Monday, July 18, 2016

What I Would Change About Publishing

with Jordyn Redwood.

Hello, Seekerville!

I’m so honored to be here. Thanks to the Seekerville gang for hosting me again. 

It’s hard to gauge how long I’ve been in publishing. Do you start from the time your dream to pursue publication started (2002), when you got your agent (2009), or when your first novel published (2012)? I’ll let you gauge how long my time has been, but now that it’s been a number of years there are certain things I would change if I had the magic wand to do so. 

I’ll be anxious to engage with Seekerville readers about what they would like to change. I’ll be focusing on the traditional publishing model (and other quirky publishing things) as I’ve not yet gone indie—though hope to later this year. 




Now that my fourth book, Fractured Memory, just released, I feel like I have a solid understanding of publishing. This is what I would change. 



1. The emphasis on trilogies. It’s very common in publishing to have an author do trilogies. The thought behind this is if a reader gets hooked on the first book then they’ll happily buy the whole series. What publishers don’t tell you, but seems to be well known, is that readers consistently fall out of the series and the third book generally has the least sales. What would I like to see? I would like to see Christian fiction try what works well in mainstream fiction by perhaps embracing a strong character that repeats through several stand-alone novels like Jack Reacher, Alex Cross, or Kay Scarpetta. Readers have expressed frustration that character arcs not being resolved in each book (this is what generally crosses over multiple books) even though the plot may be resolved. 

2. Focus on social media. Social media following translates into a certain number of sales and therefore the bigger the numbers the better the author’s sales will be. This tends to be the focus more in non-fiction than fiction, but this emphasis is increasing for fiction authors as well. 

First of all, I haven’t seen any hard data that proves this is true. That if an author has ten thousand followers then the publisher automatically knows that one hundred books will sell. Second of all, social media is a huge time vacuum and, more often than not, distracts the writer from writing and spending time improving their craft. Should authors drop out of social media? No. But nor do I think social media following should be a tipping point of a publisher’s decision on whether or not to take on an author. The quality of the story should always prevail. Would a publisher prefer a bad book by a social media star and a one-time, quick million because the person can’t write? Or, should they work to develop an author they like who writes well who can sell a million copies eventually, but consistently over the long term after taking the time to build a readership? 

3. Author development. Don’t drop an author you like due to poor sales after one book or a trilogy. Work with them to develop a new idea both of you like. I akin this to orienting a new nurse to the ER. It takes a lot of time and money to get someone “up to snuff”. When that person quits, it is wasted time and money, hence a lot of talk in nursing circles about retaining employees. I think the opposite happens in publishing—that if a certain number of sales aren’t achieved, then drop that author in hopes a new one will sell better. But what if you like that author—as a person? They work well with your staff. They did a lot of marketing outside the publisher’s efforts. They were kind and respectful. What was lacking was their sales and/or follow-up idea. Would it not be easier to stay with a known quantity and develop a strong idea together? And then jointly aid the author in building a readership? 

4. E-book prices are too high for debut and newer authors. I truly believe that if you have five books or less published, your e-book should not be priced higher than $3.99. I honestly think it doesn’t help a new author build a readership to have e-book prices higher than that. The goals are different for a new author from their more seasoned counterparts. A debut or new author is trying to build a readership. For readers to take a risk, the price of the e-book should always be low. 

Say a reader loves Fractured Memory (currently, the e-book is $4.99) and they want to check out my other titles. Each of the Bloodline Trilogy e-books is priced at $9.99. Personally, I think a publisher should only price an e-book that high if the author has reached reputable best-selling status (such as the ECPA list) and has a committed, large readership. I don’t mind paying $10-$14 for an e-book for well-established authors. But an author that’s new to me? I won’t risk it. 

5. Goodreads allowing authors to rate their own book. This is my quirky one, but I’d love to hear your thoughts. I don’t know why Goodreads does this. Of course, who won’t give themselves five stars? If you rate yourself lower, are you putting out a book you didn’t think was good enough? 

I actually did come across a book that received a one-star review from the author. Their reason? "I hated to write about the topic of this book, but felt these things needed to be said." 

I just don’t know what to think about that. 


I’d like to know what you think. Do you agree with the things I would change about publishing? Why or why not? If you could wave a magic wand—what would you change about the traditional publishing model? 


***As a side note, I have very good relationships with all my publishers and this blog piece isn’t speaking specifically about any one publisher in particular, but is an amalgam of stories from other authors and some of my own experiences.***  



Jordyn Redwood is a pediatric ER nurse by day, suspense novelist by night. She hosts Redwood’s Medical Edge, a blog devoted to helping authors write medically accurate fiction. Her first two medical thrillers, Proof and Poison, garnered starred reviews from Library Journal. Proof was shortlisted for the 2012 ForeWord Review’s BOTY Award, 2013 INSPY Award and the 2013 Carol Award. Poison shortlisted for the 2014 INSPY Award and the 2014 Selah Award. In addition to her novels, she blogs regularly at Redwood’s Medical Edge and the WordServe Water Cooler. You can connect with Jordyn via Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, her website and via e-mail at jredwood1@gmail.com.


Jordyn's giving away three print copies of Fractured Memory. Winners announced in the next Weekend Edition.



 SHROUDED PAST 

United States marshal Eli Cayne saved Julia Galloway's life once…and he's prepared to do it again. But his task would be easier if she could remember him—or the murderer who almost put her in an early grave and seems to be hunting her once more. To protect Julia from the latest threat against her life, Eli has to consider the possibility that he put an innocent man in jail. Julia has no memories of the serial killer called the Hangman, though, and no reason to trust Eli. But with the killer getting closer, she must work with Eli to confront her past—and the feelings growing between them.

120 comments:

Walt Mussell said...

I'm not sure what to say about suggestions 1-4. However, I do think it's a bit moronic to be able to rate your own book.

Trixi said...

As a reader, I'd have to agree with #1. I don't mind series books, in fact I fall in love with them....but I don't like when they leave you hanging at the end. And then you wait MONTHS for the next one to release, perhaps even forgetting what the last one was about due to reading other books in between while waiting. (make sense, I hope!) I'd much rather see the characters repeat through several stand-alone novels. And even sometimes, I lose interest after too many books in a series. Keep it to a few good books, with fresh ideas in each but keep one or two strong characters.

I don't know about the rest of them. I don't tend to pay attention to how many followers an author has on social media, and again, I think you're right that it isn't an accurate projection of how many books get sold per (say) 1,000 followers.

That's just my two cents anyway as a reader! I think you've made some valid points Jordyn in this post :-) I'd love to be in the draw for your book "Fractured Memory", thanks for the chance!

P.S. I think it's so cool that you're a pediatric ER nurse, I bet that's rich soil for your books!

Tina Radcliffe said...

Welcome, Jordyn! Love the cover of your LIS release!

