3.24.2006

Bambi Meets Godzilla, Round 2.

I am not an author. I am a programmer geek with something to offer authors.

My question to you is: Do author agents handle all of an author's marketing or do they recommend marketing opportunities to their authors? Basically I am wondering if I should become gum on the authors' shoes... or the agents?

Thank you for your time.



Agents don't handle marketing at all. However, that never stopped anyone from emailing me with information to pass along to authors. And of course, I'm always interested in things that help move books over the cash register.


Naturally, then, I clicked on the website in the signature.

41 comments:

Anonymous said...

It saddens me to think that the high point of this guy's life was winning an award for a library poster he designed at 10. (It was a nice poster.)

These inventor types need to research the marketplace just as much as we writer types. Too bad there isn't a patent-lawyer type equivalent to Miss Snark.

Ha, didn't like it. I shall try again! This one is easier to understand.

And these word verification thingies are getting harder and harder to read, and yes, I'm wearing my glasses.

Chesya said...

How many readers can you actually reach with something like that? Not many, I'd bet.

Anonymous said...

not even a site counter to see what you might get for your $100

Anonymous said...

Love the Dewey Decimal idea...not.

Did this person think novelists might be the main maraket?? There isn't even a place on the "category" for science fiction, let alone any of the sub categories.

word verification: nitwit

Anonymous said...

"I'm unemployable...send money"

December Quinn said...

Oh for Pete's sake.

Anonymous said...

contact section: if you send an email to the wrong person it will be deleted unread.

Clearly this is a put on.

No one is this clueless about marketing...are they?

Anonymous said...

"if you send an email to the wrong person it will be deleted unread"

The staff of one is too busy to sort emails?

Anonymous said...

The concept is cute, making it appear as though the browser is in the Library stacks. However, I think before it can be of any value, there has to be a lot of marketing, links to the big booksellers such as Amazon.com, B&N, Borders, etc.

More importantly, the big guns have to link to this site. Presently, the Google ranking for this page is zero (out of ten). By way of comparison, Miss Snark is six out of ten, and even Google's home page only rates a seven.

Also, while $100 cost to add a single book may not be high for a publisher, it's really steep for an author.

Bottom line--I think this is the start of an idea, but it requires a ton more research to determine it's feasibility.

Before I'd consider any scheme like this, I'd look into sites which get their revenue from book sellers who link to them and advertise there, and not from me.

Addendum--I think LibraryThing at http://www.librarything.com/ is a really cool site. You can catalogue up to 200 books in your personal library for free, and an unlimited number for $10/year or $25/lifetime. You also get to see what others have. (Maya turned me onto this site and I think it's aces.)

anon-y-mouse

Anonymous said...

Not for me, but I really liked the FAQ: Why don't you just get a job? hehe.

Kirsten said...

This is just a variation of the million dollar pixel idea that British kid came up with --

http://newsvote.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/magazine/4585026.stm

Sarah said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

NO thanks!!! The dude is clueless on the marginal earnings of most writers. The ones earning big enough bucks to throw away on his site don't need to be there as they're already well known.

I'm a mid-list writer with over 20 novels to promote. The 2 grand+ I'd have to toss his way would maintain my website for years, buy me a lot of traveling to conventions to promote my books or plenty of ad space in a genre-appropriate magazine that reaches thousands of readers each month.

What a rip-off.

(Insert loud raspberry sound here.)

Eileen said...

There is a Canadian govt worker running a website called "help me early retire." You send him money- he'll retire and then blog about how much fun he's having for the people who donated. If this works I will hate him.

Sarah said...

I was about to mention Library Thing! I discovered it last week and spent many happy hours tagging my books and finding the little graphical covers that match mine. SO fun.

I think what makes it really neat for me are the statistics. For instance, my library is here: http://www.librarything.com/profile/jedisluzer
And then on the right you can see who has what I have. You can also see what books and authors are most popular, what authors are most collectible, and a couple of other cool stats.

Lady M said...

I think several things:

1) The Amazon, etc. connection would make it more interesting and worth while.

2) The amount for an author is phenomenally(sp?) high. Outrageous, even.

3) Concept is good - the graphics are cheap. If it were designed better and could pull in more readers that would be fine.

4) What kind of advertisement would this web guru generate?

5) Like I said - it isn't a horrid idea and with a lot of "plumping" it could be even worthwhile.

plumping = getting to big marketers to enhance the site sales - getting better graphics - lowering the price - getting adverts that would draw people in and color coordinating the darn place. Bigger book spaces - and most definetely needs a DEMO so that people can see what they are ordering.

