Ever wonder which method of reading is better for you — electronic screen or printed text? The answer: There is no difference. “There are no disadvantages to reading from electronic reading devices compared with reading printed texts,” according to a study…
October 19, 2011|Kecia Bal | Our Town Correspondent
The Stone Bridge is awash in lights during a ceremony.
Johnstown’s historic Stone Bridge has come into the light.
The colors of the LED lights can change, depending on time of year, holidays and special events. They’ve already been blue and white for Rosh Hashanah, pink for breast cancer awareness and a fall scheme. Soon, they could be black and gold for Pittsburgh Steelers home games.
The lights are being programmed for a 15-minute light-show at 7:30 p.m. before settling into the evening’s colored scheme.
“It really just blows you away,” said Mike Brosig, co-chairman of the Stone Bridge committee and master-of-ceremonies for the event. “The lights bring out the reveals on the bridge and the reflection on the water is beautiful.”
The Johnstown Area Heritage Association administered the initiative, which began in 2008.
More than 300 people attended the lighting ceremony at Point Park on Sept. 24, the culmination of years of fundraising for the $1.2 million project to restore and improve the bridge.
For years, community members had hoped to bring more attention to the bridge that held strong on May 31, 1889, when the Great Johnstown Flood decimated the community and claimed more than 2,000 lives.
Today, 50 trains cross the Stone Bridge daily, and more than 15,000 vehicles pass beneath its arches…
But perhaps more relevant to the everyday life of an author is the huge difference in the paycheck we receive as an indie publisher versus the one we earn as an author contracted to a legacy publisher. The difference is simply staggering. Most of the big print publishers are still paying royalties on e-books that are far lower than e-publishers are, and downright minuscule compared to what an author can earn by simply uploading her own book to the various e-outlets, such as Amazon, B&N, etc.
I did the math on one of my traditionally published books, using the actual sales numbers listed on the royalty statement from my publisher. For the e-book version for that period I received $42.50. If I had sold the same number of e-books on my own, I would have earned just over $1,500. Yeah. That’s not a typo. What it is, is a real wake-up call. And an undeniable reason for going indie.
I’m an historical romance author. I’m supposed to be blogging about historical romance (and the occasional vacation photo from my beloved UK and Ireland). But I’ve ♥ed every other Animals Talking In All Caps until the left column of my blog is filled with them. I weep with laughter—almost as much as I weep over the sad parts of my angsty historicals. Dammit, maybe more.
Readers often don’t really know what they can do to help their favorite authors (indie or otherwise) be more successful. So here are nine things readers can do to help their favorite authors be more successful:
1. Review their work.
Leaving a review on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, Goodreads, or elsewhere is a great way to show your support. Other readers rely on reviews to make their purchasing decisions, and books with more reviews appear to be more popular. Take a few minutes to write a review. Remember, most sites don’t require you to purchase the book before leaving a review, so you can copy and paste your review into multiple sites.
2. Share a link.
If you’re on Facebook or Twitter, share a link to the author’s book with your friends and followers. If it’s a book you really love, then there’s a good chance at least some of your friends will love it, too.
3. Buy it as a gift.
Books make great gifts. And sharing the work of your favorite author with a friend or relative can gain them new fans.
4. Become a fan.
Whether it’s on Goodreads, Facebook, or elsewhere, becoming a fan of your favorite authors means you’ll get regular updates about their work. The more fans a page has, the more popular an author appears. Don’t forget to recommend them to your friends, too.
5. Recommend them to book review sites.
If you’re an active participant on a book review site, recommend that the site review their books. Indie authors sometimes have a hard time getting reviews due to the stigma still attached to self-publishing, but a recommendation from an active site participant can go a long way toward getting past that stigma.
6. Ask for it at your local library.
Libraries will often buy books based on what their patrons ask for. So if your local library doesn’t have books by your favorite authors, ask for them. Libraries can help writers get new fans, who will then go on to buy their work in the future.
7. Order through your local independent bookstore.
When you order a book through an independent bookstore, you increase the chance that the bookstore might order additional copies. If the person placing the orders is intrigued by the book, they might order an extra to see if it sells. Alternatively, they might leaf through the book when it comes in, and then decide to buy, or ask for your recommendation.
8. Share their other content.
If your favorite author is on Twitter, Facebook, or another social media site, following them and then occasionally re-sharing their updates can be a huge help.
9. Use #writerwednesday and #followfriday hashtags on Twitter.
If you and your favorite author are on Twitter, consider recommending them for #writerwednesday and #followfriday. Both are great ways to find new people to follow, and can result in a handful of new followers every week.