Reviews -- Be awesome, post them on retailers too!

Page: 12


  1. Chrysalis (Member)

    Posted 2 years ago

    Thing is, traditional publishers don't necessarily do much to promote an unknown new author, especially not small presses with limited to no marketing funds. You still have to promote yourself, and they'll watch if you sink or swim.

    For instance, Kristal Shaff was with a small press and sold next to no copies of 'Powers of the Six'. After getting her rights back, she self published and the book went viral. She's now raking in tons of cash.

    Anathema, a web serial about the effect superpowers would have on our world.
  2. Billy Higgins Peery (Member)

    Posted 2 years ago

    Not to be contrarian, but I think the real key is "Get famous on Amazon, then negotiate a good deal with traditional publishers." It's difficult but possible to get good attention on Amazon. Then trad pubbers can get you on bookshelves, where you get exposed to a broader market. That ended up working out very well for both Hugh Howey and Andy Weir (and CS Pacat, whose Captive Prince actually started as a web serial, if memory serves).

    I'm sympathetic to the plight of trad publishers, who are dealing w/ a somewhat crazy market. ("I REFUSE TO PAY MORE THAN 3 DOLLARS FOR A BOOK," consumers yelled. Tho at the same time I can't blame them, when there actually are some pretty good indie books at that price. And when publishers are pricing books over ten dollars it's just like... lol??? What are you doing???)

    At the same time, I agree w/ Chrysalis that trad pub isn't supporting new authors. I thought the most recent Author Report was informative about that -- specifically the charts about "The Size of Publishing's Midlist." []

    They're great if you want to end up on bookshelves. But if your main goal is to make a living? (Or if you're a weirdo like me who never dreamed of being on the shelves, but instead wanted to be a web serialist in like the early 00's when he didn't even know it was a thing?) Self pubbing seems the way to go.

    IMO trad pubbers are mostly worth it if you hit it big (like "you definitely got lucky" big). Then you can go to trad pubbers and be exposed to an even bigger audience. To me it's like, if you already succeed trad pubbers can be the icing on the cake.

    Of course, your mileage may vary. That's just the way I see things.

    "Any number of hitlers, are still not my problem." -Tempest
  3. ChrysKelly (Member)

    Posted 2 years ago

    It's also to do with what you sell. Amazon lists are weird in that they can be either super specific or vague and broad, and a book competes with all other books in its genre. So you might have a genre with 800 books competing against each other, or one with several hundred thousand. Add in that most indie writers are romance, or fantasy, or both, and those genres become really hard to get anywhere with.

    I think the real key is "get famous online." Don't worry about Amazon, worry about Twitter or tumblr or YouTube or Facebook - people will click a link to go buy your book.

    I think trad is horrible unless you're writing something pretty generic - why would they even need to take chances of something weird, when they can watch all the weird indie books and then make offers on the ones that do best? It is useful if you get really famous - they'll put their ALL behind getting you mega famous. But we're talking Pratchett, Grisham, King, etc level of fame, with all the translations and TV shows and movie deals and whatnot.

  4. Chrysalis (Member)

    Posted 2 years ago

    Some people really aren't good at (or comfortable with) marketing themselves on social media, though. People will notice when they aren't comfortable with it, and it's not going to help much. Each author's individual strategy should take their strengths and weaknesses into account.

    Anathema, a web serial about the effect superpowers would have on our world.
  5. ubersoft (Member)

    Posted 2 years ago

    My strength is knowing what I want to write, and writing it.

    ... that's about it...

    Curveball (Updating)
    A Rake by Starlight (Updating)
  6. Chrysalis (Member)

    Posted 2 years ago

    @ubersoft did I dream that I responded to your post? I could have sworn that I did.

    Did you do any promotions? Curveball should be selling much better, in my opinion, plus you have better covers than most self-pubbers too. It's just that no one knows your story exists.

    Anathema, a web serial about the effect superpowers would have on our world.
  7. Fiona Gregory (Moderator)

    Posted 2 years ago

    So funny story, with respect to Patrick's original post: I live in Canada, and I have both an and account. They seem to be completely independent with different purchasing histories. I've bought print books from both, but it will only let me buy Kindle books from the .ca account, and I was only able to post reviews to these books in the .ca page, and they only showed up there not on the book's .com page.

    Now when you read reviews on the .ca page, reviews from .com will show up as well, so obviously I would have prefered to post the reviews for indie authors who I'd like to give some exposure to on .com, but it wouldn't let me.

    But now it will! So I went and copied and pasted some reviews from my .ca acoount to .com. So far seems to be accepting them. I hope I won't get in trouble for doing this! I'm kind of confused about the whole thing and whether Amazon "knows" these two identities are both me (the same person) or not.

  8. Chrysalis (Member)

    Posted 2 years ago

    I've been posting reviews on .com (I buy on .de) for ages, and there never was any issue. I don't think Amazon cares, either. The only difference is that you won't get the 'verified purchase' tag for reviews on other marketplaces.

    Anathema, a web serial about the effect superpowers would have on our world.
  9. Alexander.Hollins (Member)

    Posted 2 years ago

    So, a few online book reviewers are trying to make november review month, for the non nanowrimo folks. just a thought. Might be nice to have a thread where people post their various links to amazon et all.

  10. Blaise Corvin (Member)

    Posted 2 years ago

    For what it's worth, I've sold thousands of books at this point. I went on sale about 6 weeks ago. I was able to accomplish this partially by listening to the advice of people who have broken ground before me like Chrysalis.

    I'm not trying to pat myself on the back. People like Drew have me eclipsed at a level that will take me years to reach, if ever. However, I'm in quite a few writing groups on facebook where people complain about lack of sales. Then other people give advice on how to get sales and they're largely ignored.

    I want every single person in this community to be successful. Towards that end, please listen to Chrysalis. You don't have to always agree (like I didn't), but listen. Real world data is invaluable.

    *ahem* Back to the OP.

    I appreciate every review I get in any forum I get it in. However, Delvers has barely any reviews on WFG and it's been in the top 15 pretty much all year on TWF.

    If you ask readers too many times for favors, they stop responding as enthusiastically. This is why I didn't ask for reviews on TWF very many times. The place I really needed those reviews would be on Amazon... and when I published, my readers came through for me in a big way.

    I guess my point is that I agree with the OP, but I think it's also important for every writer to have a business plan and clear direction for where they are heading.

    Being an indie author is hard. It's basically like running your own business and takes the same amount of time and dedication. If anyone is honest with themselves that they'd be bad at running their own business, they should explore traditional publishing if they'd like to publish.

    Most indie writers don't sell any books. There is a wide number of reasons for this, but people throw "luck" around in our community a lot. Sanderson was lucky. People like Drew or Travis Bagwell work their asses off, make smart decisions, and put a lot of effort into writing good stories.

    Sorry for the long post here.

    TL:DR - People who have been publishing for a while usually have good input and give good advice. I took a lot of advice to heart and it contributed to potentially going full-time in another year or two.

    Visit my site, I have punch and pie.
    I also have two stories: Delvers LLC and The Crimson Artifice. :)


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