Wednesday, 3 September 2008

The last 10 books?

As I go along, I'm starting to be a bit more proactive. I.e., asking questions when I don't understand, looking up things (like EPISODIC! ACK!) and marketing details.
If you haven't been there, the Newbies guide to writing is a great resource for marketing ideas. I especially like his latest post: The myth of a good book.

The guy is straight up right. It doesn't necessarily mean if you write a great book and edit a great book and find a great agent and find a great publisher everything's gravy. You need to get the word out.

And that got me to thinking...

The ten last books I bought and why I bought them:

1. The Absolutely true story of a part time indian - I got this one because I have heard so much about his voice, how true and straight he is. Some have even compared him to JD Salinger and I have to say I heard echoes for sure.

Great book, BTW.

2. Stephenie Meyer series (Counts for 4 but we'll say one) - I got this one because of all the brouhaha I'd heard about her, the series, and the protagonist. The major press releases got me on these, and I have to say I read them to compare to the JK Rowling comment. 

3. The Enchanted - Cover design and back copy. I was looking for a book and well, there it was. Anything with a horse and Ireland is usually a go for me.

4. Coal Black Horse - It sounded good.

5. God of Animals - It sounded good.

6. On Writing Sol Stein - Sounded good.

7. American Gods - I read and liked Anansi boys, heard about this one through various blogs I visit, and borrowed it from a friend at work.

8. The Redemption of Althathus - A bud (Tobias) of mine recommended Althathus as a fantasy of the "old school" type. I had to read it to see.

9. Tethered - I found her blog when putting updates up and read enough about it to be intrigued.

10. Water for elephants - Saw in bookstore, cover design and back copy, and I read the first page. Got hooked. 

What does this tell me about my own results? The books I bought off recommendation were books that were animal based, like PS, and had strong protagonists. In other words, books that mine would be up against, conceivably. The others I heard about from blogs, press releases, and friends.

SO. What does this mean for me? Meet more people. Make more blog friends. Get more marketing information. I am woefully behind the times on marketing your own books, and I figure perhaps you all are too? So I'm going to make sure to link to what I find so that when that day happens I've got it here. And ready.

The Newbies guide is a great blog for this. I think I'll even link to him. He is super good.

Oh, and make sure my book is as good as inhumanely possible. Which I'm doing right now. :)


Heidi the Hick said...

This has got me thinking...

In the last two years I've gotten a lot of books because they were written by blog buddies, or I became aware of them on blogs. But I've also walked into a book store, picked up a book, and had to go up to the counter to pay for it! I think a lot about how this works, and what makes the difference between a book I'll buy and one I'll just check out of the library.

I think your reading list is very complementary to what you're writing. And I do know my writing suffers if I don't read.

JKB said...

I never really stopped to think about where I was finding the books I was reading. Before when I had an english bookstore available I probably wasn't so picky. But now I have to be, and it's really interesting to see the results.

Which have you read lately??

JenWriter said...

Most of the books I've read lately is purely due to blogs. Blog buzz, reading the author's blog, reading a review for a book on an aspiring writer's blog. And I'm totally going to buy the Forest of Hands and Teeth the day it hits the shelves. Why? Well, I read Carrie's blog. That's the only way I'd know about it.

Craziness! Having a blog presence does work for sales, I'm telling you.

JKB said...

I fully believe in blogs. I think they are so necessary. I agree also about Carrie's book. It looks really interesting. :)

Heidi said...

Great post! I thought about this the other day in the bookstore, about writing a post about why I bought the ones I did and why I put downs the ones I did.

I can be a bit superficial: cover art and titles will definitely make me open a book, and one with a blah title and boring (or unappealing, even worse!) cover I might not even pick up to read the back.

I've read a lot based on agents: choosing an agent I think looks great and then reading a few of her books to make sure I'd fit. I've read some really great, unusual books that way I would never have otherwise.

And blogs. The cyber version of word of mouth. That's probably my favorite way, because they are usually so good!

Very cool post! I'll have to look up some of the books on your list.... especially the ones recommended by AE!

BTW: what is the title of your book? You were temporarily calling it Ike, then P, and, while I've read a lot, I don't actually know what it's called!

JKB said...

Hey Heidi,

I think it's amazing what different people buy and why...

... and the working title right now is Possum Summer. It was a couple different names during the process, but this one is the nicest and most descriptive. Although I normally call it Ike when I'm just talking about it with my critique homies.


Heidi said...

like Babs. Shorter than Some Kind of Normal, and more appealing than SKON!

Great name. I can already visualize the cover!