Tuesday, 17 June 2014

KDP Select Promo and Imitators (It was bound to happen sooner or later!)

It's been nearly a year since my last post. Truth is, I haven't been doing much to promote my work these days (although there will be a KDP select promo for Text Me, Guido today till Saturday). I've been focussing my efforts on writing two novels that I plan to have published through traditional means. Why have I given up on self-publishing? I guess I will save that explanation for another post. I just wanted to comment on something I noticed recently.

Here's a book that was published on May 30, 2014: http://www.amazon.com/Text-Me-Love-Eli-Shulga-ebook/dp/B00KOWOMOE/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1402984382&sr=1-1&keywords=text+me+love

Sound familiar? Even the cover page is the same concept as Text Me, Guido. Oh well, I guess it was bound to happen sooner or later. Imitation is the most sincere form of flattery. I wish Eli Shulga the best of luck with his book, and maybe he will have more luck than I've had.

4 comments:

  1. Good to see you back Adrian. I was starting to miss you. And if it's any consolation, your work has more reviews and is better packaged. Looking forward to seeing further posts, especially the one on giving up self-pub!

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  2. Thanks, Rob! Guido has more reviews but that's to be expected. His book came out just a few weeks ago. Guido is definitely better packaged, and the blurb is much more enticing, that's for sure. It just seems like he took my idea and turned it into a cutesy love story without much effort. Even the title just seems really uninspired. "Text Me...Love?" Surely he could've come up with something better than that. But I digress.

    Maybe I will post more in the future. I've kind of fallen off the earth with this self-publishing thing. Mostly just disenchanted with the reality that most self-publishers appeal to an audience of 40+ year old women who like formulaic writing (let's face it), and my work just doesn't appeal to this group. I stopped posting and promoting after getting far too many negative reviews from people on goodreads and amazon who obviously are not part of my intended audience, and therefore don't understand my humor. So what's the point? I figure I might as well put my energy into writing other books and trying to land an agent. Either that, or self-publish under another pseudonym. We'll see how it goes. I'll keep you posted!

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  3. I understand your disillusionment. I got only four reviews for my first sci-fi novel, 25 sales in a year and zero further interest. I didn't get the readers I wanted for it and I felt like giving up on my chosen genre because I felt that my style of writing/story was simply not what sci-fi fans wanted, and when I thought about what they did want, I lost interest as it just wasn't what I wanted to write at all. So I removed my book from sale and quit for a while. I returned with a different idea though (still in keeping with my own preferred style) and began to study the market more closely, identifying the sub-genres I hadn't realised were there. I've followed other writers, seeing how their books rose or fell, reading their reviews to see who exactly was liking their stuff and who wasn't, and I signed up to Ebook sites like Freebooksy and Pixelscroll to get email notifications of other self-pubbed works, studying the covers and blurbs and who they might appeal to. It's been a long slow process (I'm a slow learner), and I'm only selling 5-10 a month in my third year, but I think I've identified where I went wrong before. Essentially I was pitching to the wrong audience, and a new set of covers I'm working on may (maybe) alter that. I feel I understand the whole process more now than when I started. But of course there are no guarantees and I could still be wrong.

    I don't think your book's done too badly. I'm guessing that you stopped promoting it when you lost hope, yet it still garnered 26 reviews and still attracts an audience. The reviews are mixed, but that's useful. The ones who didn't like it aren't your audience (as you mentioned) but the ones who did like it are, and could continue to be. Which means you can fine tune your marketing for the next book, to zero in on that sub-audience. Of course, without a second book out, there's nothing for faithful readers to latch onto. It takes a lot of heavy lifting for one book to carry a market by itself. On its own it was bound to sink - 99% of books do. I'm not that familiar with your particular slice of the market, but from what I see on Pixelscroll et al, it's a bigger market than the one I'm currently trying to tap into (you billed it as Comedy, but its also Relationships). It's also very female-heavy, but women remain the majority of readers overall anyway, and they read voraciously. And most readers (even trad-pub readers) prefer formulaic writing - it's human nature. But there remain enough adventurous ones to carry the careers of many a writer. Aiming for an agent may be a good idea - they are supposed to be experts on the market, after all - but the trad market is tight, risk-averse and very picky at the moment. But whichever route you go down, I wish you the very best of luck, and I hope you'll post your experiences, because I've still got a lot to learn (from the experiences of others) and I'd like to see you succeed.

    So hey, it's good to see you back.

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  4. Thanks so much for your words of encouragement Rob! It means a lot! Maybe I will decide to continue self-pubbing. I have a tendency to change my mind about a lot of things. Right now, the plan is to try my best to land a trade publisher, and if that fails, I will continue to self-pub, maybe under another pseudonym, maybe under this one. We'll see! I will definitely keep you in the loop. Good luck with your self-publishing journey as well! I hope you find success!

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