Posts Tagged ‘movie theaters’

saturation [n]: the act or result of supplying so much of something that no more is wanted.

–courtesy of Merriam Webster Online

Lately Hollywood is all about the franchises. Disney announced recently that they are making a Frozen 2, that they’ve set release dates for a Star Wars spin-off and Episode VIII, and for some reason they’re doing a live-action Dumbo remake. Sony recently announced that alongside the new female-led Ghostbusters reboot they’re making a male led one as well to even things out (because three male-led films vs. one female-led one is true equality), plus a production company to come up with all sorts of Ghostbusters-related stuff, and a Zoolander 2 is on its way as well.

Look, I’m looking forward to some of these sequels and prequels and remakes and reboots and spin-offs and franchises. Try and keep me away from the Poltergeist remake, the new Star Wars episode, and a few other upcoming films. However, I think that all this emphasis on creating major film series and franchises is actually working against Hollywood rather than helping it. I know that place is run by money primarily, with the idea of making memories and memorable films being a far second, and all these mega-franchises has everyone wanting to have their own moneymaker. But to pursue all that without investing in new material, to me anyway, is not smart business practice.

Not that there haven’t been original films this year. Seventh Son, Jupiter Ascending, and Chappie all are original films (one’s based on a novel, but whatever), so studios aren’t totally ignoring original ideas. However, the former two were panned and didn’t do well at the box office, while the latter…well, it did well at the box office, but the critics don’t seem to like it. I didn’t either. And that isn’t good, because it might make movie studios more wary about greenlighting new projects.

Does this seem a little excessive to you?

This means more superhero movies, more film series and franchise, more reboots and remakes and God only knows what else. And that’s likely to continue. The question is, how long will it continue? Marvel and DC have films scheduled through 2019 and 2020 respectively, but will we feel like watching them by that time? Will we feel like we’ve seen these films so many times that it takes something rare to make us enjoy the film, like it is for so many horror fans today? Are we going to reach saturation point soon? And when it does, what will the film industry do?

Luckily, there’s the indie scene, which is producing original and wonderful stories all the time (particularly horror: I Am A Ghost, The Babadook, and the upcoming It Follows, though I haven’t seen that last one yet). And the comedy genre keeps churning out with originals, probably because they know that pulling off sequels are difficult in that genre. There’s a growing number of biopics coming out each year (not exactly original, but not exactly overly done either), and most of the movies nominated for the Oscars each year are meant to be stand-alone films. Maybe we won’t reach saturation too soon.

But if we do, I think we might have enough filmmakers out there who aren’t so concerned with money and sequels, and want just to tell good stories. Heck, I might even join in then: I’ve got a few idea for screenplays, so I might write one too one of these days. We’ll see.

Do you like the way Hollywood is these days? Why or why not?

Do you think we’ll reach saturation point soon? What’ll happen when we do?

Many authors these days start blogs or websites or Facebook pages or Twitter accounts or any of the other five-thousand different forms of social media, hoping that not only will doing so let them connect to potential readers, but these said readers will go out and buy their books. It was certainly my reason for starting this blog: I began a blog in August 2011 in order to build an audience so that by the time I published my first book I might have some readers willing to buy a copy. It’s also the reason why I started a Facebook page and a Twitter account.

Contrary to this popular belief though, having a blog or any of the other things I mentioned doesn’t actually lead to decent book sales. There are numerous reasons for this, but I’d like to quote a friend of mine who recently posted about this on her own blog:

It’s like going to a movie theater and trying to sell your books to the people around you when all they want to do is watch the movie. Even worse, there are other writers in the theater trying to do the same thing you are, so the viewers are not just focused on the movie, they are purposely shutting out everything else. The challenge is to get their attention and make them more interested in you and your book than in the movie.

And like Pat, I’m not really sure how to get people interested in my book rather than the movie. While I’m lucky in that I’ve got a decent amount of followers (thanks for following, by the way!), if I charged for every time someone read one of my posts, I think my readership would be much smaller. My books cost anywhere between one to three dollars (if e-books) and a little under six to thirteen and a half dollars (if paperback). Plus I mainly write horror and science fiction, which don’t appeal to everyone.

Still, those aren’t the main reasons that I don’t make a lot of sales through social media. Other authors have had this problem as well, from romance and erotica authors to masters of mystery to sci-fi and fantasy lords and your literary connoisseurs. Like Pat said, every author is trying to get you to buy their books. I just happen to work in a genre known for its dark and macabre nature.

I think that’s the problem though. So many authors are using social media to promote their books that it’s difficult for any single one to get heard and make a lot of sales. The first few people who used blogs, Facebook, Twitter, and any other platform did make plenty of sales (or so I hear), but so many people have caught on that social media doesn’t sell as much as it promises.

It’s not easy to get sales through social media. But you can try.

 

Still, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try. Otherwise, I wouldn’t be on my blog, let alone Facebook or Twitter. Each author discovers success on their own. I’ve known authors to gain many readers of the books and many more readers on their blogs. It depends on how you go about writing your posts, what you write about, and how you promote it, among other things.

Do I know what those things are? Well…I’m a bit better at writing a terrifying story. I don’t know all the tricks. But I’m learning them here and there. I let my readers know about important updates, what’s going on in my life, my viewpoints on important issues. I often share funny or reading and writing-related photos on my FB page.Most importantly, I let people know when I get a new review on Amazon, and use direct links to Facebook and Twitter in case anyone wants to look.

And it pays off. Literally: I got two tax forms from Amazon–one for paperbacks, the other for e-books–and together it wasn’t too bad. And I’ve only been published for a little over a year and a half!

So maybe social media isn’t the direct way to bestselling novels like it bills itself to be. But with practice, hard work, and a lot of luck, you can do some amazing things through it. #BelieveIt

Do you find social media helpful for selling books? Why or why not?

What tricks do you have for selling books through social media?