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.
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, two cats, and a barnyard of chickens and ducks.