So there - done. LOL!

Lady M
Blogspot is driving me nutso today - I haven't been able to post crapola today.

Anonymous said...

Just visited the million dollar pixel site and I have to say this: that is marketing genius! (And a good deal for those who buy pixel space. People will come and cruise just to find Waldo, err, I mean see what's there. And your $100 buys space forever-ish.)

This bookseller idea, however, just doesn't have the "you-gotta-see-this" charm that the MDP site has. Clearly this guy is a wanna-be who (1) has no original ideas and (2) is lazy.

Jude Hardin said...

If Brandi fills all her slots, she'll make $110,400. For what? Maybe I'm missing something, but I just don't see the attraction here. What does the author get out of it? You're basically paying to have your work published, a big no no in my book.

Jim C. Hines said...

Kirsten beat me to mentioning the million-pixel idea. But I think it was the sheer novelty that worked for that first site. Now there are tons of knock-offs, most of which look pretty sad. The virtual bookshelf is somewhat pretty, but...no. It's no longer a novel idea (sorry), and I can't imagine any reason your average reader would visit the site.

If I'm gonna blow $100, I'll do something more fun like ordering custom M&M's with my book title on the back to hand out at readings and signings.

Anonymous said...

WTF?!

No...I think I'll use my $100.00 to start up my OWN website.

Janelle Martin said...

Kristen, I was just about to post the same thing - good thing I read through all the replies before answering.

It's an interesting idea, I'll have to keep an eye on it and see if it works.

Anonymous said...

my first reaction - wtf?

I've just picked myself up off the floor from my second reaction.

bookfraud said...

"i am not an author." or apparently, a reader.

nice try, this is america, we reward innovation, and i imagine that there is at least one desperate soul who will put his or her book in the first place bookcase. sadly.

yeah, it looks like a variation on the million dollar internet page guy in the uk.

BuffySquirrel said...

What strikes me is that this would convince more if the revenue (or the majority of it) were being raised through advertising. At least then authors could believe that it would also be in the creator's interest to promote the site.

As things stand, for $100 you get a place on the bookshelf. And nothing else. Even if nobody ever looks at the site, or follows a link to your page, the creator has still fulfilled their obligation.

Last month my site had 257 unique visitors (it's okay, you don't have to pity me :D). I'll put y'all's covers on a page for $5.

M. G. Tarquini said...

I don't mean to be unkind, but the programmer is at her blog talking about all the anonymous feedback she's getting for her idea. That would be all of us commenting in this thread. She's also going to put in a counter so we can all see how much traffic gets to her site - 443 so far when she posted that post as she is quick to note. No doubt because Miss Snark linked her.

I smell opportunist. That's not a bad thing, but the graphics aren't very pretty and the book titles aren't there. It's a crap shoot what people will be clicking and pointing to. Books in the immediate middle or beginning of the field that pops up in the browser will have the best shot. I'll let this opportunity go right on past me.

Barbjn said...

Maybe this is the same guy who thought of this for illustrators:

http://www.millionpixelimage.com/

millionpixelimage.php

Take a single web page, divide it up into as many tiny spaces as possible and sell them.

Oy.

barbjn

Anonymous said...

Boy am I disappointed in Miss Snark. She may be interested "in things that help move books over the cash register", but she's given free advertising to someone, I would assume, she does not know and whose business she is not familiar with.

This person IS NOT a marketer; does not appear to have promotional / sales experience; and does not understand the business she aspires to undertake. There is no real value in this Web site.

Miss Snark said...

Gee Anon, you want to get that stick out of your ass and read the post again? Maybe you missed the headline.
Maybe you missed the sense of "and then"
and maybe you don't understand that talking about something here doesn't imply, infer or enjoy an endorsement. This is a blog about stuff in publishing. If I think you should/should not do/buy/read/fondle something or some service, I'll say. Pretty much in plain language.

I'd say "get a grip" but I think you've got your shoes on too tight as it is.

Anonymous said...

I visited her website. She's a young woman trying to find her way in the world of business on the Internet. Yes, she has a way to go, but she did heed some of the remarks here and changed a few things. There are Publish America people or (name a vanity press) who would probably not mind spending the cash to "promote" their book. Heck, they've probably shelled out hundreds--thousands--anyway. Maybe she is onto something. Maybe not. Got to admit, at least she's trying.

Yasmine Galenorn said...

Oh yeah, I'm going to spend $100 a book title to have it listed on an internet site...yep, that's bright. My books are already listed on thousands of sites where they get money because they're online booksellers and I didn't have to pay a dime.

