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Rick Chesler

Rick's scientific accuracy gained him invitations to whale research voyages.


9/13/10 19:17:25 Opening "Chat Log 9-13-10"

W2PSushi: Go ahead.
R Chesler: Okay, so "Wired Kingdom" was published 3 months ago by small press Variance, for their paperback imprint Deviation Books.
R Chesler: It was released in both mass market paperback and KIndle versions.
Rose1533: So this book was started in 2004?
R Chesler: Yes, Rose. It was a part-time project of mine started in '04.
Rose1533: Paul, do I dare tell him how long writing a novel took for me?
R Chesler: In '05 I re-joined W2P and some of the very earliest chapters were critiqued.
W2PSushi: Carol, most of us know, so we're scare-proofed.
Rose1533: LOL!
R Chesler: Finished a "final" version in '08.
R Chesler: Sent to agents, had no serious luck going that route, so in '09 I sent it to the small press who expressed interest and eventually bought it.
Mallie1025: We all know it never takes that long to write a book--just to get to it. (lol)
Mallie1025: Rick in this market I think that's the only way to go.
R Chesler: Worked on edits and revisions with them for another year, and it was released in '10.
W2PSushi: How did you discover the small press?
R Chesler: A writer whose work I admired--Steve Alten, author of giant shark series MEG, told me about them.
R Chesler: Immediately after I signed for the book, the social networks began exploding and I joined Facebook and Twitter, where I found a thriving publishing community, including my own publisher who was using those platforms to promote.
W2PSushi: I've seen Alten's work on the shelves.
W2PSushi: <-- got 1500+ Facebook friends.
Rose1533: I still have yet to see mine on the shelves.
R Chesler: Yes, Alten also does a non-shark series about the Mayan doomsday prophecies, see PHOBOS and DOMAIN.
R Chesler: I wouldn't necessarily shun traditional New York publishing, but today there are certainly other viable avenues to getting your work read. R Chesler: By the way, for any of you who may be interested, here is the link to the submissions info page for my publisher.
W2PSushi: Even the biggies will not promote your book much, necessarily, these days.
R Chesler: I am certain I received more publicity help with my current publisher than I would have with a large one.
W2PSushi: Thanks.
R Chesler: They made a book trailer for me, for one thing, which you can see here.
Rose1533: Don't I wish!
W2PSushi: Very good promotional tool.
R Chesler: So anyway...if any of you have anything specific you'd like to comment on, ask away... or like me to comment on, whichever.
Rose1533: Yes, I know. But I'm clueless on how to make my own.
Rose1533: Actually, I think I may have a source, now that I think about it.....
R Chesler: They are good because, for one thing, they allow you to maintain a presence on Youtube, which is a hugely trafficed site.
W2PSushi: How fussy was your editor? (If I may be so blunt.)
R Chesler: He requested additional revisions on characterization...in fact, the word count went from about 85K or so when they bought it to published at 95K.
W2PSushi: Wow!
R Chesler: Yeah, so I was adding stuff in more than taking it out, but there were some cuts as well.
W2PSushi: So they put a lot of effort into your book, as my editors have done, but only for short works (so far).
R Chesler: I had wanted this lean, mean, super-taut thrill-ride of a book, and my editor felt it needed to be fleshed out a tad more.
W2PSushi: Perhaps it's now more Literary in tone.
R Chesler: I don't think most readers would consider it literary; definitely not what I was going for, anyway.
R Chesler: But in the beginning I did have a more rambling manuscript. As I'm sure Paul remembers.
Mallie1025: Rick--very nice trailer!! I love the background music, sounds like whale songs. And you have a nice amount of viewers for a book just released.
R Chesler: Thank you, Mallie--yes, there are indeed some real whale vocalizations in the trailer.
R Chesler: Anyway, back to the trailers, I would say only to use one if it truly resonates with your vision for the book.
R Chesler: If it's just kind of like, "Ehh, not bad," then don't use it.
R Chesler: We had several versionas of the trailer before this final one, and I'm very glad we went through that process.
W2PSushi: Technical note, "book trailer" is copyrighted (by a lady who's pretty active), but there is no widely accepted generic alternate term.
R Chesler: When I saw that final trailer, I was like "Yes! That's the book! That's what I want people to see to get them interested in my book."
