Tag Archives: KDP

But Where Are the Readers?

After publishing, the real hard work begins. Post a link to your newly published book and you’ll get the obligatory responses and purchases from select friends and family. But there are well over three million books in publication, ready to be purchased or downloaded at any given time. What makes yours stand apart?

Of course you’ll need a social media presence, but be ready. Despite social media interaction, which may devour hours of the day, you may receive one or two, Hey wanna book swaps? Great to at least get ratings, maybe readings, perhaps a solid review, but those are few and far in between. Not to mention you are either buying their book or buying yours and gifting it to them. I’ve had sales off FB and Twitter, and lots of to be reads off Goodreads. Most of those well intentions come from other authors looking for reciprocity.

Where do you get the readers? The following? Some companies offer marketing. I have tried several and gained several new authors as followers. But where are the readers? Your best bet is book bloggers, but good luck getting on their reading list any time soon. The good bloggers are backed up at least nine months. I have tried independent small marketing firms, mostly because I like to support the Mom & Pops out there. However, I have been burned by a few of those and recently disputed a fee through PayPal for one such company claiming they will publicize my book to over 15,000 readers on their blog and even more across social media for $14.99/month. I paid and never heard from them again.

Being listed as a writer on Facebook, I quickly realized that I am now targeted for sponsored ads relating to writing, editing, publishing, and anything interconnected to the industry. I look through the ads, do my research, read the comments, look for reviews and find that most authors are greatly displeased with these services. After all, they can only guarantee exposure not sales. Writers have been targeted by pop-up companies and services in mass this year. Authors are a consumer targeted group.

Then there are free books. Many authors boast, and rightfully so, about giving away 10,000 books on a KDP free day. It’s all for exposure and the cost (but no profit) of gaining exposure. And somehow, and this is just me, I feel like the adage: Why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free? I know those readers too. Many only look for free books and will not BUY anything indie. Many readers download free books from unknowns and don’t read them (bless the ones that do AND leave reviews…they are few). One friend shows me her Kindle with hundreds of free downloads, but she admits to rarely reading them, and often erases them to free up memory to download new free books. I ask why she downloads them and she proudly says, “I really do have good intentions.”

baseball1Writers beware! You will pour your heart and soul into birthing characters, plot, and story line. Some writers have only a family following. Some have a very small dedicated following. The greater majority sell under twenty books. This is in no way meant to be a downer but an insight into a whole new world that will take your hope and dreams and make you work harder than you ever thought possible. Many writers give-up, because marketing can consume your day, which in turn means you aren’t writing, which causes a bit of writer depression. There is a vicious cycle that consumes even the brightest of eyes. Those that succeed do so by sticking with their talents: write, publish, market, repeat. As Tom Hanks said in a League of Their Own, “If it wasn’t hard everyone would do it. The hard is  what makes it great.”

The best advice I have come across to date to sell more books is: WRITE MORE BOOKS.

If you have any great advise for indie authors or have a service you’d like reviewed, leave a comment below.

Tania L Ramos RN BSN

Follow me on TWITTER and FACEBOOK or visit my WEBSITE

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Death Match: Self-Pub v. Vanity Pub

Catchy right? Okay, so this morning I read a blog post on Facebook posted by author CJ Peterson, whom I follow.  So the post was the latest rant coming from someone going on about how Amazon is trying to squeeze out the indie authors, and how Simon & Schuster are starting their own vanity press company.  I get it, big bad Amazon is selling out to the man because traditional best selling books have taken a huge back seat (or least passenger seat) to the uprising of indie books. Well, hey, score one for us, right?

Apparently , not.  The tangent goes on to bash Amazon for making decisions in their best financial interest, and I’m left to think, “Isn’t that the point of running a company?” But, I digress.  More and more Amazon is bashed for recent decisions revolving around the review removals, KDP select company, and now the new issue with bowing down before the “Big Six.” It all sounds like a mindless rant to me, or someone’s agenda to bring down the big enterprise which dominates blah blah blah.

Next, it gets into self-publishing (indie) versus vanity publishing. Oh, I love reading about this, because it really gets me riled up, and at six thirty a.m. I could use a good riling.  Okay, this is the gist: self-published authors have taken the time to turn a manuscript into ebook formats with Kindle Mobi, Epub, Nook platforms, Ibook platforms, and others and then took the time to find a distribution house for the physical copies of books etc etc.  Apparently, that is what a real “indie” author does.

Vanity published authors tend to get a bad rap for using assisted publishing (Iuniverse, Xlibris, Tate, etc).  The biggest argument is that the author has lost control of their rights to a vanity press.  By the way, this is called vanity press because it is a service in which an author has paid for. That makes it vain.

Help me out here, because I really don’t see much difference between true self-publishing and vanity press except one may cost more money and less effort on the author’s part (vanity press), while the other (self-pub) takes more time on the author’s part and maybe less money.  Vanity press=less royalties.  Self-pub=more royalties.  I get it, if I had done the leg work I could have made $250 as opposed to $54 in royalties.  Of course, I would have lost precious time writing my next book to get all this done, and who’s to say those companies you’re uploading your ebook to are giving you an accurate sales count.  Unless you are selling out of your garage, you never really know.

Here is my opinion and take it for what it’s worth: putting out a book is not a literary death match! Who cares if Author A paid a middleman to do the work while Author B did it all himself.  I respect both equally, and why? Because both of them followed through.  They are both published authors.  The end result is the same: their book is available for readers.  And isn’t that what writing and publishing a book is all about?

It took me three days to get to San Fransisco from Los Angeles, where so many people told me it should have only taken half a day and called me crazy.  I hate driving! So I took the scenic route and made some pit stops and found some awesome pizza on the way, but you know what? I still made it to San Fransisco.  Whether you take the direct route or indirect route in publishing, the point is to publish. Enough with the grudge matches already.  Enough with putting an author down for paying for assisted publishing or for wasting time by doing it all on their own, or whatever the opinion may be.

And as for the whole, Amazon is the new self-publishing Anti-Christ, let me say this: if you have a problem with them then remove your book! Until then, their game, their rules.  And yes, it is all about the profit margin, because the last time I checked they weren’t a charity.  Oye, now I gotta go plant a tree to get my anxiety level back down.

Please stop author on author violence. Do it for the books.