Tag Archives: indie authors

Note to Indie Authors: Brace for Hard Landing

Yep, that’s you landing ass-first.

Okay, enough is enough, powers that be. It started after reading CJ Walley’s “Amazon Studios; A Warning to All Screen Writers.” That was followed by “Amazon Is Punishing Authors for Running BookBub Promotions.” (I’d link to the article, but the link has been cut. No, I’m not  kidding.) Yet the pièce de résistance came when I learned from Andrew Liptak that Goodreads is changing its giveaways program, making it harder for readers to discover indie books.”

Consumers will know and love Amazon for its ridiculously low prices and crazy delivery times. Writers – and the publishing world as a whole – will know Amazon for the bully it is. I suppose the easy argument here is that you don’t become the juggernaut Amazon has become by playing nice. Just as every person on a reality TV show has been saying since “Survivor” gave the word a questionable meaning – “I didn’t come here to make friends, yo.” – so too does Amazon know that making enemies is of no real importance to them because they, like Walmart, have such a commanding market share.

But Goodreads? Come on! I’m particularly sensitive to the Goodreads Giveaways because I once benefited from it…when it was free! It was one of the few ways indie authors could promote their books to audiences they would otherwise (most likely) never reach.

For example, if not for the Giveaway, Aditi Saha (then the #1 Book Reviewer at Goodreads, now #7) would never have read my first novel, A Father’s Son, and I would never have had the chance to make her acquaintance and be honoured with a five-star review.

Was it not enough that I, as the author running the Giveaway, had to pay $40 in  shipping (plus the cost of the book) to get Aditi a free copy to her home in India? I guess not. Now Goodreads wants to charge a hefty price (see above article for details), and an even heftier price if you want premium “shelf space” on their Giveaway page.

Really, this just seems like overkill on an industry that barely survives as it is. With Amazon’s apparent attack on BookBub, its alleged viciousness with screen writers on Amazon Studios, and now Goodreads effectively saying that if you want to reach a global audience, you’re going to pay through the nose (which will already be bruised, battered and bleeding), it’s going to be tougher than ever for indie authors to reach people outside their immediate friends/family/market, let alone make a few bucks along the way.

A sad day, really.

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PR Trends in 2018

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For all you social media gurus, self-promoters and indie authors out there, John Hall has some public relations advice to offer in a piece titled “6 PR trends to check out in 2018” to follow up on my summary of Rachel Thompson and her amazingly informative Dos and Don’ts on Twitter (“Back to Basics: Twitter“).

I’ll let Mr. Hall do the heavy lifting through his own well-researched piece, but the highlights, according to him, are the following:

  • Personal branding and thought leadership will go beyond executives
  • Owning your digital landscape will never be more important to attract followers
  • Internal PR pros will need to bring in specialty firms for support
  • PR will need to understand business goals besides its own
  • You will have to consider dark social influence
  • Separating measurement into qualitative and quantitative metrics will be critical

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3rd Indie Fringe Conference: October 14, 2017

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Attention new, aspiring and indie authors! News from IngramSpark.

(For those not familiar with the Ingram Book Group, the largest distributor and wholesaler of books in the United States, here’s an excellent article from The Independent Publishing Magazine on IngramSpark and Lightning Source, a print and fulfilment company with facilities throughout the world.)

Per IngramSpark’s website:

October 14th marks 2017’s last 24-hour, non-stop, online conference for indie authors hosted by Indie Author Fringe. This third conference takes place alongside Frankfurt Book Fair and focuses on running an author business.

To support your business growth, IngramSpark is waiving title setup fees for the final time this year, from now to 30th November 2017, when setting up either a new title or an existing title in a new format.

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Using Instagram as an Author

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With so many social media sites and ways to promote yourself as an author, especially if you’re self-published, it’s hard to know which ones to attack and which ones to avoid. Personally, I like the advice someone once said that went something like this: “Choose one or two that you feel comfortable with and really go after that market.” The truth is that otherwise you will burn out very quickly trying to keep up with SMS Joneses and not even have time to hone your craft.

Should you wish to use Instagram as one of your hallmark sites to amp up your game, here’s a piece from Adrienne Erin (@adrienneerin) over at The Book Designer called “Top 7 Ways Authors Are Using Instagram” that may help you a little.

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