Kevin Moriarity

I Don't Want to be the Voice of Doom and Gloom, but Sometimes I Can't Help Myself

Laura Knapp Reads at Waterline on March 19, 2017

Laura Knapp at Waterline: March 2017 from Waterline Writers on Vimeo.

Self-Publishing Success Offers Advice

John Nicholl (bestselling author of three dark pyschological thrillers):

The publishing world has changed, and it’s never been easier to get your work out there. Let the public decide if your books are worth buying. Being an indie gives the author control of the entire process, and for me that’s a plus. Never say never, but I’ve chosen to remain independent up to this point despite offers from publishers, with the exception of foreign rights deals.

What are your top tips for other indie authors?

  • Produce a good quality product
  • Pay close attention to detail
  • Learn how the Amazon system works. There’s a sea of books out there, and so you have to give yours every advantage you can.
  • Cover design matters
  • Your Amazon product page matters
  • Key words matter

Read the entire interview…

Audio Clips From Waterline’s March 2017 Event

Laura Knapp

Donna Coombs

Gint Aras

Julie Brandon

R. G. Ziemer


Working Hard at Waterline March 19, 2017

Book Review: Fixers

FixersFixers by Michael M. Thomas
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I enjoyed this book. It’s a little business / finance-geeky, so if you are not into that sort of world you might not feel the same way I did about it. I thought it was an imaginative, and highly believable, story about the Great Recession. The diary motif worked very well. And, the departures from the business / finance angle were well done. I only have one negative. There were many typos in this book: misspelled words, words squished together… I read the hardcover version, from my local library, so it is quite possible that the paperback or Kindle version available on Amazon may be error-free. The magic of digital publishing enables mistakes like this to be fixed, once found.

View all my reviews

2017 Trends in Self-Publishing

I came across this article while searching for information on book titles. Here a number of authors, book designers, marketing consultants and indie publishers share their thoughts about what they see as trends in self-publishing for the coming year. Read the article…

Book Review: The Attention Merchants by Tim Wu

The Attention Merchants: The Epic Scramble to Get Inside Our HeadsThe Attention Merchants: The Epic Scramble to Get Inside Our Heads by Tim Wu
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I liked this book. It gave a basic history of media and advertising, from newspapers to today. The main thesis is that news and entertainment was largely created to deliver consumers to advertisers. I’m sure some of the creators thought they were doing a public service (news) or being artistically creative (entertainment), but the bottom-line, financially, was all about delivering eyeballs to advertisements.

From the book:

“At bottom, whether we acknowledge it or not, the attention merchants have come to play an important part in setting the course of our lives and consequently the future of the human race, insofar as that future will be nothing more than the running total of our individual mental states. Does that sound like an exaggeration? It was William James, the fount of American Pragmatism, who, having lived and died before the flowering of the attention industry, held that our life experience would ultimately amount to whatever we had paid attention to. At stake, then, is something akin to how one’s life is lived. That, if nothing else, ought to compel a greater scrutiny of the countless bargains to which we routinely submit, and, even more important, lead us to consider the necessity, at times, of not dealing at all. If we desire a future that avoids the enslavement of the propaganda state as well as the narcosis of the consumer and celebrity culture, we must first acknowledge the preciousness of our attention and resolve not to part with it as cheaply or unthinkingly as we so often have. And then we must act, individually and collectively, to make our attention our own again, and so reclaim ownership of the very experience of living.”

View all my reviews

The Importance of the Book Title

I was thinking about how I bought books before the internet. I would wander to the thriller or mystery section and, generally speaking, I was confronted with mostly book spines. So, what made me take a book out of the shelf? What made me think “Oh – this one will be interesting?” and then flip to the back of the book (usually a paperback because I’m way too cheap to buy a hardback) and read the blurb? I could see the spine, where there was very little room for any artwork, and the title. Perhaps the font of the title influenced me, but maybe it was the title itself. I think titles are an overlooked marketing decision. Do we pick the book title based on what will sell?

Here are some articles about titles:

“I have talked to other crime writers that have been urged by various professional people in their life to put the word girl in their title,” says Abbott. “It’s not necessarily an issue with the content of the book itself, but there’s this sort of shorthand that if it has ‘girl’ in the title, then I know what to expect.” Read the entire article…

“Authors are generally too close to the project to make a good decision. Your own fans know you so they aren’t the best either. You want to know what title will make someone new click to look at your book further. Tim advises using data to make a decision and talks about using (wow – did they pick a lousy name for a website!) to work out what gets clicked the most. It is unlikely to be what you think.” Read the entire article…

For non-fiction writers: “The right title should clearly indicate who should buy or download your publication, why they should buy or download it, and how they will benefit from it. Read the entire article…

This site had the Headline Analyzer website link! (I did not try it.) Check it out…

Factory of the Future

Watch this video from Goldman Sachs about the factory of the future.

What’s missing? People!

The narrator says that in the future factories will be “location agnostic.” Why? Because factories no longer have to be built where skilled labor exists. Factories may be built here in the United States, but they will employ a fraction of what the same facility did 20, 30, or 40 years ago.

I’ve been writing about this for a long time now. This will be one of the largest challenges we face in the very near future – and the current efforts aimed at illegal immigrants and trade deals will not solve this problem: what to do with all the “extra” people!

Is Blogging Good Use of Your Writing Time?

With readers and writers ever more pressed for time, can indie authors justify spending valuable writing time blogging?

Read the entire article…

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