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A ruthless murder and a stolen shipment of gold.

At school, sixteen-year-old Nikaia Wales endures the taunts of bullies who call her a “half-breed.” At home, she worries about how her family will react if she reveals her growing feelings for the quiet boy next door.

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Author Topic: Literary Fiction  (Read 6666 times)  

Offline '

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Literary Fiction
« on: May 30, 2011, 01:50:47 PM »
How many authors here write literary fiction? Is it harder to sell than genre fiction?

Offline Victorine

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Re: Literary Fiction
« Reply #1 on: May 30, 2011, 02:14:14 PM »
I write genre fiction, but I'm guessing literary fiction is harder to sell, just by looking at the top sellers on Amazon.

Vicki
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Offline '

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Re: Literary Fiction
« Reply #2 on: May 30, 2011, 02:26:10 PM »
Hi Vicki,

I checked out Not What She Seems on Amazon UK. It is one of twelve books in the top twenty list (Bestsellers in Romantic Suspense) selling at under £1. Congratulations on doing so well! Have you offered the book at a higher price?

Offline Victorine

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Re: Literary Fiction
« Reply #3 on: May 30, 2011, 02:35:17 PM »
Hi Vicki,

I checked out Not What She Seems on Amazon UK. It is one of twelve books in the top twenty list (Bestsellers in Romantic Suspense) selling at under 1. Congratulations on doing so well! Have you offered the book at a higher price?

Thank you. Yes, I had the book at $1.99 for the first three months of its life, then I raised it to $2.99 for three more months, and then I lowered it to 99 cents. It sold more and earned more money for me at 99 cents so I've kept it as a loss leader for me. :)

Thanks for asking!

Vicki
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Offline Douglas E Wright

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Re: Literary Fiction
« Reply #4 on: May 30, 2011, 02:49:33 PM »
I've been told that my fiction has a literary bent to it. I enjoy literary much more than genre. And yes, it it much harder to sell. I think it's because it is not as commercial.  :)

Offline RJ Keller

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Re: Literary Fiction
« Reply #5 on: May 30, 2011, 03:33:36 PM »
I do. And yes it is. (Sorry if that's not encouraging.)
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Offline Steve Silkin

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Re: Literary Fiction
« Reply #6 on: May 30, 2011, 03:38:13 PM »
i grew up reading literary fiction; i've never really read much genre. so it was never really a question.  8) i'm not sure i'd know how to write genre.

Offline '

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Re: Literary Fiction
« Reply #7 on: May 30, 2011, 03:43:35 PM »
I've been told that my fiction has a literary bent to it. I enjoy literary much more than genre. And yes, it it much harder to sell. I think it's because it is not as commercial.  :)
Hi Douglas,

I've visited Victoria three times (1985, 1987, 1989) and loved it -- my husband taught summer school at the university.  I noticed that your books are priced either $0.99 or $2.99. Why not $1.99?

Offline '

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Re: Literary Fiction
« Reply #8 on: May 30, 2011, 03:47:36 PM »
I do. And yes it is. (Sorry if that's not encouraging.)
Hi RJ,
I do, too. I find that my work is very much enjoyed if it is free, and I receive wonderful feedback, but that's as far as it goes. I clicked on your book and saw that it is one of AmazonEncore's books. It must have sold well to be picked up by this new imprint. Congratulations!
« Last Edit: May 30, 2011, 03:52:10 PM by Shelagh »

Offline RJ Keller

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Re: Literary Fiction
« Reply #9 on: May 30, 2011, 03:50:24 PM »
Hi RJ,
I do, too. I find that my work is very much enjoyed if it is free, and I receive wonderful feedback, but that's as far as it goes.

It can be done (with a LOT of marketing). My book has done well for lit fic, and was picked up by AmazonEncore (rereleased by them a couple of weeks ago). But it's a long climb.
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Offline '

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Re: Literary Fiction
« Reply #10 on: May 30, 2011, 03:54:28 PM »
It can be done (with a LOT of marketing). My book has done well for lit fic, and was picked up by AmazonEncore (rereleased by them a couple of weeks ago). But it's a long climb.
LOL! I was editing my post while you typed in yours!

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Re: Literary Fiction
« Reply #11 on: May 30, 2011, 04:00:41 PM »
Hit and run posting.  :D
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Offline '

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Re: Literary Fiction
« Reply #12 on: May 30, 2011, 04:06:07 PM »
i grew up reading literary fiction; i've never really read much genre. so it was never really a question.  8) i'm not sure i'd know how to write genre.
Me too! I see that your books are all priced the same. Have you changed the price at any time?

