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Life Arts

Notes From A High Level Writers Group

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Once a month, I attend a writers group in Willow Grove, PA.
Unlike other writers groups I've attended over the  years, where they tend to be re-readings of poetry or short stories (fine, but not for me,) this one includes many high powered, experienced, published writers. It was founded by Jonathan Maberry. When I met Jonathan, he'd had a few martial arts books published. Since then, he's become a best-selling author of fantasy, horror, young adult and other related books, with some optioned for TV and movies and sales in the hundreds of thousands. 

Jonathan started off the meeting by updating us on developments in the world of writing and publishing.  Here are my rough notes from, primarily, the beginning of the meeting. 


notes from talk by jonathan Maberry at a monthly writers group held in the Philadelphia suburbs-- the Barnes and Noble near Willow Grove Mall, held the last Sunday of the month, noon-3 PM

The upsurge of people going to e-publishing is like a tsunami right now. It's huge. But there's such a percentage of crappy books. People can get the formatting right but the writing is bad.

Most cover designers for e-books are freelancers and they are on the edge of making a fortune.
It used to be that the cover could tell you whether a book was self published. Not any more.

For about $300 you can get a self-published book positioned.

Facebook ads... are becoming more and more specific. Look for keywords that mention related authors and books. For a conspiracy theory book, look for Dan Brown...

E-publishing works really well for non-fiction.
Non-fiction market was really big up until about 18 months ago.

Self help books shelf life is very short.  Books on computers are obsolete by the time they are in print so everyone  is going to e-publishing.

if you self publish in print, it's very, very hard to get conventional publishing to like you ever again. It's an uphill battle and involves a pen-name. (Like five year olds. "You didn't play with me so I won't ever play with you again.") The (self published) book does not help the publishing world, so the publishers want you to go away and be eaten by rats.

Publishers reserve a small amount of each book sold's revenues to be used for promotion. Then they use that money primarily on the top one hundredth of one percent of writers-- the ones who don't need it.

The author can drive their own sales. Jonathan feels he's sold more books than his publisher by his efforts.

Some writers find that some of their books don't fit their current publishers' needs. The publishers don't want to sell them.

it costs about $200 to do a strong marketing push for a short story that you can sell thousands of at $.99 a download. That money goes to formatting for Nook, Kindle, etc. Add about $100 for a professional cover.

You don't want to be associated with a self-publishing operation like Lulu. That puts you into the situation described above, where publishers don't like self publishers.  

Tip to help books on amazon to rise higher: add tags under the section Tags Customers Associate with This Product found near the bottom of the page the book is on.

The meeting is held 12-3 PM at the Barnes and Noble bookstore in Willow Grove, PA, at the meeting room in the back of the store. All are welcome. 
More information here. 

Photo from a recent writers group meeting. I'm the bald quarter of a head in the bottom right. The meeting usually averages 25-50 attendees. Photo by author Janice Gable Bashman

 

Rob Kall is executive editor, publisher and website architect of OpEdNews.com, Host of the Rob Kall Bottom Up Radio Show (WNJC 1360 AM), and publisher of Storycon.org, President of Futurehealth, Inc, and an inventor . He is also published regularly on the Huffingtonpost.com

Listen to over 200 of Rob's Podcast interviews here.

Rob is, with Opednews.com the first media winner of the Pillar Award for supporting Whistleblowers and the first amendment.


With his experience as architect and founder of a technorati top 100 blog, he is also a new media / social media consultant and trainer for corporations, non-profits, entrepreneurs and authors.

Rob is a frequent Speaker on the bottom-up revolution, politics, The art, science and power of story, heroes and the hero's journey and Positive Psychology. He is a campaign consultant specializing in tapping the power of stories for issue positioning, stump speeches and debates, and optimizing tapping the power of new media. Watch me speaking on Bottom up economics at the Occupy G8 Economic Summit, here.

See more Rob Kall articles here and, older ones, here.

To learn more about Rob and OpEdNews.com, check out A Voice For Truth - ROB KALL | OM Times Magazine and this article. For Rob's work in non-political realms mostly before 2000, see his C.V..

And here's a one hour radio interview where I was a guest- on Envision This, on 10/23/13. And here is the transcript. 

And Rob's quotes are here.

To watch me on youtube, having a lively conversation with John Conyers, former Chair of the House Judiciary committee, click here Now, wouldn't you like to see me on the political news shows, representing progressives. If so, tell your favorite shows to bring me on and refer them to this youtube video.

Rob's radio show, The Rob Kall Bottom Up Radio Show, runs 9-10 PM EST Wednesday evenings, on AM 1360, WNJC and is archived at www.opednews.com/podcasts Or listen to it streaming, live at www.wnjc1360.com

Rob also hosted a health/mind/body/heart/spirit radio show-- the Rob Kall Futurehealth radio show. Check out podcasts from it at futurehealth.org/podcasts

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For those aspiring writers who dream of having a b... by Bill Cain on Tuesday, Feb 1, 2011 at 3:55:34 PM
Thanks so much for the information. I have been tr... by Jody Walker on Tuesday, Feb 1, 2011 at 5:39:17 PM
writers is to start their own website. They can wr... by Daniel Geery on Tuesday, Feb 1, 2011 at 11:34:54 PM
Especially for the new writer, print-on-demand pub... by LarryWBryant on Wednesday, Feb 2, 2011 at 12:42:57 AM