The Royal Magician of Oz Trilogy is a 3 volume tale of magic and wonder that recalls the cherished values of friendship, loyalty and courage. This timeless tale of Oz reminds us of the value of overcoming our deepest fears and conquering the challenges that might otherwise defeat us.

Volume One; Magician of Oz, Volume Two; Shadow Demon of Oz and Volume Three; Family of Oz are now available for your reading enjoyment, as well as The Ozian Adventure of Pickleless & Blu.

The Emerald Slippers of Oz
, featuring an Introduction by Roger S. Baum; great grandson of L. Frank Baum, as well as Tails of Oz are also
available for your reading enjoyment.

The newest adventure in Oz, entitled: Nomes of Oz is now available and fast becoming a best-seller in the Land of Oz.

All are available in both paperback and Kindle.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Scene 1; Act 2: Guest Author & Blogger Aurora Lightbourne

Continuing my role as host for the Virtual Book Tour, I am pleased to present this week's featured author, Aurora Lightbourne.


She is, in her own words: "Aurora Lightbourne, a Sci-Fi/Fantasy writer, creator of the Space Trippers series.
My books are an episodic, space adventure story with humor and are fairly light reading.
They are available through any bookstore in your town or online as they are in the industry's Ingram catalog.
My books are also available on ipad, kindle, sony reader and other ebook formats through online ebook retailers.

Remember to follow my tour and leave me comments to be in a drawing for an autographed copy of one of my Space Trippers books and a custom book-thong!

Also my twitter/facebook/myspace friends can play a game with me during my tour for a chance at a $25 Visa Gift Card, check out the schedule and details here: http://alightbourne.netau.net/."

Aurora has an excellent website which deserves a visit. It can be found here:

Aurora Lightbourne

Her current crop of books are from the Space Tripper series and feature the following titles:




I am now pleased to present her dialog for our presentation of the Virtual Book Tour.
Aurora Lightbourne

I am very happy to be continuing on my Online Book Tour with my fifth stop here at The Magician of Oz Blogspot.

My question today is: Will readers continue to only buy brand name books?

I halfheartedly submitted to agents and 'traditional publishers' before going with my small sole-proprietor publisher; FairSpot Publishing. I say halfheartedly because I was reluctant to relinquish as much control in my creation's rights as most large companies required. Luckily, I found my little publisher who could get me in the Ingram's catalog just as well as the big boys, only with a smaller percent of my sales in their pocket, and I keep control of my rights.

With all the new technology, full service printers and small publishing houses available as options, many talented authors are turning to 'alternative' means of publishing instead of the 'traditional' big companies. The question remains though, will the majority of readers remain 'brand name' book shoppers or will they give the indies a chance?

So far it seems independent authors have an uphill battle in proving they are not rejects that can't take a hint or sub-par writers with no marketable skills, but solid, gifted writers who just happen to want to keep more control over their own creations.

'Self-publishing' and even 'Small Publishing' has such a stink right now that not only will bookstores refuse to give them book signings and shelf space but even independent, online reviewers stick up their nose in disgust and consider you not worth their time.

I think there is a need to redefine such literary entrepreneurs, to identify them and their worth, and get some distance from the foul reputation that does not fit most of these great individuals. Maybe we can say “Independent Author” or “Independent Literary Artist”.

I mean, we have independent artists of other kinds. Crafters and graphic artists are acceptable as independent business people. Music artists are more and more going to independent labels and self-produced releases. So why are independent book writers looked down on?

Is it because some of the independent books will stink royally? Perhaps, but there have been mainstream books released by 'brand name' publishers that many people thought should never have seen light of day and openly criticized, even saying the author should be banned from further access to keyboards for life. So how is it any different?

I cannot tell you how many books I have purchased off the shelf from big name bookstores, classics even, that perfectly fit the quote from Dorothy Parker; "This is not a novel to be tossed aside lightly. It should be thrown with great force."

Many 'brand name' books have typos and bad edits, some have appalling punctuation, terrible storylines and showcase mediocre writing skills. Yet, somehow 'self-published' seems to be held to a higher standard.

I think this is going to change very soon as more and more authors choose to take control of their own careers, keep their rights, and choose their own distribution channels. And especially as they gather together in online communities and support groups where they can offer each other advice, direction and even more practical things like bartered editing, proofreading, cover design and marketing help. Sites like Authors Promoting Authors, Authors Supporting Authors, the Coalition for Independent Authors, the Author's Book Review Exchange, The Author Collective and many, many other wonderful groups and businesses that strive to help and support these hard-working individuals.

