Monday, May 27, 2013

Guest Post by Robert Swartwood

Joe sez: Robert Swartwood wrote this for me at my request a few weeks ago, and time got away from me (finishing Haunted House and Hit.)

Here's Rob:

The term "bestselling author" is bandied around a lot these days. I've seen a large portion of writers online call themselves bestselling authors. Many of them are self-published. Their books have been ranked on an Amazon Top 100 genre bestseller list, or on a sub genre bestseller list, or even a sub sub genre bestseller list. I've seen writers joyously announce that their latest book is #X on Amazon, which sounds great, but most times it turns out that that particular book is really ranked #X on a genre bestseller list, and some genre bestseller lists are slower than others. It's possible to have an Amazon ranking of over 100,000 and still be ranked on a sub genre list.

I've even seen several writers proclaim themselves #1 Amazon Bestselling Authors, which, quite honestly, is very disingenuous. Sure, it looks nice on the cover of your book, but is it true? Maybe #1 of a genre list, or a sub genre list, but #1 in the entire Amazon store? Hardly. If that were the case, it's a very good chance the book would also have been a New York Times bestseller, and if that's the case, it would make more sense to call yourself a New York Times Bestselling Author, no?

But these are all things we struggle with as writers, no matter if we're traditionally published or self-published. We have to take whatever we can get. We have to make ourselves -- well, our books -- as appealing as possible to potential readers. Because, let's face it, there are a lot of books out there -- a lot -- and we need to do whatever it takes to set our books apart from all the rest.

About a year and a half ago Joe let me ramble on his blog for a bit about why I decided to self-publish. I was doing pretty well then, and I'm doing even better now. But this being publishing, sales are always up and down. My bestselling book last year is far from being my bestselling book this year. Speaking of bestselling, my supernatural thriller The Calling was in the Kindle Top 100 for horror in both the US and UK for several months. It was, by that definition, a bestseller -- hell, an international bestseller -- and yet I just couldn't bring myself to add "bestselling author" to my bio.

 One of the titles I mentioned in that blog post was The Serial Killer's Wife, which is the book that my agent was going to shop around and which I ultimately told him no, don't bother, I want to try it on my own instead. Blake Crouch was instrumental in talking me into self-publishing, and he was even kind enough to contribute a foreword, and so I released the book out into the world on June 12, 2011.

That's nearly two years ago.

And just the other week it became a USA TODAY bestseller.

Now let me backtrack a bit.

In the past two years The Serial Killer's Wife has sold pretty well. Nothing crazy like Joe and Blake are used to, but well enough (along with the rest of my books) that I made enough money last year that I ended up owing the IRS quite a bit of cash. When I first released the book, it had a rather pulpy cover, with a woman holding a gun and some blood-spatter on the corner of the cover. Several months later I decided to make the cover more mainstream and appropriate for the particular genre, so I told my designer -- the ever-awesome Jeroen ten Berge -- what I had in mind and eventually he came up with something perfect.

Anyway, Joe mentioned Bookbub a while back. I've used them three times so far, and have been happy each time. The first two titles I had featured were in the horror and science fiction genres. They sold well, but those particular lists have just over 100,000 subscribers. The biggest list by far is mystery and thriller at over 400,000 subscribers. That one, however, costs quite a bit more to use, but I put it off because I didn't have the extra cash and wanted to see how the other titles did in their respected genres. Finally I bit the bullet and submitted a listing for The Serial Killer's Wife and was lucky enough to get approved.

My deal date was for Wednesday, April 24. I chose to include Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and iTunes. I didn't include Kobo because on one of my previous deals when I lowered the price, there was a "glitch" that inadvertently deleted my book from the system. I tried -- quite leery -- to do the same on my second Bookbub deal, and while this time my book wasn't deleted, I only sold maybe a half dozen books from the deal, so I decided not to include Kobo in this promotion. (One of the main reasons, I think, is that while Kobo has been making a push here in the United States, the majority of Kobo readers are in other countries, and Bookbub newsletters are mostly sent to US readers.)

