You'd need to have been on another planet not to notice the rise of the self-published or indie author. Their stories are everywhere and make selling books sound, well easy –
"I sold a thousands books a day using social media."
"Why I'm turning my back on a big money book deal to stay indie."
"I tweeted my way to hundreds of book sales a day."
Whilst all these stories inspire indie authors and those who are thinking of going indie (like me) they also make those of us who don't sell thousands of books a day (whether we're self-oublished or traditionally published), feel like garbage.
We use the social networks, we blog, we write promo pieces. And, we wrote good books. So, what's wrong with us or our books?
Probably nothing. So, why are other authors succeeding whilst we're not?
Part of the problem is that although I've no doubt these bestselling authors work extremely hard, they are not always completely upfront about the things they do to "sell" so many books or the fortune they spend.
Here are 3 things I've discovered -
1. Writers counting free books as sales. When something's given away, it's a freebie not a sale. If I see someone giving out free candy bars, I grab one. It doesn’t mean I’m gonna eat it, or in the case of free books, read it.
2. Authors are spending a fortune on publicists. One author I read about spent 40 thousand dollars on her publicist. Compared to what others spend, that's chump change.
3. Authors spending a ton of money on advertising, including fees to get on book blogs. I was sad to see that there seems to be a growth industry in prising money out of authors’ hands. This is often money they can’t afford.
What this post isn’t, is me having a go at indie writers who write great books that sell and work hard to get those sales. What this post is however, is a call for successful self-published authors to be more upfront about how much money and time they spend to make the Amazon bestseller list.
Sadly, I know of too many authors who have grown disillusioned because they’re not the next John Locke, the first self-published author to sell over one million eBooks on Amazon.com. As well as writing what I’m told are great books, he spent a bundle on advertising to sell books too.