Monday, April 2, 2012

Some thoughts on new author strategies

I was reading the article that came out in the Huffington Post last week about authors marketing their e-books at $.99. With this article there were really two perspectives here. First were the published authors using this approach to revive slow selling books. No problem here. This has been a model that has been around for a while now. It is the second perspective I want to focus on -the new author.

One author in the article noted that she was doing this to essentially get readers to notice her. Personally, this approach is simply not going to work well. Sure, the article did notice a lot of people buying those cheap books, but the question left unanswered was whether, they either finished the book, or more importantly, went back to read more of that author at a higher price. I am betting no.

What are really the best ways to get readers interested in your books?

1) Write well. I am sorry to say this, but there are really very few of us out there that can just crank out great writing without working hard. Writing takes time and more importantly, we have to learn how to write well.

2) Do your research. This comes back to the education thing again, but learn what works out the in your genre and what doesn't.

3) Network. Get out to those conferences and writing groups. Again, not only do you gain that additional education, you get a chance to rub elbows with people that may be able to assist you with your writing. This is also a great way to talk to readers about your writing. Hook them on a personal level.

4) Put your best writing out there. Remember the article said some authors put out stories that didn't get picked up by editors or agents. This may have been based on the quality of the writing. And yet, the author wants to promote their writing with something not quite right? Personally, this is probably not going to work out well for you.

I don,t care which model you use for writing - traditional publishers, indie, self pubs - anything goes. But when it comes to promotion, you will have to go back to the hard work and time model.



  1. I completely agree with you. Although I know self-publishing opens a great many doors, if one chooses to pursue that avenue, then one needs to shoulder the responsibility of doing all that traditionally published authors do. Namely, relentless and painful editing--over and over again--and preferably with the assistance of an established editor. One who studies and knows the market.

    It is also a known rule of economics that low pricing can be a detriment to sales, since people perceive the product as being lower in quality.

  2. I do agree with you. Since the arrival of ebooks short stories and novellas have made a come back and that is wonderful. I just finished reading two collections of short stories from two of my favorite YA authors and I loved them. I also read some novellas from another favorite YA author. I really enjoyed them.
    As a writer you really do have to put out your best and that means lots of work. Short stories are not my strong suit but I'm trying.

  3. Rashad makes a great point about the perception of low priced items. I would add one thing to that: With so many $.99 ebooks available, you are not going to stand out from the crowd with that price.

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