Offline Douglas E Wright

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Re: Literary Fiction
« Reply #13 on: May 30, 2011, 04:07:04 PM »
Hi Douglas,

I've visited Victoria three times (1985, 1987, 1989) and loved it -- my husband taught summer school at the university.  I noticed that your books are priced either $0.99 or $2.99. Why not $1.99?

Hi Shelagh,

I've lived all over Canada, but lived in Victoria twice. I figured once my career with the post office was over, I'd move to a place where winter really doesn't exist.  ;D

I did try the $1.99 and it seemed perfectly logical to me for the collections and novella to be in that range. But, it seems the buyers didn't agree. I'm trying a little bit of everything. My next, will be a novel, and I'll likely price it at $3.99 or so.

Offline dgaughran

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Re: Literary Fiction
« Reply #14 on: May 30, 2011, 05:20:57 PM »
I think there is a market there that hasn't been tapped into yet.

I don't see a lot of indies doing historical fiction or literary fiction, especially the latter.

I released a literary short (my first title) and it sold 100 copies in three weeks, and it was only 4000 words. I think the standard for covers is very high, and I also think that the readers of literary fiction are sniffier than your average reader about reading self-published work, so you have to present it carefully.

But I think there is money there, for sure.

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Offline NoraCarroll

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Re: Literary Fiction
« Reply #15 on: May 30, 2011, 05:29:02 PM »
Mine is literary and my sales are doubling every month.  But mine is literary/women's fiction, so that may make a difference.  I'd call it upmarket/book club fiction.

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Re: Literary Fiction
« Reply #16 on: May 30, 2011, 05:37:49 PM »
Cheryl Shineman is doing very well with a similar kind of book. I think she is selling 200 a day. So there is certainly a market for that.

Perhaps "straight" literary fiction readers are print obsessives and can't see themselves owning an e-reader?

It's possible. Having said that, I'm sure there are just as many who have or are considering an e-reader. If not now, then next year.

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Offline Paul Clayton

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Re: Literary Fiction
« Reply #17 on: May 30, 2011, 06:17:32 PM »
Hi, I think my novel, Carl Melcher Goes to Vietnam, has a literary bent to it also.  And, it sells far fewer copies than my genre fiction.  But no matter.  My future work will be more in the literary vein, not the Vampire vein.   :D

Offline MegHarris

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Re: Literary Fiction
« Reply #18 on: May 30, 2011, 06:19:54 PM »
R.J. Keller is a good example of an indie author (now published by AmazonEncore) whose writing has a literary bent.  Karen McQuestion's A Scattered Life is another (and she is also now published by AmazonEncore).

Offline LB Gschwandtner

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Re: Literary Fiction
« Reply #19 on: May 30, 2011, 08:02:29 PM »
Shelagh & RJ et al:

My first book The Naked Gardener is mainstream women's/literary. It's sold a few short of 8,000 copies across all platforms since August 2010. It continues to sell steadily. Some days more than others. March was crazy good. But it has settled into a steady rhythm. So I think it can be done although it's no get rich quick scheme. For that I plan to put it all on the red in Vegas.

Meanwhile working on the sequel.

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Re: Literary Fiction
« Reply #20 on: May 31, 2011, 04:49:10 AM »
I think there is a market there that hasn't been tapped into yet.

I don't see a lot of indies doing historical fiction or literary fiction, especially the latter.

I released a literary short (my first title) and it sold 100 copies in three weeks, and it was only 4000 words. I think the standard for covers is very high, and I also think that the readers of literary fiction are sniffier than your average reader about reading self-published work, so you have to present it carefully.

But I think there is money there, for sure.
Hi David,

Have sales for your literary short slowed?

Mine is literary and my sales are doubling every month.  But mine is literary/women's fiction, so that may make a difference.  I'd call it upmarket/book club fiction.
Congratulations on the doubling sales, Nora! That's very encouraging!

Hi, I think my novel, Carl Melcher Goes to Vietnam, has a literary bent to it also.  And, it sells far fewer copies than my genre fiction.  But no matter.  My future work will be more in the literary vein, not the Vampire vein.   :D
Hi Paul,

Is that a good move? If vampire books sell and you can write for that market, why not stick with it?

R.J. Keller is a good example of an indie author (now published by AmazonEncore) whose writing has a literary bent.  Karen McQuestion's A Scattered Life is another (and she is also now published by AmazonEncore).

Hi Ellen,

R. J. and Karen have obviously worked hard to make it to AmazonEncore!

Shelagh & RJ et al:

My first book The Naked Gardener is mainstream women's/literary. It's sold a few short of 8,000 copies across all platforms since August 2010. It continues to sell steadily. Some days more than others. March was crazy good. But it has settled into a steady rhythm. So I think it can be done although it's no get rich quick scheme. For that I plan to put it all on the red in Vegas.

