Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Zigging and Zagging along The Promotional Path

I've finished all the basic steps I believe one should take upon publishing on Kindle.

I have a blog, a Facebook page, a Goodreads page, an Amazon Author page, a Kindle book page, maybe even a Kindle Author Book Blog page. I don't know. I've set up so many pages in the last week I don't remember them all, which calls into question how effective they will be.

But due diligence has been done. The one thing I'm not stepping in is Twitter. I didn't even have a Facebook page until a couple months ago. There are limits.

My initial plans have changed quite drastically. No plan ever survives contact with the audience, as they say. I'm thinking of postponing the banner ad 'campaign' and hoarding my micro-ad budget until I get some reviews. If I can get a couple of good ones, or even one that I can find a positive sentence in and then thoroughly misrepresent in an ad banner, I'll splurge. Until then, I doubt they'd do me much good. I'm an unknown quantity of unknown quality in a market absolutely saturated with prose.

Supposedly most books, print books that is, don't sell more than 500 copies. Since it's much easier and cheaper to buy an ebook, it initially seemed reasonable to set the goal of selling 1000 copies as an objective. True, at $3.99, that'd only bring in $4000, of which I'd make roughly $3000. From the outside, it probably looks like a fairly modest ambition. Or even subpar.

Ha! How quickly the foolish dreams of the novice are dashed on the rocks of reality.

I now realize that a reasonable goal will be to sell 100 books within the next year.

My main objective will be to have fun and improve my writing SkillZ. That's been achieved, to a greater or lesser extent (let us not quibble), and it's best to just be happy with that. Not making any money I can certainly live with. I wasn't planning on giving up my day job. But not having any audience at all just makes me think of that Beatles song Nowhere Man:

He's a real nowhere man,
Sitting in his nowhere land,
Making all his nowhere plans for nobody.

In The Yellow Submarine, they show the 'Nowhere Man' sitting, even dancing, at a typewriter.


I've been reading up on the kboards a bit. A lot of people are writing erotica, which does very, very well on kindle. Oddly enough, book promotions often explicitly exclude erotica.

Erotica probably doesn't need them.

It's a whole other world.

You can apply to be a Bargain Book, but they want four star ratings for that, which likely better serves established authors. A new writer is likely to attract speculators who ultimately don't like the book, and it only takes a few negative reviews to drag a book's rating down. Fortunately, by the time you publish your tenth book, everybody who hates your writing has learned to avoid it.

Ratings can have quite an effect on how well a book does, and what opportunities are open to it. It's very competitive. Which just motivates people to manipulate the system. I recall reading a story a few years back about some Amazon writers who created fake online identities, and then went around writing scathing critiques of their competitors and fawning reviews of their own work. Amazon had to implement new policies to clamp down on this phenomenon.

Makes you wonder.

Nowhere Man, don't worry,
Take your time, don't hurry.
Leave it all till somebody else lends you a hand.

Doesn't have a point of view,
Knows not where he's going to.
Isn't he a bit like you and me?

No comments:

Post a Comment