Cats are adorable, but I love puppies.
To a pup, they all share this cute behavior:
they will inhale the food from their bowl, tottle away, stiffen,
and then come back to see if food has magically grown in their bowl.
Each time what is empty remains empty.
Same with Self-Publishing:
THE PARTY'S OVER
Aaron Shephard Aaron Shephard’s Publishing Blog states that self-publishing authors find themselves in an ocean of such books.
Self publishing is still a money machine—but nowadays, that’s mostly for Amazon, not authors.
Every book sells fewer copies, but the aggregate number of copies sold increases.
A relatively fixed amount of consumer dollars is being spread over a continually increasing number of books.
As the numbers of self-published author inflate, the individual author receives less and less, while Amazon happily rakes the profits in.
THEN WHY BOTHER?
TREASURE IN THE THRIFT SHOP principle:
Nation-wide there are a lot of readers. We are approaching the holidays. People will receive Kindles as gifts.
(And there are a lot of different kinds of affordable Kindles out there.)
Those new Kindle readers will start to read even more than they once did.
(It is a proven fact that once you receive a Kindle, you start to read even more since it is so convenient to bring everywhere)
You make your work affordable, and some will experiment with your novel if you avoid this fatal scenario:
You write 50 pages in a weekend, slap together a Microsoft Paint cover, and upload it to KDP without editing, price it at 99c, and promptly move on to the next book.
Your books will likely tank. You will see diminishing returns.
I LIKE IT! WHERE'S ANOTHER?
T. Powell Coltrin
wrote of having a student confess that she loved reading but would not read a book unless it was part of a series ...
one hopefully with at least four books already written.
John D. MacDonald, creator of the popular Travis McGee mystery series,
persuaded his publisher to print the first three books four months apart, garnering an audience.
The beauty of eBooks is that they stay on the shelf forever. Print books get rotated off book shelves within months.
You have a back-list of books in a series?
Give the first one away for FREE for a time and then move it to 99 cents permanently.
America is a wide nation with lots of readers. You will not be sorry.
SORRY, MISS NANO:
Yes, you will have to read a lot ... read great authors whether they write your genre or not.
Or ... shudder ...
See how skilled authors draw readers into the real world when most out there want to escape it.
And yes, you will have to write a lot ...
but not sludge prose.
You have to learn to get up each day and pound out two pages of prose that you would be proud to have Hemingway read.
MORE THAN BEAUTY
Beautiful prose is all well and good, but each page of your novel must be RIVETING.
Is your heroine going to slash that long razor across her wrist or toss that plugged in radio into the baby's bath?
As a counselor, I have walked into both scenarios.
Human anguish can so easily reach CRITICAL MASS.
As Victor says:
"The world is full of broken people. Yet the tragedy is not they are broken, but that so few are mended."
THE SAD TRUTH
NOTHING WORKS LIKE IT DID IN THE PAST.
We are behaving like that little puppy going back to routines that worked in the past
but less and less as more self-published authors take the plunge.
Aren't you tired of the seemingly non-stop Used Car Salesmanship on Twitter, FB, and on the blogs you visit?
Cover Reveals, Book Blog Tours, Contests (let's bribe our way onto the Amazon Top Selling Lists.)
Hey, I think so little of my new book that I am giving it away for FREE!
FREE is good for a limited time for the first in a series of books you've written. But what costs you little you tend to value little.
What am I saying?
BE EMILY DICKINSON
Write because you love to create images and worlds. If people discover you, fine. But write because you love it.
Put your work out there.
Be discreet and courteous. Help your fellow struggling writers.
Build that Back-List, placing yourself in a strategic position should lightning strike.
But know that it probably never will.