Yesterday, someone on a writer’s loop posted that Amazon does something special with rankings if an author’s page gets 40+ ‘likes’. I thought that was interesting and was wondering what would happen when that number was hit when several authors jumped on the bandwagon and ‘liked’ the original poster’s page at Amazon.
It snowballed straight into hell from there. Everyone started liking each other’s pages, and I started getting really annoyed.
These days, does a writer have to employ gimmicks and back-scratching to sell books?
AJ and I talked last night about what we want and expect from our writing, because lately it seems it’s all about the bottom line. Instead of working out plot points and character quirks, we’re discussing how to market our titles. Both of us want to earn money doing what we love, but we don’t want to resort to tricks and blackmail to do it.
In a perfect world, our titles would find readers who would love them, and this would happen because of an attractive cover, an interesting blurb, and more importantly, because the story was good and word of mouth was carrying that news along.
But a lot of ebooks are being released every day now, especially in the m/m genre. It’s hard for a reader to notice one book in a sea of other books. Electronic publishing has made it easy and convenient for the reader to download new material, even as it’s created the unfortunate side effect of making it harder to find the really good stuff.
I’m the first to admit there’s a lot of bad writing in this genre. Some publishers have gold sparkles in their eyes and are accepting any manuscript they can slap a cover on and get out the door. Flooding the market with mediocre crap isn’t helpful, and titles that should get more attention languish and die, unnoticed, while our genre in general gets labeled cheap and shoddy.
It’s all too easy for AJ and I to get discouraged and ask ourselves why we do this, because honestly, sitting hunched over a laptop, day after day, to produce something no one will read is kind of stupid, isn’t it? There are so many other, more interesting ways to spend time!
And yet we keep doing it. Why?
Phoenix Rising has a release date! Visit Dreamspinner to read the excerpt.