Meanwhile working on the sequel.

Hi LB,

Congratulations! ;D Good luck with the sequel!
« Last Edit: May 31, 2011, 04:55:20 AM by Shelagh »

Offline Xavier Leret

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Re: Literary Fiction
« Reply #21 on: May 31, 2011, 05:15:17 AM »
I am so glad that I found this thread, I was just about to start my own.

I brought out novel at the beginning of April. I have received amazing reviews but what now?

Is there an incantation I have forgotten to utter?

It's good to find you.

Xav

 "an explosive, brilliant and breath taking novel"
A wonderful coming-of-age story.
A heartbreaking, beautiful, romantic story, if you ever find the same love that these main characters have keep it!
"one of the most captivating stories I've read for years."
"poetic, tragic, contemporary, riveting, with striking and beautifully delineated characters - a really amazing read."
"tell all your friends about this unforgettable story"
"a work of genius""

Offline RJ Keller

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Re: Literary Fiction
« Reply #22 on: May 31, 2011, 05:57:27 AM »
I am so glad that I found this thread, I was just about to start my own.

I brought out novel at the beginning of April. I have received amazing reviews but what now?

Is there an incantation I have forgotten to utter?

It's good to find you.

Xav

What have you done to market your book?
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Offline Xavier Leret

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Re: Literary Fiction
« Reply #23 on: May 31, 2011, 06:34:09 AM »
I am so glad that I found this thread, I was just about to start my own.

I brought out novel at the beginning of April. I have received amazing reviews but what now?

Is there an incantation I have forgotten to utter?

It's good to find you.

Xav

What have you done to market your book?

I've been all over bookblogs and got some excellent reviews from bloggers there. I blog regularly and my blog is syndicated to a couple of other sites. I twitter constantly. I submit to #samplesunday. I have written guest posts, did a short blog tour.

I should probably use Good reads more.

 "an explosive, brilliant and breath taking novel"
A wonderful coming-of-age story.
A heartbreaking, beautiful, romantic story, if you ever find the same love that these main characters have keep it!
"one of the most captivating stories I've read for years."
"poetic, tragic, contemporary, riveting, with striking and beautifully delineated characters - a really amazing read."
"tell all your friends about this unforgettable story"
"a work of genius""

Offline C. S. Hand

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Re: Literary Fiction
« Reply #24 on: May 31, 2011, 06:38:26 AM »
I think you can easily change from literary to "genre" fiction and still keep your literary roots.  For example, instead of exploring the difficulties a young white lesbian (who's father is a strict pastor) encounters when she falls in love with a young african american woman, you can explore what happens when an adopted, young dark elf maiden whose father is a racist dwarf pastor who in turn used to be a prominent leader of the inquisition falls in love with a rustic woodelf.

A simple stylitic twist and yet your still grappling with potent sociopolitical issues.

Offline bjm

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Re: Literary Fiction
« Reply #25 on: May 31, 2011, 07:41:21 AM »
Brilliant.

Even do it with Search 'n Replace. Makes it easy. Write the story you 'really' want to write. Then when done (and all checked), call in the dwarves. Replace all with dwarves and elves to get the Fantasy market. Or werewolves and vampires. Zombies too. Add everything. Or make several versions: sci-fi, fantasy, zombie, western, circus. See how many variations you can make. All for 99 cents. Draws 'em in.

And then when your book is becoming popular, offer a special 'author's cut' version that has the originals. So the fans know what you really think. That way you can sell more, reach many audiences, please everyone. Try it.

I think you can easily change from literary to "genre" fiction and still keep your literary roots.  For example, instead of exploring the difficulties a young white lesbian (who's father is a strict pastor) encounters when she falls in love with a young african american woman, you can explore what happens when an adopted, young dark elf maiden whose father is a racist dwarf pastor who in turn used to be a prominent leader of the inquisition falls in love with a rustic woodelf.

A simple stylitic twist and yet your still grappling with potent sociopolitical issues.

Offline RJ Keller

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Re: Literary Fiction
« Reply #26 on: May 31, 2011, 09:06:49 AM »
I've been all over bookblogs and got some excellent reviews from bloggers there. I blog regularly and my blog is syndicated to a couple of other sites. I twitter constantly. I submit to #samplesunday. I have written guest posts, did a short blog tour.

I should probably use Good reads more.

Also keep in mind that it's been less than two months, which isn't a long time, really. Keep plugging away at it.
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Offline Jon Olson

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Re: Literary Fiction
« Reply #27 on: May 31, 2011, 09:08:00 AM »
How many authors here write literary fiction? Is it harder to sell than genre fiction?

