Friday, March 08, 2013

Buzz and great reviews

It still seems as though publishing is in such turmoil. E-books are still throwing everyone off and pricing is a huge topic of discussion. Should E-books be cheaper? What is the magic price, and watching authors create E-book bestsellers has been pretty fascinating, but incredibly hard to define. 

In all of it though, some great books and authors, seemed to have, gotten lost in the shuffle. I loved the Meljean Brooks series of steampunk books. I have no idea what her sales numbers were, but to me she should be a much bigger name based on the strength of those books, and the reviews certainly agreed with me. 

Some others that come to mind are Cecilia Grant, (drunk writers Molly, Maureen, Stephanie and Eileen are also included in this list), and Michele Sagara, who is a new author to me, but her Fantasy novels are amazing. 

I don't know sales numbers, but I watch book stores to see what books they highlight, and there don't seem to be any really new authors breaking through that aren't erotic, or self-published new adult that are breaking into the lists. 

I remember reading Madelyn Hunter's first trilogy because of the amazing reviews and sure enough, her next few books really propelled her into bestselling status. Sherry Thomas also seemed to really get a huge sales kick based on her amazing reviews, but lately I'm not seeing the same connection. 

Am I wrong on this? I'd really love to hear about some books that seemed to get a real boost from great reviews and positive buzz. Anyone have any sense of who the next JR Ward, or Eloisa James will be? 


Maureen McGowan said...

So true, and so depressing. Or maybe not depressing. I just don't know anymore. Every time I think I've figured out anything about this industry, it's proven wrong.

I can't think of any recent books that broke out big that didn't either get a HUGE push from the publisher, or that wasn't a self-pubbed phenom.

And there's no magic formula for the self-pubbed stuff either. A Golden Heart buddy of mine was recently at the top of all the bestseller lists with one of her GH finalling books from 2007... She'd sold to a NY house (Dorchester) with another book, and has self-pubbed several others and then pulled this one out of the drawer and it took off. Big time.
I know she had it on for free for a month, which generated a lot of reviews. And it wasn't her first book, or her first self-pubbed book... but still... Why that one? I;ve bought it, but haven't read it yet... but it seems like a pretty standard romantic suspense. I'm sure it's well written, but doubt if it's groundbreaking.

I keep going back to my lightning strike theory... And need to stick my head out in more storms. Which is kind of an analogy for bravery, I guess. Which, now that I think of it... Is a good one. Maybe it's about being brave.

Maureen McGowan said...

Ah, just had another theory about the book I mentioned above... I saw Safe Harbor the other week. And I'd seen a little chatter about it before, people saying, "there's scary stuff in this Nicholas Sparks novel; not your normal romance!"

And I remember being angry, thinking, what? So suddenly Nicholas Sparks invented romantic suspense???? But in the non-romance-reading world... maybe it is the first book in that sub-genre many have read. And maybe my friend's book was just in the right place at the right time and got tagged correctly to end up being suggested by Amazon to people who bought Safe Harbor?

I just went to her book's page on Amazon. It's a New York Times Bestseller, USA Today Bestseller, Wall Street Journal Bestseller, Digital Book World Bestseller & IndieReader Bestseller.

Super happy for her, but it doesn't clarify any of my confusion about what will break out in this industry.

Stephanie Doyle said...

Don't get me started about the state of the industry right now. I've never been more uncertain about anything.

My big concern is how NY is focusing so much on buying up these breakout "self-pubs". Because for every "Good" deal offered, that's how many authors not getting contracts that would have.

I get the idea. I'm sure it seems like a safe bet. But I just don't know if it's going to translate Just because on line fan fiction reader of Twilight decided to pay .99c for that author's rif. Doesn't mean someone in a store is going to pay 7.99 for that same book... ala 50 Shades.

The 50 Shades phenomena can only last so long. Eventually people will get tired of Edward and Bella being renamed.

So how do the Ceila's and Sherry's (and us DWT writers) break out among that?

I think we just have to believe. Reviews mean something. Getting lots of good ones means something. Getting awards means something.

It doesn't mean sales... but the more consistent you are, the more times your name is mentioned the more it might mean sales.

Piggy backing on Maureen's idea about lightening striking - yes, it can happen. To anyone. Anywhere. For any reason.

But if you walk around in a lightening storm, with lots of different rods up every time there is a storm....(putting quality books out consistently) the odds are more likely in your favor that the lightening will eventually strike you as well.

I hope.

Anonymous said...

Why can't I find Molly's Crazy Thing Called Love in paperback anywhere? I've looked in my local B&N as well as the Targets, Walmart, etc stores that also sell books but none of them have it. I have her others in paperback so I don't want to get this on my Kindle as I like to keep collections once I've started them. Yes I know I could order it from Amazon but don't understand why it wasn't in local stores like her others in the series. Any idea why?

Molly O'Keefe said...

Anonymous! I'm so sorry you can't find the book. It was distributed to Barnes and noble and Wal-mart and many grocery stores. My best advice if you don't want to go through Amazon of Band N on line - is go to the managers at your local B and N and ask them to reorder. You can do that at Walmart and grocery stores too.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Molly- I'll go do that- I've been to the stores at least once a week ever since it was released!! I'll keep trying.

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