Independent authors are not going to 'take over the publishing world' but, I believe, they are going to change the face of it. Make it more personal, more of a direct link from creator to reader.

Not all authors will go this route, many will still vie for the distinction and commercial backing of a 'brand name' emblem on their work, but larger publishing houses, bookstores and reviewers are going to have to move over and give the independents some room as their collective voice gets stronger.

And this movement will not only benefit the authors in being able to keep control over and benefit from their own works, but it will benefit the reading public as well. More variety of stories will be out, more variety of writing styles will be available. And seeing as independent authors often price their work competitively while offering rather large chunks as Free samples, I don't see where you can go wrong. You can get the whole first half of Space Trippers Book 1 Free from my site or as samples from places like Barnes & Noble ebooks.
Not sure if an unknown author is worth your time? Download their free sample and try out their style. Don't like it? Nothing lost.

But don't turn up your nose and not give them a chance just because they are not under a 'brand name' publisher. You might just find a new favorite.

Why would some good authors who could have gotten contracts with large companies choose to go the loathed self-published or small publisher route?
I can think of four reasons, and none of them are disgraceful.

1.

They want to retain the rights to their work and place them as they see fit. This is understandable, how many times have I seen some poor author's work sold and modified to the extent of completely changing story dialog and main characters' personalities by other companies? If I was that author I would weep. Otakus would know what I am talking about here.
2.

They want control over pricing. How often lately have we heard about pricing wars between book sellers and publishing houses. Have you priced Independent Author's offerings lately? They are usually very reasonable and affordable. They can do this because they don't have all the overhead a large company has.
3.

They happen to want to benefit more from the sales of their creations. And who can blame them in this economy? Many authors now are trying to make their writing into a 'home based business' along with other types of artists.

I don't think most readers realize that an author, and especially a 'traditionally published' author, sees very little of the money from their book sales. Bookstores alone require up to 55% of the cover price for their share. Add into that the publisher's cut, the printing cost, the agent's cut and the actual creator sees sometimes only 10% or less of each sale.

I have seen author's cuts on a $13.00 book for less than a dollar, that is less than a customary tip at a restaurant.With self-publishing or small publishers the authors can get at least double that amount per book.

These authors aren't being greedy or trying to be millionaires, they just want to make a living at what they love and tell their stories, you can't begrudge them that. And when you consider an average book took the writer perhaps years to write and maybe sells 10,000 copies, if your lucky, they aren't getting rich on their higher return.

Remember, another editor could have edited it, another agent could have handled it, another publisher/printer could have distributed it, but only one author can create it. Without that one creative individual there would be no story. Don't they deserve to benefit more from it?
4.

The book they are trying to place is not in the current 'tending topic'. Agents and publishers are looking at one thing, their bottom line. It usually doesn't matter how well a rejected author writes or how good his storyline is. Most of the time the work itself is never read, they only get as far as the genre or basic outline and the answer is; 'this is not the type of book we are looking for at this time'. It usually has nothing to do with the quality of the writing or the enjoyment the reader could get from the story. It just comes down to whether it will fit in the current buying trend and make enough profit to the big company to be worth their time. So these authors, thinking they still want to share their story with readers, even if they aren't going on the 'best seller' list, turn to smaller companies or 'self-publishing'.


So when you see 'Independent Literary Artists' hawking their wares on social networks, inviting you to their book tours and rare, in-store book signings or being represented in book fairs at booths like ' The Author Collective' , are you just going to turn your nose up at them because they aren't 'name brand'? Or are you going to give these fine, hard-working artists a fair chance and let them tell you their stories?


Buy A. Lightbourne's Space Trippers books through your favorite book store or online retailer such as Amazon or Barnes and Noble.

http://productsearch.barnesandnoble.com/search/results.aspx?WRD=space+trippers+a.+lightbourne


~~~~~~~~~~~~~

4 comments:

  1. Thanks. My view probably doesn't coincide with all authors, but I thought it could give readers a little inside info about publishing etc.
    A. Lightbourne
    http://alightbourne.netau.net/

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hey A. Let's play.
    www.facebook.com/kristie.m.reynolds

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hey Kristie!
    Wondered where you went. LOL
    This is stop five, so clue five is coming your way.
    A.Lightbourne

    ReplyDelete