What the heck is it?

as editor

Offline '

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Re: Literary Fiction
« Reply #28 on: May 31, 2011, 09:46:38 AM »
If you read The Power of Persuasion -- you can download a free copy on Smashwords and B & N -- you would very quickly see that it is not genre fiction. Here's the first page:

"Do you wake on Sunday mornings feeling bright and cheerful before you step out to buy your favourite Sunday newspapers, and spend the next four hours reading the print off the page? Does this weekly ritual result in a change of temperament – signs of irritability, aggressiveness and a distinctly argumentative frame of mind? I do. To be more accurate, I did. Everyone around me suffered from my inability to avoid the very thing that caused the Jekyll and Hyde mood swings. The news items didn’t affect me much, but the journalists with a point to make were my Achilles’ heel. To a man and a woman, I disagreed with all of them. We were as black and white to each other as the printed page before me. There was no grey area, no common ground and no compromise.

How could there be compromise in a situation where they wrote and I read? In order to see one another’s point of view, I would need to explain mine. To inflict regularly my own half-baked ideas on my family would have been unfair, and yet they probably suffered more from my silent fuming than they did if I succumbed to soap box outbursts.

The more thoughts I kept to myself, the greater the irritation, but at least I did eventually begin to recognise all the symptoms of Sunday paperitis."

It does not read like genre fiction. The work is narrative-driven and not plot-driven (it's quite weak on plot) and it is most definitely not formulaic. There is a rhythm to the writing that is maintained throughout the novel. Part of the enjoyment in the reading should be in the style of writing as much as the content (a style that I never use on messageboards to keep it distinct).

 
« Last Edit: May 31, 2011, 09:56:16 AM by Shelagh »

Offline zstopper

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Re: Literary Fiction
« Reply #29 on: May 31, 2011, 12:30:20 PM »
I think that people who read literary fiction won't take a book seriously
unless it has reviews from recognized media outlets.

Offline Xavier Leret

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Re: Literary Fiction
« Reply #30 on: June 01, 2011, 02:45:01 AM »
Also keep in mind that it's been less than two months, which isn't a long time, really. Keep plugging away at it.

Thank you RJ, you are right!

It does not read like genre fiction. The work is narrative-driven and not plot-driven (it's quite weak on plot) and it is most definitely not formulaic. There is a rhythm to the writing that is maintained throughout the novel. Part of the enjoyment in the reading should be in the style of writing as much as the content (a style that I never use on messageboards to keep it distinct).

Shelagh, nice quote. Yes you are right, Lit Fic is perhaps more narrative and concerned with psychological development of character, though that's not to say that plot is not important as there a few works I can think of where plot is utilized quite beautifully, though it is subservient to character reality; and there is also work that quite subversively takes apart a genre to reveal something quite unique about ourselves.

I think that people who read literary fiction won't take a book seriously
unless it has reviews from recognized media outlets.

You may be right. Strikes me our mission is to change this.

 "an explosive, brilliant and breath taking novel"
A wonderful coming-of-age story.
A heartbreaking, beautiful, romantic story, if you ever find the same love that these main characters have keep it!
"one of the most captivating stories I've read for years."
"poetic, tragic, contemporary, riveting, with striking and beautifully delineated characters - a really amazing read."
"tell all your friends about this unforgettable story"
"a work of genius""

Offline RJ Keller

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Re: Literary Fiction
« Reply #31 on: June 01, 2011, 05:10:09 AM »
You may be right. Strikes me our mission is to change this.

Agreed!
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Offline dmburnett

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Re: Literary Fiction
« Reply #32 on: June 01, 2011, 05:19:25 AM »
My first fiction novel for Kindle was literary fiction and did not sell well.  Most of the material in it was previously published in literary magazines to rave reviews, but I only sell a couple a week.  My second novel was a contemporary romance that launched this past weekend and it is already selling better.

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Re: Literary Fiction
« Reply #33 on: June 01, 2011, 06:16:45 AM »
I'd say 80% or what I read is read literary fiction and I NEVER read reviews by newspapers and magazines. I go by recommendations of friends and people on Goodreads and by reader reviews.

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Re: Literary Fiction
« Reply #34 on: June 01, 2011, 07:18:14 AM »
Shelagh, nice quote.
Thank you, Xavier! I read the reviews for Heaven Sent on amazon.com and amazon.co.uk. Have you read Thomas Hardy's Tess of the D'Urbervilles? It is a very dark novel with a similar love story to yours.


