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If You Liked It, Tell a Friend

I was reading some discussion of "the new problem" in publishing, which is lots of good books languishing because they're small press or self published and there is no marketing budget, no big banner ads or bookstore displays, no glossy endcaps in Target or Wal Mart. And yes, that's true. Those kinds of marketing are for bestsellers from big publishers. But that doesn't mean that small press books are doomed.

If you liked it, tell a friend. It's that simple. The most effective marketing isn't an online banner ad or a display. It's the recommendation of a friend.

True, Cythera doesn't have big budget marketing -- so I'm going to ask you instead. If you liked it, tell a friend. If you liked Cythera, if you liked The Emperor's Agent, if you like the Order of the Air -- then tell a friend. That's what makes it possible for me to keep publishing these books with small presses, the one on one recs that introduce new readers. I don't need Wal Mart if I have you.

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( 11 comments — Leave a comment )
gilraen2
Nov. 9th, 2013 02:50 pm (UTC)
I was disappointed in not the book but the format of the print copy. Because this book is significantly shorter than your others, printing it in trade format made it look like a magazine rather than a book. Mass market paper would have made it think enough to seem "real". Or perhaps I should have bought it in Kindle - I still may - but the print format along with the cover illo just makes it look unprofessional and doesn't appropriately complement the content.
dbalthasar
Nov. 9th, 2013 04:31 pm (UTC)
Hm! I can't say I agree about the cover art, but that's a matter of taste.

In terms of format, I think you're running into one of the basic economies of ebook-primary publishing: the companies to whom they outsource the printing of the hard copies don't make mass market available (and/or economical) at small print runs. It's the down side of what I think is a really positive development, which is the reappearance of a market for shorter novels and especially novellas - there are ideas that really suit that length, and suffer for being either compressed or expanded. Lethe Press has a whole new imprint, Brazen Head, just for novellas, and I think there are more.

And of course the choice of format(s) is up to the publisher, with all the constraints of their overall list and budget. But that's another story. :-)
jo_graham
Nov. 10th, 2013 02:35 pm (UTC)
I love the cover art too. I would have been terribly disappointed if Cythera had turned into a generic blonde on the cover.
jo_graham
Nov. 10th, 2013 02:34 pm (UTC)
Would you pay $6 more to have a different size? Most readers would not. The thing about small press is that you have small print runs, and that's even more true with print on demand. The mass market size is too expensive to produce unless you're printing a great many copies -- one of my editors put the cutoff point at 10,000 copies. So that makes sense if it's a bestseller, but books that aren't going to sell 10,000 copies are simply too expensive to produce in that format. The choice is print in the less expensive size -- or not print at all. Which is of course where some publishers are going -- not producing print copies at all.

Actually I love the cover! It's very retro, and the cover model is gorgeous and just as I imagined Cythera.
m_nivalis
Nov. 11th, 2013 10:21 am (UTC)
How thick is it in trade format?
jo_graham
Nov. 12th, 2013 02:13 pm (UTC)
It's 151 pages. That would be just above 200 in mass market format. It's 2/3 of a Stargate book.
m_nivalis
Nov. 13th, 2013 09:25 am (UTC)
So, about 8-10mm then? I might wait to buy it in dead tree format until you make a collection of the entire series (a girl can hope, right?).
mescott
Nov. 9th, 2013 07:55 pm (UTC)
Very true! (And I loved Cythera, btw. Good space opera, and very hot, with some nice f/f and m/m as well. I hope there will be more!) Word-of-mouth has always been important, and now it's even more so. That's one of the reasons I do conventions, and it's why I try to mention books I like on Twitter and on my own LJ. Maybe we should each do a monthly round-up post of books we liked...
jo_graham
Nov. 10th, 2013 02:41 pm (UTC)
I'm so glad you enjoyed it! Coming from the queen of space opera, that's high praise!
settiai
Nov. 9th, 2013 08:13 pm (UTC)
...then tell a friend.

Or a coworker. One of mine actually just bought the entire Numinous World series, from Black Ships all the way to The Emperor's Agent, and will probably be branching out to some of the others once she finishes those.
jo_graham
Nov. 10th, 2013 02:41 pm (UTC)
WOW! Thank you so much! I really appreciate you reccing me! (And I also appreciate the icon!)
( 11 comments — Leave a comment )