Questions at the bottom of the post.
I had an interesting conversation this last week whilst at the reserve, well l had several, one of which l shall discuss in tomorrow’s Slice of Life’ and another l shall raise as a question today. At the reserve there are several retired schoolteachers – three in fact, maybe even four. One started out teaching English Literature in comprehensive schools in the mid to later 70’s and then progressed to lecturing on the ‘writing or authoring books’ as a study in university in the 90’s. The others were primary school teachers in Art and History.
On Wednesday l found myself chipping the pathways, or ‘barking the way clear’ as we jokingly term it for half of the morning. I was engaged in a healthy conversation with the retired authoring lecturer about the quality of books and the publishing industry in today’s market and we were pondering upon the question of when is a book an actual book? As in self-published versus traditionally published?
We discussed how there seemingly was a non-stop book market for the reader today and that Amazon as example as an eBook publisher had a staggering 6 million Kindle books listed for this year alone, with an average of one million published every year and ever growing.
Nancy [retiree] was saying how she had a conversation with friends of hers the previous day over lunch who were all ‘best seller’ authors on Amazon, and whilst their books were okay as far as Indie published books went, they were not that good in comparison to Traditionally published authors.
I asked if she was against self-publishing? No, she wasn’t, but because it seemed that anyone could publish anything on Amazon today good or bad or downright terrible quality, derogatory and inflamed and so on – where would the quality of poor books end? Who regulated them?
It did make me think …. but then NOT all traditionally published books are fantastically written either, not all are great publishing’s to be proud of and not all will stand the test of time in so far as popularity and further sales. The same can be said for an Indie publisher releasing books on Amazon …
For as many books that are published to Kindle the percentages of poor quality albeit may be greater, but equally there are some absolute gems out there. Some authors have been turned down and away from the brick and mortar publishing houses and made great success in the eBook market and some have gone on further to be offered lucrative deals from traditional publishers and other industries to boot. Not all of course in fact the latter percentage of success is acutely small in comparison to the sheer volume of books being published daily as eBooks.
One of the questions l have always had as a burning interest and this also stems from another course l have sitting on my PC waiting to be retaken and l will once l have finished with the marketing course is what really is a great style to publish books into/onto Amazon in the first place?
Low Content books are hugely successful on Amazon, and l think [a bit like my recent Worm Farming Course] that many of those are seriously poor quality, but the fact is that anyone can publish almost anything to Amazon of any size and style ……… with very small regulation control.
How successful are self – publishing authors these days anyway? I mean just because every Tom, Dick or Harriet can publish content doesn’t mean they should but in many cases they do.
My other course was saying that in order to be successful with Amazon and YOU CAN be as an author, then you need to be publishing fresh content every thirty days – in layman terms that is a book every thirty days – be this written by you or if you employ a ghost writer to produce your content , the best way to stay visible is to literally write a new book every thirty days and one of the most prolific fiction genres to write for is Romance and all the sub genres that can shoot off that – as that is an exceedingly healthy market with millions of readers .. who will buy anything?
Other popular genres, styles and formats are found in short fiction and short non-fiction and the latter as a genre overview is one of the most steadily popular selling genres going as much as low content and niche content too.
I remember thinking when reading the course … this might explain why there are so many cruddy books available on Amazon in the first place! Especially if writers and not even very good ones are producing 12 books a year. The Facebook group l belong to with this eBook course, has people there who are writing and having written for them five books a month. The books being written can cost them anywhere between $20 to $100 max, and the best part of the book is usually the cover … covers should have money spent on them as that draws the reader in .. to the point that the content doesn’t really matter. The other thing is price – make these ‘newly written books’ cheaper and they will sell. But don’t forget to pick the right title! Title is everything …
Many a time many books are bought by readers who like the cover or the title only and the brief introduction but don’t read them at the point of purchase and many readers will buy 20 books at a time and maybe only read 30% of those before buying new books.
Treat book writing like Blog post creation and hey presto you could have a lucrative business …. but most genuine authors, writers and creators of content CANNOT produce one book or several every thirty days it isn’t possible! Not good quality written books anyway. Low Content books maybe, short fiction stories, perhaps … although l suppose if someone is writing 15 hours a day non-stop and not enjoying any of their life, they might be able to produce a continuous flow of published book content …
But how often these days are we all seeing too many awful books on the eBook market? Poor quality writing, poor covers, poor everything really, but above everything, one of my biggest errs is the fact that many new wannabee writers don’t seem to proof-read anything anymore ……. whereas genuine authors take the time to edit, re-write, re-edit, proof read and then publish their content.
I was mortified to read the content of that course last year – that in essence they were promoting without a care in the world – that it is okay to scrape, ghost-write and in some cases copy content or shuffle content from other works they created the previous month to create mass works for publishing to Amazon and yet, this is what is happening and will continue to happen. Never mind the many wanabee writers who think they are highly skilled when at best they are merely sub-standard writers or worse, downright terrible.
Years ago, l had thought about writing books, recently l had thought about writing books, maybe creating a course also – but the genuine time it takes to research and study and prepare and create a course or write a book can be a little bit disheartening l think.
Writing the content is hard, publishing is easy especially today as an Indie, but then the truly hardest bit begins and that is marketing and expectation – as in what are you expecting as a return for your work? Your work being your heart and soul for x period to produce your book? Now the hard bit begins as far as the journey goes … you are going to have to work your butt off to become a leader. Spend money and invest lots of time into your promotion especially as you are NOT creating 12 books a year!
There are of course very easy ways to become a best-selling author with Amazon and it’s easier than you might think, it’s down to visibility, rankings and having some cool friends boost your sales for a while … but that’ll not see your book stand the test of time. You care about your book, you want it to sell, not just because it would be nice to make some sales but because it’s your BOOK!! You wrote it, you believe in it – you are not just writing and publishing for the money, this is your work of art!
But so many these days and if the course is anything to go by and an example is the course creator has almost 2000 books on Amazon in the romance genre alone. The creator is about as far removed from the writer you might think has written these romantically charged 150 paged books on love! He has a team of ghost-writers and scrapers writing content for him on a daily basis and uploading books all the time, although he now makes more money selling course material on how to become an Successful Amazon eBook Author/Seller that he doesn’t even need to write romantic books anymore. He cares about profit, about money that’s it.
You care about writing, about quality content and about your passion, but your book or books are competing against assembly lines of wannabee writers out to make a killing on your wallet.
Of course, some quality writers may not be able to produce a book every 30 days, but they could well produce a book every three months pending their specific genre, and therefore they are continually visible. The longer they write and stay fresh in the reader’s mind and eyes – they can make a comfortable income …
It is a thoroughly fascinating topic; l am still very keen to write a book or two maybe and create a course – but will l publish the content to the world or make it more of an online concept within my own business? Do l actually need to or want or desire to earn an income this way or am l content to simply know that l have written and produced x, y and z? Is that not enough of a reward of a satisfaction or should l be more concentrated and focused on making more of a marketing effort and maybe look at an income?
But it mustn’t be forgotten that once your eBooks are published even if you are not retiring on the profits, you do have the potential of a steady monthly passive income pending how many publications you have and … how much you push your marketing. If it is NOT seen it’ll not sell.
All good questions – BUT, what l want to know from you today is ….
“Do you consider Indie self – published books to be as good as Traditionally published books and if so why and also if not why not?
“Are there too many self published books today and if you think there are – why do you think that way?
Do you think that the eBook market today is all about quality content and diversity selection OR only about numbers and money?
Let me know below … thanks.
Part 2 of 2