It is difficult for an Independent Author to gain much acclaim for his or her work short of investing thousands of dollars. Hiring an editor, paying for proof reads, paying someone to transpose your manuscript to conform to “industry standards” to comply with various printing and electronic formats, and contracting a marketing team to endorse your work and legal representation to make sure you are doing everything within the confines of the IRS and the law, are all extremely costly.
Recently, I read an article estimating the cost of a self-published author reaching the (any) best-sellers list. The numbers were astronomical and exhausting. One such Indie author paid in excess of $75,000.00 to be listed on a best-sellers list for one day. That’s right, 24 hours. The cost of many homes in the southern regions of rural America are purchased for less than what the 24 hours this author paid to be listed as a “best-seller”.
However, the author was not paying for sales. The author paid for a prestigious moniker “best-seller”. As a result, the author can now attach the label of “Best Selling Author” to any future works. In addition, the author is in high demand lecturing across the globe and getting paid big money to talk about his theories.
Unfortunately, I choose to write a book in a niche where the money is sparse and the critical acclaim is reserved for Hollywood celebrities – the paranormal and the afterlife. I put out the bucks for the editor and the transpositions, the proof reads and the legal fees, but it’s a long shot as to whether I will recoup the money from my initial investment.
I doubt I’ll ever see a “Best-Sellers” list with my first book, but I just cannot justify buying my way into a popularity contest; my moral composition tells me it is wrong. That leaves me, and other Independent Authors like me, with little alternative.
There are the social network avenues and they will take you only so far until people begin to get annoyed with your pleading with them to buy your book and they “block” you. Then you have the option of “free” giveaways and you pray word of mouth will generate sales. Newspapers and radio interviews are a great alternative, but then they will begin to swallow every ounce of your time and energy chipping away any portion of the day you have devoted to your next project. Blogs and websites will only go so far as you cannot reach the masses.
Where does that leave the Indie Author? There are not too many more options. A very successful author and a close personal friend gave me some advice. He asked, “What’s the prize… What’s in it for you?” I answered, “I just want to offer something different, a different perspective… perhaps something which was not considered before they read my book. And like all writers I want to reach as many people as possible, not for fame or fortune, but for the gratification in knowing I made a difference.” He responded with a very profound and helpful statement, “Then move on… get to your next project. You want people to know your work… then get your work out there. Stop sweating the small sh*t… It will all come together as long as you work hard, pay attention to detail, and keep your eye on the prize!”
As Independent Authors, I think we need to remain focused on the big picture. Sure it would be nice if a million people would purchase our book the day it debuts, but that’s not realistic. We need to band together, promote one another (which in return aids in your sales as other Indie authors promote you), and remain fixed on the overall goal – educate, entertain and offer the reader escape from the everyday doldrums and concerns that engulf his or her world.
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Piercing the Veils of Death: A Paranormal Exploration by Dane Ladwig can be purchased on
Amazon.com in Paperback and Kindle formats by clicking on the link below…
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