This gave me a chuckle, because there was a time when I was going to RWA conferences and the buzz was...DO NOT MENTION YOUR BOOK IS PART OF A SERIES. It was looked down upon to be so presumptuous as to mention it in a pitch. Oh, how things have changed.

Tina Radcliffe said...

Rating my own book a 5 would be nice to counteract the person who rates it a 1 because of Amazon shipping issues. Love it.

hahahaha

Mary Jane Hathaway said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mary Jane Hathaway said...

Sorry! I saw two big typos! I hate typos... had to delete and repost.

Great post!

I agree about the book prices. I was so sad yesterday when I saw someone's debut novel (which I really loved) priced at 9.99 and the paper book was a few bucks LESS. I mean, way to kill their ebook sales. I really don't know what kind of marketing plan that is, since we all know that people browse those lists to find books they like, and if the book isn't visible (this one, released just a few months ago, was ranked 500K or something), then readers aren't going to buy it.

And the goodreads point made me laugh. I rarely go there. In fact, I don't think I've even rated my last book, but I always do! I give it five stars, then say in the review that I'm the author. I write a little bit about what I loved researching, which characters I'll miss, and I wish the readers a happy story. :) I think in 500 reviews or so, that one five star rating won't sway anybody. Especially since most readers look at one stars when they're reading reviews. Heyyyyy, that's what I should do. :D Write a one star on my own books and pitch why the readers will like the story. LOL

Mary Jane Hathaway said...

Tina, I have a one star because the person "bought it by mistake". OUCH.

Cindy W. said...

Great post Jordyn. I do enjoy trilogies and if I read the first book and like it, I definitely pick up the rest of the trilogy to read. I haven't been disappointed yet. I love trilogie, because characters are usually threaded through all three books, so if I fell in love with character in the first book I can usually find them lurking in the next two books.

I too love the cover of your new book and would love to have my name thrown in to win a copy.
Thank you for the chance.

Smiles & Blessings,
Cindy W.

The Artist Librarian said...

1 - I especially noticed the trilogy thing in the romance genre. You make a good point about having a strong main character heading stand alone novels. Off the top of my head, I can't think of a Christian fiction series that features that ...

2 - I've heard of a couple of authors being "discovered" on the internet and getting a book deal because of it but they were non-fic, memoir, DIY or style/fashion books, not fiction. Is having a small or no social media a deal breaker for publishers? I just figured that the publisher would have their marketing/publicity department work on it and/or give the author a crash course in social media. =P


5 - It is weird that GR lets authors rate their own books. I personally don't really like it when authors 5 star their own book unless they write a bit about their inspiration or other behind the scenes to the writing process types of things in the review/comment section. As a reader, that extra bit of info makes it worth it. =)

Jill Weatherholt said...

Great to see you here, Jordyn! I couldn't agree with you more about your thoughts on social media. Working full-time outside the home limits my time, so I must keep my focus on the writing and stay off the internet. I'm so looking forward to reading your latest release...congratulations!

Jackie said...

Hi Jordyn,

Thanks for sharing your thoughts. Rating yourself on Goodreads? I agree. If you can't give yourself 5 stars, you should continue to edit or rewrite it.

Congratulations on your new book.

Jill, I agree. Staying off the internet increases my writing time.

Have a great day, everybody!

Tom Threadgill said...

Hi, Jordyn,

I wholeheartedly agree with #2. For a fiction author, I've yet to see a real study proving that the number of followers has any substantive effect on book sales. Thanks for sharing!

DebH said...

Hmmm, I'm not published, but I found myself nodding in agreement with all your points. I signed up with Goodreads, but found the site so confusing, I've never really been there since. From the stories told, it sort of sounds like a place for biblio-snobs to convene. Of course, I could be completely wrong since I don't visit, but still...

I'm a person who has a problem with purchasing eBooks higher the six or seven dollars, mostly because of budgetary reasons. There are soooooo many great authors (mostly introduced to me here at Seekerville) that I want to read. I cannot get all the books (thank God for Seekerville give aways...). I usually start with the lesser priced ones so I can get as many as possible. I moan every time I have to put a higher priced book on my wish list (so I don't forget it) to save up to buy later. :(

Great post! And a really cool cover. Name in draw please.

Jill Kemerer said...

Great post, Jordyn!! I love your cover!

Sally Shupe said...

Hi, Jordyn!! It's great to see you here! I'm not published, but enjoyed reading your post. Amazon reviews are the thing that gets me. Like the example above, a one star review because I bought the book by mistake. Or they found out it was a Christian book after purchase so give it a one star review. I look forward to reading what other authors think! Please enter my name in the drawing for a copy of your book!

Kav said...

Off topic -- but speaking of one star reviews. I read one along the lines of 'I don't know why I picked this book. It's romance and I hate romance so I hated this book.' Gah! Why leave a review then since you are judging the whole genre, not one title. LOl

Okay -- so I found your list interesting. About series -- I am with Trixi, not a fan of cliff hanger endings but I do love a series that has overlapping characters. Lots of contemporary romance and romantic suspense authors are doing that right now and exceeding that magic three number. Like Dani Pettrey, Denise Hunter, Susan May Warren, Dee Henderson....I know there are more. And I prefer series books to be released closer together. Shelley Shepard Gray is good at doing that.

Oh -- and ebook pricing --- ack -- I get nervous about that because I hate the way readers have created a false sense of value when it comes to book prices. Publishers can't keep up with indie published costs -- their overhead is too high. Just because it is cheaper doesn't mean it's a better story, but it's almost like content comes second to cost when it comes to readers purchases. And really, how many people do you know who have dozens of unread books stored on their kindles because the price was right? They could spend the same amount of money buying higher priced books that they will actually read. Does that make sense?

No need to enter me in the draw -- I have read Fractured Memory -- loved it!

Myra Johnson said...

Welcome back, JORDYN! I agree with so much of what you said in this post. I wish a few publishers would take notice--especially the part about developing good writers they've invested in instead of dumping them if their sales are too low.

I wonder if the problem with Goodreads is that the system can't tell if you're rating your own book. I admit to given some of my books 5 stars before, just because I could. And always felt a little guilty about it. :-/

Laura Conner Kestner said...

Thanks, JORDYN, for such a great post! As someone seeking publication I found this very interesting and helpful. And I love your cover! Back in a bit to read the comments - learn a lot from those, too :-) Seekerville rocks!!

Tina Radcliffe said...

Good morning to all you Villagers and a special welcome to our new male in the group, Tom!!

Passing the coffee cart!

Vince said...

Hi Jordyn:

"What gets rewarded gets done."


From a marketing POV -- trilogies work. When trilogies stop working, publishers will drop them. The measure of success should not be third book sales compared to first books sales. The true measure is the combined sales of all three books. Also, one cannot assume that the first book sales of a trilogy are what the first book would have sold as a stand alone novel.

How many book one's sell because they are part of a trilogy that would not have sold if they were a stand alone novel?