Rose1533: Ah ha! I thought this book was already out--I mean long ago. I've seen your Facebook icon for so long....
Mallie1025: It's perfect, blunt, fast moving and short.
R Chesler: I started promoting the book about a year before it was published, as soon as the ink had dried on my contract, basically.
R Chesler: Which was good, because the editing process was long and slow, with lots of waiting periods where I had submitted my edits and had to wait to hear back; during those times creating my website, adding friends, etc., kept me busy.
Rose1533: I should have, but I have no business sense whatsoever.
Mallie1025: Yes, that was good. I didn't know that libraries only take PDF's 3-4 months BEFORE publishing, so missed out on one good marketing idea.
R Chesler: Libraries and pdf's?
W2PSushi: Oooo, excellent trailer.
R Chesler: Thanks, Paul!
Mallie1025: Yes, you can send your final manuscript as a galley to the libraries but it has to be 3-4 months before release.
R Chesler: Interesting, I hadn't known that.
Rose1533: Yes, it was. Where did the footage come from?
Mallie1025: If only one book is in each library --think of all the libraries there are in this country, and if you sent to the major one in one state, it goes to them all.
R Chesler: Stock.
Mallie1025: But that ship has sailed unless I re-release.
R Chesler: Makes, sense, Mallie--but how do people read them? On the library computers?
Mallie1025: Rick neither did I, till after the fact.
Mallie1025: People don't--the library does, and then takes your book when it's released if they like it.
R Chesler: Ohhhhh, I see--ok, I didn't know they did that to screen potential new books.
Mallie1025: They won't take a published book--makes no sense to me either.
Rose1533: I keep getting e-mails about book fairs in different countries--libraries looking for your book, etc.
R Chesler: That is a real gem of information. I probably would have done that, had I known.
Rose1533: Oh, and book promotion deals.
Mallie1025: Me too--really annoys me.
R Chesler: But now with all the e-book formats, don't you think that if they see one doing well tha they would order it?
Rose1533: I don't have the money.
Mallie1025: True Rose--they sound great, but they all want money.
Rose1533: Exactly.
Rose1533: Money I haven't got in the first place.
R Chesler: Interesting.
W2PSushi: Half of those (non-library) offers are ripoffs. You will never see how much they do -- if anything.
Rose1533: No doubt. I just delete them all.
Mallie1025: I think there's one in Chicago that does--I have the link somewhere and e-mail to the guy I wrote to.
W2PSushi: One of my Yard Doggie friends is a long-time librarian. Boy does she tell some hilarious stories.
R Chesler: Need to be careful about paying for any promotion. 8% roaylties on a $7.99 paperback take a while to add up.
Rose1533: Bad enough I didn't get a royalty check this month. B&N sent most of my books back. This is the TCU Bookstore, mind you. They kept the books over the summer and sent them back before regular school started.
Rose1533: So I'm in the red right now. GRRRRR
R Chesler: So if you pay even $100 for some promotional help, that's a lotta books you need to sell to truly make it worth it!
Mallie1025: There are a lot of ways to sell on line, but I am such a Luddite, I can't figure out the technology of it.
Rose1533: I'm bringing my own books next time! I still have plenty of them!
Mallie1025: Me too Rose.
Rose1533: Just $9 though. It'll just go against the next few checks.
R Chesler: How about book signings? Effective for the new author or waste of time?
Rose1533: Depends on if you provide your own books.
R Chesler: Supposing the publisher provides the books ahead of time, and that they are actually there in the store before your signing (lol).
Mallie1025: Lately, a waste of time. The best sellers are reducing their books to 5-10 dollars so people are buying them up and we can't afford yet to drop prices, so we're outsold.
Mallie1025: The last B&N bok signing I held, the store was packed and I sold one book.
Rose1533: B&N bought 20 for my signing. I sold three, they sold one more, but school was out for summer--fewer summer school college kids. They sent the rest back.
R Chesler: Ouch. But you were there. You held the event. Sold a book.
Mallie1025: Sure, bins of them reduced so low we haven't got a prayer.
Rose1533: Every other place, I brought my own supply.
W2PSushi: One step at a time, it seems.
Rose1533: Yes, and all of them were autographed, too.
R Chesler: Seems like with the internet it's possible to reach more people than you will by sitting in a store for a couple hours, but I tend not to rule anything out completely.