Offline Xavier Leret

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Re: Literary Fiction
« Reply #35 on: June 01, 2011, 08:38:29 AM »
Thank you, Xavier! I read the reviews for Heaven Sent on amazon.com and amazon.co.uk. Have you read Thomas Hardy's Tess of the D'Urbervilles? It is a very dark novel with a similar love story to yours.



Hey Shelagh, I do know Tess, though it has been a while. It is an extraordinary work and I can't claim to wear the same trousers as Hardy, or even shop at the same tailors.

How is your book doing? and what have you done to market it?

 "an explosive, brilliant and breath taking novel"
A wonderful coming-of-age story.
A heartbreaking, beautiful, romantic story, if you ever find the same love that these main characters have keep it!
"one of the most captivating stories I've read for years."
"poetic, tragic, contemporary, riveting, with striking and beautifully delineated characters - a really amazing read."
"tell all your friends about this unforgettable story"
"a work of genius""

Offline '

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Re: Literary Fiction
« Reply #36 on: June 01, 2011, 01:14:25 PM »
The Power of Persuasion was on the list for Wales Book of the Year 2009 and I am now in the writers of Wales database on Literature Wales:

http://www.literaturewales.org/writers-of-wales/i/132476/desc/watkins-shelagh/

The honest truth is that readers enjoy reading the book if they receive a free copy but that's as far as it goes. It is the kind of book that readers take out of a library but do not buy from bookstores. The book isn't free on Amazon, but it is free on Smashwords and B & N.

Btw, Hardy is one of my favourite authors! If you are half as good, you are a darned good writer!

« Last Edit: June 01, 2011, 01:16:09 PM by Shelagh »

Offline Xavier Leret

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Re: Literary Fiction
« Reply #37 on: June 01, 2011, 01:36:10 PM »
The Power of Persuasion was on the list for Wales Book of the Year 2009 and I am now in the writers of Wales database on Literature Wales:

http://www.literaturewales.org/writers-of-wales/i/132476/desc/watkins-shelagh/

The honest truth is that readers enjoy reading the book if they receive a free copy but that's as far as it goes. It is the kind of book that readers take out of a library but do not buy from bookstores. The book isn't free on Amazon, but it is free on Smashwords and B & N.

Btw, Hardy is one of my favourite authors! If you are half as good, you are a darned good writer!



That must be really frustrating. How long has it been out? To be listed as one of the writers of Wales is pretty cool.

Hardy is great, I would love to be half as good as him.

 "an explosive, brilliant and breath taking novel"
A wonderful coming-of-age story.
A heartbreaking, beautiful, romantic story, if you ever find the same love that these main characters have keep it!
"one of the most captivating stories I've read for years."
"poetic, tragic, contemporary, riveting, with striking and beautifully delineated characters - a really amazing read."
"tell all your friends about this unforgettable story"
"a work of genius""

Offline Elijah Joon

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Re: Literary Fiction
« Reply #38 on: June 01, 2011, 01:58:18 PM »
Nice to see literary fiction get some love here. 

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Re: Literary Fiction
« Reply #39 on: June 01, 2011, 02:15:38 PM »
That must be really frustrating. How long has it been out?

The book came out in April 2008.

Offline Xavier Leret

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Re: Literary Fiction
« Reply #40 on: June 01, 2011, 02:24:24 PM »
The book came out in April 2008.

Wow. How do your other books do?

 "an explosive, brilliant and breath taking novel"
A wonderful coming-of-age story.
A heartbreaking, beautiful, romantic story, if you ever find the same love that these main characters have keep it!
"one of the most captivating stories I've read for years."
"poetic, tragic, contemporary, riveting, with striking and beautifully delineated characters - a really amazing read."
"tell all your friends about this unforgettable story"
"a work of genius""

Offline '

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Re: Literary Fiction
« Reply #41 on: June 01, 2011, 03:26:27 PM »
The Literature & Fiction Interviews books are free and have been downloaded thousands of times on websites around the 'net. My books don't generate a great number of sales. Mr. Planemaker's Flying Machine was serialised on Preston FM community radio in 2009 (forty-eight daily episodes and Sunday omnibus editions). I'm trying to generate more interest through the previously published short stories, which I've put together in a small collection of four stories.   

Offline lpking

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Re: Literary Fiction
« Reply #42 on: June 01, 2011, 03:33:37 PM »
I've been obsessed with Kickstarter lately. (Ask dgaughran...) I can't help wondering if there might be some way for indie (I almost typed "self-pubbed" but I understand in some circles that's a faux pas.) authors of literary fiction to use it to their advantage. Though that might be another topic.
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Re: Literary Fiction
« Reply #43 on: June 01, 2011, 09:26:53 PM »
It's hard to make general comments about literary fiction, as it's such a catch-all category. (I sometimes think of it as the genre for books that don't fit easily into any other genre.)