I favor trilogies because they offer the promise that if I loved book one, I know there are two more like it. With a stand alone novel, after I've read a book I really loved, that's it. I must once again venture out into the wilderness to seek another great reading experience. (Or I could write the author and beg for a sequel -- as I have done in the past!)

In a trilogy each book can act to sell each of the other books. Of course, this will help book one the most as it has been around the longest and people tend to read book ones first as a matter of habit. Even some readers, intrigued enough to buy book three first, might go on to decide to buy and read book one first. (I've done this.) While not all book ones will go on to sell a book three, a number of book threes, that were read first, will sell a number of book ones.

While there are not too many Blockbuster movie sequels that sell more than the original hit, they don't have to. If a typical movie makes $5,000,000 and an original Blockbuster makes $1,000,000,000, then investors will be happy with Blockbuster II if it only makes half that billion dollars. Even a Blockbuster III is welcome coming in at $250,000,000.

Trilogies also help the procurement staff. If editors get a trilogy right, then they usually get three winning books with a one book acquisition risk. If editors, on the other hard, get a stand alone novel right and it is a big seller, then that's all they have. The acquisition game begins again. Too many misses in this game can mean a loss of employment. And while a signle stand alone big seller is splendid, it's all too ture that some Leoncavallo's have only one Paglicacci in their pen.


All things being equal, I am much more likely to buy the first book in a trilogy than I am a stand alone novel by the same author. Actually, what I like even better is an open ended series like Debby Giusti's Fort Rickman series of CID mysteries. In a sense, a trilogy has the same drawbacks as a stand alone novel. It would be a shame, for example, if Julie Lessman's "Boston Series" had ended at book three!

Of course, it is essential to say in the advertising that each book can be read independently with full enjoyment without reading the others.

These are my thoughts as a marketing person and reader and not as an author.

Please enter me in the drawing for "Fractured Memory". I just wish it was part of a trilogy. ("False Memory" & "Faded Memory") A reader can dream, right? : )

Vince

Tina Radcliffe said...

You know, Jordyn, the idea of a character that weaves through all the books is interesting. ALA Jack Reacher.

We recently had Janice Cantore in Seekerville and she has the same hero and heroine in three books. Of course, so does Terri Blackstock in her current series.

But could a romance have a long term female protagonist like Kay Scarpetta? Probably not, because we lose the HEA. The longest we can sustain that is three books, and really that's a long time.

So I don't see that happening in romance even romantic suspense.

And even as I say that I am thinking of some exceptions here -Nora Roberts JD Robb series. She does it by marrying them and the books continue.

The same with Bishop's Special Crimes Unit by Kay Hooper.

Interesting line of thought. I'd be interested to hear Cate Nolan's thoughts on this.

Bettie said...

Hi Jordyn. I enjoyed your comments today. I would love to win your new book. It's great that you can combine your medical training with your writing.

To anyone who has a thought: When writing the thoughts of the POV character is it ok to have them pose a series of questions? I got a critique that questioned my questioning. Thanks for your input.

Tina Radcliffe said...

"I get nervous about that because I hate the way readers have created a false sense of value when it comes to book prices. Publishers can't keep up with indie published costs -- their overhead is too high."

Not only a false sense of value, but books are being devalued. A 12 author boxed set of novellas at .99 is hard to beat. But does that make it valuable or devalued?

But it a buyer's market right now.

Sandra Leesmith said...

Hi Jordyn and welcome to Seekerville. Interesting topic. I think the changes being made by Amazon, on demand printing and ebooks has changed the traditional market to the better. I always thought their paradigm of printing 100,000 books and sending them out and then the author has to wait a year for sales to report in seemed like a wasteful way to do business. And frustrating for the author.

And I so agree that deciding upon a first time author due to sales record is not fair. It takes time to build a readership and develop an author. Harlequin has proven this over and over again.

Thanks for your input and observations. Have fun in Seekerville today.

TexasTeacherAnne said...

Hi Jordyn,

Although I don't post much, I am thankful to everyone for being able to maintain their social media sites. Reading them brings so much motivation.

Social media and I have an on-again, off-again relationship. Maybe I have commitment issues, but I just can't sustain any social media accounts. I've started and canceled so may accounts, it's ridiculous. It's not even funny. Whenever I trying to add content to my social media account, I always feel like I'm talking to myself. It drives me mental. It's disheartening because editors and publishers value it and I'm so off the ball. I'm a lost cause.

However, I admire how others can maintain theirs.

PS If I sound like I'm standing on the edge, don't worry. I'm really just fine.

TexasTeacherAnne said...

Thank you, Bell Calhoune! I just learned that I won your book, A Match Made in Alaska. I remember thinking when I read your post last week how strikingly beautiful your book cover was. You are one talented lady to inspire such a beautiful cover. I'm drawn to Alaska settings. I look forward to reading your book. Thank you again.

:-) I never think about winning the books, so I don't even look during the WE editions. I just enjoy the links and comment section. How surprised and pleased am I? A lot!

Tina Radcliffe said...



I hear you, Anne. Authors truly have a love-hate relationship as well. Most of us, like you, are introverts by nature. So not only do we have to get out of the cave (which requires personal hygiene) but we have to SELL ourselves.

I can't think of any two things less appealing in life. Says the person who hides behind the door because I can't say no to door-to-door sales people. HA!!

Tina Radcliffe said...

And normally we don't track you down when you win a prize. Only when we have a guest.

TexasTeacherAnne said...

Jordyn, I posted earlier, but I forgot to add the most important thing I wanted to say to you...

Congratulations!!!! on your book. Way to go, writer you.

TexasTeacherAnne said...

Tina, LOL.

You are an amazingly good business woman by how you keep everything inline and organized. I admire you.

Wilani Wahl said...

I have been looking for your book at Walmart, but for some reason none of the LIS books for July have been put on the shelves. I usually purchase these. Perhaps I'll win a copy here.

I have a problem with e books costing more than 3.99 and usually don't buy them if they are. I don't understand why the books are priced so high.

I hope everyone had a great weekend and are having a great day. The Lord is good.

Cate Nolan said...

Hi Jordyn,I read this post just after it went up at midnight and decided I wanted to think before I commented. So much to think about.

But now Tina has called me out, so ...

Tina, the one that comes immediately to mind is the Nikki Boyd files series by Lisa Harris. Book #2 just released and I bought it but haven't read it yet, so I'm not sure how she handles the romance part.

I'll be back to chat more once I hit my word count. :)

Debby Giusti said...

Hi Jordyn,

Thanks for joining us in Seekerville! Always a joy to see you...in person or online!

Love that new cover! It's perfect...the fractured glass. Oh my goodness! I so want to read the story. Congrats on your success! Like you, I love writing for LIS and love, love, love my editor, Emily Rodmell. She's a blessing and a very savvy woman who understands story!

