Blog No 159
With the release of No Light Tomorrow imminent, Christian and I are in publicity mode. We are working on the best ways to advertise the launch event and the book as a whole. From there we will need to spread the word even further and gain as much attention as possible. It’s the same story with any new author, but being self published means you are doing it all on your own. There is a lot of work involved after the book is written. Then there is a lot of work to do then the book is printed. After all that work you need to make sales and short of standing on the street begging people to buy your book, some authors have found success in gimmicks (or at least novel ways to get the reading public’s attention).
While it’s rare, there are some self published authors living the high life. Some have strategies that use low cost and high output to catch readers with the micro pay system that phone games use to great success. A dollar for an ebook? Even if it’s short that’s a good deal. If you get enough people to buy the book, the mass will generate it’s own momentum and your success draws more readers who perpetuate the system. Sometimes the smaller the book, the better the low cost structure works. It gives the reader a sense of a small cash investment, and likewise, a small time investment. Almost anyone has a dollar or two to spend. Their consumerism itch is scratched, they have another piece of entertainment to engage with, they’ve supported an author, and even if they don’t get around to reading the book, it’s hardly a waste.
The issue from that method is that is usually works best with formulaic stories more akin to mass produced romance than artistic books. Not to say those books can’t have artistry, but historically they are not the kind of thing most writers aspire to produce.
Other successful independent (and signed) authors have found specific niches or have strategically (often with great risk) filled holes in the market. And some use the cutting edge of technology to gain attention. A specific author (I’m not going to name names) garnered great success from putting audio version of himself reading his books online, way back in 2005. He was warned that publishers would turn him down if they couldn’t get the audio rights, but he managed to find enough fans (and sell enough books) to make a living. The gamble was real, as was the innovation. Few, if any, people were using the internet the same way and his readings fell in with early podcasting (which is experiencing a golden age now).
Sometimes luck and a good product is all an author needs. If your book gets into the right hands, you can get a movie deal and sell millions of books. Again, I’m not going to point out the author, but you may have seen the movie version of his book in theatres recently.
The chances of becoming a millionaire (or even making a living) with writing is small. It may be even harder as a fiction writer, but there are people who make it. With enough work, imagination, and luck, (not to mention support from others) I believe Christian and I can make a career out of our writing, and it starts with this book. We may not have that innovative concept or strategy, but we have a book, and that’s the first step.