Thursday, June 23, 2011

Around the Word

Banker, Lender, Author, Moneymaker: Banker-turned-author David Lender is the newest self publishing phenom to ride the e-book wave all the way to the, well, bank -- a result, in large part, of his strategic pricing strategy. Bloomberg reports that Lender, who has wanted to be a writer since college, uploaded his first e-book, Trojan Horse, onto Kindle and Nook in January. He initially priced the book at $9.99 but after dismal sales reduced the price to only .99 cents. Interest exploded. The three books he has published this year so far have sold more than 100,000 copies and generated $35,000 in revenue. Though Lender has now been approached by literary agents, he has reevaluated his original goal of being traditionally published, saying, "My view is that this is the platform I can use going forward. If I don't go with a major publisher, I don't think it's really going to hurt me."

Twitfalls for writers: Twitter can often be trouble for professional writers, many of whom struggle to clear their throat in 140 characters in less. To help wordsmiths avoid the Twitfalls of this increasingly important platform, GalleyCat has complied a list of five common Twitter mistakes that we should watch out for. Among their tips: don't fudge the description of who you are in your profile (cheeky ones sound cool, but they make it difficult for people to decide if they want to read your work). Also, don't leave out your picture. And perhaps most importantly, don't wall off your tweets. "It's fine to keep your tweets protected in a personal account... however, if you are submitting your feed to directories and trying to build and audience, protected tweets are very frustrating for potential readers."

"Pottermore" to live up to its name: The curtain has been lifted for all the Harry Potter fans chewing their nails over J.K. Rowling's secret announcement. The Wall Street Journal reports that J.K. Rowling has announced she will finally take the digital plunge and sell ebook versions of the treasured tales for the very first time, directly through the Pottermore site. Since Rowling owns the rights to her books herself, and has the capital and clout to distribute them through an innovative social networking site, she was able to make the decision to sell directly to consumers, instead of going through sites like Amazon or Apple. Rowling will also use the site to release coveted background on major characters, places, and plots that didn't make it into the books. "Pottermore is a full-on Harry Potter universe that allows readers to join a Hogwarts house and travel through the first Harry Potter book while collecting points and playing games." The site launches for the first 1 million users next month, but opens to the general public -- with the online e-book store -- in October.

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