Tuesday, April 20, 2010

From the Publisher's Desk - A Question for our Readers

There is a great article in the recent issue of Digital Book World written by the President, Managing Director of Osprey Books, Rebecca Smart, called "Publishers Need to Fail Better, Cheaper, Faster". There were a lot of great ideas, but what struck me most was this:
"If you put the consumer at the heart of your thinking you can consider instead each group of customers you serve and what they might want on top of what you already provide, how they might want you to serve them differently in the future. More to the point, you can ASK them, listen and respond."

Why did that speak to me? Because that is exactly what we are striving to do at Buddhapuss Ink. We look to you, our readers to tell us what we are doing right, or wrong, and what YOU want to read, HOW you want to read it and WHERE/WHEN you want it available.

So, that's the quest. You our readers hold all the answers. We're listening . . .

Read more at DigitalBookWorld.com: Publishers Need to Fail Better, Cheaper, Faster | Digital Book World

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Some Tips for Wannabe Authors

Recently a panel of seven successful book authors and publishers presented their top tips for wannabe writers at two days of seminars in Atlanta.

Some of those tips to fledgling authors:

~ Remember that books are a product with a short shelf life.
~ The author must play a major role in marketing the book.
~ Be prepared to speak in a variety of forums about your book topics.
~ Test-market a sample of your book’s content and fix the problems found.
~ Punctuate for power and meaning.
~ Remember, rejection letters are not your enemy.
~ It’s unlikely that you can successfully, thoroughly, and accurately edit your own writing.
~ Appeal to all five of the reader’s senses.
~ Write in the appropriate “voice” and understand how voice is different from style.

The faculty for the two days of seminars included Peter Bowerman (mastering marketing), Ahmad Meradji (controlling manufacturing costs), David Fulmer (project funding ideas), Angela K. Durden (don’t aggravate your readers - hire an editor), Chris Roerden (secrets of surviving the manuscript submission process), Tony Burton (using conflict to keep readers interested) and Dr. David Ryback (publishing success in six steps).

*condensed and edited from an article in Bargain Book News

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

From the Marketing Desk - Discoverability - still an author's biggest problem

Great article - a must read for all authors!
"I didn’t get into ebooks and place myself on the cutting edge of new book technology because I thought ebooks were really cool and I wanted to be where the action was. No, I was essentially . . .

Read more at DigitalBookWorld.com: Discoverability: Still A Book’s Biggest Problem | Digital Book World


Sunday, April 11, 2010

Latest Reviews!

"Fast moving mystery adventure thriller"
"The Last Track: A Mike Brody Novel by Sam Hilliard is a fast paced mystery action thriller that kept my interest from the very beginning right through to the end. I loved the way the author used the passage of time instead of typical chapters to chronicle the passing of the four suspense filled days. When Mike Brody sets out on a family vacation in Montana, little did he know he would soon be searching the wilderness for a missing young boy that had witnessed a murder. Brody's skills as a former Special Forces, master tracker, smoke jumper and outdoor adventure tour guide are all he can trust and rely on to save the boy, his family and himself. I found The Last Track a fun and exciting adventure and I'm sure you will too."
~Theresa Hurley, 5 star review, Amazon.com

"Suspense on every page"
"Mike Brody is a man's man, former Special Forces, former smoke jumper, outdoor adventurist, and master tracker. So, where does he go when it is time to unwind and spend some quality time with the family? Why a dude ranch in Montana, of course. However, this will be anything but a relaxing vacation. As soon as he arrives he is pulled into a murder mystery that will have him tracking across the great wide expanse of the Montana wilderness. Paired up with a local detective, Mike is forced to rely on his instinct and intuition to help solve the case and find the missing witness.
The Last Track by Sam Hilliard is an exciting adventure thriller. The author does a great job of developing a suspenseful atmosphere that will have readers on the edge of their seats. This is a must read."
~ Michael Harrison, 4 star review, Amazon.com

“A major goal of this blog is to introduce readers to new books and new authors. This is one of those times you’ve not heard of the book or the author, so take note.
This is Sam Hilliard’s first novel, and Sam, good start. This style of mystery is in my wheelhouse, right down the middle … and The Last Track hits a home run.
Mike Brody is a tracker, on the case of a missing teenager in the woods. A strong cast of characters surround him, and you’re left trying to find out who is good and who is bad, all while eagerly waiting to see if Mike succeeds.
Sam Hilliard has an ability to keep you guessing throughout, not knowing who you can trust as a reader, always keeping the pages turning . . . Like the best of Dan Brown and others, the action happens quickly in The Last Track. Start to finish of the mystery is four days, and a clever clock keeps ticking to let you know throughout. The lead character also has just a touch of supernatural ability, but not enough to be hokey.
I look forward to reading more about Mike Brody in future novels. He’s different than John Sandford’s Lucas Davenport, Lee Child’s Jack Reacher, Harlan Coben’s Myron Bolitar and Jonathan Kellerman’s Alex Delaware. However, he’s got that same ’read me’ quality these others have and you’ll want to know more.
On a sidenote: In a minor part of the book, the teenager being tracked explains something about running, and Hilliard nails it for me. Talking about runners in races who realize they aren’t going to win, but continue running, he writes, “Sean knew why they kept on in spite of the odds. Win or lose, the journey offered its own reward. Runners ran for the feeling of getting somewhere on their own steam.” It’s a small part, used to explain Sean’s situation and attitude. But it described my new-found love for running exactly.
Like I said, great work Sam. I look forward to more from Mike Brody and more mystery from this new author.
YOU’LL LIKE THIS IF: You enjoy suspenseful mysteries, John Sandford novels, long-running characters or are in the mood for something little different.”
~ Jack Sheard, 4 1/2 star review, What A Book

