The Future of Barnes and Nobles – Written By Nicholas C. Rossis

Thank you so much for this article, Nicolas, even though it almost breaks my heart.


The Passive Guy recently shared a post by Jane Friedman on the future of Barnes & Noble; a topic you may remember from my earlier post, “How Amazon Destroyed Barnes & Noble.”

Quite frankly, Jane’s post made me sad. The latest chairman, James Daunt, is credited with saving UK’s famous bookstore, Waterstons. However, all you got to do is read the following quotes to understand that he really doesn’t get B&N – or books.

Early on, when Daunt was asked what he thought of Barnes & Noble on his last store visit, he said, “There were too many books,” by which he meant that featuring the right inventory is more important that stocking a big blur of titles. Back in 2015, he commented to Slate, “My faculties just shut down when I go in there.”

So… the big problem with a bookstore is that it has too many books.

And this gem:

Daunt loves the physical book, but he wants to give customers a digital option to get them into reading as an entry to physical books.

An entry. To physical books. Like, kids use digital books but us, highbrow grownups, know better. “Thank you, Amazon, B&N will stick to our guns and our lovely paper. No need for this new fandangled way of doing things.”

 

CONTINUE READING HERE

The Best Free Tools To Help New Amazon Authors – Written By Derek Haines

Derek Haines provides us with a post about the best free tools Amazon has to offer its authors. Thank you very much, Derek!


on Just Publishing Advice:

Are you planning to self-publish your first book on Amazon?

For new authors, Amazon self-publishing is the simplest, and a free way to publish your book.

If you plan on writing a book or have already written one, there are many free tools available that will make publishing your book with Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) much easier.

Before you rush in and upload your manuscript, here are some must-have tools that will help you publish a better book.

In This Article

Self-publishing for the first time

Free tools to help you succeed

Slick Write
Canva
Kindle Create
Kindle Previewer
Calibre
Sonar
Book Description Generator
Shaxpir
Summary

Continue reading HERE

You Will Always Get Some Bad Amazon Book Reviews – Written By Derek Haines

Thank you very much for this post about bad Amazon book reviews. We all appreciate your work, Derek Haines.

_______________________________________________________________

on Just Publishing Advice:

They are infuriating, annoying, and often stupid. They are unfair, depressing, and disheartening.

But bad book reviews are one of the harsh realities of being a published author today.

If you’re a seasoned author, you know what I’m talking about.

If you are a new author who is about to publish your first book, you will come to know soon enough.

In This Article

Customer reviews
A book review asks; does the book work for me?
A customer review is different
The worst of the worst
Free ebooks can attract negative reviews
Here we go again!
It’s only a review
Conclusion

Continue reading HERE

Too late for this year but perhaps next…? A competition for self-published authors – Written By Bridget Whelan

Bridget Wheelan informs us about a competition for self-published authors. Unfortunately for this year it’s already too late, but maybe next? Thank you, Bridget!

________________________________________________________________

August 31st is the deadline for the Kindle Storyteller Award which Amazon celebrates the best self-published story in the UK with a £20,000 cash prize.

Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay

 

I know that is still a month away, but you have to do an awful lot of work to make sure your story qualifies and readers are a crucial part in helping to choose the shortlist. Customer feedback is based on such factors as quality of reviews, sales and pages read in Kindle Unlimited. I underlined the word quality because Amazon seem to be flagging up that 50 ‘It’s really great‘ reviews won’t cut it. What you really need is quality AND quantity.

To qualify you need to publish on KDP, Amazon’s publishing arm in both eBook and paperback versions. The paperback version of your book must be at least 24 pages long and the qualifying period for…

CONTINUE READING HERE

****RELEASE DAY – “Forever In Deep**** – Written By Helen Krummenacker

Helen Krummenacker’s 3rd book of the Forever Detective Series is now available!


Rafael Jones is always a little out of his depth in rural settings, but he’s not just a detective, he’s also undead. He can’t ignore the call from the Saratoga County coroner when she mentions the bite marks found on several drowning victims during the spring and summer of 1947.

However, he knows his weaknesses (sunlight, running water, and a woeful lack of country manners), so he isn’t working alone. His slowly developing powers and quick wits may not be a match for something old, strong in magic, and completely cursed.

