So you can read my books

Tuesday, November 11, 2014


Bored cats after party wearing silly hats

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:  


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.



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.

 Rinse. Repeat.

Your books will likely tank. You will see diminishing returns.


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.


Yes, you will have to read a lot ... read great authors whether they write your genre or not.  

Or ... shudder ...

Literary Fiction.

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.


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."



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?


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.


  1. Well said! The indie world is certainly changing, and not necessarily for the better. Hopefully it will come back around to being about the author and for the author, but I couldn't agree more that right now the distributors are the ones raking it in for the most part.

  2. This is a really great post! Thanks for sharing.

  3. Heather:
    At least we have gotten to see our dreams in book form. :-(

    And thank you for liking my post!

  4. I get very tired of all the book advertising, which sometimes is the demand "Buy My Book." If an author orders me to buy a book, I probably won't.


  5. Janie:
    How about begging? :-) Just joking.

    Although I am sure many struggling authors would do that if it worked!

    I've never been fond of being ordered -- especially to spend MY money!

    Isn't all this book advertising getting tedious?

    Thank you for visiting and commenting! It makes my evening when my friends do that.

  6. I am so sorry. As a reader, I need writers. Lots and lots of writers. And I know that it is hard for them - as it always has been.

  7. I can't see the trend in self-publishing diminishing, as most writers promote the ease of getting their work 'out there'. Being a writer is desirable right now (and everyone does it from doctor, lawyer, foodies, parents, their kids, Grandma and the pets. . .)

    What did writers expect? Everyone wants a bigger piece of the royalty pie. Crowd control is never pretty, but once the gates are open. . .it's a mob scene.
    Just stating what I've observed as I decide what I'll do when that time comes.

    Hope all is well with you, Roland.

  8. First you have a great talent for writing and people will know this... second we cannot give up on what makes us happy, well we try.

    Party is over, but behind it is another party... just needs new guests.


  9. Some shout, some write.

    The Amazon Prime promotion helps market new authors to the most prolific readers.

  10. Hi Roland .. I can see more readers out there - perhaps with novellas, or magazine style reads - but they're reading .. and we can always be flexible in how we promote .. but we need to write, write and write ..

    Such a great post .. cheers Hilary

  11. Publishing is in flux. I keep hoping things will settle down so writers have some clue about what they're doing and can make educated choices, but we're no closer than we were three years ago. In truth, the ability (and financial means) to market continues to gain ground as the importance/ quality of writing becomes less and less important. Personally, I'm trying everything: an indie short story anthology and trad anthology are already out there, and early next year an indie novel followed by a trad pub novel in the summer. Frankly it feels like throwing spitballs to see what will stick.

    Haven't been in the blogosphere in a month. Missed you and your words of wisdom, Roland!

    VR Barkowski

  12. That's why I didn't do a cover reveal outside of my own. We seen enough. And as Brandon and Bryan at A Beer for the Shower said, most covers aren't good enough for a big reveal.
    I do wish more books were available on other platforms. The iBookstore is my first choice.

  13. Somewhat depressing, but perseverence and luck are key here... :-)

  14. I'm hoping that over time the cream will rise to the top and those looking to make a quick buck will realize that writing is not a "get rich quick scheme" they will drop out and leave the field open for people who consider this their life's work. Sorry for the mass of cliches.

  15. Elephant's Child:
    We writers asked for the hard road we are walking. If you pursue your dream, you have to endure shin splints! :-)

    You're right: self-publishing is growing in numbers, reducing the money coming to each individual writer sadly. Sigh.

    I like your attitude. The party may be over, but we can always look for the next one! And you are right: never give up on our dream!

    Kindle Unlimited has helped me.

    Thanks for the nice words. Yes, if we do not write, how we expect readers to find us, right?

    It seems like you have a valid game plan to get your work out there. And I have missed you very much these past weeks!

    I try to make my covers vibrant and eye-catching. Leonora Roy and Orietta Rossi are my angels in that! I need another angel to help me get my books into proper format for iBooks!

    Yes, perseverance and luck. Mostly luck!! :-)

    Not to worry about the cliches. We are flexible in my cyber home! I am afraid that for as many authors who give up, many more will take their place in search of that elusive brass ring and gold one, too!