Readers

Summer Drought Sales-Wise?

It’s that time of year.  The time when our book sales traditionally slump.  I guess people are too busy sunning themselves on some chav infested beach to worry about buying books, so we must expect a dry spell during the summer.  That’s okay if your normal sales are healthy, but for those of us stragglers who delight in every single occasional sale, this time of year can make you wonder whether you’re in the wrong trade.

I’m trying to push my lack of sales to the back of my mind.  I’m editing my next release, I have just finished a new novel for Camp Nano, and with just four more stories to write to finish my horror story anthology, I’ve plenty to do.  I’ve also started a new health regime, and am trying to eat less, and more healthily, and now work out every day.  So far I’ve lost five pounds and can almost see my own pubic hair again for the first time in years.

Roll on Autumn, when folks are back from their hols and ready to start reading again.

The new ad-free me

I’ve come to a momentous decision today.  Thanks to the general public’s total lack of interest in my work, I shall no longer be doing any advertising of my books.

I’m not the world’s greatest saleswoman, I’m the first to admit that, and I don’t have a rich husband/parents/boyfriend/wife;/girlfriend/son/daughter etc to pay for one of the many over priced ‘advertise your book here’ websites or a publicist to do the work for me.  All I have is me.

I’ve said many times that authors are a selfish and competitive breed of creature.  They don’t give real help without a fight and they happily use bribery and outright fraud to jemmy their book’s way up the ladder of apparent success.  From getting other writer chums to write glowing reviews, to giving away kindles and amazon gift cards in return for reviews, anything and everything is fair in the book game.

You can’t just do a giveaway anymore, that doesn’t work.  Without the promise of a brand new kindle or $50 in amazon money, no one is interested in actually reading a good book these days.  It doesn’t matter how badly written the book is, how atrocious the spelling or how lackluster the grammar, so long as that kindle or gift card is in the post, they’ll give a glowing 5 star review.

I’ve just run a giveaway event for my latest novel and I’m not offering kindles or money.  I don’t need to bribe anyone, the book is good enough on its own to more than compensate for the time involved in reading.  The trouble is that people don’t actually read books anymore, even their buddies’ ones that they review.  They just skim without taking anything in.

I set an easy and fun competition and was offering ten free e-copies of my latest novel as the prize.  All I was asking was that people write a little story of 300 words about a celebrity and I would read and pick ten winners.  Guess how many signed up for the event.  Go on, guess.  Thirty eight.  Now guess how many actually did a story.  Two.

Officially the event runs until Friday but I’m confident no one else will bother to enter and, as per the rules set by me, if less than twenty enter, the whole shebang will be cancelled.

One thing that people really should try to get into their brains is that all those who are offering kindles and money as bribes to you for reading and reviewing their books, are doing it because they need to.  Think about it for a second; why would someone who has written a brilliant book need to give expensive gifts away to people to tempt them to read it?  Answer – because they probably wouldn’t go within a mile of it if they didn’t.

I recently watched a hilarious conversation on facebook where an female author was moaning loudly to her chums about someone who had given her latest tome a bad review.  Her little buddies jumped in and commiserated with her, called the reviewer all sorts of a obscene names and some even threatened violence if they ever met the person.  I went to Amazon and read the free preview and was appalled at the spelling and grammar, the punctuation mistakes and continuity errors I saw in the just the few pages the preview offered.

The standard of writing has fallen through the floor since the advent of self publishing and most people now have so little real knowledge of how to use their own language correctly, that their work often isn’t fit to read.

I’m not going to start offering kindles and amazon gift cards to bribe folks to read my books.  In fact I’m not going to actively advertise them at all anymore.  I shall do my usual post when I publish a new novel and continue with my weekly tweet/excerpt group as that helps out others, a couple of whom are very nice people.  I write because my soul aches to write.  I write because the universe demands I write.  I write because it’s the only thing I can do well.  I shall continue to write books of quality and publish them.  Whether you read them is up to you, but I won’t be offering you anything for doing it.

2 Day Booklover’s Bash

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It’s that time of the week again; time for the 2 Day Virtual Ebook Fair and Booklover’s Bash.

This facebook event is great for readers and lovers of all book genres.

Read excerpts, chat with authors and have fun.

