Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Trending ... What Will You Be Reading This Year?

Since we are nearing the midyear, I thought it would be interesting to start researching reading trends. I happened on an article written at the first of the year, which offered up predictions for 2013 in two ways: what you will want to read and how you will read it.

Being an author, I find it curious how the subject matter of what people read changes from year to year, and predictions being only as accurate as the weather report. That's right. Go ahead and say it. Might as well flip a coin.

In any case, here's a summary of what Thomas Umstattd had to say at www.authormedia.com --

Ebook sales will level off somewhat in sales profits for publishers as well as a decrease from the previous year's numbers of books sold. That probably makes sense when you consider the mad rush for everyone to buy one of many new toys, aka ereaders, for Christmas and load them up with many shiny new titles that they are STILL trying to catch up on reading before buying any new ones. I know I have about fifty on my Kindle and not even close to half read. Not surprisingly, once again, somebody predicts that ebook prices will come down from those ridiculously high ones set at $10 and up. Yeah ... I'll believe that one when I see it. Of course, there are many great buys out there under five bucks, just not ones by the oh so very popular clique of authors.

The latest craze, Thomas predicts, will be audibles. I personally can't stand listening to books on audio. My mind wanders way too much. And I probably hear about thirty percent or less of what people say to me. Still, I can see how this prediction might pan out. Heck, there are online services -- some for free, like www.acx.com --that will take your self-pubbed book and turn it into audio. It's that easy.

Finally, to the heart of the matter, what will people want to read? Well, according to Thomas, there will be more heart-warming americana type settings and people in them with stories that will make you all warm and toasty inside. I like that idea. Bring 'em on! To the other extreme, young adult books will keep sinking into the darker side. How many millions has The Hunger Games made? Yep. I can see that prediction hitting home. Thomas also talks about Christian literature growing and how serial books will increase in popularity.

Does Mr. Thomas Umstattd have that special crystal ball to see exactly what happens in 2013? Well, we are already close to June and half way through the year. I see more and more series of books, more audible versions of books, B&H is publishing more and lots more of Christian titles, more agents are taking on clients who write in that genre, YA is doing its darker side thing, and so it goes. But like all predictions, Thomas' needs a bit of tweeking. Those hot and trendy authors who always rank in the top ten bestsellers list? You guys and gals still got to get those ebook prices down to reasonable!

My bottom line? Well, all I can say about predictions is that no matter what becomes popular or trendy, I will always love to cozy up with a spinetingling mystery. Take that, Thomas Umstattd!

Reading Trends for 2013  by Thomas Umstattd

Monday, May 27, 2013

Calling All Readers ... Anyone Looking for a Deal

So, let's make a sizzling summer deal! I am in need of book reviews for my latest mystery, Dying to Dream. If anyone is interested and willing to plop down $2.99 for the ebook, then after reading this wonderful tale, write a review to post on Amazon, I will reciprocate by gifting an ebook copy of one of my Lilly M. mysteries -- Whips, Cuffs, and Little Brown Boxes or Gangs, Illegals, and a Rose Tattoo to the first 10 people who post reviews and notify me. Your choice.

All interested parties, email me:  klong9 at neo.rr.com. I'm offering this wonderfully fantastic (okay, it's at least a cool deal) until the end of summer or when I reach 10 reviews. And no matter what, everyone enjoy reading!!! It's a great thing to do.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Cleared for Takeoff

Just heard from the publisher -- Mainly Murder Press -- and Dying to Dream is online now. Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Sony, Kobo, etc, e-book ($2.99) and paperback ($15.95) are available. ***Have to add ... right now Amazon is offering a preorder deal: $10.82, which remains at that price until June 1st. That's almost $5.00 off the original cost.

It's hard to believe that it all started last September when I signed my contract, more than eight months ago. I think the waiting periods got to me more than the busy ones. Fortunately, the experience remained void of "artistic" differences. The cover art is beautiful, like I never could have imagined -- especially since I'm not really talented at that kind of thing. All in all, I've grown to appreciate the whole process, going from creation to publication, after having ventured down the self-publishing road a time or two. Of course, the parts I enjoyed the most so far is seeing my cover and searching to find it on Amazon. But cliche as it sounds, I'm really looking forward to holding the paperback in my hands.

I have to thank a few people for giving me support and help along the way. LIke those who so kindly and generously agreed to read my story and write reviews ... Michael Murphy, Cherie Jung, and Sand Pilarski. And to my husband who showed patience (most of the time) while I'd spend hours churning out chapters. Can't forget the crew at MMP, especially Karen with her fantastic creative talent. I absolutely love the cover. All the elements, the symbolic representation, right down to the font used in part of the title, which I agree gives the word dream a truely dreamy feeling :-) And a future thanks to all those readers who may decide to read my work and maybe even write a review comment or two. I'm eternally grateful.

So, now what happens? Well, as they say, this is when the real work begins. Promotion. Book signings, virtual tours, peddling to book stores, more book signings, and on it goes until the next creative tidbit comes out! Bottom line, it's fun. I love writing. Otherwise, why would I put myself through such a challenging workout?

At least I've made that first marketing step ... a book signing at my local library in July. Hopefully, a lot more to follow :-) Until then ... enjoy reading!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013