Opinions

Dishonesty and Indie Authors

Selling books is hard, period. It’s hard for authors published by the huge houses, its hard for indie authors. I should know, I look at the my sales records. But I’m not going  to whine, I’m releasing Barbarian Girl instead. And if that doesn’t work, I’ll release something else and then something else.  K23 4 will show up when enough people have bought the previous three(a number which only I will know) to justify spending money on the the fourth. There’s no point in releasing later volumes if nobody reads the priors. I’m not giving up, I’m not quitting, I’m just being honest.

Honest is something I can’t help being, better or for worse.  While I do conceal a lot of info about myself, I never downright lie and pretend to be anything other than some guy trying to peddle his books. The K23 side stories don’t exist merely for your reading pleasure, they exist as a gateway into the paid stories, which is why there’s a link to the novellas at the bottom of every story. Being honest about my goals is more than I can say about many of my peers, but you know what, I get it, its the book world, where hard selling doesn’t work. As much as it irks me, I have to “soft sell” too because that’s just how things work. I’m not going to delve into this.

I will, however, talk about other forms of dishonesty, dishonesty which isn’t so subjective. Case in point: GoodReads.

Now there are two ways for an author to identify a book as theirs, either pinpoint it on a bookstore search, or add it in themselves. Now, if you identify via bookstore search, you are barred from recommending it. However, if you physically add your book in,  you can because there’s no way to check unless lots of  spend lots of hours manually doing it(goodreads is free to use btw). This has led to a very nasty habit of authors recommending their own books, thereby defeating the entire purpose of the recommendation system. Now goodreads has combated the problem by putting in an automated, personalized recommendation system not unlike Netflix. There’s still the old system of any user can recommend a book, but its harder to find now. I’m ignoring it and never looking back.

I have also seen authors review their own books(why goodreads allows this I don’t know). I could do it, but you’d know it was me and make me look sleazy Ditto with Amazon, except there I’d just use a pseudonym, yet you’d still know probably know it was me Its gotten so bad, many readers are beginning to skip five star reviews of books by indie authors.

And then there’s this wonderful survey, detailing dishonesty among indie authors.  It’s not surprising what the results are, and we’re all guilty of some of these things me included.

  Send a friend invite to someone on Facebook, Goodreads, etc for the sole purpose of trying to sell them your books? 28.3%

I do this but here’s the thing, everyone does this and I’m thinking in number is probably close too, if not completely 100%. But I don’t pretend to do otherwise, I think its pretty self-evident why some random author is inviting you to a goodreads page or group.

Have you ever purchased multiple copies of your own book in an attempt to improve its sales rank? 34.8%

I suggest everyone buys one copy of their kindle book, simply because Amazon’s preview isn’t always accurate, besides its cool to own your own kindle edition of your own book!  But buying enough to significantly improve your own sales rankings is expensive and a money loosing venture,  as you yourself don’t get 100% back of what ever you spent, do the math.

Have you ever participated in a “purchase exchange,” in which a group of authors agree in advance to buy each others books at a specific time in order to artificially inflate the sales rank? 26.1%

I’m guilty of a variation of this. if an indie author lets me know they bought my books, I ask them to buy mine. Or if they ask me to buy theirs, I won’t buy it unless they buy mine.  However, there are so many books to buy and only an finite amount of money. The way I put it, “buying my books finances the purchasing of yours.” Because believe me, I’d love to buy many other indie author’s books, but money racks up quick. Help me financially, I help you. Still what I’m doing is not exactly what the question is referring to.

Have you ever asked or encouraged a friend or relative to post a positive review of your book to help you promote? 80.4%

Did this once with a long time “fan” of my work (guess the Clear and Feathered Danger review that resulted) never again.

Posted to a popular thread for the sole purpose of promotion. (i.e. “That is interesting. I just released my new book Name of Book.”) 61.5%

I don’t do this, people will know and don’t like it.

Hijacked another author’s promotional thread by posting for the sole purpose of promoting your book? (i.e. “Your book sounds great. You would like my book Name of Book!”) 20.5%

I’ll do this, but not to promote, but just because I tend to use examples as a way for me to relate to you(it’s pretty evident in my writing). “I wrote a book like this called ____ *hits purchase button for author’s book* But mention my work simply to promote in another’s work, no way.

I’d like to make a wager about the people who did some of the more egregious offenses, they knew they wrote horrible garbage and only bad word of mouth would result. Therefore, they had to cheat to make their stuff look better than it really is. And in the end, it only ends up hurting the author, because in the world of the soft sell, word gets around and nobody takes them seriously ever after.

This is why I don’t cheat and act dishonestly, because people may not be buying my books right now, but they may still be watching. If I cheat, when it comes time for them to buy a book, they won’t. They won’t trust me.

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1 Comment

  • Reply
    Carolina Brazokie
    September 16, 2011 at 7:43 pm

    I am waiting to have a kindle to read e-books. The computer hurts me and is not comfortable enough, since I like to read in a couch or bed. Glad to know you try your best to stay honest, don’t give up on that.

    I followed you back once I read an article here about how practical you are with your books, and I really liked that, because I “suffer” from the same issue: I am practical, and not many understand me on that. This reflecting on your writing made me curious, so I am waiting to be able to have a kindle to read your books.

    Since you are practical and admit to not needing 2 pages to describe a room, I’d like to share about another “person” I follow on twitter. It is a character from a game lore, and the person posts as if it was the character. The result is that you get a daily or even more often then that story going on in your tweeter feed. I find it pretty interesting, and maybe you could do something like that to tease people about your books? The “character” is @Elleon_TERA

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