Morning Cuppa – 05/30/13 – RIP Jack Vance! Book industry growing! Expanded Amazon categories!


  •  Sad to report that this past weekend SFWA Grand Master Jack Vance passed away at 96. He was the author of over 50 novels and 100 short stories including most notably his Dying Earth series. He was a Nebula and  multiple Hugo award winner among many other honors and awards. 
  • Are bookstores dying? This year they’ve seen a 27% growth in foot traffic in the first quarter compared with last year. And new indie bookstores are springing up all the time. Are ebook sales plateauing? They’ve seen a 43% growth year-over-year, not really the sign of a leveling off. Kristine Katheryn Rusch argues that the industry is far from dying, plateauing or even slowing down. Rather, it’s growing. The landscape is definitely shifting but as we move out of recession, signs are positive.
  • Have you noticed lately that Amazon has gotten a lot more detailed about how they help you find books? For example under scifi, you can now find sub-categories of alien invasiondystopiantime travel, and many more. You can even select by your favorite type of characters! I have a lot of mixed feelings about Amazon, mostly because they’re a monopoly, but this sort of thing is exciting to see.
    Best part: as an author, you have the ability to classify where your book falls in this system.

Morning Cuppa – 05/21/13 – 3D food! Stephen King saves books!


  • The future of food may come to you in Star Trek replicated form.  There’s work being done on a 3D food printer that will utilize organic powders that are shelf-stable for up to 30 years. Why? Because trying to feed 12 billion people may not be possible on our planet (given that a mega-hurricane that lasts for years doesn’t kick up and kill us all off). 
  • Stephen King has thrown his hat into the defense of bookstores ring and stated that there are currently no plans to make an ebook version of his latest novel Joyland. About the decision he said:

    “I have no plans for a digital version,” Mr. King said. “Maybe at some point, but in the meantime, let people stir their sticks and go to an actual bookstore rather than a digital one.”

    This sort of posturing won’t accomplish much, I don’t believe. Unless he refuses to sell his book on Amazon (fat chance) I don’t see what this will do for traditional bookstores. It’s an example of good intentions with a poor plan, sort of like James Patterson’s desire to see a book industry bailout.

Morning Cuppa – 05/16/13 – Charges dropped! How not to market! Ebooks growth!


  • The teen who was arrested for committing science in a South Florida classroom has had the felony(!) charges against her dropped. Thank fucking god. Now how about a scholarship from the reactionary police department that treated her like a terrorist? 
  • I read A LOT about writing. The business of writing, writing tips to improve your story, and snke-oil marketing suggestions… dear lord the marketing suggestions. I’ve gotten to a point where I believe that a lot of folks who offer marketing advice either don’t know what they’re talking about, or they’re snake oil salesmen.
    Don’t get me wrong, marketing is really important, how else will people find out about your book? Barring the possibility that you’re the next J.K. Rowling and capable of spreading by word of mouth, you gotta think about and plan how you can get in front of your audience. But there is no way to test the veracity of what people tell you (or try to sell you).
    Thankfully, I can trust that whenever I’m troubled by something, Chuck Wendig wrote about it a few hours before. We have a special birthday (and beard) connection that way. He writes about how not to market to people: with a silk glove, not a hand grenade in the face.
    What valuable marketing advice have you received?
  • Ebooks continue to go gangbusters, accounting for nearly $1 billion in growth in 2012.


Morning Cuppa – 04/14/13 – Daleks! Story bibles! Ray Bradbury!

The Cuppa had to take a brief respite yesterday in order to play stacks and stacks of old video games. We all have priorities. Anyways, enjoy your Sunday and watch out ahead…

  • A Dalek head has been discovered in a UK pond. Maybe there’s something to this Doctor guy after all… 
  • Janice Hardy talks about how she’s benefitted from using a story bible for her writing. The idea is that you have a separate document that keeps track of all the little details that are so easy to forget. What color were the protagonist’s eyes? What type of car was her mother driving the last time she saw her? Is it a rainy day today? These things can distract you from a story and also lead to a very irritating editing process (as I’m discovering myself, now). Do you keep a story bible?
  • Ray Bradbury’s works are finally being released as ebooks. Not sure how he’d feel about that fact since he was one of the most notable curmudgeons about technology, the internet and ebooks. Late in life, he did relent and allow Fahrenheit 451 to be released in electronic format, but there was never the sense that it was willingly or with much love. Whatever the case, a new generation of readers will now have access to some of the most canonical writing in the genres.

The Write Lines: Ebook publishing and getting a traditional book deal

Sue Cook talks to Mark Edwards (Catch your Death, Killing Cupid), Roz Morris (My Memories of a Future Life) and Mel Sherratt (Taunting the Dead, Somewhere to Hide) about self-publishing ebooks on Amazon. The guests share their experiences, with advice about how to get to the top of the Kindle chart, and perhaps even get a traditional book deal. Produced by Ian Skillicorn.

The Write Lines: Ebook publishing and getting a traditional book deal [PODCAST] | BookMachine – the book publishing portal – events, views and publishing tips.