Available now in all e-book formats

CONTINUE READING HERE

 

Unplugged Book Sales: Is It Possible to Sell Books Off-Line? – Written By Kristen Lamb

Kristen Lamb provides us with a great blog post about selling books offline. Thank you very much for this very helpful post, Kristen!


Unplugged and Internet-free. Sounds like heaven to me. Why am I posting on this? Well, someone in the last post commented and asked me to blog on how to sell books without the Internet or social media. If it was even possible.

#ChallengeAccepted

Is it even possible to sell books unplugged? Good food for thought. Of course, my first thought was, ‘Is it even possible to get unplugged in the first place?’

Funny to think that it wasn’t too long ago that a half-baked plot with a terrible love story captured our hearts. A horrible movie (by all accounts) made us all misty-eyed, because of these three words…

Continue Reading Here

 


 

Publishing Your Ebook Is Changing on Smashwords – Written By Lee Foster

Lee Foster on ‘The Book Designer’ provides us with information about publishing our ebooks on Smashwords and how it’s changing. Thank you very much Lee!


This is a third and final perspective in my publishing strategy trilogy, a drama festival with three events, Amazon and Ingram being the earlier performances. There have been five-week breaks between these theatrics as I proceed in the Joel Friedlander modern publishing ecosystem.

If you want to distribute your ebook through Amazon directly and then also to “every ebook vendor beyond Amazon,” how should you do it? Smashwords is my recommended choice.

Continue reading HERE

Author Spotlight – Allan Krummenacker

Welcome!

Please introduce yourself.

My name is Allan Krummenacker, and for the record “I am not a number, I am a FREE MAN!” Anyone who gets that reference please give yourself a Gold Star. Also the first 5 people who post where that quote comes from down in the comments section can get a free copy of “The Vampyre Blogs – Coming Home” which is being released October 1st.

Okay now that I got that out of my system, let’s get down to business. As you already suspect I’m rather silly and full of nonsense, which are great qualities in writing. I was born and raised on Long Island, NY and moved to California in 1985. Here I met my wife, a great set of friends, got into sci-fi and fantasy fandom (including costuming and fanfic writing). I currently reside along the west coast and am working for the county which gives me and my wife the security to pursue writing.

When did you start writing?

I’d done a lot of silly Marx-Brothers style of short fanfics, back when I belonged to a Doctor Who Fan club, and a Star Trek club. But I only really got serious around 2008 when my real estate career started a serious decline thanks to the bubble that led to the Recession. At the time my wife and I were binge-watching the original 1960s Dark Shadows series, which I learned had been partly written “On the fly”. Originally series was slated to end after 6 months but after the vampire Barnabas Collins got introduced the ratings shot through the roof and they were ordered to keep it going. So some of the continuity got messed up along the way. So I started amusing myself with re-writing and correcting some of the issues, but also came up with some original concepts as well. Soon the original ideas got so fleshed out, I realized I’d strayed so from Dark Shadows that I could easily re-populate these original ideas into something new. And thus, the Para-Earths concept was born.

What motivates you to write?

That is a very good question, and I guess the best answer is that I’ve always been writing stories in my head. I wasn’t the most popular kid at school, usually the target for bullies and others who just didn’t understand me. I wasn’t great at sports, which I found out was linked to the fact that I already had Fibromyalgia which meant I got hurt very easily physically and tears were often involved. So I spent a lot of time on my own with my GI Joes and other action figures and created storylines for their adventures. Plus I spent a lot of time inside my own head keeping myself amused as music and tv shows inspired more ideas in my head. I became a very thoughtful child as a result and found I had a better rapport with adults than I did kids my own age because I asked a lot of “grown-up” questions.

What genre do you write in and what made you chose this particular genre?

Tough question here, I basically write a strange blend of paranormal/science fiction with touches of horror and mystery thrown into the mix. I suspect this comes from my younger years of being fascinated with the classic Universal Studios Horror Monsters and the original Dark Shadows which were my earliest paranormal influences. As for my science fiction fascination I have to credit Dr. Who, the original Twilight Zone, and the original Outer Limits. I found the stories and the worlds they introduced the audience to so fascinating and wondrous. I kept finding myself asking “What if?” questions after each episode, which in turn would get me thinking about story ideas to play with the few friends I had as well as with my toys.

What is your goal in writing? Do you have dreams where your writing should take you?

This is going to sound weird but I don’t know if I ever really think seriously about where I’d like all this to go. I mean I just love writing stories and hearing people tell me how much they enjoyed them. Of course I’d love to see some (if not all of them) make to the big screen and be brought to life for millions to see. But then I also tell myself if Hollywood ever comes knocking because they’ve run out of re-makes and re-boots (which I despise immensely) and want original new material, I think I would say “Yes”. Then I’d take the money and go write more stories and try not to pay attention to however they mangle my creation, because I’m not J K Rowling so I’m not going to get creative authority in what they do.

Of course people ask me if I want to be the next J K Rowling or Stephen King, to which I answer “No, because they already exist. I want to be Allan Krummenacker, the guy who gets as popular as they are and make the kind of money they do. Mostly so I can keep telling more stories to fascinate and hopefully inspire others.

Do you ever suffer from writer’s block and if yes, how do you deal with it?

Oh yeah! Me and writer’s block are old acquaintances. And more than once I’ve gone search of a jackhammer when he shows up. I even have an idea for a short silent film I may make for YouTube one of these days about dealing with writer’s block. Think along the lines of an old black and white Charlie Chaplin movie.

Anyway, how I deal with it… I’ll take long walks along the beach, into the woods, or just go out and have fun. I know part of my brain will still be mulling over the issue and I might spot something that suddenly gives me a breakthrough. If not, then I’ll start working on another writing project entirely. You have to keep writing, that’s my motto. And sooner or later I’ll either watch or movie or be talking with my wife Helen (another author) who might suggest something I never thought of and then… BAM! Writer’s block is gone and the story is moving on again.

What advice would you like to give new, hopeful authors?

Two words “KEEP WRITING”!

Never stop. Take a rest if you need to, but keep the ideas flowing. Brush up on your grammar skills, take a class in creative writing at a local community college and keep doing it. They say practice makes perfect and its true. Also be ready for criticisms from friends, family and of course others. The words may hurt at first, but don’t let that stop you. Once you put the hurt aside, think about what was said and look over your work. Is there any validity to some of the critiques? Perhaps you need to rework some of the phrasing or how you present the characters or situations. Or, they may all be way off and just weren’t the right audience for your work.

There is so much to writing. Not just creating the story but also finding the right audience for your work is just as important as creating the tale. Learning what criticisms to take on board to improve your work versus those who just didn’t get the idea you were aiming for.

I’d also recommend doing lots of reading of other works in the same genre you’re working in. Study how other authors construct their stories. How did they build tension? How did their characters come across to you? Did they grow or evolve in the course of the story? Do the same thing with shows and movies you watch. Really see what worked or didn’t for you as an audience member and take those lessons on board as you work on your writing. For me, my stories play out as a movie inside my head and I try to basically transfer all the details onto my computer in words to paint the images I’m seeing.

Please, tell us about your work.

With my wife Helen’s help, I’ve created the Para-Earth Series (which is up to 4 books). These tales are reminiscent of the old Twilight Zone and Outer Limits shows. In each book the readers and the characters encounter beings or actually get to visit alternate versions of Earth where evolution took a very different turn because of changes in how those other Earths formed. You might encounter an Earth with 2 moons, or none at all. There’s even been one Earth where the planet has rings like Saturn. But with these changes in the planet’s early development, different life forms evolve. Some can be hostile, some friendly. Others may simply be lost in this reality and want to go home. You never know.

In fact, we’ve had life-forms that readers compared to the creations of HP Lovecraft, Dean Koontz and Stephen King. And there are many more on the way, as well as recurring characters readers have come to adore and are eager to see more of. Which is all to the good in my opinion because this is an open-ended series, not a trilogy or something with a definite end. I much prefer things that can be built upon for years to come.

