The Ten Most *Sold* Books in the World

September 28, 2012 § 4 Comments

While I object to the misleading title of this infographic (as well as some other specifics), I still think it’s pretty interesting and worth sharing.

To elaborate on what I find objectionable: just because a book has more copies sold, does not necessarily mean more people have read those books. For example, it’s not unusual for a family to own multiple copies of the Bible, while ever member of a family might not have a personal copy of Gone With the Wind, even if they’ve all read it. That could also skew up the perceived readership of books like Harry Potter where some families bought two copies (or more) of the book so they could read it at the same time.
On which subject, what book are they evaluating when they say “Harry Potter” or “The Lord of the Rings” or “The Twilight Saga”? Does it count total sales for the series? If so, a book like The Alchemist would be more read than any single Harry Potter book (as 400 million divided amongst seven books is only [pssh, “only”] 57 million books apiece).

I could go on, but you get the point. All that said, I still think it’s interesting to see. The Alchemist has moved way up my “to read” list.

As an aside, Hello! It’s been a long time and I’m rather happy to be back. The break was necessary for me as I was reassessing priorities in life. Blogging time was coming directly out of my writing time which, once I stepped back and got a little perspective, didn’t make a whole lot of sense to me. Hopefully this is the beginning of a new season of blogging for me–assuming I can strike a better balance with it– so check in again sometime relatively soon. As always, thanks for stopping by!

2 things the Hunger Games film reminds us about the book industry

March 23, 2012 § 9 Comments

It’s not a big secret that I’m pretty conflicted about books that are made into movies, even (and sometimes especially) if the movies turn out good. That said, it’s been incredibly encouraging to see all the hubbub created by the release of the first Hunger Games movie. I’ve talked to dozens of people who would never have heard of the book if it weren’t for the movie, many of them who were reading it to see what the commotion is all about. Even better–“something better than getting people reading?!” you ask–yes, even better is that it’s getting people talking about the themes of the book, like privileged people taking what they have for granted and turning a blind eye to the suffering of others, and being used by non-profits as an opportunity to raise awareness about world hunger.

And I have to admit that it would be dishonest of me to say that I haven’t been stoked to see it.

So rather than get down about the fact that many times more people are going to see the movie than will ever read the book, I’m looking at the positive. « Read the rest of this entry »

The “It’s a Book” book trailer

January 30, 2012 § Leave a comment

This book trailer is a great example of what we’ve been talking about lately: It’s funny, well-made, and targets a specific demographic.  All those things add up to more than 400,000 thousand views (and me wanting to post it here). Enjoy.

What do you think? Does it make you want to read the book?

Targeting a specific audience for your book trailer

January 20, 2012 § 2 Comments

Or: Book trailers from a video pro’s perspective: The sequel

Last week we talked about book trailers in general and A) book trailers can be a powerful way to market your book, but B) there are a ton of mediocre book trailers out there, and C) if you want to only spend $100 on a book trailer, you should spend your money on other kinds of marketing instead because there is a quality threshold with video, below which I would be surprised if you recouped the cost of the video from added sales (even if it’s only $100). This post started out as a discussion of all the challenges book trailers face, but as it turns out, they are legion and I wanted to take more time addressing them than I could in a single post, so here’s a start talking about the most fundamental problem most book trailers have.

Before starting any book trailer (or any marketing at all), it’s important (if you want your money’s worth) to ask two simple questions: « Read the rest of this entry »

The selective pigheadedness of fantasy fans

January 16, 2012 § 5 Comments

Or: The tension between fantasy and familiar

(Note: for anyone hoping for the second post on book trailers: It’s coming, but I haven’t had the time to put it together properly yet, so be patient)

Recently I found myself in a bookish conversation when my fellow reader took issue with the use of the word “id” in a fantasy story (though I can’t remember which story for the life of me). The argument was that id is part of a theory of the psyche that was developed by Freud, and since Freud had never lived in this fantasy world, the characters wouldn’t have any idea what id was.

I’ve raised similar issues before regarding technology or terms that don’t belong in a given fantasy world, my favorite being « Read the rest of this entry »

Book trailers from a video professional’s perspective

January 13, 2012 § 8 Comments

I’ve been meaning to talk about book trailers for a while, but it was an overwhelming subject to tackle. Then, during the Tuesday night episode of Jersey Shore (I didn’t watch. I just heard. Don’t hate me) there was a book trailer for The Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare, which precipitated this post. (Note: for anyone not up to speed on book advertising, book trailers are basically a video hook to try and entice readers to buy your book, much like a movie trailer.)

I have something of a unique perspective on book trailers because, in addition to spending my free time writing and reading, I work full time as video producer and editor « Read the rest of this entry »

In which the author contemplates books and roads, and almost catches hypothermia

January 4, 2012 § 7 Comments

Yesterday, as I was waiting for a bus that never came, I found myself in a deep, contemplative frame of mind, most likely caused by the early stages of hypothermia. I’ve been thinking a lot in the last year about what makes a book “good,” and as I stood waiting, I found myself led down that line of thought. There are plenty of books that I enjoy that, truth be told, are not the best-written things in the world. Likewise, there is no shortage of books that are wonderfully written that I should like, but can’t bring myself to enjoy (or even finish).

It occurred to me as I began to lose feeling in my fingers and toes that « Read the rest of this entry »

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