Category Archives: General

A few links about publishing, marketing, & social media


Small Press Secrets to Establishing a Vertical Marketplace

One of the things which smaller presses understand is that you have to belong to a community to serve it. This means approaching readers as a fellow book lovers, which many publishers (both large and small) do by blogging or tweeting about books.

A New Survey Finds a Drop in Arts Attendance [Still, there’s some good news for people selling books.] [ Highlights of the survey here]

Among the good news is that a larger proportion of African-Americans and Hispanics are attending arts performances than ever before. Older Americans are also reading books at a higher rate, and a greater proportion of younger Americans are attending outdoor performing arts festivals. And every age and ethnic group found more of its members going to movies.


The 6 Best Book Marketing Blogs

Social Media

How to Use Social Media Tools to Save Time

I use Buffer to determine the best times to tweet or post and then schedule content as I find it across the web. The goal is to automate a portion of my social media in order to free up my time to engage with my audience throughout the day.

The Greatest Tweet of All Time [thanks to @DavePell]

(A few) links about books, bookstores, & self-publishing


Continuing with the Banned Books theme of the week:

[Not your usual list of banned books]
Five Banned Books That You Should Read (That You Probably Haven’t)


What do bookstores supply that Amazon and other online retailers can’t? Personalized advice from a live person. And community. Events. People getting together with other people to talk about books. A place to hear authors speak and to meet their dogs. (I heard Theron Humphrey, author/photographer of Maddie on Things, speak at my local independent bookstore, The Brookline Booksmith. It’s a book of pictures of his coon hound Maddie standing on things all over the United States. He spoke about his adventures and what got him started and all the while Maddie the dog was wandering around and among the attendees. Very sweet. And personal. And something that just is not going to happen online.

The indie bookstore resurgence


Man recovering from an accident finds himself bored and writes a book for his grandchildren. I include the link because I think the important part of this little tale of success is that the book was written for specific people. The author knew his audience and he wrote it for them. It just turns out that what might interest his grandchildren probably interests a lot of other kids that age. But he knew precisely who he was writing for. That’s key.

Wordsley man who wrote a book for his grandchildren lands publishing deal

Not a book recommendation, since I haven’t read it, but it does sound kind of amusing:

Of course I thought all reading was a cure for something, but these women have been running a “bibliotherapy” business. Specific books for specific illnesses.  Who knew?

The Novel Cure: From Abandonment to Zestlessness: 751 Books to Cure What Ails You

One man’s guide to printing his self-published book

CreateSpace, Lightning Source, Lulu—Where Should YOU Self Publish Your Book: The Ultimate Resource

flickr photo credit: Okanagan College Library

Links about books, publishing, self-publishing, marketing, video, & photography

High Brow

Excavated Site in Denmark May Be The Royal Hall From ‘Beowulf’
Reminds that it may be time to re-read Beowulf. Last time I did that I was a freshman in college. Also happen to have a copy of the verse translation by Seamus Heaney (R.I.P.) sitting here on my bookshelf. (Though one of the commenters at Amazon thinks that the translation by Frederick Rebsamen is superior to Heaney’s.)


Self-Publishing An E-Book? Here Are 4 Ways To Leave Amazon’s 30% Tax Behind

Self-Publishing A Legal Casebook: An Ebook Success Story

(As evidenced by the two different versions of e-book/ebook above, Forbes copy editors may want to look into standardizing the spelling of that pesky word.)

Still banning books?

North Carolina school board bans “Invisible Man”
(from @DavePell’s NextDraft newsletter 9/20/13)

Still reminding us that books are banned

Did you know it is banned books week?

How banned books week is being observed in my neck of the woods:

Read-Out for Banned Books Week


Video provides payday for publishers
(thanks to @jwikert for the link)

Proof of what Joe describes is happening at the New York Times, where one of the video features is called Op-Docs. One of the recent videos there is:

56 Ways of Saying I Don’t Remember

Louie C.K. on Conan about cell phones
There’s actually a great line in here about letting yourself getting completely sad, embracing it, crying, in order to produce the “happiness antibodies” that will make you completely happy. But screwing around with the phone rather than just sitting there “being human” gets in the way of complete sadness, therefore getting in the way of complete happiness. Brilliant in a way.
(thanks to @DavePell’s NextDraft)


This Guy Turns OCD Hoarding into Amazing Photos
(thanks @Dooce)


New Album “Sparks” Announced
Another musician doing some interesting stuff on the marketing front.


Spam comment at this blog:
Now I am going to do my breakfast, later than having my breakfast coming yet again to read more news.

Never underestimate the power of good manners

From the Sunday, January 8, 2012 New York Times magazine article “How Many Stephen Colberts Are There?

Colbert, who is good at compartmentalization, manages in spite of this exhausting schedule to make time for his family. For some of the writers, the job is more all-consuming. One of them, Opus Moreschi, told me that he solves the problem of how to balance the job and a life by forgoing the life. “Basically, I’ve never had a life except for comedy, so it isn’t that much of a problem,” he said. Yet for all the demands that Colbert puts on his staff members, he is apparently beloved by them. “There are a lot of unhappy people in comedy,” Purcell said, “and sometimes you get a very radioactive vibe. But Stephen has an excellent way of treating people. You should never underestimate the power of good manners.”

On a related front, I was at the meat counter at my local Whole Foods, trying to get the butchers to make a batch of ground chicken necks for me (dog food for Frankie), and sometimes they don’t really want to do this because I guess it’s a pain in the ass for them, but I made my pitch and ended it with “Please.” At that the butcher looked up at me and smiled. “In that case…” he said. “Doesn’t everyone say ‘please’ when they want something from you.” By his look, he said “no.” Which I found dispiriting. Really? People don’t say, “Could I get a pound of ground turkey, please?” Apparently not. Channel Nancy Reagan’s war on drugs motto and “Just say please.” Didn’t your mother teach you to always say “please”?

Matt Rich opening at Samsøn


Self portraits are so hard to take

Self Portraits are so hard to take
Originally uploaded by erikorama.

Self portrait taken at Georgia Brown’s in Washington, DC, where we’re having lunch after attending nephew Andrei’s high school graduation.

After the rain

After the rain
Originally uploaded by erikorama.

Outline of Mini Cooper in parking lot.