Monday, May 16, 2011

Why You Won't Succeed

Ebooks aren't a straight path to fortune and fame. I never said they were.

But I have said, repeatedly, that writers are better off self-publishing than going through a legacy publisher. In the long run, you'll make more money, and sell more books.

However, I keep seeing writers making the same mistakes when it comes to self-pubbing. So here's a hot dose of reality to temper those dreams of vast riches.

Why You Won't Succeed As A Self-Published Ebook Writer

1. You're not self-publishing any ebooks. If you're a writer who would rather complain about ebooks, embrace the past, and spend all of your free time coming up with crummy arguments about why ebooks suck, congrats. You have fulfilled your own dim-witted prophecy, and you won't make a dime.

2. You expect instant success. This is a marathon, not a sprint. It takes time to find an audience. But you have a much better change finding it with an ebook, which has an infinite shelf life.

3. You tweak too much. It's smart to experiment with different covers, prices, and book descriptions. But there comes a point where you have to let it go, and write something else.

4. Your book sucks. Read your reviews. If you're averaging 3 stars or less, you need to take a closer look at your writing. Story problems, grammar errors, typos, poor formatting, and sloppy editing will make people avoid you.

5. You aren't promoting. For people to buy your book, they have to know it exists. With millions of ebook titles now available, you need to make folks aware of it, or remain mired in obscurity.

6. You're promoting too much. Spamming, constantly talking about your ebooks, tooting your own horn, and abusing Facebook, Twitter, and forums with nonstop blatant self promotion will turn folks away from you.

7. You're priced too high. Value has nothing to do with the cover price. it has to do with how much money the ebook makes. And lower prices sell many more copies and usually make more money.

8. Your cover sucks. If it looks homemade, you won't sell as many. Period.

9. You're a jerk. Try to avoid being an ass clown in public. A bad reputation will follow you around for years.

10. You haven't written enough. The more you write, the more you'll sell. This is all about shelf space. Have as much as possible.

So what does all of this mean?

If you treat this as a business, act professionally, and keep at it for the long haul, you'll do fine.

But many of you will give up before then. Which is fine. Have fun wallowing in bitterness and bemoaning the unfairness of the world. I'll happily sell my books to the readers you would have had if you'd tried harder.

Like this one: