The internet is a wonderful and horrible creation. Isn’t it? You can find literally any subject you want. Information is nearly limitless.
BUT.... (Knew that was coming didn’t ya)
Is the information true or false? You have to remember that everything is put on the internet for someone’s purpose. The purpose may to be to help others avoid the pitfalls of the author but more times than not it is to make money. Because money makes the world go round (or that is the belief anyway).
OK, then why am I posting this blog entry? I just said everyone has a reason.
The reason I’m writing this is help you understand much of the information out there for indie authors is not to help you but to sell you (something).
I will say that I am not trying to sell you anything. I’m not going to plug “Review software” or some company that looks for reviewers. So I can be completely honest about my findings. And honesty is not something easily found on the internet.
My results of five widely touted “miracle strategies” the internet is currently trying to force down the indie authors throat. Based on twelve months of trial and error.
1) More reviews = more sales
Not as far as I can tell. My first book sold well and only had seven reviews. It now has 13 and there has not been an increase in sales due to reviews. Now it is possible that sales would increase if your book had five reviews and say it now has 500. That I don’t know.
2) Bad reviews are just as good as good reviews
No. Bad reviews are bad and good reviews are good. You don’t want bad reviews. I once saw a website that said they would buy your book and post a bad review on Amazon. Saying bad reviews actually sold more books. I forget the websites name but when you click on the purchase button, it brings up a PayPal account in an Asian language and they never responded to any emails I sent, so I assume it’s a fraud.
Think of it like this. If you were going to buy, a vacuum cleaner and the first had all one and two star reviews and the second had all four and five star. Which would you buy?
3) Advertising sells books
Yes it does. But does it make you a profit? No. and sometimes if you are not careful it can put you deep into debt. Spend your advertising dollars wisely. I can tell you that advertising on Facebook is a complete loss. I tried it (it’s more expensive than many other venues) and I did not sell a single novel.
Remember that advertising has NO guarantee. If you plunk down a large sum of cash you are gambling. Bookbub (the self-touted leader in advertising books) wants nearly $600. The claim you’ll reach 1.9 million readers. BUT (there’s that word again) there is NO WAY to verify how many people your ad reaches. Maybe it is 1.9 million or maybe it’s 10 (wow that’s cynical).
4) Sales rank sells more books
That’s a definite, maybe. Amazon has many programmers working 40+ hours a week designing a system that cannot be manipulated. Add to that the fact that Amazon does not have to tell you when they change, remove, or add anything.
So what’s an author to do? You have two choices.
a) You can try one of the many procedures flooding the internet claiming they have the solution to getting a great sales rank. Many of the procedures look more like a physics problem than anything else. Do they work? I don’t know. Most are far too complicated to be worth it.
b) Don’t worry about it. My books hover in the 75-150,000 range of sales rank and sell well. In that range I’m selling 50+ books per month.
5) More books = more sales
Yes, definitely! I speak from experience. My first books sold ok. Then four months later, I published my second book. Sales of my first book went up 32%. That is a huge spike in sales.
So there you have it. My honest and not all positive conclusions to my first twelve months as an indie publisher.
Leave a comment. I would love to hear your experience.
Anyone who reads a novel (or even worse a series) and then expects the movie depicting it to be as good as the book(s) is setting themselves up for a fall.
I cannot tell you how many times someone will say to me, “Hey did you see the movie, whatchamacallit? It’s not near as good as the book.”
I usually respond with “Oh.” But what I really want to say is -- “Really? You mean the 90 minutes of film does not capture the 1200 pages of the trilogy? I find that shocking.”
Why are you comparing the two? Its apples and oranges. There is no way a movie, even an extra-long movie (3+ hours) can come anywhere close to the experience a person has reading page after page, chapter after chapter. And the real reason has nothing to do with book vs. movie. It has to do with your brain.
Your brain has an infinite capacity to create. When the human brain reads a book, it is not simply reading words on a page. It’s creating a world in which it can move freely. A world that it can immerse itself in. To date a movie does not have that ability. Granted you can get lost in a great movie but the film does not have the capacity to put you in it. Your brain and a great novel can. When you read the words on the page your mind becomes Atticus Finch, Lisbeth Salander, and of course, Harry Potter. It is your brains ability to set you into the scene. Your mind imagines the detail, it hears, and smells the environment. That is what creates the experience. No movie can do that.
So next time you are going to see the movie of a book you read and loved. Enjoy the film. However, remember it will not replace the experience of the book. Because of your marvelous brain, the book will always be triumphant.
My new novel Songweaver
will be available January 9th, 2018
$14.95 US Paperback - $1.99 US Ebook
Available on Amazon, B&N, Kobo, Smashwords and
50 other retailers worldwide.
You can read a portion of the first chapter here.
DW is an author and an artist. He has been creating paintings and photographs for over 40 years. He lives in Eastern Kansas with his daughter, a large epileptic dog, three cats, and a barnyard of chickens and ducks.