What would I change? I wish the author didn't have to be pulled so many directions with marketing. Seems there's always some new way to contact readers. I'm not a salesman. I do, however, love getting to know folks, whether they buy my book or not. For me Facebook is a way to share joys and sorrows. I can pray with folks and for their special needs, and know they'll support me if I have a need as well. I don't use FB to sell books per se, although I do mention my releases.

When I first published, I was a bit dismayed with all the marking expectations, not from my editor...maybe I placed the expectations on myself. Then, I realized I couldn't do it all and had to pick and choose what worked for me and fit into my writing schedule. But it's always a juggling act.

Great topic. Thank you for starting the discussion!

Cindy Thomson said...

Yes! If you hadn't said #3 and #4, I would have.

Julie Lessman said...

Hey, Jordyn, WELCOME BACK TO SEEKERVILLE, my friend -- so good to see you again!

The emphasis on trilogies was the first thing I noticed when I got published, but I actually liked it because I wrote seven books about the same family, so I was grateful to sell three of them at a time. But you're ABSOLUTELY right about the sales dropping with each book in a trilogy, which I personally do not understand. That was the reason my publisher wanted a totally different look for my second trilogy, which was still about my Irish-Catholic family, but they wanted to "sell it" as a brand-new series.

But I think today's tough market has changed that somewhat where publishers are more willing to do a stand-alone contract, or at least, that's my experience.

Your Point #3 was: Author development. Don’t drop an author you like due to poor sales after one book or a trilogy. Work with them to develop a new idea both of you like. I akin this to orienting a new nurse to the ER. It takes a lot of time and money to get someone “up to snuff”.

I agree, but then again in this market, I can certainly understand why publishers get goosey after one book or trilogy that doesn't do well. I have to brag about Revell in this regard because they had an author whose trilogy with them did not do well AT ALL, but they so liked the author and believed in her, that they asked her if she had any other manuscripts floating around. It turns out she did -- an Amish or Mennonite one (can't remember which) -- so they published it and BOOM!! She shot up the bestseller list, then a few years later, when the author's name was built with a good following, they republished the orginal series she did for them, and it's done very well. So KUDOS for Revell!!

And, actually, KUDOS for the my new publisher (and Ruthy's and Mary's!) -- Gilead -- for taking that same tact. They are an "author friendly" publisher who wants to take good authors and build their following, so God bless them and give them success.

HUGS,
Julie

Connie Queen said...

Good morning Jordyn!

And welcome back to Seekerville.

Mark me down for loving your cover. I'd buy it for the cover alone.
I'm not published but all your comments make perfect sense. I have facebook friends that are authors. I don't buy their books, though, unless I enjoy their writing. :)But I don't think it hurts to be reminded when they have a book coming out because I might just change my mind.

Please enter my name in the hat. I'd love to win your book.

Edwina said...

I totally agree with #4! Social media is a huge distraction and I don't think the numbers are accurate at all. For example, I have almost 1500 followers on my blog, but I can assure you, not all 1500 that are followers actually read my blog. ;)

Redwood's Medical Edge said...

Good Morning Seekerville! Wow!! You guys are EARLY risers. I'm so impressed! Late nights in the ER make me a mid-morning girl but I'm so pumped to dig into these issues (she says as she chugs some caffeine to wake up!).

Redwood's Medical Edge said...

Walt-- I know, right? Still can't figure out why Goodreads lets you do this. Perhaps we'll never know.

Redwood's Medical Edge said...

Hi Trixi!

Thanks so much for your comments and your reader insight is so valuable. I read book #3 of a very popular series and was completely lost in the family details. I felt that frustration, too. It will be interesting to see if this trend ever changes.

Regarding social media, Trixi, I'm curious to know as a reader how important author interaction is for you on social media? Do you want to see something everyday? Do you want to personally interact with the author? Or are general updates fine?

And yes, being a pediatric ER nurse definitely provides fodder for my books. No doubt about it.

Redwood's Medical Edge said...

Hi Tina,

Thanks so much for having me back. I always love being here. Your readers totally rock!!

That's so INTERESTING about RWA-- meaning presumptuous that an author would assume a publisher wanted a trilogy?

Yes, Amazon ratings could be a whole post in itself. It surprised me how some think an author has control over all things Amazon. I had a reader write me asking me when Amazon would ship the book-- yea, can't help you there.

Vince said...

Hi Jordyn:

True Story:

One year the American League home run champion asked the General Manager for a big raise in pay after the season.

"Where did we finish?" the GM asked.

"Last. But's that was not my fault."

"Well, Hank, I think we can do that well without you. There will be no raise."


The above story tells how I feel about social media from a marketing POV. Of course, a lot depends on how the author is finishing in sales. The big question is always "how many books would the author sell to her social media followers that would not have been sold to them anyway without social media? I think for many authors it is precious few.

I feel the best marketing tool is having an addictive voice and writing lots of books. Free samples make the best advertising -- if they are great. An author's backlist is the next best thing to free samples. Each book can act to sell every other book. Each new release generates free media exposure. The more books the author has to immediately market, the more powerful each new release becomes. New releases, like Grand Openings in retail marketing, are the most powerful events that can be run.

I think an author's highest and best marketing use is writing more books and having those books promoted in the most time/cost effective ways.

I also see social media as a great motivational sinkhole which pulls an author away from the sometimes very difficult job of creative writing and editing -- especially when things are not going well. It's like reading a new diet book when you want to ease your conscience without giving up your soothing overeating. (Yes, I am projecting here.)

My marketing advice: write more books and spend more time making each book -- even each page -- a more rewarding reading experience.

BTW: Thanks for one of the most thought-provoking posts in a long time.

Vince

Redwood's Medical Edge said...

Hi Mary Jane!

Please don't delete for typos! Now I'm paranoid about you reading my posts because I'm sure there will be some :).

Yes, e-book prices. So much to say about this. It really does boil down to sales. If an author doesn't sell well then it will be more of a challenge for them to pick up another book contract. I totally get a publisher wanting to recoup their costs but a new author will have a better chance of picking up new readers with lower e-book prices. And I'm just not one to buy into that producing the e-book is so utterly expensive that they have to keep the price of it high. Perhaps I'm wrong.

The Goodreads allowing the author to rate themselves is just strange to me. I think it's fine to allow the author to have a space to say a little something about the book but take the option to rate off. It reminds me a little bit of when we see the news air an election candidate voting. They always ask "Who'd you vote for???" Do we really think Trump will say, "Hillary, of course."

I mean, really . . .

Goodreads at rating yourself.

Redwood's Medical Edge said...

Hi Cindy,

So glad you love the cover of Fractured Memory. Hope you get an opportunity to read it.

It's good to hear that some readers do love trilogies. Publishers must see a benefit in doing them otherwise they wouldn't KEEP doing them. As an author, doing a trilogy can be nice because at least you know you're contracted for three books (though I have seen some authors dropped mid contract due to poor sales of the first and/or second novel. If there is no third novel or the third novel is just an e-book-- this is likely the reason), but on the sales side-- it can be disheartening to see your numbers go down with each title.

