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The best brands attract the best authors — a virtuous circle, in which good authors strengthen brands and brands confer their aura on authors.
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Presumably these are the same parents who tell their kids that they really do not need an iPhone ; the Samsung will do. But I have never met any of them.
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In the world of journals, authors know very well what it means to get an article accepted in Science or Lancet. Part of the reason that institutional repositories have yet to make much headway vis-a-vis traditional publications is that most repositories trail the better journals in the strength of their brands. Brands also matter to readers consumers or end-users in direct and indirect ways. Subscribers to journals acknowledge this when they pay for their subscription. So, for example, the brand of Random House is thought not to matter at all to a consumer. And I find it hard to believe that readers of literary fiction do not look for the Knopf imprimatur another RH brand.
Nor do I imagine that the prospective consumer does not experience a sense of respect upon viewing the orange spines of Penguin fiction or the names of the university presses of Princeton, Yale, or Chicago. It is the indirect importance of brands that has the most influence on the individuals who purchase books.
Can the iPad topple the Kindle, and save the book business?
Most books are sold indirectly through channel partners such as bookshops, whether online or off, and the wholesalers that service them. Whether John Consumer knows anything about Duke University Press or HarperCollins is one thing, but the store where he shops certainly does. Shelf space is crowded; publishers fight hard to get access to retail venues. Professional buyers and wholesalers know which publishers have had the most success in the past and stock inventory accordingly. She was frantic to get her first book published by the time she was 26, the age Stephen King was first in print, and time was running out she's now Once she got going, she could write a complete novel in just two or three weeks.
By the start of , she had amassed a total of 17 unpublished novels, all gathering digital dust on the desktop of her laptop. She received her last rejection letter in February Hocking says she hasn't kept the letter, which is a crying shame because it would surely have been an invaluable piece of self-publishing memorabilia. As far as she can remember, the last "thanks-but-no-thanks" came from a literary agent in the UK.
If that agent is reading this article, please don't beat yourself up about this.
We all make mistakes April 15 should also be noted by historians of literature. On that day, Hocking made her book available to Kindle readers on Amazon's website in her bid to raise the cash for the Muppets trip. Following tips she'd gleaned from the blog of JA Konrath , an internet self-publishing pioneer, she also uploaded to Smashwords to gain access to the Nook, Sony eReader and iBook markets.
I am the child of this house novel
It wasn't that difficult. A couple of hours of formatting, and it was done. Within a few days, she was selling nine copies a day of My Blood Approves , a vampire novel set in Minneapolis. By May she had posted two further books in the series, Fate and Flutter , and sold copies. June saw sales rise to more than 4, and in July she posted Switched , her personal favourite among her novels that she wrote in barely more than a week.
By January last year she was selling more than , a month. Multiply that by a million — last November Hocking entered the hallowed halls of the Kindle Million Club , with more than 1m copies sold — and you are talking megabucks. The speed of her ascent has astonished Hocking more than anyone. In internet-savvy circles she has been embraced as a figurehead of the digital publishing revolution that is seen as blowing up the traditional book world — or "legacy publishing" as its detractors call it — and replacing it with the ebook, where direct contact between author and reader, free of the mediation of agent and publishing house, is but a few clicks away.
There is certainly something to that argument. The arrival of Hocking onto the Kindle bestseller lists in barely over a year is symptomatic of a profound shift in the book world that has happened contiguously. Her rise has occurred at precisely the moment that self-publishing itself turned from poor second cousin of the printed book into a serious multi-million dollar industry. Two years ago self-publishing was itself denigrated as "vanity publishing" — the last resort of the talentless.
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Not any more. A survey carried out last year by the book blog Novelr found that of the top 25 bestselling indie authors on Kindle, only six had ever previously enjoyed print deals with major book publishers. That's the kind of statistic that made Penguin's chief executive, John Makinson, say recently that he saw "dark clouds" gathering in But Hocking's new-found stature as self-publishing vanguardista is not something she welcomes.
Self-publishing is great, but I don't want to be an icon for it, or anything else. I would rather people talk about the books than how I publish them. She also resents how her abrupt success has been interpreted as a sign that digital self-publishing is a new way to get rich quick. Sure, Hocking has got rich, quickly.
The 50 Best Books of 12222 to Add to Your Reading List
But what about the nine years before she began posting her books when she wrote 17 novels and had every one rejected? And what about the hours and hours that she's spent since April dealing with technical glitches on Kindle, creating her own book covers, editing her own copy, writing a blog , going on Twitter and Facebook to spread the word, responding to emails and tweets from her army of readers? Just the editing process alone has been a source of deep frustration, because although she has employed own freelance editors and invited her readers to alert her to spelling and grammatical errors, she thinks her ebooks are riddled with mistakes.
It's exhausting, and hard to do. And it starts to wear on you emotionally. I know that sounds weird and whiny, but it's true.
In the end, Hocking became so burned out by the stress of solo publishing that she has turned for help to the same traditional book world that previously rejected her and which she was seen as attacking. Look Inside Reading Guide. Reading Guide. May 19, ISBN Jun 24, ISBN Twenty years later, Ellie is a professional coffee buyer who has never put down roots.
Michelle Richmond dazzled readers and critics alike with her luminous novel The Year of Fog. Until one day, without warning, the shape of their family changed forever. Twenty years ago, Lila, a top math student at Stanford, was murdered in a crime that was never solved. Decades later, two Americans meet in a remote village in Nicaragua. Ellie is now a professional coffee buyer, an inveterate traveler and incapable of trust. Peter is a ruined academic.