As I’m putting the finishing touches on my latest novella, AS IT IS IN HEAVEN, I am also getting ready to spend the winter months holed up and marketing my other twelve books. I do this intensive marketing every year around this time because the cold weather keeps me inside and guilt free.
I’ve been reading a lot of writer’s forums lately and there seems to be a bit of pessimism in the air regarding the state of indie publishing and publishing in general. Mark Coker CEO of Smashwords just came out with his annual predictions for the industry and it does not shine a very bright light. lhttp://blog.smashwords.com/2013/12/2014-book-publishing-industry.html He believes the market has become oversaturated. The enormous sales growth of ebooks that indie authors have enjoyed the last few years may come to a screeching halt. What does this mean for me and all the other indie writers?
It is true that my sales have slowed over the last year. When I published my first book nearly four years ago, it was an open market on the internet. Book promotion sites were few and inexpensive to advertise on and I would get tremendous sales from a few small ads. In recent years however, the internet has exploded with reader friendly sites that charge authors huge promotion fees to reach a subpar, book buying audience. Many of these new sites claim the newbie author will see a big jump in sales for an atrocious fee. I have tried a few of these sites out of curiosity and let me tell you, there is almost no return on investment when you have to sell five hundred books to recoup your fee.
So what do we authors do? Giving up the craft is not an option. Either is spending our life savings on advertising. I suggest we just keep at it. If you’re the type of author who cannot stop writing whether you are selling or not, then I say don’t. Keep publishing your books and sending them out into the cyber-world. Who cares if the market is flooded? Who cares if inexperienced authors with terrible books are buying up all the advertising spots? Do the writing because you love the writing. This will give you all the satisfaction you need.
Less than one percent of all published authors make a living solely on books sales. Those who don’t, write for the personal enjoyment. If you’re lucky enough to sell a few books, or many thousands (as I have), rejoice in the fact that total strangers are willingly entering the worlds you created from mere thought. And if you end up selling millions well, you deserve it!