Friday, April 27, 2012

B Movies and Indie Books - A Comparison.

This is only 3 X 3 inches and has no monthly fees. yay...

Last month, I was excited to get a Roku for my birthday. While I was scanning for movies, I joined the free trial of Netflix because I happened to see a movie on there I wanted to watch (True Grit..and it was very good). However, I have not found another movie that has interested me since. Mostly I see all these B type movies that I don't know anything about and have never heard of on Netflix. While scrolling through them, I keep moving on looking for something I recognize.

So I looked around and found this:

Amazon Prime videos: Free if you join Amazon prime. The selection is simliar to Netflix. 

Amazon instant vidoes: Rentables for 48 hours. Wide selection and good prices (half the price of Comcast) So this won out, and I ended up watching two more movies. One being Rise of the Planet of the Apes (which was great)

Then I realized my decision was based on:

Movies I've seen advertised.
Movies that have been reviewed on places like Rotten Tomatoes.
Movies where there has been some interviews of either the actors or the making of it.
Movies that I know have been in the theater.
Unknown actors are okay with me.
If it's an actor I don't like...that could put me off.
If it's an actor I do like, it still has be a good movie.

So my decision leans toward what I've heard has been good.

It occured to me that there is a similarity between all these B movies and Indie books (by Indie I mean both self-pubbed and small press).

Myself and other author friends, folks, we are the B movies. When people stumble across our books, they go who is so and so? Never heard of it. Next!

Like the B movies, we also don't have the budget behind us. We don't have the best in artists, marketing, etc. But some readers do give us a try, and that's the good thing. Some people do give us a try. Perhaps because (unlike the B movies) we are usually priced cheaper than the traditionals.

And like B movies many of us Indies have joined Amazon Prime. How ironic is that? So Amazon prime is full of content from the smaller independent people (both movies and books) Of course, there are a few bigger titles from the big movie production companies.

Which brings up another point. This is why Amazon does not want the Indie book titles on other sites like Apple. This is why they want the Indies exclusive to them. They offer you some free promotion and they don't want someone to come across your book (due to their promotion) and say "Let's see if I can get this on Apple because I have an iPad" and go there and get it. So it makes sense to me why Amazon wants Indies to be exclusive.

So back to the B movies/books. In order to be considered by a reader, this makes it clear that you need all the advantage you can get. Namely a great cover and editing. Reviews as well. The more reviews you have the more it lets the reader know..."Hey, a lot of people have read this book, you should too."

I have also noticed that it helps when your book isn't all that original, when it reminds them of another book they have loved. (You can insert the word 'movie' in the previous sentence and it still works). "Hey, this is a lot like XXX I loved that so I'm going to give it a try."

Otherwise, when your book is Indie and purely original, what do they have to go on? They don't know anything about you and what you have written is nothing they can relate to (not that it's not great). It's human nature to want the familiar as I've found out even about myself while picking out movies. I'm behind on movie watching after years of raising kids and I want to see what everyone else has seen.

PS: Sometimes it makes me wonder if Publishers weekly review might be worth it. Hmm....

Have a great week all :)


Michael Offutt, Tebow Cult Initiate said...

What you've touched on here is exactly why I like the Netflix and Amazon Prime selections. I like non-mainstream movies that I've never heard of. Example: I've already seen True Grit and Rise of the Planet of the Apes. So what I haven't seen, i.e. Roger Ebert's top movie selections that have obscure titles...are why I would subscribe to this kind of thing. They are for the movie afficionado that doesn't want mainstream stuff bet prefers the lesser known, and sometimes better done selections.

Misha Gericke said...

Yeah... I can see what you're talking about.

Interestingly, though, I buy any book based on the creativity of its premise.

So if I see something and go: Wow this is like XXX, then I go: Next!

Rusty Webb said...

I really thought I'd already read this post for some reason. Sorry I missed it when you posted.

I'm dead on in agreement with you, I think we're all B-listers unless we come from the big 6. Which is why we sell for cheaper and even if we have small publisher behind us, it's still not quite the same thing as having a bigtime deal.