So you can read my books

Monday, January 21, 2013



                            No one cares about your book.

And that is the trouble with self-publishing. 

         You can have a beautiful cover, ideal formatting,
                              and a fantastic story --
                           and it will generate few,
                                       if any, sales.

eBook sales are up -- in total. 

But the majority of self-pubbed authors will sell fewer than 250 copies
a year --
                         unless you're Madonna or E L James.  

                       And do you really want to write erotica?

So self-publishing is an exercise in futility and obscurity.

Of course, there are the stories of the writers who self-publish

and magic happens and they sell millions of books,

but those are the rare exceptions.

 How rare? 

                       Well, on the order of 1 or 2 per million.

For most people,

       the task of developing what the publishing world calls a ‘platform’

       is simply too time-consuming and too difficult if you don’t have one already.

What is a platform?

 It’s getting enough people to care about you and your book,

through social media, traditional media, word of mouth, bake sales –

anyway you can.

 It’s creating a community of people with a genuine interest

in the idea you’re putting forward.

  It’s the way in which you create a strong brand around you and the book
              and get the world to pay attention.

You can create a platform with social media.

 And  the GOOD NEWS  is that it is virtually free except in terms of your time.

                that in a world that is completely oversaturated with traditional media,
                information, news, hype, marketing, books, TWITTER, FACEBOOK,
                blogs, magazines, online magazines, advertising everywhere, television,
                and THE DEMANDS OF REAL LIFE, it’s incredibly difficult to stand out.


               You have to craft an extraordinarily compelling message and story,

               create a clever platform around it
                         that makes sense for what it is and who you are,

              and then have the patience to do what it takes to  develop that platform
              through the social media and traditional media
 you’ve chosen.

             It will take years.

  So enjoy the journey for what it is:

           A walk into the dark towards an uncertain future.
           It's called life. 
  Enjoy each sweet
           breath of it, for it sure beats the alternative.

  And look for the laughter and beauty along the way.


  1. Building that platform does take time. And it's all about finding your niche, and I don't mean writing niche.

  2. Yep. Platform. It's the new foundation of even hoping to get published, it seems. Glad I started when I did. :)

  3. Alex:
    You don't have a platform. You have a pyramid! Great job you've done -- as Yoda would say. ;-)

    Like Alex you have a great platform, too. And you're right: timing is everything in publishing.

  4. a plan of attack... i find with talented people, you have a grand group of followers. those followers become your fan-base. so if you sell it they will come.

  5. Writers are performers like actors, singers, musicians. We ask for approval, we want to be liked or at least have our books read.

    "A walk into the dark towards an uncertain future." Life is definitely like that. I'm a person who doesn't make decisions lightly and I had to walk into that uncertainty before. I'm not afraid of it, even if I don't like it.

    I call writing 'an adventure into the unknown' on my blog. There are no guarantees, one's success is what you make of life with what you have. Other factors sweeten the results - timing,luck, or connections.

    I read a post this weekend by Anne R. Allen which I liked. "5 blogging rules you can ignore and 5 you can't"
    Link if interested:

    I like her advice, since I'm not a frequent blogger. She's as helpful as you are, Roland.

  6. It's a bit overwhelming, isn't it? *sigh*

  7. I self-published in November last year . . . still waiting to be 'discovered' . . . sniff, sniff ;-)

  8. Writers should be in this for the long haul.

  9. Those I have seen who have done really well with self-publishing are those who churn out lots of books quickly. I'm such a slow writer that I don't think self-publishing will work well for me. I have one completed book and another almost done...not nearly enough. Maybe if I complete five or six and I can think about it!

  10. Jeremy:
    Sounds good in theory. Hasn't proved that way with me. My followers are grand it is true. The sales haven't followed sadly.

    Certainly no guarantees in writing and that is for sure! :-) Timing, luck, and connections pay a frightening amount of influence, don't they?

    Thanks for spotlighting Anne's post. I'm headed there now.

    It is a bit overwhelming often. Just enjoy the ride I guess. :-)

    It is hard to know how to draw attention to our books, isn't it?

    You are so right.

    What every salesman fears is to have a hot item but no inventory, so you are right: to have a backlist of several books helps to further your career in self-publishing. :-)