The bazillion book market is a puzzlement. Authors fret about how to be noticed in the huge flood of new releases every week (more than 370,000 in the past 30 days on Amazon alone). Readers complain that many books they pick up are not worth reading, and I’ve heard many say they’re trying no new authors because of disappointments.
Meanwhile, those who guard the paths by which we authors reach our readers are working for themselves, and not for us. I don’t blame them for that. It is the nature of business to wish to make money, and it is the nature of mega-business — such as Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google — to wish to remove any competition that prevents them from making more money. They are, as a series of New Zealand advertisements said about foreign-owned banks, rather large crocodiles doing what crocodiles do. Admirable creatures in their own way, precisely designed for their purpose. But uncomfortable and dangerous to keep in the house.
I need to ride those particular crocodiles in order to reach the readers who prefer those platforms, but I’m trying to avoid being swallowed, crunched, and spat out. (Which means I’m not joining KU or anything that requires exclusivity.)
On the plans for this year is a shop on my site, where you can buy my books directly. I am toying with some kind of a sponsorship model — a sort of a subscription, where people make one modest payment a year and then get sent anything I write, plus some kind of other recognition that they are sponsors of the author known as Jude Knight. Maybe a t-shirt? And a club card? Special sponsor events?
I’m also looking at making changes to the newsletter to make it more appealing. People are just so busy!
What else? The most effective way I’ve found to reach more readers is reader word of mouth, and that is very much in your hands. I’m open to ideas. How can I do more to help you help me?