The Fussy Librarian

My book, “My Splendid Concubine”, is being featured this Sunday, November 3, at The Fussy Librarian, a new website that offers personalized ebook recommendations. You choose from 30 genres and indicate preferences about content and then the computers work their magic. It’s pretty cool — check it out! www.TheFussyLibrarian.com

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13 thoughts on “The Fussy Librarian

  1. At first I wondered if your post referred to Melville’s bookworm at the beginning of MOBY DICK and was happy to find that it didn’t. Thanks, Lloyd, for the link to a productive enterprise. It looks good.

    • Just got this update from the Fussy Librarian. It looks like success may be leading to more competition at this site too with a shrinking success rate for authors who submit their books to the site.

      ____________________

      The Fussy Newsletter

      I need to catch up!
      Your support of The Fussy Librarian has been humbling.

      When planning the website, I always had big goals. But never in my wildest dreams did I think that, in less than a month, this author mailing list would have 1,000 names and the website would have 1,300 books waiting to run. Amazing.

      Even though we’re still small, your response has been a vote of confidence that The Fussy Librarian will succeed and you want to be part of it from the beginning. That’s enormously gratifying.

      At the same time, I need to make some changes in order to provide you with the level of service that you deserve. Books aren’t being approved quickly enough and the waiting lists are getting very long in some genres.

      I also am not finding the time that’s needed to devote to marketing so we can continue to grow. Your Facebook and blog posts and messages are Twitter are very helpful, but they need to be supplemented with daily efforts dedicated to marketing the website to book bloggers and small publishing houses, who have their own resources that can help us grow.

      While my wonderful wife, Stephanie, can start helping me in December after she graduates from nursing school, the “staff” right now is me. Well, there’s The Fussy Librarian herself, but she doesn’t handle book approvals or scheduling or social media or website management … just the book matching wizardy.

      So I need to temporarily pause submissions in our most popular genres in order to process and schedule the books that have already been submitted. I promise to reopen submissions as soon as possible:

      Science fiction (will reopen Nov. 30)
      Fantasy (will reopen Dec. 7)
      Paranormal romance (Dec. 7)
      Women’s fiction (Dec. 7)
      Mysteries (Dec. 28)
      Young adult (Dec. 28)
      Romance-contemporary (Feb. 22)

      These dates will be listed and updated from time to time on the “For Authors” page of the website. Announcements will also be included in the weekly newsletter and posted on Facebook and Twitter.

      The submission changes take effect today. I have invested in genre management software, which will be installed over the next few days. When it’s completed, any genre not currently accepting submissions will be grayed out and you’ll see a note directing you to the authors page on the website.

      One great feature of the genre management system is that it will allow me to create new categories instead of contracting with the programmers. (Coming soon: Romantic suspense.) I’ll be contacting some of you over the next two weeks for your input so that we can expand offerings in romance, mystery and thrillers. Once I’ve settled on the new categories, I’ll announce them in the newsletter and you can let me know if you want to change the category of any already-submitted books. This will have the net effect of decreasing the waiting list in some genres, allowing me to re-open them for submissions sooner.

    • Luanne,

      The Fuzzy Librarian is currently accepting titles that qualify at no charge as they are still in launch/Beta stage. Eventually, they plan to charge—similar to BookBub—to advertise an author’s work. Sites that charge for advertising, charge more when they have more members and the Fussy Librarian wants to [actually needs to] attract readers who sign up to become a successful business that earns revenues and supports the owners and employees with incomes.

      For example, BookBub—last I heard—had about 1.5 million members and charges accordingly. The more members, the more they charge just like a magazine or newspaper charges according to how many readers pay for subscriptions. To get an idea, you can check out an established site for BookBub’s Pricing and Statistics page: https://www.bookbub.com/advertise/pricing

      I paid for a one-day ad through BookBub for “My Splendid Concubine” earlier this year and sold almost 3,000 copies at .99 cents through that ad. But then, there is no guarantee that one successful example will repeat if there is a next time. Who knows, BookBub may reject my submission for the same title the second time around.

      The Fussy Librarian’s business plan is similar to BookBub in concept but different in how they screen and approve books. These type of sites are like book clubs that allow authors who qualify to advertise their work at a price. They also reject books that don’t fit the requirements. That doesn’t reflect on the quality of the book as much as what genre and/or plot/themes are trending with reader members.

      For example, if BookBub only advertises a dozen titles a day and they are getting a hundred submissions a day that qualify according to screening through Amazon reviews and/or reputable literary awards—if any—that a title may have won, there’s still only room for twelve titles so through the screening process and what’s trending with readers, eighty-eight of the acceptable submissions must be rejected.

      • Yes it is, but then life is competitive unless one is fortunate enough to be born into a very wealthy family with a huge trust fund that provides an annual allowance. Those few don’t have to compete for an income—the Rockefellers; the DuPonts; the Kennedies, etc.

        For the rest of us, we have to compete for jobs; we compete for grades, and when students want to get into colleges, they compete for acceptance and the rejection rate for the top universities is HUGE; we compete in sports, and we compete to win at gambling in Las Vegas—the player against the house odds.

        For example, Harvard only accepts 6.1% of the applicants and Stanford 6.6%. Source: http://colleges.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/best-colleges/rankings/lowest-acceptance-rate

        And authors compete for readers and there are so many authors that even buying ads on sites like BookBub and The Fussy Librarian leads to guidelines, competition and rejection. Even submitting a book for a review to the Midwest Book Review, for example, faces a rejection rate that is more than two-third the acceptance rate.

      • The statistics are a little demoralizing, so I’m probably best not thinking about it at this point in my book!

      • In a very competitive world, it’s best not to think about the competition too much. Life is a journey and we make that journey one step at a time by setting goals and working toward them. What you can do to boost the odds of your success as a writer is to make sure your book is revised and edited as much as possible into the best possible reading product to offer readers. Do not just write a rough draft and then publish it. Once the rough draft is done, share a BETA copy with friends and/or family you trust to be brutally honest with you. You—as a last step—you may want to seriously consider finding a reputable and reliable editor to edit and also make suggestions that may lead to a stronger plot and/or characterization in the final revision.

        For example, my novel, “My Splendid Concubine” has sold almost 17,000 copies and been awarded a number of reputable lit awards along with a good number of positive reviews [that I did not buy–in fact I have never paid anyone to write a guaranteed positive review of my work], but that did not stop me this year from paying a reputable editor to edit and make suggestions for a final revision of a book that first came out in December 2007.

        Why did I do that? Because of some of the comments in one-and-two-star reviews on Amazon US and UK that I want to silence through this final edit and revision process for future critics who may be looking for any flaw as an excuse to write a negative review. In fact, there are people out there who will write a negative 1-star review of a book and never read the book. I know of at least one review of my latest novel that did that just because they could.

Comments are welcome — pro or con. However, comments must focus on the topic of the post, be civil and avoid ad hominem attacks.

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