In my own experience, I've found my literary fiction ebooks sell all right, but not nearly as well as my print books. My first book won a national award, received rave reviews across the board mainstream media, bloggers, Amazon reviewers but the ebook only sells when it happens to be in the news. That is, there's never any momentum to the sales. My sales chart is like a seismograph. Same thing for the second book. So my feeling is that lit fiction is a little more up and down than genre fiction, and really dependent on media/word of mouth/Satanic bargains.

I've said before I think that I do better in print than in digital because I'm a Canadian writer (thus invisible to Americans, unless I am for some mysterious reason talking about sports), and we're still behind in the shift to ebooks. But we did just get electricity, so that may help prompt people to buy e-readers.

As for bias on the part of readers, I have noticed it, but in a very strange way: price. I experimented a little with the price of the first book, and found it sells best at $3.99, but poorly at the popular indie price points of 99 cents or $2.99 or $4.99 for that matter. It seems $3.99 is the ideal price for my readers. I don't know maybe my readers are all members of some numerology cult.
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Re: Literary Fiction
« Reply #44 on: June 01, 2011, 09:36:55 PM »
I've been obsessed with Kickstarter lately. (Ask dgaughran...) I can't help wondering if there might be some way for indie (I almost typed "self-pubbed" but I understand in some circles that's a faux pas.) authors of literary fiction to use it to their advantage. Though that might be another topic.

I've supported a few graphic novel projects on Kickstarter, and it looks like there are more literary projects popping up on it. So people are embracing this model.

And then there's the Unbound model that just launched in the UK: http://www.unbound.co.uk/
Novels:   Stories:     My website
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Offline '

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Re: Literary Fiction
« Reply #45 on: June 02, 2011, 01:24:37 AM »

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Re: Literary Fiction
« Reply #46 on: June 02, 2011, 04:11:28 PM »
<snip> And then there's the Unbound model that just launched in the UK: http://www.unbound.co.uk/

Just saw Unbound mentioned elsewhere. Now I'll have to go and check it out!
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Re: Literary Fiction
« Reply #47 on: June 03, 2011, 03:17:17 AM »
How is your book doing? and what have you done to market it?

I started a new thread about the free downloads on amazon.com and amazon.co.uk. The Power of Persuasion is now free on amazon.com and has been downloaded 50 times already. I'll keep you updated on the number of downloads. I've no idea how this will pan out.

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Re: Literary Fiction
« Reply #48 on: June 03, 2011, 10:28:16 AM »
Just saw Unbound mentioned elsewhere. Now I'll have to go and check it out!

I think Unbound is just a UK thing right now, but it seems like an easy enough model to duplicate if they don't want to spread it. I certainly like the idea of it. But authors shouldn't do those promo videos unless they're comfortable doing promo videos....
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Offline dgaughran

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Re: Literary Fiction
« Reply #49 on: June 03, 2011, 03:10:24 PM »
I sold 100 copies of one literary short story in my first month. So there is a market there.

Cheryl Shireman is selling 200+ copies a DAY of her literary novel, and that's only on sale four months.

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Offline Xavier Leret

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Re: Literary Fiction
« Reply #50 on: June 03, 2011, 04:21:30 PM »
I started a new thread about the free downloads on amazon.com and amazon.co.uk. The Power of Persuasion is now free on amazon.com and has been downloaded 50 times already. I'll keep you updated on the number of downloads. I've no idea how this will pan out.

Will check it out. 50 times is great - congrats/ I've had 100k downloads of one of my stories on feedbooks - how do we turn these into paid downloads I wonder?

I sold 100 copies of one literary short story in my first month. So there is a market there.

Cheryl Shireman is selling 200+ copies a DAY of her literary novel, and that's only on sale four months.


Wow what's her secret?

 "an explosive, brilliant and breath taking novel"
A wonderful coming-of-age story.
A heartbreaking, beautiful, romantic story, if you ever find the same love that these main characters have keep it!
"one of the most captivating stories I've read for years."
"poetic, tragic, contemporary, riveting, with striking and beautifully delineated characters - a really amazing read."
"tell all your friends about this unforgettable story"
"a work of genius""

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Re: Literary Fiction
« Reply #51 on: June 03, 2011, 04:26:39 PM »
Wow what's her secret?

I interviewed her on Wednesday on my blog: http://davidgaughran.wordpress.com/2011/06/01/cheryl-shiremans-life-is-more-than-a-dream-interview/

She gives some great tips in the comments.

