The Write Calling

Is writing your true calling? Here you'll find encouragements for writers, book reviews, publishing industry insider tips, and market news. Read musings on writing and publishing by Katey Coffing, Ph.D.: Life Coach for Women Writers.

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Location: Colorado, United States

Published fiction and nonfiction author who embraces her creativity and coaches other women to do the same. For information and prices, visit

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Ebooks win, and so does "plain writing"

Music I'm listening to: "Icing on the Cake" by Stephen "Tin Tin" Duffy.

Ebook sales have now surpassed print book sales at Amazon--even after excluding free ebooks. It had to happen, folks, and anyone who's still thinking it will take a couple of years for ebooks to grab more than 20% of the market is in denial (ahem, nameless "analysts" in this CNN article).

And as a former college professor, I'm smiling at this little piece of news: Long time comin'.

Monday, December 27, 2010

And this is why

This is the bestselling product at Amazon. EVER.

And yes, I love mine.

Paper is great, it really is--but its time is limited. Maybe hardbacks will survive the next decade, but honestly, I'm starting to doubt even that.

A view from the future

It's the present for Joe, but the future for many:

A Bedtime Story by J.A. Konrath

Self-publishing is not the right thing for every writer--particularly those who simply want to write and don't have an interest in all the other things (cover art, formatting, marketing) that become a self-published author's responsibility. The right path today depends on many things, including the type of book and the author's goals.

But down the road, viable businesses will spring up to handle such things for authors in an effective and affordable way that most current "author services" companies do not.

The future will be good. :)

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Rant from a reader of self-help books: Authors, don't do this.

Music I'm listening to: "Red Rose" by Alphaville.

Argh, I hate it when I read a healthy sample of a self-help book for the Kindle, like it, then buy the book--and the author continues for another third of the book trying to convince me how useful said book will be and how much I need their method of doing whatever it is. Look, if I'm able to get that far in the book, it's because I already bought the book.

Dear Self-Help Authors: I've already handed over my money. You don't need to convince me anymore. You just need to give me the information you promised in the sample.

That's right, the sample. Ask your publisher how much of the book they'll offer as a Kindle sample. This is becoming a very useful piece of information. It can and should affect what you write and how you organize the book. Yes, you'll have to consider how much front matter you have (title page, acknowledgments, table of contents, etc.), so your guess won't be exact, but you should still be aware of a reader's patience (or lack thereof).

If you self-publish, the sample will be 10% at Amazon and B&N, no more and no less. You can offer a different amount through Smashwords, but the bulk of your readers will come from the first two.

Heck, Mr./Ms. Author of the more traditional mindset, even if I were reading a print copy, do you think I'm going to stand around in the book store and peruse a full third of the book before making a decision?

Just get on with it, folks. No need to pad the page count--or waste the reader's time, which is likely as precious to her as her money.

Thank you in advance for being efficient.

Monday, December 13, 2010

A sign of the times

The Guinness Book of World Records has released an ebook version. Change is here, folks...

Sunday, December 12, 2010

The Battle of 2010: Digital Books are Winning

Music I'm listening to: "Don't Do Me Any Favours" by a-ha (yes, a-ha still exists!)

What a crazy and wonderful year for authors.

It's my job to keep an eye on the publishing industry, and digital books are on the way to changing much of it—even though a good portion of the industry resists that truth.

I've been a Kindle owner since 2008. I don't like buying printed books anymore; ebooks are so much more convenient. The only time I'll buy paper is if I MUST have a particular book immediately and it hasn't yet made it to the Kindle, or if it's a book I know I'll want to make lots of notes in (certain books about writing, for example).

My Kindle has more than 600 items on it right now. Many are the free samples of books, so I can see if I'll like the voice and style before I purchase it. Kindle samples have become my TBR (to be read) pile. Two of my family members now have Kindles, too—including someone who doesn't read much.

When e-reader prices drop again in the next year or two, I think a huge swath of consumers will stop buying mass-market paperbacks and go for digital copies instead.

Authors are benefitting from the digital revolution, too. Many have gotten the rights reverted for their backlist books, then put those books up on the Kindle where they can continue to make money instead of withering into obscurity. New authors—people who have never signed a contract with a traditional publisher—are succeeding with ebooks in a way that was simply impossible before the current digital era. They also retain full control over their books.

Traditional publishing comes with many advantages, but there are also disadvantages (such as these). While I used to recommend a traditional approach for almost every new client, there's much more to consider these days.

Options make everything more interesting!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Music I'm listening to: Moonshadow by Cat Stevens.

Hmm, I think it's time to fire up this blog again.

I've been focusing on my Write Now Quotes newsletter for the past year, and that's set up to be a brief format for encouraging writers. There have been so many developments in publishing lately (especially in digital publishing) and other things beyond the scope of WNQ that would be fun to discuss here.

So I'll be moseying my way back to this blog as well as continuing with WNQ.

Hello again, Blog World!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Music I'm listening to: "America" by Simon and Garfunkel. (I may be the 80s New Wave Queen, but I have an eclectic collection.)

Getting rejections and feeling a little low? Read this post by William Simon/Will Graham about your fellow rejectees. It'll soothe the ouchies.

You're welcome.