Friday, October 28, 2011

Pitch the Publisher

I wanted to remind everyone that Pitch the Publisher is coming up in a few weeks. We, Hydra Publications, will be in attendance along with Otherworld Publications and Blackwyrm. If you haven't already sent in a request for a spot you should do so soon, they are filling up fast.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Huh things never work out the way you plan

So as the title says things never work out the way you plan them. In my last post i had plans on getting to this on a regular basis. Well as you can tell that didn't happen. This time....maybe. We will see.

Well a couple of updates. We are doing a big push in the store for our March Authors fair. I am working on redoing the design. We have a large list of authors already scheduled to come and we are adding more. In fact one of the newest that is not even on the page yet is Michael West, we are happy to say that we will be holding a book launch for his newest title from Seventh Star Press during the author fair.
Also speaking of Seventh Star Press I have done a few guest blog posts there. I have one that will be coming out tomorrow also.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

The past few weeks

Things have been busy around here the past few weeks. First I spent a wonderful weekend in Columbus OH at Context 24. It was a wonderful to meet up with friends that I have made over the years. I already have plans to go back again next year.There seemed to be fewer in attendance then last year but it was still a real enjoyable time.

I got back from that and immediately switched into Labor Day mode. Each Labor Day we have a giant tent sale outside of our store. This year was the biggest by far we have ever done. Nearly twice the size of previous years. The first two days we had it out was very hot. nearly 100 degrees both days but we did have quite a crowd come in. Sunday and Monday got rained out unfortunately. This will be fixed in the near future as we are purchasing a larger tent and we will be able to still hold the sale no matter what the weather is. 

Saturday was a good day. We had Lynn Tincher and Michael Williams up from Blackwyrm publishing. They are two delightful authors and we had a good time just talking between them selling books. Lynn also runs Other World Publications so i had a chance to talk to her about some publishing things. They are doing a pitch to the publisher event this November that we will be taking part in. Spots are limited so register today to a spot to see us and pitch us your book.

Now that I am done for the year heading to conventions and Labor Day is over we can start planning our next big event. The 2nd Annual That Book Place Authors Fair. This past year at the inaugural event we made some mistakes but still had a great time. We held it in honor of our 5 year anniversary and we liked it so much we decided to keep doing it. I mentioned earlier that we are getting a new tent. This tent will be large enough to hold all of the authors under it so that we can make sure the event happens rain/shine/snow or what ever comes our way.

This past year we had 30 authors here. This coming up one we are shooting between 40-50. We have several lined up already but still several spots opened. If you are interested please don't hesitate to get in contact with me

That's all for now hopefully now that things have calmed down here I will be able to make more regular posts.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Small Press or Big House in New York

I have heard this asked repeatedly and have even asked it myself before. Does it make a difference if you go with one of the New York publishers or with a small press?

It all really depends on what you want. More and more, the line between the two is getting blurred with people who are self published or small press getting some well deserved attention and sales. But with that being said, what are the real differences between the two?

Exposure is one of the big ones that there is still a definite breach between the two sides. With a big house you are more likely to be seen in a book store such as Barnes and Nobles.  You will most likely be seen in trade catalogs that we get at the stores. As a small press that is really not likely to happen. Nationwide exposure for a book is not there in most cases.

Of course, when you are in a bookstore with thousands of other books, the chances that someone will pick your title up is very slim. So does it add much to be in the store?

Marketing is one of those areas that the line is getting really blurry. Anymore, unless you are a big name you will need to do a lot of the marketing yourself. Being with a well-known house is a little easier to market to someone since they know the brand usually. So there is a slight disadvantage to a small press there but for the most part I think people will look at the book itself more then who published it if you are there face to face with them.

Now here is where the line is gone. Completely does not exist anymore: online marketing. Everyone is on an even playing field here. Most online marketing is free. Its called social media. An author needs to really be everywhere online and by doing so they can really grow a large fan-base, sometimes in a matter of days. There is a reason it is called Viral Marketing. This completely levels the playing field in my opinion. As a bookstore owner, I really do not like Amazon. As a publisher, they are my best friend. There is a page on amazon dedicated to each book out there. That author of that book can go and advertise in a zillion places online and start getting people to go to that page. Not everyone will buy it but some will. And then they will tell their friends and they will send more people and their friends will get the idea. You can't do that in a traditional store easily.

Another thing that I tend to think when I look at a small press is someone that is willing to try something different. I feel that small presses are more likely to print something that is not the norm. They are a little more willing to take risks with the type of book and work on servicing small niches instead of taking on a book that appeals to everyone. Don't get me wrong. If they are approached with a book that will stretch across niches and more people would buy it they will print it. That means more sales, but they are also just as likely to take the small-crowd book if they can think of a way to market it right.

