Ever Get Looked Down On ? It'Ll Happen.....

Discussion in 'Indie Writing, Publishing & Marketing Discussion' started by DRTharp, Feb 8, 2012.

  1. DRTharp

    DRTharp New Member

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    I'm well aware and have been following the friction between self publishers and self pubbers. In some sense the Big 6 are gate keepers as well as some CBA publishers between drivel and potential rockstars. You only need to browse amazon for an hour or so and sample the thousands of really bad books out there. Some have good ideas but the delivery is poor. Some have bad ideas and poor delivery and some are truly impressive. I'm thinking of two guys within my genre that are very polished and if the traditional pubbers were selling our type, they would definitely be 'up there'.

    So I had a decent first 2 months. Im closing in on 400 mark sold. about 300 more than I expected and its slowly picking up steam again after a bad last week of january. I know that my book needed some more fine tuning by an outside professional but I didn't have the cash and believe that if my writing has legs that it will eventually finance itself. If I have to spend 10k to get an Ebook going then, my writing and idea and marketing are probably falling real short. I've gotten 3 five stars and 1 4 star. I will also be releasing a short story as a 'loss leader' by first of march. I'd say for a nobody, I am off to a decent start.

    Some people I work with are supposed writers and have never been traditionally published and have been asking and following my sales. I've been encouraging and have tried to get them to go to work that they don't have to wait if their stuff is good and just go for it. Trad publishing is a potential option in the future if you do well.

    Like clockwork, the ah, good work, cool, right on's have turned into negative remarks about putting my work out there as being second class and they are going to go the 'traditional route'. One guy was going on and on that he saw more potential being published in traditional manner and that he didn't want anyone to steal his idea, etc. My first thought is if they want to steal their idea then no one is going to stop them from typing it up and putting it on Amazon. duh.

    Another gentleman who was a lawyer and is now working for the same agency I do had in the past told people he was writing a book and planned to retire off the royalties of the books he was going to sell. Dead serious. I kept my mouth shut till I actually started selling books then gave them links to the book. They are constantly trying to find 'downers' for me and such. My rational brain is telling me, they havent done s#$% and likely wont while you are cashing the checks from Amazon.

    i dont consider 400 books a bestseller but it is better than alot of self published 'authors'. Get ready if you have Any success over other people to resort to the first thing that comes to mind- you did it yourself, you must suck. ILL do better. They will snap me right up and I'll leave you in the dust. Just a rant before I go back to editing my next story...........
     
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  2. MatthewJ

    MatthewJ New Member

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    You're off to an excellent start. I've seen a stat that most indie books sell about 150 copies and most far less. I wish I had numbers like yours!

    People are weird. What you're saying about those people in your life strikes a chord. After not writing for years, I started back in Dec 2007. I didn't go around talking about it by any stretch, but if I was asked what I was up to, I was honest. Mostly this involved two people. One was very supportive. She encouraged me from the time I finally told her what I was doing until I finished what I was working on. She is still encouraging me and has bought my work. The other was sometimes supportive and sometimes very mocking in his tone though the words were right. He would always tell me that he was a writer, too. He would pester me about wanting to read what I was working on, but when I finished the rough draft in 2010, he lost all interest. I could never get him to read it, not even as a beta tester. To this day, I think he's hiding my work from his wife. The invites to drop by and see them stopped. He wouldn't let me bring a paperback over. It had to be digital, which I wouldn't do for various reasons. My assumption is that if his wife saw my work his excuses for not writing would be over. He still won't support what I'm doing. He still hasn't read my work. He suggested at one point that I should dedicate the book to him. I kid you not. Now he's talking about doing a children's book and has various questions and wants my help. I've really shortened this and made him seem nicer than he's been.

    I eventually brought other people on board as test readers. One thing about writing. It shows you who your real friends are.
     
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  3. Michael J Scott

    Michael J Scott New Member

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    400 copies is nothing to sneeze at, even for a traditionally pubbed book. May I suggest you check out J A Konrath's blog? He's got a lot to say when it comes to championing the independent author.
     
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  4. DRTharp

    DRTharp New Member

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    Well, I had a good marketing strategy and I really believe the genre I am working in is underserviced. There are about 4 of us that are cross promoting eachothers books and its working out very well. Its hard to compete in a genre that has thousands and thousands of authors.
     
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  5. dogbone61

    dogbone61 New Member

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    I have sold about 100 books of mine, and in my life, no one seems to care. My husband is suportive. One lady at work, wanted to read my novel. I gave her a copy that she never read. I think that she just wanted to see if I really wrote 400 pages. So I am writing, cause I am going to show everyone that I am not crazy and will have the last laugh.

    My family has no interest. So I write alone. The fact that I sold about 100 books, has validated me as a writer. I don't care what anyone else says, and when I prove everyone wrong, I will have the last laugh.

    So all we can do is to keep writing and prove others wrong.

    http://sharonleejohnson.blogspot.com
     
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  6. DRTharp

    DRTharp New Member

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    When I was a bit younger, I said I wanted to be a writer. Everyone just laughed. I never finished the 9th grade. I did go on to earn a BA in History in my late 20's. So one year for Christmas, my grandmother gave me a big chief writing tablet and a horse leg pencil as a gift. It was so destructive mentally. I think I swore from that day on that I would write. But I let it go to ignorant people and pursued my craft silently for years. With the new wave of E publishing, I decided to jump in. It can't hurt. I found out that more than loving to prove people wrong, I love writing and getting paid, even small amounts validates my time spent writing.
     
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  7. ShawnLamb

    ShawnLamb New Member

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    You're right, Michael. With around 1 million books published annunally between traditional and self-published authors, the average book only sells around 100 copies. Four hundred is great, but I sold more than that many in 8 months to place in the top 20% of nationwide sales for Allon Book 1 - but my publisher passed on the rest of the series. This surprised both me and my agent.