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Offline lpking

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Re: Literary Fiction
« Reply #52 on: June 03, 2011, 06:32:45 PM »
Your story has a certain cachet, Xavier, and I enjoy your writing style. I'll be following your progress. Good luck!
I base my fashion taste on what doesn't itch. (Gilda Radner)
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Re: Literary Fiction
« Reply #53 on: June 04, 2011, 12:44:32 AM »
Will check it out. 50 times is great - congrats/ I've had 100k downloads of one of my stories on feedbooks - how do we turn these into paid downloads I wonder
The downloads have reached 2,800 in just twenty-four hours. I've also gained a one star review that looks promising. It says that the book has a shocking ending not in a good way, so that should generate a great deal more interest!

I've no idea how this will pan out. The downloads are continuing -- in the time it took to write this post, the downloads increased from 2,810-2814. It's all very exciting!

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Re: Literary Fiction
« Reply #54 on: June 04, 2011, 02:41:05 PM »
Wow, Shelagh, congratulations!
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Re: Literary Fiction
« Reply #55 on: June 04, 2011, 03:24:25 PM »
Thanks LP! Downloads are slowing down, but I'm still amazed! Total downloads to date: 3,330.
« Last Edit: June 04, 2011, 03:25:56 PM by Shelagh »

Offline Bryan R. Dennis

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Re: Literary Fiction
« Reply #56 on: June 04, 2011, 08:12:41 PM »
I have a theory that blogs have stolen wind from the sails of literary fiction. I'm talking well-written slice-of-life type blogs. You can get in them what you would've previously gotten from literary stories. Probably the best way to sell literary fiction nowadays is to throw in sex, guns, vampires, and zombies.   ;)



Also visit my book blog at Indie Snippets

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Re: Literary Fiction
« Reply #57 on: June 05, 2011, 12:08:56 AM »
Heh. I, for one, thought C.S. Hand's suggestion (top of P. 2 of this thread) had some merit.  ;D
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Offline Xavier Leret

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Re: Literary Fiction
« Reply #58 on: June 06, 2011, 03:10:11 AM »
Your story has a certain cachet, Xavier, and I enjoy your writing style. I'll be following your progress. Good luck!

Many thanks, Ipking!


Thanks LP! Downloads are slowing down, but I'm still amazed! Total downloads to date: 3,330.

That's brilliant Shelagh. I'm going to get you book!


 "an explosive, brilliant and breath taking novel"
A wonderful coming-of-age story.
A heartbreaking, beautiful, romantic story, if you ever find the same love that these main characters have keep it!
"one of the most captivating stories I've read for years."
"poetic, tragic, contemporary, riveting, with striking and beautifully delineated characters - a really amazing read."
"tell all your friends about this unforgettable story"
"a work of genius""

Offline Kathleen Valentine

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Re: Literary Fiction
« Reply #59 on: June 06, 2011, 05:56:28 AM »
For what it is worth I'm wondering if literary fiction lovers might not be more inclined to buy the paperback version. I've definitely seen an increase in sales in recent months but while my short stories, memoir, and knitting sales increase on Kindle, my two novels are still selling more in paper.

I know I still tend to buy more paper copies of the books I know I'm going to love.

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Re: Literary Fiction
« Reply #60 on: June 06, 2011, 06:03:39 AM »
Hi Xavier,

You can try the short stories for free -- downloads have picked up and are now over 400 -- Four Short Stories is #45 Free in Kindle Store  and #1 in Kindle Store > Books > Fiction > Short Stories

That's twice I've been at #1 -- The Power of Persuasion was #1 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Fiction > Literary Fiction but is now #2.

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Re: Literary Fiction
« Reply #61 on: June 06, 2011, 06:31:01 AM »
Hi, I think my novel, Carl Melcher Goes to Vietnam, has a literary bent to it also.  And, it sells far fewer copies than my genre fiction.  But no matter.  My future work will be more in the literary vein, not the Vampire vein.   

Hi Paul,

Is that a good move? If vampire books sell and you can write for that market, why not stick with it?

Well, maybe not a good move money-wise, but a good one soul-wise.  We have to write about what moves us and for me that would be things more personal and current.

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Re: Literary Fiction
« Reply #62 on: June 06, 2011, 06:41:21 AM »
I think there is a market there that hasn't been tapped into yet.

I don't see a lot of indies doing historical fiction or literary fiction, especially the latter.

I released a literary short (my first title) and it sold 100 copies in three weeks, and it was only 4000 words. I think the standard for covers is very high, and I also think that the readers of literary fiction are sniffier than your average reader about reading self-published work, so you have to present it carefully.

But I think there is money there, for sure.