So when I look at those I have to ask, does it really matter if you are in the store physically? Some will say yes, others will say no. Most stores, in fact almost every store, will order a copy of the book for you. So even if it isn't on the shelf they can get it. We are for the most part a used store. We will order any thing you want. We do have a few new books in the store. In fact, we have three bookcases by the door as you walk in that are dedicated to new books. For the most part they are Small Press and local authors. Nearly all of them are face fronted, too. We like to support small presses.

There is also something else that will affect what you do. The con circuit. If you are in a field such as sci/fi fantasy or horror, you have at your disposal a large number of conventions that take place. Everywhere. A lot of small press authors attend these shows and so do a lot of small presses themselves. You get to meet a lot of peers by attending these shows. So in the small press aspect the chances of developing a friendship with the owners and editors of a small press is more likely then with a big house. And I think that can be more worthwhile then anything. Developing friendships will give you a better chance to let your book be published. This is one of those situations of networking, its all who you know.

In the end it is up to you to decide.

Monday, July 25, 2011

The weekend Fandom

Fandomfest was this weekend. For those of you who missed it, it was HOT. I do not mean that in the good way either. For some reason the part of the hotel that the Lit track was in was unbearably HOT. I am not talking about in the 80s or something it had to be somewhere in the mid 90's on Friday night. At least it did start to cool towards the end of the weekend but not by much.

Stephen Zimmer put on a heck of a lit track even with getting saddled with extra duties at the last minute. There were not a lot of sales. We had hoped for more but alas they did not come to us.

I did, despite the heat and the lack of sales, have a lot of fun. My wife was able to join me and it was the first con she was able to attend. She had a blast. We shared a table with two wonderful ladies from the Southern Indiana Writers, T Lee Harris and Marian Allen.

I got a chance to meet Travis McBee, one of our own authors from Hydra Publications. His book, Bridgeworld, was our newest release and we hosted a book launch for it on Saturday afternoon. I had never done anything like that before nor had I attended a book launch. So having no idea on what to do we had cookies and water. Luckily the panel rooms were for the most part air conditioned so the panels were well attended.

I made it a point to attend all of the book launches this past weekend. I did this for a number of reasons. The first of which was to figure out what in the world to do for mine, but the Main reason was to help support the people who are becoming or are my friends. Yeah I know that sounds cheesy but it is true. If there is one thing that i am it is a STRONG supporter of my friends and also of authors in general. I opened the bookstore for a simple reason. I love to read. I will support any author to help them keep writing. They deserve it.

The first of these book launches was for the authors of Blackwyrm. They didn't just launch one title, no that wasn't good enough for Dave. The good people over at Blackwyrm launched twelve titles. It was phenomenal. I actually have reviews on the back of two of the new books. The second book in Brad Parnels Gwerinatha series Chaos' Corner and Body and Sold, the second in the Paum trilogy,  by William Levy both carry my personal seal of approval.

The next launch I attended was for Loconeal publishing. They had three titles launched including the new book by Ren Garcia. The other two were a new one by Gary Wedlund and their Annual Anthology, Loco-thology. It was a good event and we had a lot of fun at it. They are also getting ready to re-release the Shandahar series. Keep eyes here for more information about that.

Denise Verrico was up next and she graciously let Bertena Varney sit in as a launchie. Both of these ladies are wonderful.

The last launch was for Michael West. His new book Cinema of Shadows was launched by Seventh Star Press. He put on an entire production for this turning the room into a theater complete with red carpet. It was a great time and if you havent checked out the trailer for his book you should. It sets the bar high for the rest of us.

All in all it was a good weekend spent with friends and making some new ones.


The view from here

Starting today you are going to get to see the world from my point of view. Be warned, this is a scary place inside my head. I tend to look at things differently.

I am going to be honest and upfront with you. This is a blog about my store and publishing house. Yes I will of course be in favor of anything happening with said store and press. It's a given. With that being said I will be talking about other things of note such as other stores, small presses and of course books and authors.

I do not mind criticism at all so if you have something to say please say it. Post a comment below the post or email me. I am not necessarily the best person to keep up with with emails and such, I will try but if I don't get back to you in a day or two don't take it personally. I am just bad about staying in contact. Hopefully I will get better at it. We can hope right?

I might, if you ask nicely, talk about my own writing. That is what miserable excuse of writing I do when I get a chance to do it. It's nothing much now but I hope to see if I can develop it further.

Again, you have been warned and for those of you who are brave enough and are sticking around. Welcome.