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Show Me the Money!—successful self-publishers

Discussion in 'Café Life' started by Paul Whybrow, May 16, 2017.

  1. Paul Whybrow

    Paul Whybrow Venerated Member

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    Anyone thinking of self-publishing should read an article in today's Guardian book section;

    'Show me the money!': the self-published authors being snapped up by Hollywood

    One thing that Mark Dawson and Russell Blake is how prolific they are. I thought that I was doing well to complete four novels in three years, a total word count of 400,000 words, but Dawson has written 23 books in four years! :eek:

    Curious about this, I had a quick look at these two authors' work on Amazon, which allows one to access the first few pages. Initial impressions are that it's action-driven, with little subtlety, very short chapters and the longest words appear to be for the weapons they use to kill people!

    It's certainly not literature, but few great works of literature are adapted into television series or movies.

    I'm considering putting more work into the 44 titles I've already self-published on Amazon and Smashwords (and the vendors they distribute to), as querying literary agents is such a wearisome and time-consuming activity. I'm put-off by the thought of having to schmooze through blogging, social media and my long dormant web-site. Such a campaign would be to generate interest in me as a writer, to launch my first novel.

    I'd prefer to be writing new books—but if they ain't selling, what's the point?

    Whoever said 'Life isn't a popularity contest' didn't know about e-books!
     
  2. Robinne Weiss

    Robinne Weiss Venerated Member

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    The article makes it sound like self-published authors are being snapped up all over the place...which isn't exactly true. And they're only picking up the authors whose work is selling well. And the only work selling well is work that's effectively marketed.

    It all comes back to the damned marketing. *whimper*
     
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  3. Paul Whybrow

    Paul Whybrow Venerated Member

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    I agree with you, Robinne. The dreaded process of discoverability is a tough nut to crack, and it's made easier if the writer is a marketing expert. Considering the amount of work Mark Dawson has done, it's certain he employed advertising industry experts...he admits to spending hundreds of pounds on advertising, which is not something most of us can afford. Hit someone over the head enough times, and they soon get the message. It's a truism in advertising that the more a product is promoted, the shoddier it is in quality—handmade and high-quality items don't need promoting, as they sell themselves—how often do you see an advert for Rolls-Royce?

    Newspapers are often irresponsible in the articles they feature, which make it look easy-peasy to achieve success through self-publishing. Like any human endeavour, it's only a few people who win through. Suggesting that simply publishing your novel on Amazon Kindle Select will make you a millionaire, is as daft as saying taking up running will win you an Olympic gold medal! Grrhhh!:mad:
     
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  4. KG Christopher

    KG Christopher Moderator Staff Member

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    I shudder at the thought of self promotion. It's hard enough finding the time to write on my own projects, edit and re-edit. It's hard enough concentrating on the artistic process, let alone devoting time to the marketing process.

    Probably, it might be easier if you shared the burden, so for instance, a group of writing friends taking on the process collectively.
     
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  5. Robinne Weiss

    Robinne Weiss Venerated Member

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    Yes, I'm currently working with a group of local writers to develop a series of programmes to pitch to the libraries. Educational programmes that also highlight (and sell) our books. If nothing else, it makes each of us feel legitimate, working with other writers. Safety in numbers, I suppose. I've also heard of authors banding together to offer box sets of their books on Amazon--one book from each author--they can share the marketing costs, but all get the exposure.
     
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