It takes more than creating a website to be an effective publicist. ding Thank you for playing, try again. ~grins~

Peter L. Winkler said...

Michael Allen, of the Grumpy Old Bookman blog, linked a site a couple of weeks ago that uses the same concept as this one. I don't know which came first, but they are both obvious variations on the million dollar web site gimmick.

BTW, according to blogger Dave Munger, the million dollar web site's creator had one or more professional publicists on his payroll. That solves the mystery of how the site became an omnipresent news item so quickly. These things don't happen by accident.

jta said...

It'll be interesting to see how long the case remains completely gray.

We could have a pool!

Miss Snark said...

I think a pool is a great idea! The bizarre thing of course is that if everyone keeps clicking over to check for ..."arrivals"..the site stats will go up and some unwary soul might actually bite.

Anonymous said...

The approach is wrong here. They should give away a significant number of slots to very popular books and authors for a temporary period. The site needs a reputation before anyone will actually pay to be listed there, or more importantly, visit it for any purpose other than to criticize.

Anonymous said...

Ah, but a fool is born every minute. People published by PA will probably run to get their book listed there, and not mind paying the $100.

Anonymous said...

Y'all are so mean! Did you notice the site's only been up a few days? Surely anyone who can teach herself porograming can teach herself marketing. She has the savvy to get this much consultation for free. Cut her some slack, view this as a work in progress, and check it in a month. If she implements all of these ideas it could become a kick-ass website. Keep an open mind.

Anonymous said...

If you read all the comments straight through, you'll see some people saying that maybe she is enterprising and that she will probably get people to fork over $100--the people who already forked over money to be "published" (by PA or some vanity press).

A fool born every minute seems to pertain to those very people who are willing to pay to be published and will pay to be on her site. She's not the fool--what is all this costing her?

wyile said...

Anonymous said...
Y'all are so mean! Did you notice the site's only been up a few days? Surely anyone who can teach herself porograming can teach herself marketing. She has the savvy to get this much consultation for free. Cut her some slack, view this as a work in progress, and check it in a month. If she implements all of these ideas it could become a kick-ass website. Keep an open mind.

Why do I have a strong suspicion that this is the creator of said website, jumping to her own defence?
This sort of thing might work, if it weren't so ridiculously pricey - I might consider it, if it were less than $5... but it's not something that will help mainstream authors sell books. It will probably be a turn off to publishers/agents. The programmer may not have intended to be predatory, or for this idea to come off as a scam - I think, or hope, it's driven by general ignorance. But it would be a huge waste of money for most. Perhaps it could be geared towards a market of self-published niche books?

Anonymous said...

"Why do I have a strong suspicion that this is the creator of said website, jumping to her own defense?"

I'm the anon refered to, and I assure you that I am not the creator of said website. In the interest of full disclosure, I have been in contact with said creator since this thread came up.

I'm not self-published, btw; I get wide distribution. I'm big in Japan. (Total lie about Japan; I just wanted to say it.(would insert emoticon here if I could get past my anti-emoticon snobbery))

Here's why I think this site could become great marketing:

You know the line in your contract that says you get full royalties up to a 49, 51, 75, whatever percent discount? The major venders get major discounts (49 to 98%). The free advertizing you get on Amazon gives you exposure, not cash.

Authors get screwed because we don't understand how the business works. (That's why we need agents, right?)

I agree that $100 is too much for the advertizing space offered on the bookcase website, but I think the premise is right on. You can link to the seller of your choice, ensuring that you get your full royalties from the sale.

I'm not ready to write off this website. I'm not ready to risk my money, either. I think it needs major tweaking, but the core idea of an impartial advertising venue is really exciting.

jta said...

Anon, do you really think anyone is going to sit at their machine and point-and-click those tiny little spines, just to see a cover? Or, allowing for the full range of human perversity and granting that some might do it, how many do you think they'll click before their forehead hits the keyboard? Even with live links, a writer could hardly hope for a hit a month on a blog or website, even if they got the "premium" shelfspace. It's Thousand-Card Monte. Find the idiot.

I can't imagine anyone paying to be part of this except a vanity author who was already massively invested and totally without any other avenues to publicity. No doubt there are people with the means to underwrite their delusions, but there aren't that many: such people tend to go broke soon. So where is the draw for this site--the power to attract clickers-- upon which the whole enterprise depends? It's advertising, right? So where are the eyes coming from?

Kick-ass site? Yeah, come get your ass kicked.

Anonymous said...

jta,

Check the site again (updated to include many of these suggestions). It's not just point and click; info pops up when you roll over, and a click leads you to a sales page.