Monday, June 25, 2012

Changing the world

So it finally happened, ebooks have surpassed regular books in sales for the first time ever! What does that mean to the 21st century writer? It means that the future of reading is here. It means that the stigma of reading ebooks has passed. It means a world-wide audience can download a book in seconds. It also means we will probably be seeing the end of traditional bookstores. Though it had been a lifelong dream of mine to see the cover of one of my books prominently displayed on Borders new release shelf, I’m gladly trading that dream for thousands of sales across the globe. Probably, the most significant drawback to ebooks is that an author cannot sign the copy. There won’t be any more book signing events or author appearances to sell books. There won’t be any more small author headshots on the back cover showing a proud and smiling writer. Authors as recognizable faces will most likely disappear and all writers will be known by name only. I for one am willing to forgo those ego boosts and live my life anonymously in exchange for more readers and a bigger audience. And speaking of a bigger audience, I’ve discovered a few things that may save time for authors trying to promote their books. Number one, though I once praised posting on threads that offer free promotion I now recommend against it. After many months of close observation and record keeping I discovered almost no relationship between posting and sales. Though it did make me feel good thinking I was doing something to get the word out, in actuality, it did almost nothing. I probably spent more than fifty hours posting summaries and taglines and can maybe actually account for five sales that are directly related to those efforts. That’s ten hours work posting per sale at a sixty cent royalty. You do the math. I have discovered that posting regularly on Author’s Den, Linkedin, Kindle Boards, Kindle Direct Publishing community, and Bookblogs has yielded the best results. Also, starting your own blog is a must. As you can see, this blog is nearing 190,000 hits, that’s a lot of exposure. All in all, ebooks are the future and I am excited to be a part of this new author revolution in publishing. It inspires me to write “outside the box” and create characters and storylines far from the mainstream without fear of what a publisher would think is WORTHY of being given a chance to show the public. It allows me to be more creative in ways that were never acceptable before. To think that without ebooks and the new acceptance of indie writers, nearly 12,000 people that have read my books would never have even gotten the chance if the big three publishing houses had their way. My advice is to write whatever kind of story you want, get a good editor, get a good cover artist, and publish away. Let the public decide if you’ve got talent, not some corporate tie-wearer who’s more worried about making his sales numbers than the story you’ve got to tell.