So you can read my books

Thursday, December 27, 2012


Amazon won't be hurting, of course.

I. When we hear about the 366% growth in ebook sales )

     A.) What we're not hearing are the stats on who is making the money and how much.

     B.) A 366% increase in profits could be a result of those 1.1 million new authors
           selling only a handful of copies of their own ebooks each.

     C.) According to a study in Publishing Perspectives,
           only 70 self-epublished authors in the world in 2011 were selling more
           than 800 ebooks a month.

     D.) epublishing is inextricably tied to the structures of social media marketing
           and the myth that social media functions as a way of selling products.

     E.) If social media marketing collapses it will destroy the platform
           that the dream of a self-epublishing industry was based upon.


     A.) Self-styled eSpecialists say as an author
            you should spend 20% of your time writing
            and 80% of your time networking through social media.

     B.) When tweeting and Facebooking you should spend "80% of your time posting
            about things other than your book, and 20% selling.

     C.) That's like mumbling about your book in-between cheeky tweets and very rarely
           WRITING your book.

     D.) How much time does this leave for actually writing?
           i.)  Most self-epublished authors hold down a day job, so let's give them three hours a day,     after work, for author activities.
           ii.) That's 1,095 hours a year.

           iii.) Reduce this to 20% (since you have to spend 80% of your time
                 covertly self-promoting online),

           iv.) And you get 219 writing hours a year,
                 which works out as 18 12-hour days to write a book.


     A.) Why aren't you sweeping ahead as a new author in the social media revolution?

     B.) You came in too late.

           i.) If you didn't start doing this when social media began
               then you're already years behind the pioneers:

          ii.) everyone else and their drooling nephew is now trying these very strategies,

          iii.) precisely because the pioneers are now selling courses and books
                on how to be as successful as they are

          iv.) (if they're so successful, why do they have to do all this consultancy work?)

          v.) And, anyway, how can you compete with
               the 1.1 million new writers who have downloaded their ebooks on to Amazon?
          vi,) Is there any space left for you on this platform?
                Does the platform even exist, or is it a vast collective delusion of wishful

     C.) Wait for the howls of outrage next year when Amazon announces that they’re
           dumping every self-pubbed title that hasn’t sold in two years.
           Server space is not free.

     D,) In publishing terms it has recently been revealed that 10% of all self-epublishers
           make 75% of all the money;
           that 50% of self-published ebooks make less than $500 a year.

     E.)   The ebook market now looks a lot like the old mainstream print model.
             A small number of writers make a lot
             and everyone else wallows in the doldrums of minuscule sales.


     A.) He doesn't exactly overload you with facts why it will not burst:

     B.) As a literary agent, he garnered an enormous audience, so of course his social media
           platform is high and made of marble.

     C.) But you and me are just folks.

     D.) Lifeshare frowns on me surfing the net on the interstate.  I would end up needing the
           blood I am carrying if I did that!


     A.) Write because you love it but

          i.) Live life OUTSIDE the computer screen

          ii.) Enjoy LIFE, your FRIENDS, your LOVED ONES.

           iii.) Don't sacrifice any of the above for a will o wisp of a dream.


           Do not read the above if you have a gas oven.
           Sticking your head in an electric oven will only make you look silly, but you'll be alive!


     A.) There will be something else, someplace else you can take your dreams.
     B.) As long as you have breath in your body, a dream in your heart, and friends beside you --
           you will find your path to laughter and love.

     It has been a month and my contest is gathering cyber-cobwebs.  I have more prizes than entrants.
     So I am re-grouping and re-evaluating. 

     My contest days may be over.  Pity.  They were good prizes and only 3 entrants.

     So like with eBay's RESERVE NOT MET, my contest is in limbo for the moment.

FREE!  How can you turn this down?
Midnight is embracing the carnival of the damned, and 13 year old Victor Standish meets its mysterious owner and his dreaded "clean-up" crew. What's a street orphan to do?


  1. Wow. A reality check. Better than going in blind. And sticking your head in the oven. =)

  2. Hi Roland, you bring up a good point, one I'm pondering. I'm almost done with the first draft of Peace Makers and was planning to epub. Reading your article might give me second thoughts. Maybe I'll at least send out some queries before I do. Decisions, decisions.

    Hope you had a nice Christmas, Olivia

  3. E. Arroyo:
    I have an electric oven so I only look silly when I stick my head in the oven!

    I feel this next year will bring unexpected changes to ePublishing, and I just wanted to alert my friends that we must mind our surroundings and not be preyed upon by hucksters who exploit our dreams. Have a great New Year.

    It couldn't hurt to submit to a few publishers. They do editing, formatting, the covers, and putting your books in the stores.

    With ePublishing we have to do it all while promoting in an explosion of others promoting themselves. Ouch!

  4. Always good advice, Roland! Sage wisdom with a reminder to actually 'live' our life, too. (Sleep is the usual thing I give up.)

  5. D.G.:
    That's what I'm giving up right now to write this blog: my sleep! I will hate myself tomorrow as my eyelids turn to lead!

  6. LOL; thanks for the post Roland. I'm not laughing at your sentiments here; I'm laughing at my response. I had this great long response; and decided it was so inappropriate.

    So, I'm thanking you for the cathartic opportunity. I'm sorry you're suffering a "lack of interest" in your give-aways. I'd expect your sales to be astronomical given the number of followers you have.

    I'm not going the inde-pub route simply cuz I have no self-promotional skills. The few publications I've been accepted in rely on author promotion, and no one has read my publications due to my lack of blogging/promoting skills. Nope, I'd never make it as an inde-pub author. I doubt I could sell a free drink of water to a dying man in the desert.

    But I envy your perseverance. You're up to two books a month? Wow, I don't think I could produce two books in five years. You're dedication to the craft shows Roland. I wish some of Elu's magic would rub off on me and I could build such fascinating worlds and characters.

    I am sorry I have not read all of your novels. Blogging has left me with an immense guilt complex. So many books to read, so many reviews to write; and I am not good at balancing my day job with my writing life.

    I don't have a lack of interest in your blog; I have a lack of time and initiative in supporting all the blogger/authors I need to.

    Do you think Dumbledore would loan me a time turner so I can accomplish both the day job and the writing life?


  7. Excellent points, Roland; the best advice is to keep doing what you love. Personally, I don't enjoy marketing myself, but it seems like many writers do. Those percentages seem a little off to me. I'd like to say I spend 75% of my time on writing and 25% on subbing and marketing -- but I haven't scrutinized my time budget lately...

  8. Donna:
    That you have read any of my novels and have reviewed as many as you have is more than I could ask of anyone.

    ePublishing is like a pyramid scheme in a sense. The first on board had a higher chance of scoring. It depends a great deal on timing, placement, and having books in your backlist at the time when the lightning strikes.

    We both need to get a prose lightning rod from Dumbledore!

    Your perseverance in landing buyers of your short stories is nothing short of amazing! I think it is always wise to inventory the use of our time, comparing it with the ratio of its productivity. Have a great new year!

  9. I guess if something isn't working, try something new.
    I spend a lot of time online networking, but my goals are different. I don't do much to promote my own books, but rather promote others. And I never intended on promoting more than one book in the first place.
    Think December was a slump for everyone as people stopped buying things in anticipation of Christmas presents.

  10. Alex:
    It's finding something new that is the hard part! When everyone is yelling, no one can hear.

    I have always pointed out your blog as a shining example of being out there and winning ... because you spotlight others. :-)