But the doors between realities don’t just open one way. Occasionally a person from this reality might land up in one of those alternate worlds and come back altered in some way. One of your favorite characters from our series, a certain Union soldier name Nathaniel Eoghan Steward, got blown into one of those alternate Earths. And as you know, he came back to his world just a few days looking the same but is now to all intent and purposes a vampyre, only he’s not undead.

He’s one of my favorite characters to write about because he’s like Doctor Who, living for over 150 years and just experiencing history, making friends, and helping people along the way. With such a long lived character, I get to have him interacting with all kinds of people, both famous and just regular, so there’s an endless supply of stories to write around him. Your readers here can meet him in “The Vampyre Blogs – Coming Home” which will be released October 1st of this year. Technically it’s being re-released as it’s been re-classified as the first Young Adult installment of our Para-Earth Series. (Links can be found beneath this interview).

The reason for the re-branding is because many readers felt that it belonged in that genre as most of the story is told by two teenage girls whose lives are deeply affected by Nathan’s presence, and both them and their families become very dear to him.

Thank you for being my guest. It was such a pleasure to have you here!!

Thanks so much for having me. I really enjoyed it. And to everyone reading this interview I’d going to close it with the words I use at the end of every entry at my blog about writing, keep writing!


Connect with the author:

Blog: https://musingsof2creativeminds.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/akrummenacker

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/allan-krummenacker-76994a23/

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/akrummenacker/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Allan-Krummenacker-Writer-171432612892924/

Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Allan-Krummenacker/e/B00B1W8TEU?ref_=dbs_p_ebk_r00_abau_000000


Allan Krummenacker’s newest book:

Amazon:
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01MDO8SLO/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_bibl_vppi_i0

Nook:
https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-vampyre-blogs-allan-krummenacker/1124855249?ean=2940153799605

AmazonUK:
https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01MDO8SLO

AmazonCA:
https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B01MDO8SLO

Smashwords:
https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/647499

Kobo:
https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/the-vampyre-blogs-coming-home


 

The Death of Ye Olden Bookstores & the Author Identity Crisis – Written By Kristen Lamb

As a follow up of the famous ‘Barnes & Noble’ fall, Kristen Lamb provides us with a great blog post about the consequences it might have on us authors.

Thank you so much, Kristen!


My last post, Barnes & Noble SOLD: Goliath Has Fallen & What This Means for Writers, was a long and detailed journey explicating precisely how we’ve all ended up at this spot in history—writers, readers, bookstores, booksellers, publishers, investors, etc.

The big-box bookstores are dead for good until some @$$hat forgets what a bad idea they were and resurrects them again.

In the meantime…

Now that Borders is a distant memory and Barnes & Noble a recent casualty, many of us find ourselves balancing, terrified, on the precipice of the unknown.

This time of transition possesses a particularly acute terror reserved for pre-published and published authors.

Yet, in light of all this upheaval, I challenge authors to learn from New York Publishing’s—‘The Big Six’s’ mistakes.

One mistake in particular.

Continue reading here

Barnes & Noble SOLD: Goliath has Fallen & What This Means for Writers – Written By Kristen Lamb

O-M-G. Kristen Lamb informs us about the latest news: Barnes & Noble SOLD!

Thank you so much for the information, Kristen!


Goliath has fallen. The leviathan Barnes & Noble, the big-box chain that reinvented retail and defined a generation…is no more.

SOLD!

Reuters announced early last Friday that the hedge fund Elliot Management Corp. would be purchasing the former book giant for roughly the equivalent of Kim Kardashian’s jewelry allowance ($683 million including debt).

This bold move marks an end to the once-dominant book retailer’s status as a publicly traded company.

After almost a decade of abysmally stupid business decisions and plummeting sales—and me blogging and b#@!$ing about it the entire time—this buyout feels like a mercy killing to me.

Someone might finally save Barnes & Noble from itself.

***I secretly suspect this buyout was the only option left after Mary Kay declined to sell cosmetics alongside records, movies, toys, stationary, gifts, knick knacks, coffee, candles, essential oils and everything else NOT BOOKS.

#sarcasm

Now that the former mega-retailer’s fate is in the hands of the Elliot Group, perhaps Barnes & Noble can go back to being a…wait for it…wait for it… *whispers*…a bookstore.

Continue reading here