Posts Tagged ‘J.A. Konrath’


Self-publishing and ebooks

February 24, 2011

Going into the Austin SCBWI chapter’s annual conference this weekend — it was great, by the way — I was curious to find out how middle-grade novels are selling in ebooks, as that’s what I write. I’ve seen lots of articles in the Publishers Lunch enewsletter saying that ebook sales are rocketing in adult books and even taking off in young adult, but I suspected that middle-grade was behind. According to Egmont‘s Elizabeth Law, I was right. She said they’re not seeing noticeable ebook sales in middle grade.

Anathema book cover

Megg Jensen's self-published YA novel Anathema

Even though MG is slower to this technology, it’s great to see ebooks being embraced so quickly. As I wrote in January, sales of ereaders were stellar for the Christmas season, with many places selling out. Although I still love — LOVE — physical books, whether a book is printed on paper or eink, it’s still a story. And if this new technology is enticing more readers to stories, that can only be good.

The new technology also is changing the publishing landscape. With ebooks, it’s easier than ever — and less expensive — to self-publish books. Author J.A. Konrath has written about this extensively on his A Newbie’s Guide to Publishing blog. He had gone the traditional route before he started publishing his books on his own as ebooks, but he gives good arguments of why that doesn’t matter. YA author Amanda Hocking is an example, selling more than 185,000 ebook copies of her self-published novels.

Now, I’m not saying all writers should stop submitting to agents and editors of traditional publishing houses and go it alone. There are definite advantages to being signed by an agent and getting your work published by someone else. Let’s face it, most writers are not so great at the business end. And throwing an ebook on Amazon or Barnes & Noble or wherever doesn’t automatically mean it will sell; there’s marketing, publicity … oh, and the book should be good (editors are invaluable) or repeat sales won’t be much.

But the advent of ebooks has made it easier for writers to take the publishing of their work into their own hands, and blogs and social networking make it easier to build publicity.

YA author Megg Jensen is trying just that with her novel Anathema. And so far, it looks like she’s off to a great start. The book launched on Tuesday, and as of Wednesday, she had already sold 50 copies. She’s hosting a contest right now where people can guess how many books she will have sold by March 11, and the main prize? An ereader. Now that’s what I call promoting future business.

What do you think? Would you be willing to read a book if it’s self-published, either in print or as an ebook?

Write On!


Writing quotes

February 5, 2009

I love writing quotes (quotes about writing, not writing them myself), those pithy phrases that inspire us and make us smile and think. I read some fun ones from author J.A. Konrath on his A Newbie’s Guide to Publishing blog. He uploaded them on Jan. 24, but I’m a little behind on my blog reading. Click here for his full post — the quotes start about halfway down. Here are my favorites:

There’s a word for a writer who never gives up — published.

This one inspires me and makes me want to dig into my writing.

Praise is like candy. We love it, but it isn’t good for us. You can only improve by being told what’s wrong.

Very true. Thicken your skin, take your writing to a critique group and just listen. Don’t defend your work; just listen. Some of what you hear you won’t agree with, but take it all in and make changes according to what you feel is right.

Anyone looking for you can find you. Get them to find you when they’re looking for something else.

Maybe not necessarily for the not yet published, but for those of us in the market, great advice. Konrath offers advice on how on his blog too.

Write when you can. Finish what you start. Edit what you finish. Submit what you’ve edited. Repeat.

Sounds simple. The only thing I’d change is that, in our busy lifestyles, “write when you can” could mean that you haven’t typed a word in months. If writing is important to you, don’t let that happen. I’d change that beginning part to “Write as much as you can.”

We’re in the same boat. Start rowing.

If you’ve been to a writing critique group, conference, on an online chat board, or anywhere that other writers gather, you know how true this quote is. I’m involved in children’s writing groups, and I can tell you, it’s definitely true. Everyone is friendly and helpful. Everyone wants to help each other. At our critique group, writers come even if they have nothing new to get critiqued. They come just to offer support for other writers. I don’t know if it’s true for other genre groups, but I’d guess it is. Writing is solitary, but you’re not alone.

Check out all of Konrath’s quotes here.

What are your favorite writing quotes?

Write On!

P.S. If you haven’t yet, check out our Community Story — which we all can add to. Thanks to Jamie who added the story’s next sentence in the comments. Click here to see what he wrote and post what you think should come next.


It’s all about plot

December 13, 2008

Just a quick post tonight. In my check in, I did the revision for chapter 18 and started chapter 19. Tomorrow’s goal: finish chapter 19.

I’m still hoping to have this revision by the end of the year, but that deadline’s coming up fast, so my goals are going to have to start getting tougher next week.

Also, after I was having all those plot problems in my novel’s middle for the last month, I saw a post on author J.A. Konrath’s A Newbie’s Guide to Publishing blog that reminded me why the work was so important. Konrath lists four points to remember when dealing with plot, and one all encompassing point to remember when we’re telling stories: “Here’s a mess, clean it up.” I’d change that to “Make a mess, clean it up” as the duty for us writers. Check out the post. Good advice for all of us.

Write On!