The Empowered Author–A Post about the Kristen McLean Event

After a terrible week in Boston (which I will write about at some point, but right now it is too soon) I was glad for the distraction of an event for Sisters in Crime New England on Sunday. Kristen McLean of Bookigee was our guest speaker, and she did a workshop about the empowered author. Though there are challenges for today’s author, and the publishing world is topsy turvy, Kristen talked about the opportunities.

Per Kristen, there are two trends to pay attention to right now. First, that there a number of new routes for content. While traditional publishers are still the top of the pyramid, they aren’t the only pyramid. There is self publishing and small presses. Additionally, she pointed us to Wattpad and createspace as new models for content distribution. I am still wrapping my brain around Wattpad–it deserves its own blog entry.

The other trend she talked about was the rise of the empowered authors. Hybrid authors (both traditionally and non-traditionally published) are entrepreneurs in the field. Statistically, these authors are likely to earn more, and to be using social media (on Facebook. blogging,  or on Twitter). These hybrid careers are much more fluid, and able to adjust to the author’s strengths.

Part of being an empowered author is to understand the business, and do your research.  Are you self publishing? Go on Goodreads, look at the covers of books like yours, and take that into consideration when considering cover art. Why does that matter? Titles with cover art sell 268% more books.

Do you know what metadata is? It is 31 pieces of data that is attached to your book. Titles with complete metadata sell 98%5 more titles. And the “read inside” option on Amazon? Enabling that has a huge impact on sales.

Kristen and her partners run Bookigee, and are also building apps and platforms to help empower authors. Bookigee was created to “not out to take over the publishing industry—we’re out to reinvent it, and to help everyone embrace the opportunities of the digital age.” Here is a link to one of her articles. “The Author as Entrepreneur: the new model for success“.  Perhaps not everyone’s cup of tea, but the future is ours, and what we make of it.

Here’s to being empowered.

******************

J.A. Hennrikus is the 2013 President of Sisters in Crime New England. This post is being cross posted on the NHWN blog.

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About J.A. Hennrikus/Julianne Holmes

J.A. (Julie) Hennrikus wears two hats. With her arts administrator hat, she is the Executive Director of StageSource and teaches as adjunct faculty at Emerson College. Wearing her other hat, she is a mystery writer. Her short stories have been published by Level Best Books: “Tag, You’re Dead” in THIN ICE, “Her Wish” in DEAD CALM, and “The Pendulum Swings, Until It Doesn’t” in BLOOD MOON. She publishes the Clock Shop Mystery Series under the name Julianne Holmes. JUST KILLING TIME, the first in the series, was published in Oct 2015 and was nominated for a BEST FIRST NOVEL Agatha award. CLOCK AND DAGGER will be released in August 2016. She is a social media fan, and tweets under @JulieHennrikus. She is an avid theater goer and a member of Red Sox nation. Her website is jahennrikus.com, and she blogs with WickedCozyAuthors.com, KillerCharacters.com, and Write to Live/Live to Write (nhwn.wordpress.com).
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2 Responses to The Empowered Author–A Post about the Kristen McLean Event

  1. Julie, thanks for this post (and for keeping us assured that you were “safe enough” in your Boston week). This kind of writer news gives us all courage; it’s a new world, but it can be Our World as we work at it. I’ll follow up on your mentions. And by the way, I’m using Wattpad too: http://www.wattpad.com/3668250-all-that-glitters-chapter-1/intro#.UXfHiIJEZr0 — come see the mystery underway there!

  2. Pingback: SINCNE Blog Summary April-May | Pen, Ink, and Crimes

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