Mallie1025: I do better at Borders--usually 10 books and they sell the rest later off the shelves or in bins marked 'signed books.'
Rose1533: In four signings, I've sold a total of 27 books.
Mallie1025: Always leave your books behind at a bookstore signed.
W2PSushi: How many books does your publisher put out in a typical year?
R Chesler: Mine is on track to put out 6 or 7 this year, I think.
W2PSushi: That's good for a small press.
Mallie1025: Rick that true--think of the amount of peole on Facebook--wide open market if you can get to them and get them interested.
Rose1533: It was awhile before B&N would even hold a signing for me.
R Chesler: Yeah.
Rose1533: I had to go independent for a year or so.
Mallie1025: I'd suggest you join some of the better writer's sites, too.
R Chesler: And for more established authors, the in-store signings are usually well attended.
Rose1533: Most of my sales have been at the local Renaissance Festival. 18 in two years (plus I gave three away last year).
Mallie1025: Rose, I was on the shelves of B&N for two years and a computer glitch bumped me off, and I can't get back on.
Rose1533: To the 'King Henry' and 'Queen Anne' who I'd known forever, and the woman who made my costume.
Mallie1025: Rick yes and they can sell 50-100 or more books, while at a signing the average for a newbie is about 1 dozen.
R Chesler: Sounds about right.
Rose1533: I'm on their website. You can order it there. I'm on Amazon, of course, and B&N and Borders--but Borders doesn't know my name. They only know the title of my book.
R Chesler: Personally I've found Borders by far the most difficult to deal with.
Mallie1025: Many say that, Rick-oddly my local one is very user-friendly.
Rose1533: There's only one here. I'll have to check them out again. Haven't been in there for awhile.
W2PSushi: Any interest from whale researchers? Greenpeace or someone? Scuba divers groups?
R Chesler: Yes, Paul, in fact I was invited to come along on a blue whale tagging cruise in California.
W2PSushi: Very cool!
Mallie1025: Wow!!
R Chesler: Some of the whale experts I contacted while researching the book were most helpful.
Rose1533: Oh wow. That would be so cool.
W2PSushi: If only whales had credit cards.
Rose1533: Do you, by any chance, watch Whale Wars on Discovery Channel?
R Chesler: I think I've had some interested from the same people who enjoy watching shows like Whale Wars and The Cove, etc, but animal activism is only one small part of the book's overall story.
W2PSushi: We spent the last week watching cable shows -- on the motel TVs.
R Chesler: Good stuff?
W2PSushi: Our vacation indulgence. Some good, I suppose.
Rose1533: So how much does your book sell for?
R Chesler: Yes, I enjoy Whale Wars, Man vs. Wild, Man, Woman Wild and many others.
Mallie1025: Rick, There's a really great writer's site for finding agents and marketing your book for film. called iFOGO.
R Chesler: Thanks, Mallie. WIred Kingdom is available for $7.99 mass market paperback or $6.39 Kindle.
Mallie1025: They give you a lot of coverage and promo.
R Chesler: I want to extend a special offer, though, to W2P members, and that is that for any W2Per who buys the paperback, I will personally mail them a signed book plate that they can stick in the book, so they'll have a signed copy made out to them.
Rose1533: I still owe Micki/Mallie a plate for MY book! Haven't forgotten you, Micki!
Mallie1025: Yes you do, Rose.
W2PSushi: Ought to buy it.
R Chesler: Amazon and other places, but Amazon is fine. Also on BN.com, BAM, direct from publisher...
R Chesler: But just let me know, at, rick@rickchesler.com and I'll mail you a signed bookplate for your book.
Rose1533: Any other W2Pers have my book and want a plate? I'll offer the same deal. I'm not shy about my autograph. After all, you all have been a great deal of help!
R Chesler: I second that!
Mallie1025: Thanks, I have your name in my address book.
W2PSushi: I have to run and pick up my wife from work.
R Chesler: Great, Mallie, I hope to hear from you!
R Chesler: OK, Paul, well, W2Pers--thank you very much for having me!
Rose1533: And I'm friends with you on Facebook. I'll let you know when I buy the book.
Rose1533: You bet!
R Chesler: Excellent, Rose!
W2PSushi: Thanks, everyone.
R Chesler: Good night and happy reading!
Rose1533: BTW, my book is cheapest on Amazon.
Mallie1025: It was our pleasure to meet you, Rick--good luck.
W2PSushi: Now I have to roust the cat from my lap.
R Chesler: Thanks!
Rose1533: B&N and Borders still sell it full price.
W2PSushi: Good night, everyone.
Mallie1025: Goodnight all and stay well.

9/13/10 20:7:44 Closing "Chat Log 9-13-10"


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