Lately, I have read several blogs by some of Amazon’s more successful indie authors. I thought I would be able to find the magic formula to send my book sales skyrocketing. I was doing everything I was told. I had a blog, I joined Twitter and Facebook, I got some great reviews. I also got mentions on several author promotion sites. All of that has not translated into book sales. So I decided to learn from the experts. Imagine my surprise when the best selling Amazon authors said that they attributed the majority of their success to luck. Luck? I’m screwed. The only thing they seemed to agree upon is that having more books is better. That makes sense. If people like your writing, they’ll be back for more. If there isn’t more, readers will move on and may not come back.
I started thinking about my book selling tactics and noticed several problems. One is that I promote on Facebook and Twitter. Facebook is filled with most of my close friends and family, and some new author friends, but they already know about my book. So obviously that avenue is limited. I have met tons of people on Twitter, but they are mostly authors. I have often joked and said that I am Tweeting to the choir. I’m trying to promote my books and blogs and so are they. That’s nice, but I need to reach readers as well.
That brings up another problem: the whole indie book thing. I knew there were people who self published, but until I published my own book last August and started to connect with other authors, I had no idea how huge the indie pub industry was. I hate to say it, but I had never read an indie book before I published my own. I followed traditionally published authors and had no real interest in indie books. Not because I thought they would be poorly written, I just didn’t think about them with all of the traditionally published books available.
I’m not alone. I met a woman the other night who was reading on a Nook. I asked her what she likes to read and she ticked off a list of some popular traditionally published authors. She knew nothing about indie books. Several other friends and acquaintances who have read my book reported the same thing. It was their first exposure to the world of self published books.
As authors, how do we connect with readers and not just each other? And not just as individual authors promoting our own books, but how do we get the word out to readers that indie books are amazing and a fraction of the price of traditionally published ebooks (which are insane by the way, and should be downloaded with a tube of digital lube - $9.99 for a ebook novella from one of my favorite authors? Bite me!). My book has been posted on several “reader” sites, but those listings have only created a small spike in sales if any. We need some way to raise awareness of indie books in general.
I’m just thinking out loud. If you have any great ideas…let me know.