Monday, April 2, 2012
Too Many Books?
So here it is, at the end of the first quarter 2012. I have finished 3 urban fantasy novels in the space of a year, I've paid to have them edited, and now I am trying to get people to read them and review them. In short, I am trying to do what apparently thousands upon thousands of other self published authors are trying to do: Get Noticed.
If you explore the book publishing web, you will find hundreds of websites and blogs devoted to book reviews, talking about books, selling books, marketing books, authoring books etc. Each one of these sites has the same driving goal as self published authors: Each is trying to get noticed.
The majority of these sites is run by one or two people, and again like the authors, they face one major basic question: Should I be writing or should I be marketing? Both of these are more than full time jobs, so how can you do either of them well if you are stuck doing it all yourself?
The basic answer is, unless you are hyperactive and only sleep a few hours a day, you can't.
For example, I was looking for people to review my books. I've made offers of free copies on goodreads and on smashwords in return for a review and I have checked a bunch of book reviewing bloggers. So far, I've had one person actually take me up on the deal. It was a good review and the guy liked The Dryad's Kiss, but that doesn't get me very far.
Looking for more ways to get my name out there I stopped by a site called TheIndieView.com. They will let you list yourself as an author there if you can get a good review from one of their list of vetted reviewers. I looked at around ten of those blogs. 6 of them are overwhelmed and not accepting any new books to review. The remaining 3 are overwhelmed, but game and try to get to the review in a few months. One of them has already said the story wasn't her cup of tea. The final site was so overwhelmed that they have stopped doing reviews and have promised to erase their 1500 book backlog from their hard-drive. Sheesh.
So, instead of writing proposals to agents, I am writing proposals to reviewers! I'm getting the same sort of feedback as well (which is simply yes/no). So, I've had to resort to getting paid reviews of my books. Most of the sites out there offering paid reviews like Kirkus promise an honest review but not a good one. Which, of course, is what you want. I think, in order to handle the flood, everyone will need to start paying reviews. I'll let you know how it goes.
This is all an indication that I was right in my earlier blogs. There is a new flood of self-published writers out there and there is no way that they can be supported in a business as usual fashion. It looks to me like the need for crowdsourced publishing is just getting more critical. If reviewers, writers and editors can all partake in the creation of a book and share in its profits, suddenly, for each author, you will have access to a proportional number of editors and reviewers. If everyone who is part of the creation of a book is publicized then you can give people credit for the books they have worked on and that will help both them and any new books they collaborate on.