Vince said...

Hi Jordyn:


"If you could make a frog a somewhat better frog or take another chance on getting a Prince -- which would you do?"


While Max Perkins, the "Editor of Genius," could take the time and expend the effort to develop Hemingway, Fitzgerald, and Thomas Wolfe, into literary stars, times have changed.

I once read that for every traditional new author debut novel released there were 300 manuscripts competing for the spot! In addition, first books tend to be the best books authors publish for a long time afterwards. They had to be in order to win the battle among unpublished authors.

Which is more attractive from an editor's POV: a second book by an author who did not sell well for some reason, or the 'hope eternal' that a shiny new author will become the house's next princess?

Back in the early days of the dime novel, there were so few female romance writers that men, against their will, were taken off writing mysteries and westerns to pen romances. Any woman who could write a fair romance was treasured and coached. Of course, it did not take long for women to drive almost every man out of the romance writing business. One woman made so much money writing dime romances that she built a mansion among the richest families in New York City.

I once talked to a many published author who responded, when I asked her about the help her editor gave her,"What are you talking about? My editor almost never helps me at all. Every editor's workload is killing them."

As long as there are so many aspiring authors, I see little chance for editors expending their over-worked resources to bring along a writer in need of extra development. Thankfully, the Indie market is the great salvation for authors in need of improvement.

Vince

Sandy Smith said...

Welcome, Jordyn. I really enjoyed your post. I bookmarked your medical blog and signed up for your newsletter. The book I'm writing needs a lot of pediatric medical knowledge, so it might come in handy!

I agree with so many of your points. I do enjoy trilogies, but I agree with Trixi that it is hard to keep up with the books when there is a long time between them and then you forget what happened. I had that problem with Jan Karon's Mitford books (which have a lot more than 3) and they had such a long time between books. What is fun is to discover a series after they have all been written so you can just read one after the other. That might be a good marketing ploy for selling a series that has been put for a while.

I also don't understand the one-star reviews because somebody didn't know what type of book it was and they don't like that type, whether it is Christian, romance, or whatever. I don't think they understand that the book is supposed to be reviewed based on the writing of the book. That would only be appropriate if a book was marketed as one type but was really another.

Redwood's Medical Edge said...

The Artist Librarian,

1. Thank you! I can't think of a Christian series either that has a strong lead through several books. This is kind of my argument-- to at least try something that does well in mainstream fiction. A lot of Christian readers read mainstream novels. I definitely do in the suspense genre.

2. When an author does a book proposal they have to include a section on marketing which is what the author will do on the book's behalf to market it. Part of this is including social media following numbers. The bigger the numbers the better. I asked a well-known Christian fiction author what he thought "good" social media numbers were. The only figure I remember him saying (because frankly after he said it I think I blacked out) was 10,000 was good on all media fronts. Ten thousand Twitter followers, ten thousand newsletter subscribers, etc. And I've personally heard editors say that social media numbers can be the tipping point (good or bad) to sign an author. The crux can be when you're new-- it's hard to get followers. And then when you're "known"-- you really should be writing a lot and social media can be hard to maintain. It's hard to strike a balance between what we think readers want and what they need. It really is on the author to learn all things social media.

Redwood's Medical Edge said...

Hi Jill,

Yes, I am in the same boat as you! Trying to do two careers well is such a challenge and I can easily waste so much time on social media when I should be writing!

Redwood's Medical Edge said...

Hi Jackie,

Thanks so much for your comment.

Redwood's Medical Edge said...

Hi Tom,

Thanks so much for dropping in and leaving your thoughts!

Sandy Smith said...

I had wanted to add to my other comment, but Blogger was doing weird things, so will just add another comment. I wanted to reply about the cost of e-books. I originally got a kindle so I could read some books written by an author friend of mine that could only be read on kindle. But I will rarely pay more than $4.99 for an e-book. The exception is when I need to buy one that my book group is reading and it isn't available at the library. Recently, I paid $9.99 for one for my group. It is the only book by the author (self-published) and was so horribly written I could hardly get through it. It was clear this author had not studied craft at all. We chose the book because someone in my book group had heard the author discussing the book on a radio program. The story line was good and it would have been great if the author could actually write. Definitely not worth the money. But I know from our Seekerville authors that one-star reviews are painful so I left well enough alone and did not bother to write a review at all.

Redwood's Medical Edge said...

Hi Deb,

Yes, I totally get budget restrictions on book buying. I do somewhat think an author needs to also earn higher book prices. If you're Stephen King then you should get $12-14 dollars for an e-book because you've proven you can sell those copies by writing good material.

An author starting out just needs people to take a risk on reading them because they're an unknown quantity and high e-book prices is prohibitive.

Redwood's Medical Edge said...

Thanks, Jill!

Redwood's Medical Edge said...

Hi Sally,

Frankly, Amazon should do a better job of weeding out reviews that aren't really about the book at all-- and particularly if they state they haven't even read the book-- like not even one page.

Redwood's Medical Edge said...

Hi Kav!

Thanks so much for your comment and for reading (and reviewing!!-- so appreciated) Fractured Memory. So glad you loved the story.

I think you're right on your comments about e-book pricing and content coming second to readers purchases-- like if the price is right I'll buy it-- but publishers need to be competitive with the indie market, too, in a sense-- otherwise many authors will just go indie (as many have already.)

Personally, I think we need to move swiftly away from giving away book content for free. If indies are $0.99-$4.99 I think publishers should not be higher than $5.99 (for debut or newer authors who are still getting a readership). Yes, publishers need to get a return on their investment but if the e-book price is so prohibitive that no one is buying it-- seems like they're not recouping their costs that way either.

Redwood's Medical Edge said...

Hi Myra,

Thanks so much for stopping by!

Redwood's Medical Edge said...

Hi Laura,

So glad you love the cover! I do, too. I actually truly love ALL my covers.

Redwood's Medical Edge said...

Tina,

Any tea on your coffee cart? Like chai-- I love chai!

Redwood's Medical Edge said...

Hi Vince!

I found your comments really interesting and haven't really heard the prospective that trilogy sales should be considered as a whole. When an author lists past sales in their book proposal-- they have to list each book individually-- not the series as a whole. So, it would seem to me, that publishers do look at the sale of each individual novel and how the series progressed and not whole series sales. (That's a tongue twister-- glad I was typing that!)

Your thoughts are actually very informative from a marketing stand point and I really loved your perspective. You also seem to advocate a little of what I want-- a character driven series over multiple books that is open ended.

Why haven't we tried that in Christian Publishing yet? Christy Barritt comes to mind with her Squeaky Clean series but does she use the same character in each book? I've not read them but the character on the covers does look the same. She seems to be doing well with the series.

Redwood's Medical Edge said...

And Vince-- you can always check out Proof, Poison, and Peril! (My medical thriller trilogy ;).

