Friday, December 5, 2014

Want Some Cheese with Your Whine?

"Sales are down!"

"KU is screwing us over!"

"The sky is falling!"

Anyone else besides me hearing a ton of this kind of crap from authors lately?

It's not just trad or indie or hybrid-related. It's everyone.

Guess what? The publishing industry has been all doom and gloom for a long time. Even Charles Dickens bitched about filthy pirates illegally copying his books. Mark Twain despaired that commerce was overtaking art. The monks lamented losing their jobs because of that damn Guttenberg.

I can't tell you what you should do about it. I can tell you what you probably shouldn't.

1) Don't accuse your readers of stealing your books. Nothing turns off a potential fan like a charge of theft. Sure, there are folks pirating. Guess what? Those people aren't your fans, and don't give a flying flip about your tantrum. The innocents are the ones who will be offended by your accusations. And they WILL stop buying your books. It's okay to bitch to your friends privately, but lengthy rants on Facebook will only alienate readers.

2) The gold rush is over. If you want success in this business, you're going to have to work. That may mean stepping up production, learning how to market better, or any myriad of things that you can improve in your business. Setting back on your laurels and crying that you're only selling 500 books a month instead of 50,000 isn't going to win you sympathy points, especially from the readers. Your true fans are waiting for that next book. Get crackin'!

3) Don't depend on any one method or retailer for getting your books to readers. If something isn't working for you, change it. Albert Einstein once said that the sign of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. If exclusivity in Amazon isn't working for you, check out other retailers.

Keeping an ear out for industry comings and goings is smart, but don't let the kvetching interfere with your writing.

1 comment:

  1. Excellent advice. Kvetching should NEVER interfere with writing.