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Happy Thanksgiving!

November 25, 2014 by Grael Norton, Director of Marketing

Thanksgiving!Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays.

This evening my wife and I will hop in the car and make the drive out to San Diego.

It’s a trip we’ve made many times.

In fact, my family has been gathering with the same group of friends in San Diego to celebrate Thanksgiving for the past 38 years!

That’s longer than I’ve been around, in fact.

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Did you hear what I heard?

November 21, 2014 by Grael Norton, Director of Marketing

Bright ideas!I’m going to go out on a limb and say that Wednesday’s Authors Academy call was one of our best ever!

Jim Best totally blew me away with his insight and his experience marketing his books.

Jim’s sold 70,000 copies to date… so he knows of what he speaks.

His closing thought was that first and foremost, your book has to be good.

Otherwise, you can’t get the power of word-of-mouth marketing working for you.

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How to Sell 1,000 Books during the Holiday Season

November 14, 2014 by Grael Norton, Director of Marketing

James D. BestHow would you like to sell 1,000 copies of your book during the upcoming holiday season?

I know I would!

Next week in the Authors Academy I’ll be interviewing James D. Best, author of the Steve Dancy series of westerns including his latest, Jenny’s Revenge, scheduled for release in February.

Jim’s sold more than 70,000 copies of his books to date, which includes a few one-off titles in addition to his extremely popular westerns.

Jim published the first Steve Dancy tale, The Shopkeeper, back in 2007.

He was a complete unknown at the time, having published only one book previously. The Shopkeeper was his first work of fiction.

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It’s the end of the bookselling world as we know it

November 12, 2014 by Grael Norton, Director of Marketing

The End of the World!... and I feel fine!

This article (sent to me by client and friend Byron Thompson) predicts the demise of publishers at the hands of retailers like Amazon and Apple.

Meanwhile, this article predicts the decline of—you guessed it—retailers like Amazon and Apple, at least when it comes to selling books and other media like music.

These types of articles sometimes make us wring our hands and fret: what, oh what, are we to do?

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What has Tom Hanks got that you don’t?

November 10, 2014 by Grael Norton, Director of Marketing

Tom Hanks!I came across this article this weekend.

It’s about how Tom Hanks got his first piece of short fiction published… in The New Yorker.

Now, in case you aren’t already aware of this, getting a short story published in The New Yorker is pretty much the ultimate accomplishment for a writer.

Many authors submit stories for months, or years, or even decades… and never get their work published.

But not Tom Hanks. Did I mention that this was his first published short story?

What exactly has Tom Hanks got that you don’t?

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Is the book dead?

November 07, 2014 by Grael Norton, Director of Marketing

So old-fashionedMy friend and client at Wheatmark Frank Babb recently sent me the link to this thought-provoking essay in The Economist.

As the article notes, people have been predicting the death of the book—and even the death of reading itself—for more than a decade.

I’m not so sure about that, but one thing is certain: there are more books being published now than ever before!

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Iris Murdoch Made the List!

October 24, 2014 by Sam Henrie, President

Iris MurdochThanks to all of you for your emails letting me know what a great job my staff did while I was on vacation. I received so many email that I haven’t had a chance to respond to everyone yet.

I had a wonderful trip visiting family, travelling to Prescott, AZ, Albuquerque NM, Washington, DC, Sparta, NJ, then back to Albuquerque. Of all the places visited, Sparta, which none of you will have heard of, was by far the most beautiful. Situated on Tomahawk Lake, it is lush, green, and peaceful. Forget any negative stereotypes you have of New Jersey and visit Sparta if ever you get a chance.

Last month Grael Norton, Wheatmark’s director of marketing, posted a blog that included a list from The Telegraph of the “100 novels everyone should read.” I was very happy to see that a book, Under the Net, by my favorite twentieth-century novelist, Iris Murdoch, made the list. It was the first time that I’ve seen one of her books included on such a list. (Oddly enough, of Murdoch’s twenty-six novels, Under the Net was my least favorite.)

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Oh, no, don’t look: it’s the dreaded Book Trailer!

October 20, 2014 by Grael Norton, Director of Marketing

Scary!On Friday I teased you about who I’ll be interviewing in the Authors Academy on Wednesday of this week.

I’m pleased to tell you now that it will be Nat Mundel of Voyage Media. We’ve interviewed him before, though it’s been quite some time.

Now the reason that I’ve invited Nat back to present is two-fold: one, we’re going to be talking about a subject I’m super passionate about, which is filmmaking.

The frame we’re going to use to discuss filmmaking is the book trailer.

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There’s no business like show business

October 17, 2014 by Grael Norton, Director of Marketing

Show business!My message from Wednesday prompted a reply from an old friend and colleague of mine, Will Williams.

Will gave me my first big “break” in the movie business when he hired me to write a documentary about WWII for his production company, Hollywood Home Entertainment.

Working on a shoestring budget, we produced a four-hour documentary that, once complete, we sold in the US and to other territories around the world.

I learned a number of extremely valuable lessons from my time in the independent film industry, but there are a few that I brought with me into publishing that I want to share with you now:

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Even Kerouac secretly did this

October 15, 2014 by Grael Norton, Director of Marketing

JackI was reading this article my friend and colleague Jack Rochester mentioned on The Fictional Café recently, and it got me thinking.

Specifically, it got me thinking about the myth that your first draft is the “purest” expression of your work, and that editing it will somehow compromise your artistic vision.

Of all the authors out there, Jack Kerouac probably contributed to this myth the most, since he publicly railed against self-editing, and the story of how he drafted On The Road on a single, giant scroll in only three weeks is legendary.

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