True Power

True Power

Friday, March 9, 2012

Self Publishing Persistence is Key

                                                         
I know you wonder sometimes why you are spending all of your time trying to get just one person to purchase your book. Well, you figure if you land one person and they love it and in turn tell another person to get your book soon hundreds will have your book. And if that is your logic, then that's why you spend so much time promoting your book. And that is just what you must do to have the slightest level of success.
                            
I ran across an article that speaks to this point. It gives you an idea of where ebooks is heading and if you should get on board or continue in the way you are going. I hope you find this informational

Why the future looks bright for self-publishers, even without control of placement on Amazon

by Robert Francis on October 11, 2011  http://www.fallofprint.com/?p=248

Everyone seems to be concerned at the moment with how to find readers. And with good reason. Without visibility in bookstores, newspaper reviews, or the Amazon 100, it isn’t easy.

In a provocative new post, Bob Mayer, a top-selling epublisher, explains why he thinks it’s only going to get harder — raising an issue that few ebook evangelists want to address. While I take Bob’s concerns seriously, my aim here is to place them in context, and to argue that the future for self-publishers still looks bright, for at least 3 reasons.
                                                                                                      
Bob’s conundrum:
At the moment, Bob sells tens of thousands of ebooks a month. But he suspects it won’t last. Soon, he’ll come to the end of his backlist and sales will plateau. He may fall out of the top 100, and if that happens, sales would plummet.

His argument:

1. The ebook pie may be growing, but your piece of it isn’t. The number of readers is rising and shelf space is infinite, but promotional space on Amazon is finite. The more authors, the more competition for this, the harder it is to sell.

2. This is especially problematic, because KDP won’t let self-pubbers buy placement or ads. And you can only get mentioned in the “also liked/bought” space of another chart-topping author if you’re already a top-seller yourself.

Thus, in his view, it’s the same chicken and egg problem we saw with print. You can’t get big unless you already are big.

So, in a comment on his blog, I asked:
Is it really only the top 100 or bust? Is there not a profitable middle ground? He agreed:

I think there are ways other than lists. There’s niche marketing, social media, and viral promotion. So there are great opportunities now for authors that didn’t exist before, but it’s a lot of long hard work…

Taking up the thread:
It certainly is, but the fact that there are these other options is worth noting. They point to a brighter future for writers, in at least three ways:

1. The lottery is no longer the only game in town. To sell in large numbers, you don’t have to wait until you win the lottery and land a spot at the front of the bookstore or in the Times Book Review. All of this is rapidly receding and soon to be gone for all but a tiny few.

For lesser known authors, there is at least the possibility of promotion through online reviews, forums and other social media. Some, like Lindsay Buroker, have done quite well (10,000 ebooks in 9 months). For better known writers, one major alternative seems to be the use of sites that function as authorial hubs. Perhaps the most notorious example of this will soon be Pottermore.

I will save for a future post why I think the Pottermore model will become more common among epublishers. But suffice it to say that it holds out many obvious advantages: it’s always open, always on, always attracting business — to you and you alone.

It’s a space where a writer can be much more effective in getting readers/tribe-members to connect with each other and deepen their interest in the work. And your moment in the spotlight is no longer seasonal: it’s 24/7, 365. It certainly takes longer to build it. But once built, it only grows.

2. The major bottleneck for starting and lesser known writers is gone. It will always be hard to find readers, but at least nothing now stands in the way of your access to them. It may take time, but while you wait, you can be selling, perfecting your craft, building your skills as a writer/publisher/marketer. Before, there was little to do but wait.

3. The lists are important but not everything. If you’re not on a top 100 or 1,000 list, you might still do well as a writer by selling less of more.

To be sure, nothing beats great placement on Amazon. But with ebooks, there are many other ways to reach readers. And more than one path to where you want to go.
                                                                           

8 comments:

Garden Sheds said...

Very motivating post! Nice post.

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