I think literary fiction appeals to a select few, it always has and by the looks of it, Kindle readers are not in that select few.  Very, very disappointing but you can only write what your inclination is, to do otherwise would be self betrayal and you would be lousy at it because your heart wouldn't be in it.

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Re: Literary Fiction
« Reply #63 on: June 06, 2011, 06:45:07 AM »
I think literary fiction appeals to a select few, it always has and by the looks of it, Kindle readers are not in that select few.  Very, very disappointing but you can only write what your inclination is, to do otherwise would be self betrayal and you would be lousy at it because your heart wouldn't be in it.

I think this is really true. Those of us who can't write without delving deeply into the character of our characters are sort of stuck. However, I do find that we develop loyal followers. I just got a review this morning on one of my novels in which the reader said, "I didn't feel like I had dropped a couple of IQ points with often sticky, sweet, cutsey literature that women are forced to endure in reading books about women's issues."

That made my day!

Offline Xavier Leret

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Re: Literary Fiction
« Reply #64 on: June 06, 2011, 11:08:21 AM »
I've been obsessed with Kickstarter lately. (Ask dgaughran...) I can't help wondering if there might be some way for indie (I almost typed "self-pubbed" but I understand in some circles that's a faux pas.) authors of literary fiction to use it to their advantage. Though that might be another topic.

I've just had the idea for my next novel accepted onto Kickstarter. I danced around the room. Then I read the small print at the end of the email to learn that it is only open to US citizens. Damn! Grrr. Still its nice that liked what I proposed. Apparently they are working to break down those borders. If it takes me as long to finish this new book as it took to finish the last one then I might still be able to utilize it! 

Hi Xavier,

You can try the short stories for free -- downloads have picked up and are now over 400 -- Four Short Stories is #45 Free in Kindle Store  and #1 in Kindle Store > Books > Fiction > Short Stories

That's twice I've been at #1 -- The Power of Persuasion was #1 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Fiction > Literary Fiction but is now #2.

Shelagh, you've been at number 1? That's fantastic! Congratulations. That makes you literary luminary!

 "an explosive, brilliant and breath taking novel"
A wonderful coming-of-age story.
A heartbreaking, beautiful, romantic story, if you ever find the same love that these main characters have keep it!
"one of the most captivating stories I've read for years."
"poetic, tragic, contemporary, riveting, with striking and beautifully delineated characters - a really amazing read."
"tell all your friends about this unforgettable story"
"a work of genius""

Offline lpking

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Re: Literary Fiction
« Reply #65 on: June 06, 2011, 11:09:55 AM »
I've just had the idea for my next novel accepted onto Kickstarter. I danced around the room. Then I read the small print at the end of the email to learn that it is only open to US citizens. d*mn! Grrr. Still its nice that liked what I proposed. Apparently they are working to break down those borders. If it takes me as long to finish this new book as it took to finish the last one then I might still be able to utilize it! 

Well, sheesh, that really sucks.

I loved your latest instalment for #SampleSunday, btw.
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Offline Xavier Leret

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Re: Literary Fiction
« Reply #66 on: June 06, 2011, 11:14:46 AM »

I loved your latest instalment for #SampleSunday, btw.

That's very kind of you to say! Thank you.

 "an explosive, brilliant and breath taking novel"
A wonderful coming-of-age story.
A heartbreaking, beautiful, romantic story, if you ever find the same love that these main characters have keep it!
"one of the most captivating stories I've read for years."
"poetic, tragic, contemporary, riveting, with striking and beautifully delineated characters - a really amazing read."
"tell all your friends about this unforgettable story"
"a work of genius""

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Re: Literary Fiction
« Reply #67 on: June 06, 2011, 11:36:06 AM »
I think this is really true. Those of us who can't write without delving deeply into the character of our characters are sort of stuck. However, I do find that we develop loyal followers. I just got a review this morning on one of my novels in which the reader said, "I didn't feel like I had dropped a couple of IQ points with often sticky, sweet, cutsey literature that women are forced to endure in reading books about women's issues."

That made my day!
Good for you, that's exactly what's about.  A book should teach as well as entertain and that's what I always tried to do.

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Offline Xavier Leret

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Re: Literary Fiction
« Reply #68 on: June 24, 2011, 09:21:19 AM »
A book should delve and ask questions. Doesn't have to come up with answers but maybe suggest new ways of seeing.

 "an explosive, brilliant and breath taking novel"
A wonderful coming-of-age story.
A heartbreaking, beautiful, romantic story, if you ever find the same love that these main characters have keep it!
"one of the most captivating stories I've read for years."
"poetic, tragic, contemporary, riveting, with striking and beautifully delineated characters - a really amazing read."
"tell all your friends about this unforgettable story"
"a work of genius""