So you can read my books

Wednesday, January 8, 2014


Ever look at the floor of the stock exchange?

That's mild compared to the number of Indie books trying to be noticed all at the same time!
391,000 Indie books published in 2012! 
That's just Indie books.  You are also trying to be noticed above the traditionally published books as well.  (350,000 additional titles!)
You're probably talking about trying to be noticed in a sea of a million new books in 2014!
Most of us already make less than $500 a year, if we’re lucky,
and it’s not unrealistic to think that number will shrink as the chaff piles over the wheat this year
And no wonder we feel pressured to arm-twist in social media.
In a recent BBC interview, author Jonathan Franzen lamented,
 “What I find particularly alarming, again, from the point of view I care about, American fiction,
is that it’s a coercive development.
Agents will now tell young writers:
‘I won’t even look at your manuscript if you don’t have followers on Twitter’.
 I see people who ought to be spending their time developing their craft and people who used to be able to make their living as freelance writers.
I see them making nothing, and I see them feeling absolutely coerced into this constant self-promotion.”
Barbra Freethy recommends to limit marketing to no more than an hour a day and the rest spent on writing.
You have to prepare for the long haul.
You don’t have to sell all your books in a week or a month.
You’re going to be selling your books for years, so spend time making them really good, and the readership will grow!
Do the number of new books surging in every week daunt you?
How much time do you spend on social media every day?
How many Indie books do you read a month, if any?
Do you think there is any hope for struggling writers out there,
fighting the undertow of hundreds of thousands of new books?
Let me know.


  1. What are you suggesting? We should give up? Not that I'd listen.

    Of course we have doubts, and hopes. But we have to try. Didn't Hemingway say that?

  2. D.G.:
    Just looking at the raging sea of Indie's and wondering, that's all.

    No, never quit. To keep on trying is what makes us valiant. Impossible just gives birth to legends. (At least that's what Victor Standish always says!) :-)

    Churchill and Hemingway both said it in different ways. Thanks for being my friend always, Roland

  3. I spend several hours a day online, but I'm not blogging to promote.
    Half of the books I read last year were self-published. Most were as good (and often better) than those put out by traditional publishers.

  4. Sometimes I compare my writing to a tiny minnow struggling to stay afloat in a giant ocean of big fish. It can become daunting, and at times, it makes me want to give up completely. But then, I get a nudge, and push on, wanting my tiny minnow to be the flashiest, most shiny minnow in the big sea. I find myself chanting the voice of Dory from Finding Nemo. "Just keep swimming, swimming, swimming..."

  5. And as for social media time, last month, I decided to cut way back. It certainly won't help get me where I want to be, especially when I'm spending more time on chatting than I am writing. An hour a day seems sufficient, not 4-5, which is what I was doing before. I do miss hanging out with my blogger buddies, but for me and my ADD, I had to make a change.

  6. Thank you so much for the gift. I live out in the middle of nowhere and need to get wifi set up before I begin to use my Kindle. I get so many great books from a local thrift store that I read and then return and I'm having so much fun with that, so I have ignored the Kindle a friend gave me last year.

    However, reading the above and your gift has motivated me to figure out what I need to do to buy books on my Kindle. I will add the amount of your gift to my amazon account and your book will be the first one I buy.

    And reading this post has made me realize why I need to do this wifi stuff. Thank you again.

  7. Alex:
    Any time spent on blogging is, in a way, promoting your brand so to speak. The more people are aware of you in a friendly way, the more sales you will have when you publish. And people who know you through blogging like you so you have a huge built-in market from your years of visiting 100 blogs daily.

    You're right about the traditionally published books I have read, too. Dan Brown, Ms. Myers, Lee & Child: all tremendously popular, all to my teacher-trained eye terrible prose writers. (And to Stephen King's eye as well! Then, he was also a teacher.)

    Yes, it is certainly a large sea out there! Love the Dory analogy. I have decided to be the Emily Dickinson of the cyber-writers: writing book after book that no one reads! But still refusing to stop writing. :-)

    My job as a rare blood courier is the inhibitor of my cyber-time. So little free time. I must use it wisely. May The Father wrap His arm around your shoulders right now.

    If there is a city near by with a MacDonald's with WiFi (or BooksaMillion or other facility with free WiFi), you can download my book to your Kindle there. Some public libraries offer free WiFi too.

    I hope you enjoy my book. Oscar Wilde, Mark Twain, Sam McCord, and his mysterious wife, Meilori, await you. :-)

  8. Inger:
    A friend just let me know that if you can reply to my blog, then you can download the free Amazon app: KINDLE FOR PC -- which means you can download my book. The link to the app is right under my header image. :-)

  9. If there's not hope for struggling writers, I'm in trouble. I'd certainly love it if all I had to worry about was writing my books. These days, when there are a hundred books of drivel for every good one, you have to be skilled at getting noticed, AND a good enough writer to keep people interested. It's two full-time jobs.

  10. JE:
    There's always hope. It is daunting to try and find a way to get a good sample of the internet audience aware of your book to even consider buying it! :-)

  11. You want to swim with the fishes? It can be dangerous. Just keep writing. It's the only thing a writer can really control.

    Luck, sales, promotion, are all a lottery.

  12. Walter:
    I pretty much have come to the same conclusion: write - the rest is out of your hands. :-)

  13. Hi, Roland!

    Love this post and the photo of the stock exchange. It is indeed rare to make a living off writing these days. It's become more of a hobby than a business for me (at least according to the IRS, ha!)

    I agree that it's so easy to be sucked into marketing efforts instead of into making our writing the best it can be.

    Happy New Year!

  14. Happy New Year, Jennifer:
    Yes, the Stock Market is scary to me -- more than any Stephen King creature!!

    I dream of supporting myself with my writing -- and dream is all that it is so far. Sigh.

    But impossible only gives birth to legends, right?

    Thanks for taking time out of your busy day to visit and then chat!