Any writer pursuing indie publishing or signing a book deal is going to want to read this. The two types of publishing, though many may still think they are on opposite ends of the spectrum, actually have one major thing in common: marketing. Both varieties of author share practically equal marketing effort, outside the big name brand authors that sell themselves. J.K. Rowling, for example, could fart onto a piece of paper and it would surely sell for at least $100,000. Now, if she could only figure out a way to have that page mass-produced and bound into hardback, she’d have her next New York Times bestseller.
Sensing some jealousy? You’ve got excellent senses.
For the rest of us bottom-feeding authors, and especially for those of us just starting out, no one is going to buy your farts. Even getting readers to purchase your excellently crafted epic work of fiction that you slaved over for the past seven years is more difficult than most realize. There are numerous components to successful book distribution and marketing. I’ve just started out and am learning as I go. (I’ve already made a key mistake.)
A Major Component to Indie Publishing Success
One vital aspect of getting your book to spread like wild fire is to garner reviews. It’s reported that will-go-down-in-history author John Locke, who was the first indie author to sell more than a million books on Kindle, used this tactic as his secret weapon. He’s allegedly admitted to buying hundreds of glowing reviews for his initial publications, creating the illusion that his book was already being widely read and revered. He trounced the conundrum “no one will read your book until everyone is reading your book.” But his artistic integrity is now smeared, of course. (I’m sure he’s lamenting his decision all the way to the bank.)
[Side note: I also wonder how much of Locke’s record-breaking success is owed to his name. Philosophers, Lost fans, you with me? …Maybe I should change my nom de plume to Tina Turner…]
Ultimately, the point is that reviews are important. But what do reviewers look for in a book? What are they thinking? How do you get in their good graces without a hundred-dollar bribe? To begin my investigative journey, I interviewed one web-prominent reviewer whose site is dedicated to the appraisal of women’s fiction. Www.ChickLitPlus.com‘s Samantha March was gracious enough to give me some of her time, answering questions that may help us authors get better reviews.