Saturday, August 29, 2009

The Power of Fans!

Marketing being a constant looming concern over my head for years now, I've slowly come to notice something weird - fans don't seem aware of their POWER over authors/musicians/actors/TV/Movies!

That's right...POWER. You all (we all - since I am a fan as well as an author) have POWER! Mighty POWER! Bwahahahahahaha.

What am I talking about? Glad you asked!

As consumers we generate an opinion on the products we read/hear/watch/consume. Most people though, don't necessarily share these opinions with others. These are the folks allowing their power to go unspent, trickled away into the ether...

With the advent of webpages, blogs, Twitter, Facebook, Amazon and more, everyone has a voice. A voice unlike any they've held before. With the right tags, searches, what have you, other fans/consumers can come across your opinions on whatever subject you choose to talk about in an instant for years and years to come.

Word of mouth, now through the information superhighway, can zoom at speeds never imagined. You loved that book or movie? You can tell the world! And as pieces of that world run across your Tweet, review, newspage, or post, you've made a difference. You've used your power! If you included a link to said object in your insight, the clout and effect rise higher as people will tend to click to check something out, especially if it sounds intriguing. And once they've clicked so is increased the chance they might be hooked!

(So totally evil, isn't it? Power corrupts!)

Loved the book of a local author who's book you just bought at the last convention you saw them at? Hated it? Let the world know! Exercise your strength and conviction to sway others to buy it or suggest they ignore it (though sometimes bad press is actually the way to get people to buy - don't ask me, can't explain - we humans just love train wrecks).

If you truly hate something, though, the way to cause the most damage is not to tell anyone about it - good or bad. Unfortunately the same applies to things you like. So exercise your POWER. If you think the cheesecake from the bakery across the street is the Best Thing Ever - tell people! Link to their website! Let others discover this loveliness for themselves!

Electronic word of mouth will work on anything. You can infect others. Been doing it a lot myself with the TV show Supernatural (You must watch it! You must watch it!). Other TV shows worth viewing that have me eager for more every week are: Defying Gravity (OMG actual real science not fake BS like some other supposed SF show!), Castle, Bones, Dollhouse, The Mentalist, Burn Notice. (I watch too much TV!)

Also have been trying to push authors I totally enjoy as I read their stuff. Rachel Caine, Carole Nelson Douglas, Tanya Huff, Terry Pratchett, Martha Wells, A Lee Martinez, Shanna Swendson, and the latest addition Rosemary Clement-Moore.

Background music is a side love so here's some for Christopher Lennertz, Jay Gruska, John Williams, Danny Elfman!

(What's truly sad is I am sure I left off some awesome people in all these categories and will be kicking myself later!)

So see, every little squeak and link helps, folks! So support you fave shows/authors/movies/actors/food! You can do it! Use your POWER oh mighty ones. Let us know what you like. And we will love you for it!

Power to the People!

Sunday, August 09, 2009

Books and Audio Books

(Haven't posted in a while, but here goes - lame blog attempt!)

Audio Books are becoming all the rage of late. But there’s one thing about them I do not understand. The pricing!

My husband started looking into them because he has a long commute to work plus he doesn’t have a lot of free time to read. He picked some up from Half Price Books to check them out to see if they were something he might like. And he did. Then I started looking at what he was paying for the things even devalued and almost had a heart attack.

The pricing on these things is insane! And I just can’t wrap my head around why that might be. Maybe someone out there can help me understand. Anyway, let’s break this down on a hypothetical case and you’ll see what I’m talking about.

Fantasy Trade Paperback $15

Gets picked up as movie $9 to see it at theaters $20 to buy copy

Audiobook $45 – OUCH!

As a book it took the author (depending on who they are) months or years to write the thing. Six months to years for the publisher to put it out involving an editor, cover artist, possibly some marketing people. Finally gets wide distribution and in the bigger format $15 for the consumer.

As a movie, it takes hundreds of people to make, tens of thousands if not millions of dollars to film, goes through editing, marketing, etc and then to go see it after wide distribution about $9 then six months later it comes out on DVD for $20.
If the author sells the audio rights, an actor will read the text, it will involve one or two sound people, get burned on CD’s which are super cheap, get packaging, then widely distributed, but they want $45.

In all the previous instances they had to go through a similar process the books and the film making costing as much if not more to produce than the audio. So why is the audio version three times as costly for the consumer?

I just don’t get it. Blank CD’s are super cheap so the cost isn’t coming from there. Is it just that they don’t make as many or distribution is not present that jacks up the price?

I listened to a reading of THUD by Terry Pratchett hubby picked up and it was a fabulous piece of work by the actor who read it. Looking it up at it sells for $27. That’s twice the trade paperback size. Why would I want to buy the book then pay twice as much for the audio medium?

Just went and searched at audible for the same book that originally made me have a heart attack and there you can download it for $13.99. The mass paperback book is going for $6.99. And this is just for a download not physical CD’s as far as I can tell. Ah, looks like Amazon has the CD’s for $15.59, list price $19.99 so it’s getting better. Maybe someone is getting a clue after all…

I hope so! (Now can I keep hubby from finding out. Heh heh heh.)
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