Friday, June 28, 2013

It's All Merchandising

The sales of my book Pete's Garage continue (woke up to a pleasant increase in my Pay Pal account, thank you for all that purchased this last month!) and I am content.  I do feel a bit bad that I've put off the production of my How to DM book - sorry, just needed distance on it - but I am turning my attention to what I am able to write, which is the reworking of a book called Act of God.

This is a story of a plot to quietly drop a biotoxin into the Missouri-Mississippi river systems, with the intent to kill millions of people and destroy the American heartland ... taking advantage of the fact that this can all be done from inside Canada at a place called Milk River.  The Milk, it so happens, flows out of Alberta and into the Missouri River in Montana.

So ... not a funny book about musicians at all.

I find myself now at a crossroads with regards to Pete's Garage, one of those moments when it is worthwhile to write a blog post to say more than "Hey, buy this thing."  The company through which I publish the book, Lulu, has stepped forward to contact me about the possibility of marketing the book through them.  This has culminated in a rather remarkable conversation between one of the staff and myself, that included some surprise on their part at the success and far-reaching audience of this blog, as well as one other project I have going but which - for the moment - cannot be talked about on the web.  I shouldn't even be saying this much, but I'm excited.

Here's the deal, however.  Lulu is prepared to front me the cost incurred by copying the book and making it available to media contacts, but they are asking that I step forward and contribute $500 - as well as my marvelous personality should opportunities arise - towards the overall process of getting my book out there and perhaps instrumentally reviewed by a reputable critic.  Obviously, I want to do this ... but I also want to do my best to source that amount.

I've never believed in Kickstarter.  I think it is a damnable scam.  I think there are far more people who are out there wanting to take free money out of your pocket than are actually interested in producing a product or starting a business.

I am not the Kickstarter type.  I have already created a product.  I have no interest in asking for any money for a product I haven't yet created.  That strikes me as ridiculous.

What I'd like is for people here to buy my product - $20 paperback, $9 e-book - and help fund my pursuit of finding more people to which to sell the product.

I'm not an idiot.  If anyone who has already read the book wants to show their appreciation of its goodness by kicking in a few bucks, or anyone who enjoys the content of this blog wants to help me out with the smallest contributions towards my well being,  two, five or ten dollars, I'll take the damn money.  I'll be happy for the help.

Mostly, however, I just want to sell the book.  I want to sell it enough to make other people - Lulu, a publicist eventually, book critics and so on - want to help me sell more.  That's the business.  You sell something well, that makes people want to help you.

So if you can't buy this thing, for the love of this blog, if you have any, find someone on this planet who CAN buy it.  Mention it to a musician.  Mention it to someone who likes Greek mythology (for the book contains that).  Get the book a little more attention.

Can you help me merchandise a good product?


Are Braaten said...

I actually began reading Pete's Garages today, and finished it about 15 minutes ago, reading it in practically one sitting (only taking tea breaks). I quite liked it, it was just the book I needed to read right now as it cheered me up quite a bit. I feel comfortable in recommending it to those of my friends that I think would like it.

Quincy Jones said...

As long as we're on the subject, two questions:

1) E-book to physical, what does your sale ratio look like?

2) Are you ever going to write a straight-up fantasy novel? Or do you get enough swords and sorcery with blogging, gaming, et cetera?

Alexis Smolensk said...

1) I make about the same amount of money from both the paperback and from the e-book.

2) Never say never. I have one concept for a serious fantasy novel, which I have shelved. I have no intention of writing a fantasy novel any time soon. I think if I proposed one on principle, it would strive to be humor.