Yeah, I’m ready for another rant I guess. I hate that this is what I’ve become the past month or so, but I’m only reacting to my surroundings. A lot of people tend to jump the gun with things, especially concerning Amazon. Some of it is rightfully so because they are the biggest vendor we as authors have. But again I cannot stress how important it is to use all the vendors at hand.
Just to give a quick example… when I combine all my other vendors just for first seven days of November, the revenue from all those vendors equals Amazon’s. So, yes, Amazon makes up half my revenue right now, but the other half it outside that, which is nice to see.
But this isn’t about revenue or Amazon, this post is about these indie sites that never end… every time I turn around another site is opened featuring indie authors and indie books. Kindle-this, Kindle-that, author-me, author-you, all .blogspot.com sites which is no real secret why… and I really hope I’m not upsetting anyone when I write this, but I call the shots as I see them…
There are two reasons why these sites are popping up like crazy:
- Amanda Hocking
- Amazon Associates
We all know that Amanda Hocking sent her books to book sites and book reviewers and book bloggers. That helped her in her success. She’s spoken for them and how important they are… and I agree. Remember though that what worked for one person doesn’t work for all, and the game has changed since then. Sites are FLOODED with book requests, sometimes taking up to six months to get a single review. As authors, we need patience to wait for those reviews to come in, and we need to keep working on our marketing plan. We can’t rely on those sites to sell our books for us. They can be a great help, but right now, in this current climate, we have to stand in line.
Some people open their own sites to review books hoping to alleviate the wait time. That’s credible but in the background, is the entire site credible? What’s the traffic? Who views the site? All sites have to start with a single post, yes, but if an author is the one becoming the book blogger, that’s a hard task to pull off…
The other reason, and the biggest, is Amazon Associates. We all know that we can link up our books, other books, and another product from Amazon and earn a commission off it if it sells. This is the one that kills me sometimes because I wonder how many of these new indie kindle things are made just for people to flood a site with AA links hoping to make some money.
More so, it’s authors talking to authors… I don’t want that. I want a credible site where readers go to read credible reviews to make credible decisions to purchase a book.
These sites that are flooded with indie books that target indie authors are only going to attract indie authors… but where’s the readers?
On top of that, I feel that each time one of these sites opens, it only dis-credits all the others that are working towards reviewing books and helping those who have books. Remember, part of this entire game is exclusivity. Think of it like a game of musical chairs… two people, one chair. They want that one chair. One only gets it. It makes that chair look like gold, right? That’s how the writing and publishing is. That’s what makes rejection important sometimes.
I hate to say it, I really do… but I could create a site called TheUltimateKindleBookLoversSiteOfAllTime.blogspot.com and just add book after book after book with my AA links, hoping that I get some clicks… but what’s the value of the site? What purpose does it serve? AM I hitting the readers?
I’m not saying all these sites aren’t good, I understand the intention, but come on, when is it enough here? If you have 1,000 sites with Kindle books versus 1 site, you lose the “AAHHH” factor of it all.
There are some great lists out there for indie sites and indie review places… my advice is to use those. Because if you scour the boards looking for the next indie site, you may find it, but what’s the status of the site? What’s the traffic? The audience? The commitment from the owner? You have to look at all that stuff before sending your book in because you could be wasting time.
And if someone comes back from a credible site and says they’ll review you but it’ll take six months, you thank them and send the file. That’s your job. I have about four reviews for The Devil’s Weekend due in Feb 2012. I hate it, yes, but I’m taking the higher road… by that time, I’ll have at least 10 horror projects out for sale. I’m hoping that once those reviews hit, readers will head to Amazon and see my page and how full it is by then and (1) trust me enough to take the chance to read something and (2) buy something!
These are tricky times, I get that. Things are changing every single day. But remember, our control is in the words. Let’s get them on paper and let’s get them ready for the world. The only way to compete with the big publishers is to write faster and better than their authors do. If Stephen King puts out a book a year, I’m putting out four. I may lose to him in the short run when hit book hits the world, but I’ll make up for it when the buzz dies down… the glass is always full, my friends, until it’s not. And right now, the glass is still half full.