Guest Posting by Goldie Alexander.
Goldie Alexander writes for adults and children of all ages. Her work includes 85 novels and non fictions, plus prizewinning short stories, plays, and articles. She writes historical fiction, fantasy, crime, science fiction and collections of short stories.
WHY EBOOK EDITIONS ARE VITAL FOR EVERY INDIE AUTHOR
ONLINE BOOK MARKETING TIP
I enjoy picturing po-faced commuters reading the latest crime or romance in their mobiles, tablets and Kindles as they head to their dreary jobs in banks and IT companies. When I was a kid we read comics. Perhaps this is the contemporary adult equivalent.
The major advantage about eBooks is that they are so easily downloaded; there are no forests being cut down, no problem with storage, no hanging around waiting for that copy in the library, and no roaming the streets trying to find a book shop that might still be in business.
Yet there’s never been a time when it’s harder to get big publishers to take on unknown authors. Most seem to be waiting for the next JK Rowling. So how does this affect the unknown writer who can’t find a company to take his book? The answer seems to be to publish digitally. But unless this occurs under the auspices of a big company, it carries the unfortunate label of ‘vanity published.’ Vanity publishing has a bad name because sometimes money has been saved on editing, design and interesting covers. It is assumed that if a book hasn’t been picked up by a well-known publisher that it can’t be any good. Rest assured that big time publishers don’t always know what they are doing. One reader for a distinguished firm told me that she had never ever recommended anything in case she made a mistake.
From a strictly personal perspective, eBooks are wonderful. After a recent accident, I think I would have gone insane had it not been for my Kindle. I downloaded wonderful, and some not so wonderful novels, at a third of the price I would have paid for hard covers. Considering that I read at least two hundred samples and at least half of these as whole books while stuck in hospital, how else could I have managed to tackle a whole library? I could never have afforded it. Nor would anyone have been prepared to bring me that many books.
However Amazon, Kobo and Apple only list about twenty top sellers amongst the thousands of available books. To compensate, if a particular book or author is typed in – and you have to know who you are looking for – that book or author will come up, even if all the books that author has written are not there. My latest is both available in print and on Amazon and/or Kobo, but it certainly isn’t everything I have written because many of my books were published before this digital revolution.
The problem as I see it is that unless a book is displayed on these top lists, no one will ever know anything about it. I once thought good writing deserved to be recommended, or a popular topic would win readers, but this isn’t always the case. And as far as I can see, these lists are quite random. I think the crux of eBook publishing is: How do we get our books onto that ‘A list’? Social media seems to be the answer. Your name has to be known. You have to become a ‘brand’. So if you want to sell your eBooks, it’s a good idea to blog, twitter, Facebook using all social media as often as you can stand. At least several times a week.