Sunday, July 01, 2012

Lies and Strategies in Ebook World

I came across two insightful blogs this week that reflect different thoughts on ebook publishing. Both blogs are quite candid and well worth reading. The first by Jeff Bennington discusses the lies many self-publishers believe about publishing. As an indie author, he’s the first to admit he bought into the lies until he learned otherwise.

The first lie is the belief that one's book will become a bestseller, especially if it’s critiqued, editing, and promoted sufficiently. Jeff admits that he couldn’t see the flaws in his first book and has now taken it out of circulation. 

The second lie is that writing and editing are the hard parts. The hardest part about writing is selling one’s work. He talks about the frustration many indie authors feel after working hard to blog, tweet, and promote their books all over the place. The fact is that with hundreds of thousands of ebooks out there, probably millions now, gaining even a little attention is a major feat. Yet, many believe they can become part of that elite group who earn enough money to pay the bills, buy a house, whatever. In many ways, putting your book in the virtual world, is a lottery, folks, and while you can improve your odds by writing a wonderful, well edited book with a fantastic cover, there is no guarantee you’ll sell lots of copies. Jeff also offers cures to these misguided beliefs, which you can read at

The second blog by Lindsay Buroker discusses what it takes to become a full-time indie author. Although Lindsay’s sales have been pretty good, and she considers herself on the right track, she’s the first to caution against anyone quitting their day job. But she does offer some strategies, such as writing not only books but novellas and short stories. Taking a page from Dean Wesley Smith’s beliefs, she also believes that the more work you have out there, the more exposure, and therefore the more sales potential.

She also believes in giving away free books. When she released her third book in a series, she gave away the first and noticed a jump in sales for books two, three, and four. She also wrote that she tried the blog tours, paid advertising, and guest posts, but none of them were nearly as successful as having a free book in major stores. I guess that’s why I see so many free book offers over recent months. The bottom line is to go with what works for you. There is more interesting stuff on her blog which you can find at

I’d love to hear about your success stories with ebook publishing. What works for you? What doesn’t? For me, Twitter as been quite successful in spreading the word about giveaways and has helped spread attention about my books, although the verdict’s still out with respect to sales.

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