I’ll be there with my space opera, Floxham Island and would love some support and chat with you all.

Here’s the link to the event.

The Point of Giving Up

Today I realised something painful and distressing, something I don’t want to admit to but something I have to face sooner or later.  People don’t like my writing and they just aren’t interested in even taking a look.

This hurts me in many ways, which I won’t go into to save you thinking (as you naturally would) that this is a sob story.  Suffice to say that I feel deflated and disheartened to the point that I’m thinking of giving up writing altogether.

People just refuse to buy my books and they won’t even come here to the blog and read the free excerpts and free short stories I have here.  I check the stats and can see how many visit and click so I know what I’m saying is true.

What I don’t know is whether this is because the market is so over saturated with indie published books that there’s too much choice, or whether it just because my work is shit.  And, it’s no use asking you because you never read my stuff so how would you know if it’s shit or not?

The only thing I can say is that deep in my heart I didn’t start writing to make money.  I started writing in June 2011 because one night, as I sat at the computer, something overwhelmed me and I began to write.  8 hours later, at 4am I dragged myself away from the computer to bed and knew I had the beginnings of a whole book at last.  Having wanted to write a book since I was a kid, here I was approaching 50 and finally I was writing a book.  I write because my soul demands that I write.  I write because there is something or someone standing beside me, telling me their story and telling me that I’m the one they’ve chosen to tell it to the world.  I write because it’s the only way to get my voice heard and yes, I do have a voice that has been screaming to get out for fifty years.

So should I give up or continue?  I don’t know.  Maybe I should just write and save everything to a disc or a memory stick and ask for it to be buried with me when I die, or kill myself, whichever is sooner.  Maybe I should stop.  One thing is for sure, I’m not giving everything away for free.  If I’m not worthy of a few pennies of your money, you’re not worthy of weeks of my time and energy.  If I write and no one sees what I write, the universal consciousness will know I’ve written and my words will be a part of the flow of the universe, whether heard or unheard by these creatures who were, so recently, grunting apes.

I read someone the other week who was also contemplating giving up, for similar reasons, and one thing they said stuck in my mind.  They said “you disappoint me greatly, all of you.  You stand with hands open when in need but turn your backs when in plenty.  You are so consumed by greed that you cannot even open your mouth and offer genuine encouragement to someone who is doing something that you cannot.”  I don’t know whether I’d go quite that far, but he’s got a point..!

The book market is over saturated with books, thanks to the indie publishing revolution, and much of it is tripe.  Those works that are good get lost amongst the trash, not because they are not worthy but because they are buried in rubbish and people are tired of wading through the excrement of uneducated minds to find those words that inspire and set their imaginations aflame.

I’m hoping the market crashes, and soon.  Maybe then a few brave souls will find my work and read it.

Virtual E-Book Fair

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Have you attended the Virtual Ebook Fair? If not, what are you waiting for? This event is taking the Internet by storm. In just a few months it’s become a favorite hang out for readers and authors alike as they mingle and chat.  Started as part of bestselling author, Tammie Clarke Gibbs’ launch for her latest release, SWORN TO SECRECY, a time-travel  romance, the Virtual Ebook Fair quickly became an event everyone is looking forward to.

Traditional book fairs have always been a favorite for booklovers, now you can attend one and meet new and new to you authors as well as some of your favorites without spending for admission fees and gas to get to the event and while there’s nothing that can take the place of meeting authors in person there are many benefits to attending in your pjs from the comfort of your own home.

Originally, a one-day Saturday event, the Virtual Ebook Fair is now held over two days beginning each week on Friday and running through Saturday at 10 pm est.

Each author has their own booth, and some have more than one where they share a short excerpt from their ebooks/books and then give you a link where you can read more or buy the book and visit their website/blogs. In addition to the excerpts, many share funny accounts of the writing process and interact with visitors in a fun way.

You can enter to win giveaway e-books by subscribing to the brand-new  Reader’s Rock emagazine that will launch in June. The subscription is currently free and gives you one entry for each week’s giveaways. You only have to register once.  In addition, authors often give out coupons for free e-books or run one or two-day  sales on their e-books.

If you really love to read, you’ll love this event, and it just gets better and better. Growing by leaps and bounds, it promises to continue to be one of the hottest destinations for booklovers around. What are you waiting for JOIN the event today?!

