Posted on 2014-Mar-24
Writing All Night to get Lucky
The problem with book and eBook discoverability nowadays is it has become harder to measure which one of your promotional strategies can reach out to your fans most effectively. If you are disappointed with your sales record yet wonder how the mega successful icons are doing, perhaps it will be easy to get caught in the game of comparison and letdown. Joe Konrath has something to say to give you the a pat on the shoulder that success is not so random and undoable.
He starts his blog mentioning the “unreproduceable phenomenon” which is the feedback from his friends who consider that bookselling is so unique that the way one book is sold to readers cannot be transferred to another because of a number of factors. Joe Konrath compares the factors between traditional bookselling and the new indie model on his blog.
Bookselling is Similar to Lottery Tickets
Instead of sticking to the formulae that the publishers have done so well that it looks as if these factors were irreproducible, Joe believes that authors can still sell more even if they cut several of the unnecessary factors out. Why? There are several other controllable factors left unsaid. Comparing selling books to buying lottery tickets, if an author has no clue what they are doing and has luck take full control of their fate, chances are they will continue writing and hope that readers will buy their book to earn enough for living. Based on his personal experience being a self-published author, the fewer factors to adopt represent the smarter decision and harder work he has done to make his sales more likely to succeed and rely less on luck. With fewer factors authors must depend upon come more responsibilities they can reproduce and contribute to controlling their own fate.
Internal Audit to Allow for Self-Development
The Q&A session that follows sum up possible questions which might have clouded your head before, during, and possibly after your writing. Seemingly, Joe’s best answer is that luck plays a major role in determining success but it does not mean you cannot stand a chance to get lucky. If you stop comparing yourself to others for a moment and start analyzing your strengths and weaknesses, perhaps there is no better time to “make money in this business.” Once you complain about all the uncontrollable factors—how Amazon changes their algorithm, BookBub rejects your ad, and free giveaways will destroy the industry—it is you who can make a change. To break yourself from those chains around you, Joe recommends that indie authors develop a simple mindset that they will succeed when “a whole lot of people need to buy your books.”
Controllable Factors to Make a Positive Change
Paying attention to good advice and continuing to improve the whole package are the way forward to boost his sales. There is a list of publishing elements he can adjust and control: cover, formatting, product description, price, platform (retailers), advertisement, genres, pen names, collaboration, franchise, discussion with “smart peers,” and working with agents. “Luck doesn’t mean you can stop trying. Luck means you have to keep trying until luck happens,” Joe concludes.
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