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Anyone else do non-fiction here? And tell us what interests you, what worries you, what you hope for! (4 replies and 5 comments)

ClaudeForthomme
2 years ago
ClaudeForthomme 2 years ago

<p>I just checked out my fellow non-fiction author here, Maer Wilson, and she wrote what must be a fascinating book about one of the most fascinating sci-fi authors Phil K.Dick who spent a lifetime fooling people about what he was really up to! She has this book signing event in Las Vegas, I wish I could go to, but alas, I live in Italy so it's well-nigh impossible, I don't have ready-made tele-transportation!</p>
<p>So I'll tell you about my own interests: one, the United Nations and the future of this planet, our common home. We need to all do something about it if we don't want to end up crashing! So that's why I'm into non-fiction for the time being - I was once into fiction too, wrote 6 novels from 2011 to 2014 under a pen name - if you're curious, you can look it up on my blog... So now I'm Senior Editor at Impakter Magazine, it's a publication focused on social issues, the idea is to encourage Millennials to consider the challenges they are facing (from climate change to student debt) and find inspiring stories and reports about people who have solved their problems - as a way to help the next generation solve their own problems (disclosure: I'm a Baby Boomer)</p>
<p>And two, I'm still interested in some fiction, in particular "speculative fiction", stuff à la Margaret Atwood (a seriously talented writer!) I've written one such "speculative" novel, trying to figure out what might happen to our poor Earth in 200 years (nothing good, believe me, if we go one the way we are going now!) I called it "Gateway to Forever" but I haven't finished the series, only the first book is currently available. So it's on my radar: the follow-up to Gateway when half of my characters land on the "Forever Planet", a virgin twin Earth, a way for them to start Humanity again and get it on the "right" path. Will they succeed? And is the Forever Planet really virgin? Ha ha, no spoilers here, I won't tell you!</p>
<p>As to my worries and my hopes, I bet they are like yours. Wouldn't you like to have a bestseller? Any idea how to do that with a non-fiction book?</p>
<p>Our friend Maer Wilson may have some ideas, I'm impressed with all she's done, let's hear about it Maer, how did you manage? What were the hurdles you had to go through?</p>
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Maer Wilson
2 years ago
Maer Wilson 2 years ago

Hi Claude! So nice to meet you. Congratulations on your position with the magazine. Impressive achievement!

The memoir, <em>The Other Side of Philip K. Dick</em>, was my first (and likely to be only) non-fiction book.

Hmmm...I'm happy to share what I did, but I would not say the book is a success. Sales are far below what we expected. Sad considering I did heavier marketing with this book than I have any other. I even hired a publicist who is fabulous.

We sent out tons of press releases, few of which were picked up and used by newspapers and magazines. Other than the big ones (New York Times, Chicago Tribune, etc.) most were in California & Nevada. So, yeah, most of those press releases got ignored. I did an ebook pre-order which sold a few copies. Copies of the print book were sent out to key review opportunities (New York Times, NPR's Fresh Air, etc). So far, no reviews from any of them.

I joined Philip K. Dick fan groups on Facebook. While they have been supportive, few have bought the book. Some of the fans who have an online PKD magazine even did a cover story and extensive interview with me. Again it resulted in few sales.

I have a 6 minute YouTube video that is a compilation of a panel I was on at the Philip K. Dick Conference April, 2016. It's been Tweeted and Facebooked.

So here I have this book that adds important information to the PKD legacy and it is basically languishing. That's with a Foreword by Tim Powers (3 time World Fantasy Award winner & friend of PKD), Special Note from James P. Blaylock (another World fantasy Award winner and friend of PKD), endorsements from Paul K. Sammon (PKD interviewer/friend and author) and Daniel Gilberston (producer on one of the PKD films) - and nope not many sales to show for it all.

So I doubt I'm anyone to give advice. LOL My book is struggling a lot more than we expected. Honestly I'm out of ideas. 🙂

Sally Jadlow
2 years ago

Have you tried freebie days through an Amazon exclusive? If you give them an exclusive for 3 months you can schedule any five days of your choosing during that 3 months and give free copies of your e-version. Then publicize those free days on your social media.

Maer Wilson
2 years ago

Thanks, Sally. The book just released and free is nowhere on my radar at this time. I will never use KDP Select again. I used it 3 times now for three different books - one of mine and two of my authors at my press. It was a complete and utter waste. I do other promos with much more success, but it is way too early for discounts with the memoir. 🙂

Maer Wilson
2 years ago

FYI - I have now published 18 titles, so I have tried just about everything, except expensive advertising. LOL

Sally Jadlow
2 years ago

So sorry Maer. If I get wind of something new I'll share it with you.

Maer Wilson
2 years ago

Thanks, but no need to be sorry. That is the nature of this business. Not everyone is going to be a best-seller, and it really has more to do with luck than anything else. I've seen too many great books do poorly and too much crap do brilliantly. It is what it is. 🙂

Sally Jadlow
2 years ago
Sally Jadlow 2 years ago

<p>I have a three-book series <em>God's Little Miracle Book (I, II, III). </em>Each book contains 27 true stories of God working in the lives of every-day people. Available on Amazon.com in e-reader and paperback.</p>

Travis Luedke
2 years ago
Travis Luedke 2 years ago

You know, this is going to go a little off-topic, but some of the best stories ever written about social change and issues of overpopulation and climate problems (pretty much all the problems we face as a species who is destroying our planet's life support systems), this stuff works really well in scifi.

Even in my own scifi, which is dark, wicked, steamy stuff, I took time to point out the destruction visited on Earth. And, in my recent dark fantasy, I take time to demonstrate multiple planets where the surface has been ruined for life support and whole civilizations are forced underground, using special environmental equipment to step out onto the surface, and the endless consumption and destruction which is the core/fundamental flaw of our way of life.

And in fact, the best book I've ever read on the subject of humanity's issues with the planet is Ishmael, which is actually a modern fantasy novel about a gorilla who runs a classified ad "Wanted, one person to save the world."

I think Ishmael should be required reading in every school in the world. That one book has completely changed my outlook on humanity and our role in the universe, and on our planet.

So, I say again, consider using fiction to make your point. Its very effective (and entertaining).

🙂

2 years ago
Travis Luedke 2 years ago

Closed due to inactivity.



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