But, Fractured Memory will be all unto its own. Actually, I'd love to do a series that just has Brett and Nathan doing weird detective cases because I LOVE the two of them together. The Odd Couple of police work.

Redwood's Medical Edge said...

Tina,

That is a good point you make about romance and romantic suspense. I feel like Patricia Cornwell does this a little with Kay Scarpetta-- though of course this is suspense driven, Kay does come in an out of several different relationships.

I actually just thought of Steven James Patrick Bower Series that carried through more than three books. Can anyone else think of another series?

Redwood's Medical Edge said...

Hi Bettie,

Thanks for your comments. Yes, nursing helps me come up with plots and writing is an emotional release for everything that happens in nursing!

Regarding POV, I think use of questions can deepen point of view but it shouldn't be a paragraph of questions. Like two or three together is what I'll usually do maybe with some internal statements peppered in.

Redwood's Medical Edge said...

Tina,

I totally agree with you-- books are WAY undervalued. But it's also a marketing angle when these cheaply priced boxed sets hit the bestseller lists. Now those authors can say they're bestselling authors!

I've not personally read through any but I do wonder about the quality of the content.

Redwood's Medical Edge said...

Hi Sandra,

Thanks for stopping by.

The other thing that kills author sales is stores being allowed to return books that weren't bought. I didn't really get into this in my post because that might be a hot button issue all unto itself.

You might have a decent royalty report and you're thinking-- yes! Next royalty report-- not so much because a lot of product was returned. It's so depressing!

Personally, I'd think changing this policy could help. Print runs would be smaller but maybe bookstores would also only order what they could sell.

There's the other side, too that maybe then a bookstore wouldn't take a chance on carrying a new author because they couldn't return books they couldn't sell. But frankly, shelf space for Christian fiction is pretty dismal anyway. :(

Tina Radcliffe said...

HA! I drink dirty chai for breakfast each morning. Have you tried that yet? Fabulous. If you have not, I recommend you try it at least once.

Redwood's Medical Edge said...

Texas Teacher Anne,

I LOVE that-- I have a social media commitment problem. That made me laugh.

I know few authors who LOVE social media. We love connecting with readers but don't like the time commitment. I look to the bestselling authors and most really aren't on social media a lot.

I think it becomes an inverse relationship in a sense. In the beginning, you have to work really hard at it. If you do hit a certain level-- I don't think it requires as much (which might disappoint readers) because you have more books out that readers can go to.

Personally, I want to back away from social media and go more toward newsletter content. The thing that worries me about social media is someone else having control over your account. These days-- it would be easy to lose all those social media numbers just because you said something someone didn't like. And we all do that at times.

Redwood's Medical Edge said...

Hi Wilani,

Keep looking at Wal-mart!

Where do you live? I haven't seen July books in Wal-mart yet either. I'm in Colorado. I keep looking, too. Hopefully it will be soon.

Redwood's Medical Edge said...

Hi Debby!!

Yes, I have honestly LOVED working with Emily. She's a great editor.

I agree with you on the marketing front-- you can't do everything.

Personally, what drives the marketing angle for me is knowing I'm going to have to report sales numbers on future book proposals and I don't want them to be bad! I want publishers to think they're awesome so they'll sign me again.

But I think what is more important than marketing is continuing to write great stories and improving your writing craft. Even if you have to prove yourself on the indie front before a traditional publisher will take a risk.

Redwood's Medical Edge said...

Cindy,

Great minds think alike ;).

Redwood's Medical Edge said...

Hi Julie,

Aww-- thanks so much for the warm welcome! I always love visiting Seekerville. It's like having tea, and donuts, and lots of chocolate with all my favorite people talking about what we all love-- writing and books!

Good points and I'm glad to hear Revell and Gilead are more into author development. It will be interesting to see how Gilead does. Keeping my fingers crossed they do awesome!! I'm hoping we've "seen the bottom" and more fiction lines will start to be published again.

Redwood's Medical Edge said...

Hi Connie!

Thanks for you comments. I love the cover, too!

Redwood's Medical Edge said...

Edwina,

Exactly. To be honest, all social media are probably falsely inflated because we're all just following one another to get to those high numbers!

Redwood's Medical Edge said...

Vince:

"I feel the best marketing tool is having an addictive voice and writing lots of books. Free samples make the best advertising -- if they are great. An author's backlist is the next best thing to free samples. Each book can act to sell every other book. Each new release generates free media exposure. The more books the author has to immediately market, the more powerful each new release becomes. New releases, like Grand Openings in retail marketing, are the most powerful events that can be run."

I TOTALLY agree with this 100%!! You are exactly right.

I'm glad you enjoyed the post!

Redwood's Medical Edge said...

Vince:

"First books tend to be the best books authors publish for a long time afterwards."

I can provide insight into this. Not only have those authors had to hone that novel to break through-- they've also likely been working on that manuscript for years. Then, if you break in and get a trilogy, you're now all of a sudden writing under a deadline-- which is totally different. And you now have all these other responsibilities (like blogging, marketing, developing another proposal.) Writing under deadline shows who has a handle on the writing craft and who doesn't. And good writers know they ALWAYS need to be learning more about writing-- always-- that just because you have one book out doesn't mean you've mastered your craft.

Publishing always seems to want bright and shiny-- I don't know if it's a good long term investment strategy.

If you look at any employee (and a writer for a publisher could be considered that)-- is it always good to be starting over? In nursing, it's not. Sometimes it is better to take the time (even when there is little time available) to improve a known quantity.

Redwood's Medical Edge said...

Hi Sandy!

Thank you! Just FYI-- my blog will be transitioning soon over to Wordpress so keep an eye out for that change (which is really why there haven't been posts lately). I'm glad you signed up for the newsletter because I'll announce there when the change has happened.

Let's just say I have you totally covered on the pediatric medical front. I'd be happy to help!

That is another issues with trilogies-- the time between books-- which can be anywhere from 6-12 months. I did nine months between the Bloodline Trilogy-- and that was pretty hard. Now might be different since I've got a better process in place for writing books.

I've heard from more than one reader that they won't read a trilogy until all the books are out. You're not alone! I've almost gotten that way with new television series. I'll wait to be sure there is a season two. I hate starting a series and loving it and then it's cancelled after five or six episodes. That kills me!

Redwood's Medical Edge said...

Tina,

I have tried dirty chai. My issue is I can't do a lot of caffeine. Sadly, had to give it up for headaches. I still cry I can't have Coke (okay, I still do, but only rarely).

Missy Tippens said...

Jordyn, welcome back! I think you made some great points. I think publishing is always growing and changing and we all need to change as we go along the journey.

Redwood's Medical Edge said...

Missy,

So true! Flexibility is key.

Debby Giusti said...

You mentioned newsletters...

I need one! NOW!!!

You're so right! They're a great marketing tool. So what's stopping me?

Ah, time probably. I've spent the last two hours getting mailings ready. Now heading to the PO. And I should be writing.

