I had a product demonstration of GetGlue today with Ami Grecko. I had learned of GetGlue before but I really didn’t understand how it worked. After all, do I really need another social networking service? At the end of the thirty minutes, I was convinced that this wasn’t just another social networking service and I could really see value in it, enough so that I am going to try it out. One of the things I really liked was that it gathered all the media products: TV shows, movies, DVDs, and books, in one place. Another thing I liked was that, if you downloaded the browser add on, you could have get glue follow you around the web. If I was at Amazon, looking at a book, the GetGlue add on would show me how my GetGlue friends have rated the product. I’ve arranged for Ami to come back after DABWAHA and give an interview about the product. It’s free. That’s the first, most important, thing, right?
Disclaimer: I have no financial interest in this product whatsoever. Ami did sit next to me at Tools of Change during a lunch but the lunch was part of the TOC conference package. I don’t think that counts, does it?
Further Disclaimer: I did get invited to guest blog at The New Sleekness, Ami’s publishing blog. I blogged today about reader fickleness.
Usually I don’t post these, in part because there is so much to post, but today’s Harlequin Friday Freebie is Anne Stuart’s first category, Tangled Lies. Yes, it is free. It is free if you buy two other books. Sorry for not reading the promo carefully. Another free book is Half Past Dead by Zoe Archer and Bianca D’Arc from Sony. Mireya notes that you have to call customer service to get a refund for the free book. Further updated: this promo is available only to US readers. Non US Readers have to pay $10.08. Thanks Christine M. Again, free has strings I guess.
Continuing on with the “free” concept, John Hilton III and David Wiley have released the results of a study they did on free digital books and the affect on print sales. Hilton and Wiley used bookscan to track the variances of sales pre and post promotional freebie. Most of the time sales increased, although not all of the time. I wonder if the decrease in sales, however, was the result of lack of availability in the bookstore. It’s hard to measure. Hilton and Wiley suggest caution for publishers using their study as the basis of a promotional strategy and urge that more studies be performed.
In our own survey, 92.70% have downloaded a free book with 70.44% making a purchased based on that free read.
Here’s a really delightful news piece on romance genre that is based on the Yale class being taught by Lauren Willig and Andrea DaRif. I really liked this paragraph but the whole article is worth a read:
Others rebut feminist critiques of romance novels by saying that such criticism is, at best, beside the point. Even if you believe that the books perpetuate harmful stereotypes, romance is hardly be the only genre to systematically denigrate women. "In many genres-‘horror or spy fiction, for example," said Willig, "Women are treated horribly by men, whereas in romance novels at least the women are the heroines." The pervasive nature of sexism in media means that to expect romance novels to be paragons of gender equality is to hold them to a much higher standard than any other form of popular entertainment.
Author Rob Thurman is desperate to get on the NY Times Bestseller list and to be reviewed on Amazon. To ensure the former happens, Thurman gave specific instructions to her readers on how to make this happen which includes ONLY buying from physical retail stores and ONLY buying the release date. As far as I know, print sales on Amazon does count toward the NYTimes list and only a select few bookstores around the US are considered NY Times reporting stores. She suggests that you aren’t a troo fan if you don’t and even proceeds to tell readers to cancel their orders if they don’t comply with her demands.
She’s impatient with those who don’t understand:
One more time people:now..cough..FRAKKING LISTEN. I’ve said it 1000 times in the past 2 wks, ONLINE sales DON’T COUNT. Don’t help me at all
To ensure the latter happens, Thurman offered free books and other goodies in exchange for reviews at Amazon. When one reader took offense to this, Thurman responded with these comments.
R. Thurman says:
How do you think I even get *60* reviews? NYT #1 sellers get hundreds of Amazon reviews because they have about a hundred thousand readers more than I do. I have young fans who aren’t inclined to take time to leave a review, I many have fans who buy the book the first day from a bookstore and it doesn’t cross their mind to leave a review at a place where they didn’t buy it. So if you have any suggestions to catch attention other than giving away prizes to leave reviews (of *your* choice, good or bad), well, goddamned, I’d love to hear it.
R. Thurman says:
How about this, JP? Get off your butt and try selling books when your publisher does not contribute a penny to do it. Try to get people to leave reviews who don’t buy off Amazon (as most of my fans don’t…they hit the bookstore first week.) And try to read a little more closely…if you wanted a signed copy of a book you did hate, I *would* think you had problems, but if you still wanted it, I’d give it. I didn’t read the Amazon reviews of people I chose at random to receive the books. And a long time fan of mine left me a scathing review (I just found out) ripping the book to shreds. Do I know if I gave her a signed copy? No idea. Oh, and I make less than 50 cents per book before taxes. I make less than the person working the McDonald’s drive thru–part time. So how about you cut me some slack? Writing these days is 10% writing and 90% promotion, and while I hate that, I have to do it. When you’re willing to support me and save me from this ‘bribe’ ridden life, give me a call.
We’ve reviewed Thurman positively here. Jia tells me she is a great author. Obviously people are loving her books. But browbeating readers doesn’t seem like a good marketing scheme in the long run.
In true irony, though, Thurman has been outed as a fan fiction author who wrote ghostbusters fan fiction under her real name: Robyn Thurman but has been known to decry the fan ficcers who write slash about her main characters.
The tech blogs have news about Microsoft’s Courier which looks about as lust worthy as the iPad. The rumor is that the Courier is due to be released in late 2010. Pre orders for the iPad begin on March 12 and April 3.
Craig Mod takes a look at books and design suggesting that some books are form agnostic and some are form definite. The iPad (and I presume devices like it) are allowing for form definite books that eink readers and small smartphones have not.
We’re going to see new forms of storytelling emerge from this canvas. This is an opportunity to redefine modes of conversation between reader and content. And that’s one hell of an opportunity if making content is your thing.
(Via Christine Rimmer)
Ace Books is partnering with UBISoft to produce a novel based on the video game, Assassin’s Creed. I assume that this novel will be ghost written. I’ve never read novelizations based on TV series or movies but I know the Star Trek novel series is pretty popular, right?