So you can read my books

Tuesday, June 4, 2013


And the world is strange, too.

Have you noticed?

Heath Campbell entered a New Jersey courthouse Monday dressed in a full Nazi uniform, donning a trimmed mustache reminiscent of Adolf Hitler --

the man he named his firstborn child after.

The 40-year-old dad was attending a hearing to ask for visitation rights to his youngest child, 2-year-old Heinrich Hons, who was taken into state custody just hours after his birth in 2011.

And then, there is the world of Indie Publishing:

There are currently 1.8 million e-books being sold on Amazon.

Oh, and Congrats to John Ling:

for breaking Amazon's Top 1000!

But 1.8 million books against which to compete?!

What's an Indie Author to do?  Especially when ...


{Doesn't that face inspire confidence?}

You remember when , the New York Times published a lengthy article about a “pay for fake e-book reviews” service.

One of the service’s patrons was non other than John Locke, he of How I sold 1 million e-books fame.

Darcie Chan, bestselling author of The Mill River Recluse, also paid for a review, albeit from Kirkus, which is considered respectable.

And British indie thriller author Stephen Leather was recently revealed to have used sockpuppets to review his own books ...

Steve Mosby also goes a bit into the recent revelations about John Locke in this post and Stephan Leather's sockpuppets and wonders what to do about dodgy practices.

John Locke has somewhat faded from public view in recent times to be supplanted by newer indie writer stars such as E.L. James or Jamie McGuire.

But what about his "secrets" he gave away for $10 a pop in print?

His advice extends mainly to determining the ideal demographic for your books

and employing social media to target that demographic on Twitter

and by writing so-called “loyalty transfer” posts, i.e. blogging about your emotional connection to a celebrity or popular cause.

Now John Locke’s example post, Why I love Joe Paterno and my Mom, is no longer online, probably because celebrated American football coach has recently fallen from grace,

having been found to have looked away while his assistant sexually abused children ...

which reveals the flaw to that tactic!

As for John Locke’s advice to use Twitter to persuade people to check out your books:

 Well, it may have worked for him,
but even since he gave away his “secret” last year
and everyone has been doing it,

Twitter has not just become all but unusable for book promotion

but also

for regular users who sometimes have trouble having conversations without being spammed to death by

“Buy my book” posts from eager Locke acolytes.

So what are we Indie Writers to do?

The Words Crafter reviews the audio book



  1. I have never sent out a buy-my-book Tweet. I've noted reviews and release dates and such, but that's it.
    Authors just need to be smarter and do what we do best - be creative and come up with some new that works. Something that won't backfire on us.

  2. Alex:
    You visit so many blogs, commenting, and have come up with impressive monthly events like THE INSECURE WRITER'S SUPPORT GROUP that you do not need to draw attention to yourself -- the attention is already there!

    My Stetson's off to you. I don't see how you do it. But I admire you for it. :-)

  3. that nutjob... period. though you can be what you want to be i guess.

    i think i need to use half naked women on my covers next time... and call it something sexy... then at least i can hope someone might look at it. i have almost got the four books done and going to be in print, should be interesting... would you like to eyeball a digi-verision?

  4. Jerermy:
    Certainly I would like to see a digi-version of your books. We strugglers have to stick together! :-)

  5. It is THE question, Roland. Unfortunately, there are probably many, many answers to THE question. :)

    There's just so much noise out there on Twitter, blogs, etc. And I don't say noise in a strictly negative way. I just mean everyone is talking at once, making it hard to hear any one thing. So some folks feel the need to shout.

    Probably the broadest advice/thought I could give is this: Just be 'present' in as many places as you can authentically be present. If you can be on Twitter and be yourself, do that. Same for blogging, Facebooking, etc.

    If you have those accounts but nothing to say other than 'buy my book', find another venue that will allow you to be more than that.

    I try to share good news about my books (like if I've jumped up the Amazon rankings for some reason), and updates when things are released. I've also taken part in some special marketing things that required me to tweet about my books, reviews, etc.

    But all of that is in the vast minority of things I talk about on social media. Usually I'm just cursing at my favorite (or least favorite) sports teams, the weather, or lamenting a beloved, canceled television program. :)

  6. I had not heard of that psychopath (Heath Campbell) before. I truly do despair of the human race at the best of times ...

    As for paying for reviews - I'd rather eat my own feet. And that's saying something.

    Just keep doing what you do, Roland. At least you can sleep at night.

  7. Oh, and one more thing. I'm thinking of unfollowing every writer on twitter who incessantly tweets about there blasted books. They bore me to death. One would think (being writers) they would have more imagination!

  8. I'm very much with E.J. on this. It is a difficult thing we do, trying to write, publish, market, and promote our stories. We just have to keep writing, keep putting out our best and share as we can.

    Also, I'm tempted to delete a Twitter friend when I follow them and get that auto generated Direct Message telling me how much I should buy their book.

  9. I wish I knew, I'd write a book about it Roland. Perhaps groups are the answer. That seems to be what is occurring in blogland.

    As a reader, how it's published doesn't matter much when I'm looking for something new. I will buy any book by the same measures: cover, content, quality to genre, and storyline.

    Have you approached any schools about their interest in purchasing some of your books for reading time?
    I'm referring to the Native American tales, since the remaking of westerns is stirring an interest in that time period.

  10. E.J.:
    It is the $64,000 question. We have to be different or be lost in the crowd.

    I try to make my posts entertaining and thought-provoking. If I had the answers, as D.G. states later on, I would write a book and make millions!

    Indie Writers are desperate these days, and desperate people do dumb things sometimes. Sigh.

    The world is filled with so many unbalanced people who do not do us the favor, unlike Heath, of wearing a uniform that proclaim them dangerous.

    It is a puzzling jungle we find ourselves in with unreliable guides who do not tell us the truth about how they made their fortune. Sigh.

    In groups how would you stand out and not become submerged in numbers? Hard to stand out from the crowd when you willingly join one.

    I have thought of donating my Native American books to reservation schools, but I do not know how many computers such schools have or if they access to listening to Audible. I thought Native American children would like to have books where Native Americans are the heroes fighting against supernatural forces in the modern world. Just a thought but a good one. Thanks, Roland

  11. ...the Question certainly leaves one's head spinning. Oh what to do? What do I use Twitter for? I read up on quotes from my favorite comedians, and little else.

    Indeed sometimes it seems as though one must push the envelope in order to get noticed, and many push a bit too far.

    Ah, The Lost Boys...a classic from my teenage years ;)


  12. Elliot:
    I bet Keifer Sutherland wishes he were that young now! That clip is a time travel glimpse into the fashions of the '80's, isn't it?

    You're right: we must think outside the box -- but in what direction?

  13. That just doesn't seem fair. sigh...

    We need Severus Snape to come up behind some teens and say READ! Then word will get out and everyone's problems solved :P

  14. Words Crafter:
    Severus? Ouch. That would either get them to read or to drop dead from fright! :-)

    Maybe DayStar could visit them in their dreams? Brrr. Thanks for the review tomorrow. I hope you enjoy the sample audio I sent you of FRENCH QUARTER NOCTURNE as thanks!