Will stop back later. Shall I bring cookies?

Hugs!

Redwood's Medical Edge said...

Debby,

This is one of my goals moving forward. To do a newsletter. Maybe we need to talk about a suspense newsletter with multiple authors . . . . Hmm . . . hmm . . ..hmmm. Like really.

Time is the issue!

Cookies. Yes!! Really, I'll take any kind of cookie ;).

Missy Tippens said...

TeacherAnne, I have some of that same feeling about my social media accounts. I don't post nearly as often as I should and feel as if people have probably given up on me. I probably just need to be more organized and set a schedule to post.

Of course, now I can shout out on social media about the excitement of my son's wedding this past weekend! :) And I hope to be back more regularly on the blog once we catch up on life (after having a move and a wedding). :)

Tina Radcliffe said...

I am taking a newsletter class through ACFW on Wednesday and I have Vertical Response, Mail Chimp and Constant Contact courting me. Yet I have not made a commitment. I am so phobic about a newsletter. Three years ago I paid for a year's worth and never sent a one. It paralyzing.

Redwood's Medical Edge said...

Missy,

Congratulations on your son's wedding. How exciting!

Missy Tippens said...

Jordyn, when I first signed up with Goodreads I wanted to add my own books as "read." And somehow ended up rating them. Which I felt REALLY strange doing. I eventually went back and took them down. :)

Chill N said...

Jordyn, congratulations on all your books. I not only admire your talent but your perserverance :-)

In the comments, you mentioned backing away from social media and going with newsletters. With the exception of this blog, I don't read blogs by authors. I receive their newsletters to alert me to new books or share some an interest that has something to do with the book's subject. I appreciate that the authors respect my time, and I'd much rather they were writing another book than being 'social.'

I don't look at reviews at Amazon, Goodreads, etc. I'm never sure who really reviewed the book ... or even read the book :-)

Best wishes with going indie later this year!

Nancy C

Redwood's Medical Edge said...

Tina,

Take notes for me! Yes, another hurdle to try and get over. Something more an author needs to learn! (As if there wasn't enough!).

Redwood's Medical Edge said...

Hi Nancy,

Very interesting what you say about newsletters and author blogs. Many authors I know who do blog post significantly less. I'm only doing once/wk.

I like that you mention respecting one's time. Many who teach on social media/marketing say there should never be a day when you're not posting. And many say you should post several times a day.

I think this just becomes noise. People who e-mail me every day-- I just begin to delete.

The author newsletter that comes once a month-- I take time to read.

Kathryn Barker said...

Jordyn, thanks for this fascinating post. Since I'm not a published author I've not had any experience with publishers and can't evaluate whether social media is effective or not but it is certainly something agents apparently are concerned with. I am NOT a fan of Goodreads and never go there anymore. I like your idea about working with an author. Perhaps, in this fast-paced disposable culture, no one feels compelled to help a writer improve or find solutions to better sales?

Congratulations on your books...and this latest one looks intriguing...the cover is fabulous!!

Kathryn Barker said...

Tina...never heard of a "dirty Chai"....gonna try one!!

Richard Mabry said...

Jordyn, You're not alone in some of your wishes. A corollary to the "trilogy" thing is that some publishers want a series, some want freestanding books, and it's hard sometimes to know before submission which will go over better. And, of course, what really matters is what the readers want.
Thanks for representing medical suspense so well.

Tina Radcliffe said...

I live for dirty chai in the morning, Kathryn. It has the kick of coffee with the smoothness of chai.

" It's an espresso drink made of a shot of espresso mixed into a 'chai tea' (or masala chai). It's usually made with a chai concentrate, steamed milk and a single shot of espresso. It's a mid-point between a regular latte and a chai tea latte."

Myra Johnson said...

DEBBY, you're so right--all this "extra" stuff that goes along with the writing biz takes TIME.

Mary Lawson said...

I like series if they don't have months in between them. I also have a problem with self rating. I like to know how the author feels about the story, but no star ratings.

Jeanne T said...

I was SO sure I'd left a comment earlier, but now I don't see it. Sigh. I enjoyed your post, Jordyn. You bring up a lot of great points. One thing I hear is a desire for publishing houses to think more long-term with their authors. It's got to be such a tricky balance knowing they have to make money to stay afloat, but that sometimes a newer author won't necessarily earn out on their first (or even second) contract. Working with an author, being intentional in how they do this would be so nice.

As for authors leaving starred ratings on their own books, that feels slightly inauthentic to me. Granted I'm unpublished, so I share my opinion with what' probably a not-so-knowledgeable background.

Great post, Jordyn. You got me thinking!

Redwood's Medical Edge said...

Hi Kathryn!

I've not personally had too much trouble on Goodreads. I will say that your new reviews are hard to find and I think they should figure out a way you could see them more easily.

Redwood's Medical Edge said...

Hi Richard!

Thanks so much for stopping by and congrats on your Carol nomination. Of course, I know who I'm rooting for!!

Redwood's Medical Edge said...

Hi Jeanne!

Thanks so much for stopping by. I guess time will tell as far as the direction publishing will take, but good authors who are willing to put the time and effort into mastering their craft will always find a way to get their stories out there-- traditional, indie or some other platform that remains to be seen.

Cara Lynn James said...

Jordyn, your observations are right on the mark. I agree with everything you said. There are ways to improve the process of publishing and I'd like to see them happen.

Bettie said...

Thank you! That helps.

Tina Radcliffe said...

So Jordyn, we always like to ask if our guests are pantsers or plotters by nature. And are you a desk writer or a laptop/tablet wanderer?

Jaime Wright said...

YES! To all you said!!
As a published novella author, it's very hard to be told how great your stories are, but you need more of a platform. It's really difficult to build a screaming awesome platform when you don't have a book to gain recognition with. So even if you're a rabid social media freak like myself, it can still fall far short. I'd love to see publishers take more of risk on writers who have quality, well-written stories in marketable genres, and help them have the opportunity to build that platform. Especially, if they are proving to exhaust all efforts to do so on their own. This is why I'm so impressed with Gilead Publishing and some of these favorite authors I've had on my reading list coming back into the line up with new stories!! I MISSED THEM!!!

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Jordyn, today was a work day and I couldn't get over here earlier, but I'm so glad you were here today! Thank you!!!

Jaime, what a marvelous and super smart thing to say.... I love that Gilead is spreading the love, and they are really great to work with... Kudos to them for jumping in where angels fear to tread!

Tanya Agler said...

Jordyn, thank you for your post. Congratulations on your perseverance in seeing your goal through. As I'm not published, it is difficult as I love characters and want to write stand alone books about them in a series, but at the same time if book one isn't published, then I have had some people tell me that book two might be harder to sell. So for me, it's hard because I want to write about the characters I love the most and who want their stories told, but at the same time, when you don't have a book contract, it's easy to want to create a new set of characters each time. Nice to hear both perspectives.

