Three Articles on Publishing and Money

I am nowhere near ready to even think about the publishing process for NEXT BOOK, aka A COINCIDENCE OF DOORS — I’m still hacking at my first draft and turning it into a more cohesive second draft.

However, I read three articles this week that harmonized in an interesting and/or disheartening way, so I wanted to share them with you. How do we get our books into the hands of the people who might appreciate them? Does the capitalistic model, especially when combined with the algorithmic model, “just not work”?

Reedsy: The Ultimate Guide to KDP: How to Succeed on Kindle Direct Publishing

Once you’ve got your KDP book’s product page polished for maximal conversion, it’s time to get as many eyeballs on it as possible. While there are plenty of ways to market your ebook off-platform, this section will focus on how to boost its Amazon discoverability — how to make it easy for relevant readers to find it on-site.

Remember, when it comes to books, Amazon is the world’s leading search engine and recommendation system. There are many ways to send readers to your book page. But what you really want is to reach the point where Amazon does the bulk of the marketing for you.

Seth Godin: Surrendering Curation and Promotion

Facebook, Linkedin, Google, Apple and Amazon have very little ability to promote a specific idea or creator.

That sounds crazy, but culturally and technically, it’s true.

[…]

The platforms are built on the idea that the audience plus the algorithm do all the deciding. No curation, no real promotion, simply the system, grinding away.

This inevitably leads to pandering, a race to the bottom.

Longreads: The First Book

Jennifer Matthewson: As I’m sure a lot of first-time authors will say, I expected to have more management from my publisher. It was a small publisher in D.C., but there was no marketing at all, so I had to do it all myself. I think it’s a complete shift of expectations once you realize you’re the one salesperson for your book.

[…]

[Sophia] Shalmiyev: My number one myth is that the publishing house will pay for your travel. I have maxed out all my credit cards to go do the gigs I wanted to do, and I gave up many many more because I was not encouraged in that direction. A book tour for an unknown author sells no books, not enough to justify it. Yet, sitting at home and doing nothing would have been a new low. The other myth is that you can be honest and be yourself. You cannot. You will get in trouble. I feel like I am in trouble every day I speak and have my book anywhere in proximity. I have a lot of negative feelings about the industry treating its editors and agents like rags to be used and wrung out. They are overworked and exploited, and for what? The capitalist model just doesn’t work. Plus, the schmooze is incredible. You have to like talking to strangers nonchalantly about craft and sales.

I do love talking to strangers nonchalantly about craft and sales, so I guess that’s a start. ❤️

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