a script. The series will be produced by A+E Studios with Tomorrow Studios.
Plenty of S P O I L E R S follow, so be warned.
According to the Hollywood Reporter, the series would again relocate the story to the United States, this time in Vermont.  Like the previous versions, a lonely and bullied boy befriends a mysterious girl who moves into town with her equally-mysterious guardian.  Strange murders follow which attract the attention of a Federal Marshal with some kind of secrets of his own.  This synopsis leaves a large number of questions un-answered.  For example:
let-the-right-one-in1What is the time period of the proposed series?  Both films retained the 1980s setting, using events of that decade as a kind of commentary of the plot.  Certainly doing a series in the present would be easier and cheaper.  More it would open up a possible plot change.  The new series might not be done so much a remake but a quasi-sequel.  In other words, the Oscar character from the original might be the Guardian of the new show.  Maybe.
Let_the_Right_One_In155.jpgHow old are this boy and girl?  Matt Reeves, writer/director of Let Me In (the American film, made under the auspices of Hammer Studios) noted that when first approached about making an English version language, people said to him “Of course we have to make the boy and the vampire teenagers.”  He refused.  That doesn’t mean someone else might not love that idea.
Will there be any more vampires?  The book mentions at least five other vampires, including the nobleman who created Eli (Abby in the American film), another vampire Eli met years later who noted most undead commit suicide.  During the course of the story, Eli accidentally turned two of her victims into vampires she had to destroy–and when her Guardian offered her his blood after burning his face off with acid to protect her, the Guardian also rose and tried to rape her.  If Davis and Boyce want to turn the novel into an ongoing series, the real possibility exists of using the fact vampirism is so hideously easy to spread.
Many details are frankly left in the air, with barely a hint.  The Federal Marshal for example certainly seems brand spanking new, and the secrets could easily be more complex than the obvious thought that he (or she) Mulder-like now “believes.”  Neither of the leads  characters’ names have been released, nor much idea of the circumstances around each.  In the Swedish film, Oscar’s parents are separated because the father drinks.  In the American, Owen’s mother is the drunk and deeply religious to boot (this remains a major difference between the two settings–the Swedish town doesn’t even have a church, and one can barely imagine an American town without one).  American Abby’s Guardian was once pretty clearly a version of Owen, someone who grew up and apart from his beloved friend.  Swedish Eli’s Guardian is a pedophile in love, eager to prove his loyalty and the right to touch this child who is not a child.
No word yet on when such a series might be expected to air.  Jeff Davis, although best known for Teen Wolf, wrote the original script which became Criminal Minds.  Brandon Boyce penned the biopic Milk as well as Apt Pupil, based on a story by Stephen King.  Marty Adelstein will serve as Executive Producer, having been responsible for Tru Calling(with Buffy the Vampire Slayer‘s Eliza Dushku) and Point Pleasant.  Becky Clements (Last Man Standing) and Hammer Studios President Simon Oakes will also Executive Produce.
David MacDowell Blue blogs at Night Tinted Glasses.  He graduated from the National Shakespeare Conservatory and is the author of The Annotated Carmilla. and Your Vampire Story (And How to Write It) as well as a theatrical adaptation of Carmilla.