Indie Marketing

I was doing my Saturday reading of favourite blogs and found a link to Alan Rinzler, a Consulting Editor,  on Passive Guy’s blog.

The article is finally admitting what I worked out over 10 years ago.


“Publishers confess they’ve goofed

Here’s why: Book publishers have been very slow to realize this but gradually began to admit that they really didn’t know all that well what they’re doing.

Seriously. They don’t. And they know it. Did you know that nearly all published books – conservative estimates range between 80-90 percent – lose money? These books don’t earn out their advances, don’t have second printings, they sell in the low four digits at best, are returned from the retail accounts and pulped or recycled.

The rest have to make up for it, and often don’t. What kind of a business is that?

So as book publishers have begun to admit to themselves and even publicly that they can’t really predict what will sell or not, they’ve also realized that the old methods of selling, of marketing a book have stopped working.”

How did I know this? Because I read a lot.

Every year I purchased between 50 and 100 books, both new via UK and secondhand (the only way to get USA authors into Australia without going through UK rights) and borrowed more from my local library. Mainly science fiction or fantasy, but also espionage, murder mystery and spy thrillers. Then around 10 years ago the books started drying up. They were not available in the genre’s I love.

Some of it was because the authors I followed died, some retired, but mainly, it was because publishers were not publishing those genres any more.

I decided to write stories I wanted to read, and started my journey in writing fiction. I  learnt plot, characters, setting, conflict, how to write scenes that keep the reader turning pages, and much more on the structure of writing fiction. I also learnt how to edit plot and characters, edit to build tension, how to copy edit, and how to proof read. And yes, they are all different. I am still learning what makes a good cover and what does not.

The second important comment in Alan Rinzler’s article is the following:

“What works, all agree, is the creation of “buzz”, one person telling another, “Hey you have to read this!”

I call this word-of-mouth marketing. It works in retail. It works with books.

Now, Indie authors are learning that word-of-mouth is what sells their ebooks. It is how Amanda Hocking said she got her books noticed.

Blogs and web sites are popping up everywhere. More Indie authors are commenting on other blogs and sites.

All this to get to the readers. Once a few readers read the novel, they will (if the story is good enough) tell their friends. The friends will purchase the ebook and hopefully be impressed and spread the word further.

I did not feel like plotting or writing this week. Instead I did some research.

I Googled for Indie reviewers. I found a lot, but not for science fiction. Those I did find that reviewed SciFi had not updated their blogs in years or their blogs have disappeared.

Eventually, by giving up and just looking at GoodReads comments I discovered one reviewer that is currently blogging. I looked at her site and liked her review prerequisites. I liked what she looked for in a story.

I decided to email her, asking for a review.

Now, whether the review is favorable or not, whether she chooses to read my ebook or not, does not matter. I leant how to find ebook reviewers. I learnt where to find ebook reviewers.

In the meantime, I will start my next story and make it the best I can from my accumulated learning so far, and get it up on Smashwords.



4 comments so far

  1. Angela/Curiocat on

    Good luck on your review. Hope you get a good one or at least one that is constructive. Which book did you request or have you yet?

    • djmills on

      Jazz’s Asteroid. I need to look for more reviewers now I know where to find them. 🙂

  2. cat on

    Maybe you can tell us a few of the keywords you used for your search?

    • djmills on

      I started with “Book Review Blogs” and narrowed that search with “Science Fiction” but only got Print Published lists, or lists of blogs of scifi readers. Most of the lists were broken links or blogs that have not been touched for years. Then I searched for “Indie book reviews” and refined the search for “Science Fiction”. Only after I gave up looking and studied Good Reads did I find a few reviewers for indie books, so clicked on their sites to study.

      Have fun searching. 🙂

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