I’ve been spending a lot of time recently pondering my situation and reading the thoughts of others (like Russell Blake, for instance). What have I been pondering, you might ask? Well, the dilemma of getting exposure and selling more books.
Up until recently, one of the best ways was to sign up to KDP Select and run free promos. Some authors were wildly successful under this program (like my friend Martin Crosbie), experiencing tens of thousands of free downloads and thousands of sales. It seems to be general consensus, however, that, due to Amazon changing the way their algorithms determine popularity lists, the effect of free promos for the independent author has greatly diminished (this appear to have happened around mid-March, just before I did my first promo). While my sales have increased (I have sold as many by May 19th as I did for all of April), the big push is no longer there.
Another avenue I’ve pursued is requesting book-bloggers to review my book. This is apparently what catapulted Amanda Hocking to the best-sellers lists and a traditional publishing contract. So, I’ve sent out requests to nearly three dozen of bloggers. So far, I’ve received two reviews (thank you. Check them out here and here), one committment to review (though it could be as much as a year down the road), three who’ve replied saying they already have too much to read and review, and from the rest…nothing. It feels strangely like querying agents. One thing I can do to increase my chances of getting reviewed is to offer to swap reviews with other author/bloggers. If you’ve read my blog before, you’ll know the trouble there is that I read at the pace of a snail with a pronounced limp.
Which brings me to my last thought and reason for this post: cooperative promotion. I’ve come across a few sites (Crime Fiction Collective, for example) where multiple authors in a genre are collected together and share the task of blogging, promoting, sharing, etc.
I want to start a fantasy writers’ collective. My thought is to have between 7 and 10 authors who write fantasy (urban, epic, heroic, dystopian, magical-realism,etc.) come together on one site. Each author would have their own page on the site for bio, links, etc., and each would contribute a blog post at regular intervals (the exact interval would be up for discussion and dependant on the number of authors on the site). Posts could range from thoughts about writing to book reviews, excerpts, short stories or even guest posts and interviews, whatever turns your crank. Hopefully, several authors working together can drive more traffic and interest than each if us working alone.
Interested? Leave a comment or email me and we can exchange ideas and possibilities. I’d be willing to do the work of getting the site up and running, so I’m not looking for much more committment than writing a blog, contributing an author’s page, and sharing the product with your friends/followers etc.
I’m looking forward to hearing from you.