Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Off-Line II

To me, the idea of following what everyone else is doing is absurd. The trick is to avoid the mob. If the herd is going in one direction, I’ll go elsewhere.

There are an unlimited number of ways to promote a physical store. From street flyering, to holding readings—inviting “name” writers even-- which pays networking benefits, to continual special sales and events, to getting customers including local celebrities and/or literary celebrities photographed with the product being sold. It allows the ability to use ballyhoo. There’s more excitement to a store, and to physical products, than to just one more web site or ebook. More excitement means easier getting journalists interested. You can also better promote the authors themselves, if they’re charismatic, through personal appearances. The idea is to promote not just the product—the book, if you will—but the person behind it. There’s also the promotion of the idea of a new kind of bookstore—which this will be—at a time when people will be eager for that very thing, with the chains failing. It’s one way of many to leverage the store viz-a-viz writers, publishers, and all of literature. The store will be the access point for these people. They’ll want to get into it. This is just scratching the surface.

One goal is to reach and develop an entirely new audience, and I’ll do that through zeen/graphic novel hybrids.

Granted, ebooks seem to be the thing. I may jump on that bandwagon and delay my offline plans.

I’ve found that working online can be a crutch. It’s an excuse for not doing real hard work that promotion requires. I say that as someone who’s been working online the last so-many years, with meager results, while my offline activities were amazingly productive.

How long before the ebook market is saturated with too-many choices?

Finally, take a look at how Lady Gaga made it. She used social media, sure, but merely as a landing place. Success came from incessant personal real-world work.

There’s the counter example of Amanda Hocking, poster girl for e-books. It’s an amazing story—enough to make me reconsider the possibilities involved.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

About Ebooks

Everybody and his brother are talking about ebooks. My stance is: it’s too late to be first, so you have to be better.

Are there any historical analogies to be looked at? Phonographs?

(By better, I mean, branding.)

You’ll have to have better offerings—stories or short novels of guaranteed “quality,” by which I don’t mean literary quality, but punch, drama, fun. Excitement.


I’m curious about the physical instruments themselves—Kindles, Nooks, Konos, I-Pads Is anyone doing knock-offs? I’ve heard India wants to manufacture and sell these things for ten bucks apiece. Surely someone somewhere must be doing knockoffs. I’d like to know exactly how these things operate, the nuts and bolts. If anyone knows, please let us know.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

On-Line or Off?

I note that lit entrepreneurs are promoting the idea of literary “singles”—works of story length which can easily be sold and consumed. They’re doing this in two areas: on-line, and with print versions.

My ideas are focusing on print. Much more difficult to set-up, but I believe that the work involved will have a greater payoff.

The problem on-line is the massive amount of competition. All literary projects are converging on a single point: the computer screen. This is the consumer’s access point. It’s a small space, with room for only one project at once. It’s a narrow door to squeeze through. The line to get through the door, to get onto the space, is extremely long.

Sure, the first ones through the door will be successful. But everyone will follow. The Internet always becomes quickly consumed by the herd.

Off-line, there remain ways to place yourself directly in front of the consumer. This is my starting point.