Reading

The Pleasure of Reading

Do you read for pleasure or business? Is there really a difference? There seems to be. At least according to questions posed by the National Endowment for the Arts. In a survey measuring public participation in the arts, the agency found that more than half of Americans read a work of fiction or nonfiction that…

Enjoy Sharing Your Message

The filmmaker Steven Soderbergh is apparently tweeting a novel.
Now this isn’t exactly news. But it says something about how some creative folks are utilizing other means to express themselves.
Soderbergh, director of big-budget flicks such as “Ocean’s 11,” Academy Award-winning films such as “Erin Brockovich” and indie favorites such as “Sex, Lies and Videotape,”…

A Community of Readers

Getting your book noticed has always been a challenge. Even if you’ve got a platform up and running, and are building an enthusiastic audience for your work, you’ve still got to get that book talked about, bought and read.
For many readers and authors, Amazon customer reviews remain the default option, but since these reviews have…

The Lunacy of One-Star Amazon Reviews

The Amazon review system is broken. When angry fans can pretty much besiege it with negative reviews of a book they haven’t read, then the reviews overall are simply useless.
Recently, fans of the late Michael Jackson posted many negative reviews of “Untouchable: The Strange Life and Tragic Death of Michael Jackson,” a book by Randall…

Banned Book Reviews and the Platform-Builder

Amazon has banned some book reviews from its site. In particular, those from publicists and companies that consolidate reviews. But you shouldn’t worry – you’ve got a platform.
Now, everyone knows the Amazon review system is flawed. Friends weigh in on authors’ books and bestow five stars to build up their rankings. Enemies try to drive…

“HANDLE WITH CARE”

What are books, exactly—treasured artifacts to be displayed behind glass, or objects to be enjoyed and devoured, like a good meal?
I know that no book I actually enjoy leaves the experience unscathed. For the lucky few that I enjoy, I’ll refer back to the content often, dog-eared pages in my wake. While stories offer…

Controversy Sells Books

Controversy sells books, of course, even bad books. But for serious-minded books, a controversial reception can mean the difference between a certain grudging respect and actual success.
You may have heard of a new novel, The Kindly Ones, by Jonathan Littell, published in English a few weeks ago. The book was first published in France in…

Blogs, Part 2: Seven Ways to Promote Your Blog

Last time, we discussed an easy way to jumpstart the building of your book marketing platform by creating a blog. A blog is a type of online journal, allowing you to write and post articles on your topic of choice. It’s an instant self-publishing tool you can use to get your voice heard…

History

According to Bowker’s Books In Print database, there are 362,499 books classified as “History” in print. That’s about 10% of all books still in print in the U.S. Bowker’s preliminary figure for new History books published in 2006 is 8,488. Annual output of new History books has been declining since the peak year of 2003,…