New Strategy: Longer and Less Often

Over the last month I’ve had several pressing personal matters arise, but (as far as I can tell), they are behind me. I still have been acquiring interesting titles and authors and will continue to share what I can. My next Robert’s Roundup column should drop in the next 24 hours.

Even though it’s kind of a time-suck, I enjoy doing these columns. I prefer making them longer and less often rather than short and frequent.

Deals which I find on Amazon quickly expire, so by the time people read this, many are gone. Why mention them at all? I do so mainly because sales on Amazon recur often, and if you have a price alert system, you can be notified when the price goes down again.

You should pay closely to my recommendations from the monthly sales of Amazon imprints (i.e., 99 cent deals which last until the end of the month). I spend a lot of time reading through this month’s picks and figuring out which are worth buying. When I publish the Roundup, these sales are still up to date and will remain so until the end of the month.

The goal of this column is to make you aware of more under-the-radar authors whose prices stay low to begin with. So while is moderately interesting that I was able to buy an omnibus edition of William Styron’s novels for $2.40 during a spot sale, it probably is not that interesting because Styron is already well known, comes from a major publisher and that sale is likely to pop up again later. Let me pick a better example. I was REALLY tempted to mention and buy the debut story collection White Dancing Elephants by Chaya Bhuvaneswar for a one day sale of 1.99. This title is probably unfamiliar to many, but apparently last year, it was reviewed EVERYWHERE and was on many people’s Best list. Also, the ebook was found in multiple copies (digital + print) at my library. So I felt no special urgency to buy it even though it was probably great. At the same time, I discovered a story collection by New Zealand author Bronwyn Elsmore for 99 cents. Besides being kind of exotic, Elsmore has several other titles which will be probably be discounted later. Also, it’s highly unlikely to find her stories from my public library. That is why I spent my money on the Elsmore title.

I want to post reviews (capsule or full length), so probably a good schedule would be to post a Robert’s Roundup every 2 weeks and then on the alternate week run some kind of review or book essay. Given the vagaries of schedule, 2 weeks can sometimes turn into 3 weeks. The urgency of the column depends on 1)reporting on my picks for the 99 cent sales before the month is over and 2)reporting on Smashwords seasonal sales in time for readers to take advantage of it.

I mentioned before why I prefer Smashwords even though it is a smaller store and doesn’t have most of the big publishers. Instead of doing a separate column about deals on Smashwords, I’m just going to make it a separate section on my Robert’s Roundups. Most of the time, Smashwords titles are available on Amazon, but I’m NOT going to link to the Amazon book page for multiple reasons.

Finally, I want to add sections for Multimedia, Poetry and Outside Readings on my Roundup. Multimedia is one way to get into authors, and so are essays/book reviews. (Also, I have some audio interviews with authors which I’ll be releasing). Poetry is always neglected







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