Tuesday, January 18, 2011

FAQ - Odds and Ends

I did an interview yesterday and was reminded of lots more little Q I'm F A.  

Q: Why aren't your books in hardcover?

A: That was the publisher's decision, not mine. I suspect they felt that I'd have better luck building an audience with seven dollar paperbacks than with twenty-five dollar hardcovers. And let's face it, many folks see mysteries as quick, rather disposable reading -- not something they intend to read again and again.


Q: Are your books on Kindle and other Ebook formats? 


A: Yes, they are. Again, that's up to the publisher -- I have nothing to do with it.


Q: What about audio books? 

A:  Sorry, no.  I'd love it if they were -- especially if it was a good reader who did the dialect well.  Maybe someday . . . but again, this is in the hands of the publisher and, like everything to do with publishing, it's driven by the bottom line. 

Q: What advice would you give writers hoping to get a book contract with a traditional publisher?

A:  1. Don't quit your day job in hopes of selling a book and watching the money roll in. That happens in only a very, very, VERY few instances.

        2. Your first priority should be to finish writing your book --before you get your author's website (I said, website, not blog) and before you get that author's photo taken in the tweed jacket with suede elbow patches. Finish the book and start the next one. 

        3. There's an overwhelming amount of writing and publishing information out there. Don't try to read it all. Don't attend every conference and take every workshop. If you did, when would you have time to write your book?

 


The two photos were taken at sunset on Jupiter Road as I drove home from the interview.
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19 comments:

Marilyn said...

Gorgeous light and colours in your photos.

Martin H. said...

I noticed that your books are available in Kindle format, Vicki. Although your books aren't available in audio, Kindle will read some books for you, using text-to-speech. I've tried it with 'The 39 Steps' by John Buchan. It's okay but, typical of computer generated voices, it's a tad monotone.

Beautiful photograph.

GrandmaK said...

I was excited to find your books on Kindle the other day...Soon and very soon one will be mine! Cathy

Pat in east TN said...

Outstanding pictures and interesting post. Even though I love my Kindle, I have all your books in paperback and will continue on like that .. you have a designated space on my bookshelves.

Brian Miller said...

nice pics...love the colors...was reading a pretty cool article the other day on direct to ereader publishers that are coming out...

Star said...

Good advice there Vicki.
I love the pictures.
It's a shame about the hardback choices. Mysteries are my favourite reading matter and I wish that the publishers would take them more seriously sometimes.

Tess Kincaid said...

Good advice. Just write! Your header photo is exquisite!

Beth said...

Thank you for more good advice. Congratulations on the good review of your new book in the Mountain Express!

Lovely sunset photos---I know Jupiter Road well. We lived there briefly when we first moved to the area. I loved telling people that I live on Jupiter. :-)

Jill said...

Beautiful sunset photos! Enjoyed the questions and answers.

Brenda said...

Gorgeous sunset photos, wow. Moments like that just make you stop whatever you're doing. The other thing I've wondered is why your books aren't available in trade paperback - that's my personal favorite! I assume that's a publisher's decision too.

Louise said...

Hmmmm, I didn't realize that so much was completely out of the author's hands.

Vicki Lane said...

Martin, I don't think that my books have the text-to-speech feature on Kindle. That's another of those things that the publisher decides.

Brian -- quite a few writers are self-publishing direct to E-books. It's not a difficult thing to do. The difficulty, as always with self-publishing, is getting the word out.

Star -- there are plenty of hardcover mysteries being published, including n=by my publisher. As I said, it was a marketing decision and, as such, out of my hands.

Thanks, Beth! Yep, in my photo folder, those shots are titled 'Sunset on Jupiter' -- makes me smile.

Brenda -- same with trade paperback -- not up to me.

Louise -- if one is a Very Big Name author, one has more say because the publishers don't want you to take your Very Big Name to a rival house. I could probably have gotten a contract with a smaller publisher that would have put my books in hardcover -- but there would not have been as big an advance or as big a print run.

Darla said...

Overwhelming information, for sure. Thank you for the reminder not to get bogged down in all that -- :-) Write, I remind myself, WRITE! LOL

Southwest Arkie said...

Love your photo, and I am happy to hear your books are on Kindle!

chiccoreal said...

Dear Vicki: Fantastic interview! Love to know whom did the interview...was it Playboy? I really think this helps me realize the hopelessness because I am not a very X3 anything. I guess only the Best and Brightest. Maybe next lifetime; maybe not! Dreams are so nebulous...was it Vanity Fair? I think I know how talented you indeed are Very Very Very!!!ps I'd love how to "do" conversational dialect/dialogue in a wholly accurate way; would you suggest taperecording in a psuedo-anthropological way?

Vicki Lane said...

Chiccoreal - Playboy? (My turn-ons are guys who cook and comfortable shoes.) Not hardly. Nor Vanity Fair -- as if. The interview was for an on line journal and I'll post a link when it's up.

I'll also do a FAQ about the dialog question. Not next week -- that'll be the perfect sleuth -- but the next.

Kath said...

Vickie, I hope your books become audio books. My mother is losing her eyesight. While now she can read large print. The thing she dreads most is not to be able to 'read'. She's tried Kindle, but the text to speech is not only robotic, it is inaccurate.
We bought her a CD player and she does buy audio books. But the more of the good ones like yours, the better!!!

J_on_tour@jayzspaze said...

Some very interesting lessons here as the publisher seems to be the controlling manager.

Vagabonde said...

Those sunset pictures are stunning – it must have been wonderful to watch. Yesterday we had to get up early to take my husband to a doctor’s appointment. As we were getting near Kennesaw we drove by a vast empty space and we could see the sun rise over Kennesaw Mountain – it was hard for me to drive as the colors were so outstanding. My husband used his small camera to take the photo but it’s nowhere close to the real thing.