Sunday, 31 August 2014

KDP – How I became a bestselling author

Sales for the Stripper of the Yard had gone well for the first three weeks but having run out of family and friends, I needed to find other ways to get the news of my book out to the world at large.

First I advertised on a number of free author platforms. Unfortunately there is no way of knowing if anyone is viewing these. Still no new sales.

Then up pops a request for me to support another author’s thunderclap promotion. I had never heard of thunderclap and for those who haven’t, it is a crowd sourcing platform. Rather than asking people to give you their money, it asks people to give you access to their social media platform. You need to get a minimum of 100 people to offer you their support and if your target is achieved at an appointed time a tweet or Facebook advert is sent out to all the connections of your supporters. I was amazed that my book was being tweeted to over 217,000 people.

My book was tweeted and while I am still hopeful, I have yet to see any new sales.

Looking for new ideas I was quite pleased to see my monthly newsletter from KDP pop up into my in box.

There at the top of the email was a link to a YouTube video of a KDP bestselling author. These appear each month and unfortunately this one was exactly the same as all the others. In the video an author sits and tells of her journey to bestselling authorship through using KDP and createspace. Yet again when it gets to the point as to how the author attracted readers she says she did nothing and that the readers came to her.

How can this be?

How does this help those of us who need to attract readers?

Why does KDP feel the need to only share the stories of people who magically sold thousands of books over night?

I do not begrudge the success of other authors but can’t we see the story of an author who struggled in the start, but has achieved greatness now. It would be great to know that one day all this hard work would pay off. If the ability to attract readers is all written in the stars is there any point pushing my book? There must be some way to let readers know I exist without being ‘traditionally’ published.

Come on KDP give those of us who are struggling some hope. Show us authors who never gave up hope and struggled to start with. Show us how the hard work is worth it.


1 comment:

  1. *climbs up on soapbox*

    I do not like KDP.

    Here's the thing: I don't think it's a good idea to put all your eggs in the amazon basket. I, personally, have made a decision to never enroll in KDP. I don't like it. Most of my sales come through Amazon, yes. But not all. And I'd never want to isolate a reader just because they didn't buy into the mega giant.

    Secondly, they highlight those stories because it makes it look like Amazon is this magical formula that just works out of the blue. No. It's not like that. 99% of authors work damn hard to build their platform, write their stories, etc. I went to a writers conference in Nashville last month and talked to Kevin Kaiser, the manager for author Ted Dekker. I picked his brain on sales, marketing, etc. He basically said, "You really build a true fan base one fan at a time. It's how almost everyone does it, especially at the beginning. And it's the best way to do it, because it yields the most loyalty."

    I'm actually finding this to be true. Writing, and being an author, is a long term goal. That's something I'm beginning to see. Even if there's not "a massive number of readers popping out of nowhere" or sales are too flat for too long, it's okay. Just keep writing, keep publishing, keep marketing, and keep, above all else, connecting with people.

    You're doing great. Jo. You are. You just don't know it yet.

    *climbs down off soapbox*

    PS- you should really check out 'The Naked Truth about Self Publishing'. It's a fabulous ebook that's very worth it. It has Liliana Hart and a few others (who have been showcased by createspace on those videos) but also explains how they came to be bestsellers. I love it. It's really helped me change how I look at my writing career.


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