Saturday, June 29, 2013

Breaking Up is Hard to Do

For those of you following this blog in Facebook using the NetworkedBlogs app, you may want to subscribe directly to the blog at I say this because I'm probably going to change how I use social media.

My plan is to use the blog for longer discussions. Shorter posts will go out at tweets or postings on my Fan Page. So if you want to keep track of what's going on with me, you'll need to follow me on Twitter  (I'm sure you can find me if you search for Rich Feitelberg) or subscribe to my Fan Page at

The reason for my doing this is simple: I want to keep everyone information on the release of my novel and progress on my stories, but I'm going to have less time to do it. Additionally, I want to spend less time blogging and coming up with things to say and more time writing the stories that need my attention.

So there it is. Next week I will probably disable NetworkedBlogs in Facebook so you have a little time to join or follow or take no action at all. But I hope you'll stay connected with me. If not, thanks for following me for the last few years.

Take care and keep writing.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Focusing on my Book Publisher

With the release date fast approaching and the publisher falling further and further behind, I'm going to focus less on my blog and social media and more on tracking their progress. You'll still see posts from me but I think they will be shorter and more focused. Such things seems to work better for my audience based on the reaction I've been getting.

So for now, I'm done with the blog. 

Keep writing everyone.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Book Economics

My trip to Chelmsford has given me a new appreciation of the economics involved with writing and its selling and marketing. Let's look at what the self-publishing writer is up against.

Before a book is even available for purchase, the writer has pay:

  • Hundreds of dollars for editing
  • Maybe $60 for book cover images and creating the cover himself or paid for a cover 
  • For an ISBN; depending on how you plan to distribute your book, you may be able to get one for free, at least for your electronic oftening
  • For a distribution plan; wherever you self-publishing you'll never help getting the book in bookstore
  • For physical printed copies to sell. This can easily cost $100 or more.

So by reckoning the writer is in the whole $1000 or thereabouts. Which means to make a profit, at $14.99 he has to sell over 67 copies. That doesn't sound like a lot, but try doing it when no one seems interested in your book. Also keep in mind that however you are distributing the book, someone is taking a piece of the pie. It could be Smashwords or Amazon or Barnes and Noble or Apple or some other bookstore. So the actually number you need to sell to turn a profit is more like 70 or 75 copies or more depending on the percentages.

You'll notice I didn't even discuss promotion. The self-published writer will have to do that too. And that adds to the cost.

Now if you go through a publisher, you can subtract the editing costs since they'll do that for you. And the costs for cover images and the ISBN, and the distribution plan. But you'll still have to pay for physical printed copies to sell. So it sounds like you better off this way, right?

Well, maybe. Publishers are slow and don't share your vision for the work. Plus still they pay for lots of stuff you get less per copy. So if you spend a $1000 on books to sell, you'll have to sell a lot more that 67 copies. The exact number depends on your royalty percentage. For example, if you get 40% royalty after the publisher's cost on $14.99 you are only getting $3 or $4 per book. Which means you have to sell somewhere between 250 and 334 copies just to break even.

Kind of daunting, huh? No one I'm having a crisis of faith. Perhaps this whole publishing idea was a bad one. I don't know. What I can say is that without physical copies of my book, I'm not making another appearance. It is just a waste of time.

Friday, June 14, 2013


It's raining...


This is the third rainstorm in a week and so far we've had a about seven inches of rain, which is enough to wipe out the deficit we had and flood my basement.

The sump pump is running regularly but when I have this much water, it is really can't handle the load.

On the bright side, each storm gives me more information on how to potential prevent future flooding. I've got some ideas to try now but I'll have to wait until things dry out.

And the really strange part is the western part of the country is dry and could use this rain but we, who don't need it now, are inundated.

Maybe July and August will be dry. That's happened before. Meantime I'm get waiting for the rain to stop so I can get out the wetvac and start cleaning up.

Keep writing everyone.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Switching Gears

Time to get back to basics around here. I'm sure some of readers of this blog are tired of hearing me promote my novel, Aure, the Topaz or remind them one more time that I'll be at the Chelmsford Library this Saturday for Local Authors Day, to speak about said novel.

Instead I want to talk about Book 4. I finally managed to push through my own lethargy and get back to work on the #$@#$ thing. The book now stands are around 46000 words with a goal of reaching 70000 words before I consider it complete enough to put away.

Notice I didn't say finished. The book won't be finished until published. So I've got a long road ahead of me on this one.

I'd like to say that my return to working on the book was the result of overcoming some sort of writer's block or some other writer trap. But I don't think that's true. The simple fact is I lost interest in the story for a while and needed time away from it. This happens on all written work but usually I'm ready to put it aside before I lose interest. When it happens the other way round, it can throw a monkey wrench into the works.

I almost always have to switch gears and work on something else. That's one reason I picked up Book 2 again. But Book 2 is growing (106000 words at the moment) because I'm refining and adding little things to the story as I prepare to release it.

The exact process that will take isn't clear. I know I will finish revising it. I know it will go to the editor I used on Book 1. After that, I could self-publish it or I could sell it. The path I take will depend on how well Aure is selling. Even if it does well, I'll be sure to rethink if I want to use the same publisher. I may and I may not.

But that decision is months away. Revision will not be complete for months and the editor will add more time to that. So a complete draft isn't likely until 2014. Which is fine; I won't see sales figures for Aure until December or January. So that's the timeframe I'm shooting for and even that might be ambitious. I won't know for sure until I'm closer to the end of the revision process.

Until then it's steady as she goes writing Book 4 and revising Book 2.

Keep writing everyone.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Calling all Readers

I need your help but I'm not sure how to ask this nor am I comfortable asking. But that doesn't change the fact that I need to ask. So I'm going to say this once and move on.

Please order a copy of Aure the Topaz from If you've already ordered a copy, I thank you.

Okay I'm done. I won't ask again I promise.

I suppose I should have a mailing list you can subscribe to. But I don't and creating one would be difficult especially since the people I want to target -- folks browsing my work on Amazon and Smashwords -- are beyond my reach. I have no idea who they are and I have no way to reach them. 

So I thought this blog post would be a better and reach more people but probably not the ones who are mostly to act. This is one reason it is hard for a newly published writer to get sales and reach his intended audience.

Nevertheless I think I'm going to set up a mailing list on my web site and see if anyone subscribes.

Keep writing everyone.

Monday, June 3, 2013

The Journey Begins

Aure the Topaz is now available for pre-sale at As a result, the long journey now begins. The book will begin to have a life of its own and who knows where it will go?

I feel a little like Bilbo Baggins about to leave his home for the first time. The main difference is I don't have a kindly wizard to watch out for me.

Not that I'm worried. I know, like all things, some people will like it and some will not. The trick now is to get Book 2 out into the world. And my revision on that front is coming along. But it will be some time before it is ready for public viewing.

Meanwhile, I am still waiting to see the galleys of my book. The publisher says I should have them but I've not received them. I don't know if the printer messed up and didn't send them or they got lost in the mail. But the publisher is planning to have the galley resent and I've asked for a tracking number. I've also asked them to confirm the address they have for me so I can make sure it is correct.

And on a third front, I prepare for my appearance at the Chelmsford Library. That is now less than two weeks away and I have to practice my talk.

Keep writing, everyone.