I Couldn’t Put the Book Down . . .Seriously, I Could Not
“I am fascinated by mountains and mysteries, so that is a lethal combination for me. What was really a wonderful bonus is that The Last Track was very well written and held my interest throughout the entire book. Nice descriptions, colorful characters and several surprises kept me hooked all the way to the very end.
I loved the ending, especially the last line. I was sad when it was over. I wanted to keep reading. I certainly hope that The Last Track will not be the last book written by this talented author. I look forward to the next book and it doesn’t even have to be set in the mountains! I’m sure it will be great.”
~ Kristian Wilder, 5 star review, Amazon.com

Saturday, April 10, 2010

From the Marketing Desk - Interview with Sam!

Sam Hilliard, Tech Guru by day, Published Author by night - come meet him: http://bit.ly/9mjd65

Monday, April 5, 2010

From the Publisher's Desk - 'nuff said perhaps?

“There are three rules for writing a novel. Unfortunately, no one knows what they are.” — W. Somerset Maugham
Just saw this on twitter and it sums up what I found in my inbox on this early morn perfectly.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

From the Publisher's Desk - (How to Avoid the) 5 Steps from Desk to Round File

Wait, does it really take 5 steps to get from the desk to that round/square/rectangular thing on the floor lovingly known in offices around the world as the "round file"?
Well, if you're a writer and you are hoping to get that piece you've spent hours, nay, weeks, years, toiling over, from your humble desk (or laptop) and onto that of a wonderful, intelligent and brilliant Editor who will cherish it, rave over it, love it as much as you do, then the answer is yes, there may be 5 steps from desk to round file.
So, want to avoid the black hole called the delete button? Here are the steps to avoid!
Step 1. The fastest way to get your writing off my desk and into the trash - Don't follow a publisher's posted Submission Guidelines! We didn't mean you when we said "No more than 4 pages", or "A 300 word synopsis of the story – please cover the beginning, middle and the end of the story." TRUTH Yes, those are there for you! We didn't spend hours toiling over them just for fun. They may seem like arbitrary rules to you, but they are born from years of slogging through submissions looking for that gem. Give your writing a fighting chance - follow the rules!
Step 2. Sitting down to start that story at long last? Well, don't plan your story out ahead of time. That's for amateurs. It's so much better to just let the story run it's own course. Outlines are for chumps. TRUTH An outline is just that - an outline. A road map to get you from beginning to end without missing the middle or losing any interesting, important characters or information along the way. An outline is NOT carved in stone. It can and probably should change along the way as the story evolves. But it sure is nice to have a few road signs along the way! A well-crafted story demands no less.
Step 3. OK, so you read the Guidelines, wrote an outline, but you still want to take the fast route to the shredder? Easy, just ramble. Aimlessly. For pages. About nothing of any import to the story at all. TRUTH Cleanliness may be next to Godliness, but to me brevity is king! Make your point. Don't blather. Be concise. I'd much rather ask you to expand a passage then have to use up all my precious blue pencils editing out a lot of useless, meandering.
Step 4. Don't use a dictionary! Avoid them like the plague. If that editor is worth anything at all they should be able to read your mind and figure out what you really meant to say. It's more important to have lots of polysyllabic words peppering your piece than it is to be clear about what you are saying. TRUTH Unless one of your characters is a linguistics professor, stay away from those supercalifragilisticexpialidocious words. Not sure you are using the right word? Look it up! Even words you are "pretty sure" are right - double check them. Please don't try and impress me with your huge vocabulary. If you are using words incorrectly - trust me - I won't be impressed, but maybe our cleaning guy will be.
Step 5. You still want to line the bottom of my recycling bin? OK, then don't proofread your work C A R E F U L L Y before you send it to me. In fact, don't have anyone look it over before you send it off to me. Leave words out of your sentences. Season your work with grammatical errors and misspellings. Don't check your punctuation. In fact, don't use any at all. Please. Really, our recycling center is starving for your work! TRUTH Will I forgive a mistake here and there? Yes, as long as here is not less than 4 pages from there. Everyone makes mistakes. Everyone. Always double-, triple-, quadruple-check your work. Think you've found every error? Now have a professional copyeditor or an English teacher check it.

Will all of this guarantee that I will love your work, offer you a gazillion dollar advance and a 20 book contract? No, but it will assure that your writing doesn't do the quickstep from your desk to my round file!