    Publishers today are looking for a hit right off the bat to grab the mega-bucks. They aren't looking to cultivate and groom authors for the long term like they used to do. The average shelf life of a book is 2 to 3 years. If the book doesn't catch on between 12 and 18 months, it goes to the discount bin for another 6 to 10 months and finally the outlet stores, after which it is taken out of circulation. Fortunately, I have written in my contract that 30 days after it is taken out of circulation, I get the rights back! Some traditional authors aren't so lucky, and often have to hire a lawyer to get the rights back once their book is warehoused.

    At least being self-published, my others books will always be available.
     
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  8. Chautona

    Chautona New Member

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    That is actually one of the reasons that I wanted to self-publish, Shawn. I really didn't want to spend YEARS trying to get a book onto a traditional publisher's roster only to have to fight to keep it in circulation. I think I am more of a control-freak than I ever realized.
     
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  9. ShawnLamb

    ShawnLamb New Member

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    The declining was really a surprise as my agents was telling me to prepare book 2 based upon the good sales of book 1 . In fact, she knows the publishing house president, so I though I was set. As the saying goes, every cloud has a silver lining, and I'm glad to be self-published now. I don't have to reach a predetermined goal or make the quarterly numbers. Truth be told, I did all the promotional and marketing work, supplying my publisher with books trailers, posters, flyers and bookmarks.
     
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  10. Samantha Fury

    Samantha Fury Active Member

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    I know this guy can be brash in his speech but he's interesting to say the least. Did you catch yesterday's blog on Amazon haters.. I think I've got the right guy. Is this the guy that went on a beer diet.. or something like that?
     
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  11. Samantha Fury

    Samantha Fury Active Member

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    I had this issue too. People looked down on my friends and I, for self publishing, so a year ago, I started my own Christian Indie forum. We felt pushed to the side, but now things are finally changing and moving and we Authors that self publish are becoming the ones that are rising to the top.

    My sales tripled when book two came out and my total sales is 347 that is paperbacks amazon and smash-words. I do expect to sale everyone book two locally that I sold book one two, I just can't afford to buy that many books at once, so I expect to add at least another 60 local paperback sales to that.

    I know this is not a Christian forum but a lot of you guys are from CW and are Christians and those of you that know me know I always give the good Lord credit for any of my success.
     
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  12. ShawnLamb

    ShawnLamb New Member

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    Samantha, I used to be a member of ACFW but not anymore. They tend to perpetuate the snobbish attitude toward self-published authors. Even though my 1st book was traditionally published, it is not a Christian publisher they consider worthy of inclusion.
     
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  13. DRTharp

    DRTharp New Member

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    I will be branching out to smashwords and the Nook. I'm also almost done with a short story that will be free for a month then 99 cents as a loss leader to my series. I just got the word from a very well known person in the Private Military Community that he will be giving my book a thumbs up and a review on his blog. That credibility alone will rock my sales. Whats that song ? ' How do you like me now ?'

    I have a sketched Christian fiction book that wont be very flattering to the church but it will be christian fiction. I expect when it comes out next year that I will get loads of hate mail even though the point will be redemption.

    I also have a completed WW2 historical fiction book that focuses on faith in the midst of gritty dirty bloody combat. I spent a total of 4 years researching and writing it. Just waiting for some more name exposure before I cast it out into the lake. Neither a CBA or a Secular publisher would touch it with a ten foot pole.

    I'm believing more and more that indie publishing will overwhelm the state controlled media and may the best man or woman win.
     
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  14. Traci B

    Traci B New Member

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    When I started writing my first novel a couple of years ago, I was adamant about going the traditional publishing route. After a while, though, I begain entertaining the idea of self publishing. It's greatly appealing, the idea of being able to get my work out into the marketplace without having to get someone else's approval (which felt a lot like asking permission to tell my stories). So now, I have an e-book cover mocked up, a manuscript in final editing, and the beginnings of a marketing plan in place. I think that by the end of the year, I'll have my first novel available on Amazon and B&N and its sequel in the final pre-publication stages.
     
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  15. Samantha Fury

    Samantha Fury Active Member

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    That sounds like a plan. Having book two and three close to ready to go is great. It takes me about a year from start to finish to get it all done, most of the time the edit is the long part for me. Congrats and be sure and show us that cover when you can.
     
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  16. Traci B

    Traci B New Member

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    Thanks for the encouragement, Samantha. I definitely will show y'all the cover just as soon as possible. :)
     
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  17. Samantha Fury

    Samantha Fury Active Member

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    Traci that's one thing about a true Indie they will be supportive of other Indies. I'm so thankful for the help that I've received and I
    try to help others to pay back all the help that I have received.-- I tell you writing is spoiling me in a way. I just wanted to find another synonym for the word received. LOL

    Congrats!
     
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  18. Traci B

    Traci B New Member

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    Thanks, Samantha. :) I know what you mean about the synonym; I would have done the same thing.

    One of my favorite childhood memories is of a game my brothers and I made up one year at Christmas. I got a desk reference set (I was asking for writer-type Christmas gifts even back then) that included a thesaurus. My brothers and I sat on their bedroom floor and they called out words (mostly referring to body parts and the noises they made; you know little boys), and I would look them up and read out the synonyms. Some of the words and phrases we found were hilarious to our young minds; my face and ribs hurt from laughing after a while.
     
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  19. Anya Yana

    Anya Yana New Member

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    I love this discussion, and I am happy to see many of you are from CW!

    It is insane how some look down on Indie/self-published authors.
    Yes, there is a lot of garbage out there, but those who are serious are not putting out garbage.
    So, I love that we can support each other.
     
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