Redwood's Medical Edge said...

Cara,

Thanks so much for stopping by and leaving a comment!

Redwood's Medical Edge said...

Tina,

"Are you a pantsers or plotters by nature. And are you a desk writer or a laptop/tablet wanderer?"

Though I loathe to say this I have found the value of writing a good plot synopsis and then a broad chapter list from that plot synopsis. But I do allow myself leeway to let the story go as it will with a road map so I can find my way back! I am a desk writer-- totally.

What about you?

Redwood's Medical Edge said...

Hi Jaime!

That's an interesting perspective on being good at social media but not having a book to gain recognition. Yes, I'm also very glad to see the authors that Gilead has brought on board. I think it needs to progress into the middle from publishers who did everything to publishers leaving a lot to the author. This is one way a publisher can help a lot is with social media presence and teaching authors how to use it effectively.

Redwood's Medical Edge said...

Hi Ruth!

Thanks for stopping by-- especially after working all day! Now go get some rest. Nurse's orders ;).

Redwood's Medical Edge said...

Thank you, Tanya.

There is always the indie route for your conundrum and part of me believes that publishers will move toward having debut authors prove themselves in the indie field before taking them on. Knowing when you're ready to publish is a whole other animal but I think a good indicator is that you're placing in prestigious writing contests-- like Genesis-- and people "in the business" (like editors and agents) are telling you you're ready to pursue publication. The problem is writing an awesome first few chapters is much different than completing a novel. So make sure you're getting kudos for the whole book.

Redwood's Medical Edge said...

Which is why publishers likely will not take on a debut author until the novel is finished.

Redwood's Medical Edge said...

Seekerville-- it has been a TOTALLY AWESOME day with you!!! I so love being here. Thanks to Tina for being such an AWESOME hostess and to all the people who commented.

I loved seeing this issue through other people's eyes. Thanks for a lively discussion.

Most importantly-- keep on writing-- keep mastering your craft because awesome stories will always prevail!!

Barbara Scott said...

Jordyn, well said! These are all issues that have been discussed by every publisher and author for many years now. CBA struggles to walk a fine line between glorifying God and yet making a profit to stay in business so that we can be a voice in our complicated world. Thanks for your courage and forthrightness and for wading into the deep. God bless!

Tina Radcliffe said...

I have become a reluctant plotter as well. Sigh. Love those projects I do on the side that I don't plot.

And totally desk too.

I can edit on paper at a table however. I love editing.

Barbara Scott said...

Jordyn, well said! These are all issues that have been discussed by every publisher and author for many years now. CBA struggles to walk a fine line between glorifying God and yet making a profit to stay in business so that we can be a voice in our complicated world. Thanks for your courage and forthrightness and for wading into the deep. God bless!

Tina Radcliffe said...

Jordyn, you've been a terrific hostess. Thanks for being with us!! We wish you continued success and thank you for talking real.

Trixi said...

JORDYN.....it took me all day to get back to you on your questions! Sorry!

As for series, there are a few authors who've done a very good job on series. I can name Dani Pettrey for her Alaskan Courage (6 books I believe), but it's a family saga and I do so adore those. She kept the storylines fresh, only mentioning other family members in the other books as secondary characters, they never took over the current story. As Kav and I agree on this, we wished she would have resurrected a distant cousin or something to continue the series because we fell head over heels in love with the McKenna family!! :-) But she does have a completely new series she just started, the Chesapeake Valor series. I'm not sure how many books she plans on writing for this, but it tells the stories of 3 male best friends from college who each chose some kind of career in the police force (FBI, Crime Scene Annalist & police officer). I have a copy of her first one "Cold Shot" yet-to-be-read that I can't wait to delve into :-)
Terri Blackstock and Coleen Coble are two others who have series books, and for me, I never lose interest in them. They know how to keep a reader invested, engaged and interested, and the storylines fresh with just a hint of former characters. But like I said, I love series books. Keep them fresh, close the endings (no cliffhangers please) and carry over some of the characters (or not) but let them take backstage.

As for social media, here's my take on it. I do like to interact with an author and general updates are fine with me. I've also participated in author chats or FB parties where you can talk to them and other readers. Usually it's only an hour or two. If I really want to keep up with them more than that, I sign up to receive their newsletter or follow their blog via email. I have several I've signed up for & appreciate the heads up on new books, family life, or whatever they feel like sharing. Some newsletters come once a month some more often or not so often than that. And really, I don't mind! My opinion, I'd rather see them spending their valuable time writing than on too much time on social media. Some have busy family lives or outside jobs or whatnot, so trying to balance writing a book with all that plus online time is challenging enough I'd think! After all, when they write, they help feed my book appetite....so no procrastinating okay....;-) (Joking)!

I hope this all makes sense. I think sometimes we put too much emphasis on social media instead of doing the one thing that we've been called to do...well you guys rather....and that's to write. That should be your priority. Thanks again for the insightful post and the chance to give my reader opinion (not necessarily that of the staff & management, lol). Blessings! What a fun discussion...

Terri said...

Jordyn- I just wanted to stop by and congratulate you on your LIS! I'm looking forward to reading it.

Linda Tillis said...

I agree with many things you said. I believe $14.99 for an e-book is just too much, not matter who the author.

And I can't imagine leaving a rating for my own book.

You had some very good insight on developing an author, as opposed to just dropping one that may have one slow book.

Thanks for sharing.

Phyllis Wheeler said...

Interesting article, Jordyn, thank you!
Please enter me in your drawing for a print copy of "Fractured Memory". It looks like it'll be a great read!
May God bless you and all of Seekerville!

Vince said...

Hi Jordyn:

"When an author lists past sales in their book proposal-- they have to list each book individually-- not the series as a whole. So, it would seem to me, that publishers do look at the sale of each individual novel and how the series progressed and not whole series sales."

I have to agree. Publishers should look at everything. For example both authors are with Love Inspired Historical:

Example A
1st book: 20,000
2nd book: 25,000
3rd book: 30,000
Total sales 75,000.

Example B
1st book: 36,000
2nd book: 31,000
3rd book: 27,000
Total sales 94,000.

While author B has decreasing sales with each book and author A has increasing sales, bottom line would favor buying author B's manuscript. A smart manager would have a way to record how many of book ones of both authors sold after the book twos were released. Author A might being doing something exceptionally well to up the sales of her subsequent books that author B could emulate. If you are an excellent marketer, you want to measure everything you can and then adjust accordingly.

Vince

Vince said...

Hi Redwood's Medical Edge:

"Publishing always seems to want bright and shiny-- I don't know if it's a good long term investment strategy."

The public also likes the new bright and shiny. That's why there are so many fads. However, if a publisher believed they had a budding Nora Roberts, in serious need of writing discipline, I bet they would act like Max Perkins and bring that author along.

I think it is all part of "There are plenty of fish in the sea" mentality.

Vince