Sunday, February 19, 2012

Equal Opportunity

Yesterday I blogged about what publishers ought to do about the so-called "Amazon problem" instead of blaming Amazon. (Hint: the publishers should look at themselves, not at Amazon.)

I'm an equal opportunity person. Today I'll touch on what indies can do. Here's a situation (may be common, may be only somewhat common, I don't know): indie has a book (or several) out. They're not selling. Indie doesn't see it as fair. So many other indies are doing well! Why not him? It's not fair.

Okay.

First of all, read this blog post. Do you meet the checklist?

- I have never read a writing book, never taken a writing class, etc.
- This is my first book.

If you can check both these items YES, then that's likely a big part of your issue. Learn about the craft of writing. Read the blog post. Really.

Further considerations: Is the book edited? (Not just proofread, but edited.) Is the cover professional? Is the blurb captivating and error-free? Have you tried distributing your book in as many outlets as possible (not just Amazon, but BN, Smashwords, print, etc.)? Have you tried making one of your works free, even if only for a limited time? Free does work a lot of the time. Experiment with price points.

Like with the publishers vs. Amazon, sometimes all it takes is a look at thyself to help thyself. Now, that said, some books probably won't ever sell well. For example, lesfic horror traditionally doesn't sell well, but I've been thinking for a while about writing a lesfic horror/romance. I want to someday, and I think it CAN sell decently. Just have to maximize the sales channels, the visibility and find the right price point. And if it doesn't sell, then I knew that was a possibility going in and that I did all I could. Sometimes risks don't pay off, but that doesn't mean anyone's to blame.

Also, sometimes these things take time. At least you're an indie and can leave your book up forever. With a publisher, chances are your book would be rescinded after a few months of not selling.

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