Amazon lists appear at first flush to be the Holy Grail of big-data sales accuracy. Amazon knows what was sold, when, by whom, to whom, and for some Kindle versions, even how many pages have been read: Finally, the El Dorado of sales accuracy.
Except it’s not. Read More
The last member of the list making quadrangle are the list makers themselves. No one does this as a public service. They are trying to attract people to their publication/business, be that a newspaper, periodical, blog, bookseller or what-have-you. Now, if all the list maker did was get raw numbers, rank the top X titles and publish it, all the bestseller lists would be essentially the same, differing—if at all—only by how the numbers were grouped: broadly as fiction vs. nonfiction or more narrowly into genres like mysteries, or subgenres like drawing-room whodunits. But if this were all a list maker did, it wouldn’t matter much if a reader went to the NYT or WSJ, or this blog, or that column: Same number of books sold. Same titles. Same ranking, same old same old.
How would that attract readership? Why buy XYZ newspaper if I can find the same thing in that one, or some other one or free in a blog? Read More
Going it Mostly Alone: the Publishing Path of A Perfect Blindness When talking book sales, the recording industry analogy provides a last insight: regional sales. Each of the three most important recording industry bodies handles international sales differently, sometimes giving some hint to that in their name: The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) handles, unsurprisingly “recorded […]
Returning to the idea that the average self-published book sells fewer than 250 copies: What does this say about the average author of the self-published book? That he or she knows fewer than the average number of people, or that the people they know aren’t the kind that supports writers? Or that only a few close personal friends and some family ever buy self-published books?
Nope. Read More
Why only 500 books? Why not 5,000? Ten thousand?
The 500 copies sold is a first mile-marker, not an end goal, which also happens to come with serious benefits for books on iUniverse’s Traditional Publishing Path like A Perfect Blindness. Read More
Imperfect action yields more results than perfecting the planning.
Picking my mental hammer up, I took it to the weakest part of my platform: me. Specifically, to that part of me that had shackled itself to other people’s models and methods, by deciding that learning everything possible about them first, while taking copious notes to ensure I missed not a single advantage, trick or essential action, which created longer and longer lists I imagined showing off.
See! Look it! Aren’t I the most prepared new author of all! I will rock when I effect this plan. I’ll prove to everyone I’m right.
This last thought sounds a scary lot like the thinking of Scott from A Perfect Blindness, the tragic Point of View character who completely misses what he needs to do and so brings disaster upon himself and those around him.
This should have screamed at me that using my mental hammer to affix on high this current plan of continual preparation in order to act perfectly was madness. This was no map to sales but disaster. I heard but ignored my own good advice that I should hunt down the reason I cling to this path, put that belief (read fear) in a room and nailed it shut—I’ve fictionalized the disaster that comes from misunderstanding one’s own motives, for being blind to one’s self. In fact, the unspoken tag line of the book tells me that ‘self-deception is the most treacherous lie of all.’ Read More
Leaping atop this rickety platform was a fat, 424 page 6 x 9 softcover book along with its e-versions, plainly announced in an email on April 28th, 2017. The email did explain the book appears only in the iUniverse bookstore first, arriving on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Apple iBooks over the next few days, in drips and drams as each platform absorbs the blow. So yes, I made the April launch.
Hurrah for me!
But in spite of how busy I’d been up to the unveiling, I heard no splash, no cheers, no sound other than cricket chirps and creaks from my platform’s wobbling.
Yes! There it is folks. After nearly two decades.
No one looked. Read More