Blog – http://www.virtualebookfair.com

Blog – http://www.readersrockmagazine.com

Facebook Fan Page: https://www.facebook.com/VirtualEbookFair

Event Page Link for this weekend: May 31- June 1: https://www.facebook.com/events/381254251993089/

Facebook paid promo ad – my experience

The other day, I decided to risk my hard earned and pay to ‘boost post’ on my facebook author page.  For those who’ve spent their entire lives in a cave, this means that you pay some money and facebook will make sure your post is seen by many more people than it usually is.  Facebook’s algorithm means that any post will usually be seen by around 10% of your ‘likers,’ which is, to put it mildly, no more use to anyone than a chocolate fireguard.

Now, I’ve never done this before so this was an entirely new experience for me.  I’ve read the experiences of other authors, both for and against and decided to risk $5 for three days ‘exposure’ for my ad, with the promise of it being seen by around 1000 people.  Seeing as how my posts usually get seen by around 30 to 40, I thought it worth a try.  I set up my post, with a photograph pertaining to the book and a catchy ad with a link to the book on Amazon.  Then I sat back and waited.

Three days later and my post was seen by just over 1000 people, but there’s no way to tell if it was 1000 individual and separate people or the same 50 who had to endure it 20 times..!  When looking at the stats, I got 1 click through from the link and 2 photo click views.  Also I go no additional page likes.

As far as sales are concerned, I got, wait for the drum roll, 1 sale.

Do I think paid facebook ads are worth it..?  Not on your nelly mate.  I won’t be doing it again.  That $5 could’ve bought me a loaf of bread and a pack of butter and I’d have had toast for a week.

People make me sick.

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I’ve come to realise something I was hoping to avoid.  People simply will not be persuaded to buy my books.  I don’t know why this should be.

It can’t be because they’re shit; you’d need to read them first to decide whether they’re shit or not and in order to read them, you’d have to buy them.  They’re not shit anyway, they’re fucking brilliant epic space opera adventures; well written with plenty of action and with better spelling and grammar than most books I read.  No they’re not perfect, show me one that is..!

It can’t be that you can’t afford the $1 for the ebook version because you keep boasting over at facebook about the new iphone you’ve bought, the wonderful  holiday you’ve just returned from, the new wheels you’re cruising around in, those cute Jimmy Choo’s you treated yourself to or the £3.50 vanilla late’s you have every day at Starbucks.  Tell me you can’t afford $1 you fucking liar, go on..!

Maybe it’s because I’m not famous.  That is certainly true, I’m not – yet.

Maybe it’s because I don’t bribe you with free kindle’s or Amazon gift cards in return for your purchase.  Again true – I don’t and never will.

I reckon it’s because those of the facebook classes haven’t the ability to write a novel and are jealous that I have and have done so six times already and they don’t want to appear to be happy about it as it would further illustrate their own inability to string more than two intelligible words together.  Well, carry on de-evolving and when you’re back amongst the other slime moulds in the swamp, I’ll still be one of the highest forms of life with a brain that actually works.

Yes, you’ve guessed it, I’m pissed off.

It’s enough to make me give up writing

Sitting drinking truck loads of coffee while the cupboards are bare and the heating is off and the purse is empty.
Hoping beyond hope for a sale while watching those around me yelling their joy to the world at the wonderful new book they just bought that cost them 5 times as much as mine.
Foreign holidays to plan, new homes to buy, iphones to subscribe to and satellite telly.
Dinner at the Ivy, lunch at the local and nights at that new club in the High Street.
Gotta get that latest Kindle, y’know the one with all the gadgets?
And just look at those shoes baby, yes I know I have 40 pairs already but they’re shoes.
Let’s pop into Starbucks and try that new vanilla coffee toffee thing with a swirl of artificial cream on top and little choccy bits and screw the $4.50 price tag.

Oh I can’t afford to buy books right now dear, times are hard y’know.
Except of course that new one that’s almost but not quite but really is quite porno, we must have that.
And the sequal, and the sequal’s sequal too.
You wrote a book? Wow that’s great, well done. Is is free cos I can’t afford to buy books right now, times are hard y’know.
Oh look, that floppy green thing will go lovely for our trip to Jamaica