The thing about Bookbub is that, the morning of your promotion, they check all platforms which are supposed to be lowered, and if any price isn't changed, they don't list the book. In the past, I had cut it very close before that I didn't want to take a chance this time, so I lowered the price of The Serial Killer's Wife on Amazon and Barnes & Noble Monday night from $4.99 to 99 cents. (iTunes changes their prices pretty quickly, plus you can schedule when you want to create promos, so I wasn't worried.)

The next day the prices changed and I didn't think much about it -- until later in the day I realized I had begun selling a lot of copies on Kindle. Like, a lot of copies. As I hadn't made any announcement yet about the sale, I did a quick Google search and found that the good people at Pixel of Ink had been kind enough to pick up the book. This was something that I hadn't even sent to them -- they had just noticed a drop in price and decided to list it as one of their deals.

Well, later that night, I had sold over 600 copies and was #1 in the Amazon Top 100 horror list (my author rank in horror was #2, just under Stephen King; it would take another day to dethrone him). By the next morning, my book was ranked #121 in the overall Kindle store. And keep in mind, the Bookbub newsletters hadn't even been sent out yet, so I had a nice head-start.

(When I initially submitted my listing, I wanted to do just one day. I had been watching the titles in the mystery and thriller listings and saw that many reached the Kindle Top 100. That's where I wanted my book to be. But I also noticed that many of these authors then reverted the prices back to regular, causing their books to then quickly drop out of the Top 100. I wanted to try to stay up there as long as possible -- assuming, of course, my book even made it -- and had contacted Bookbub asking them to make a note that my sale would be extended by an extra day. They said no problem.)

And so then Wednesday came and The Serial Killer's Wife was already near the Kindle Top 100. It didn't make it there immediately, but by the evening it had cracked the Top 100 in the Kindle, Nook and iTunes stores. Like any writer running a promotion like this, I was checking the rankings every hour but not keeping very good track of how many copies I sold per day and how high the book got because a) I didn't think it would ever be worth mentioning and b) I certainly didn't anticipate what would eventually happen.

By Thursday, The Serial Killer's Wife was still in the Kindle and Nook and iTunes Top 100 -- but in the Kindle and Nook stores, its ranking had gone up. It went as high as 20-something in the Kindle store, but in the Nook store it was at one time #4 and right above Nora Roberts' latest book. (Yes, yes, my book was priced at 99 cents and hers is at $12.99, but still ... NORA ROBERTS!)

The book was doing so well that I -- as the author and publisher -- decided to extend the 99 cent sale another day to see how long it could stay in the Top 100 of these stores. Could I have reverted the price back to regular and tried to make more money? Certainly. But by this point I was more concerned with selling as many copies as I could -- and, more importantly, reaching as many readers as possible.

So Friday the book kept selling well, and as it started to drop out of the Top 100 stores, I switched the price to $3.99 and it sold well all weekend. In fact, right now it's still selling pretty well. I had read about an author who managed to crack the USA TODAY bestseller list with one of her backlist titles (she, too, had used Bookbub) and had joked with some writer friends that wouldn't it be awesome if I could do the same?

The next week began and it was business as usual. I had a great run for the deal, which sold well over 5,000 copies across all platforms at 99 cents. GalleyCat has a self-published bestseller list that they post weekly and which did not include The Serial Killer's Wife, so I figured oh well, maybe next time. Then, late Thursday night before I went to bed, I for some reason thought about the USA TODAY bestseller list. I remembered a few of the other titles that had been selling well those few days my book was high in the charts and wondered if any of them had managed to make the list. So I opened the browser on my phone and brought up the website and started scrolling through the list ...

And had one of those surreal moments when I spotted The Serial Killer's Wife listed there.

Granted, it was #139, and they had messed up the description a bit (the book never takes place in Maine), but still, it was my friggin book on the USA TODAY bestseller list!

As you can imagine, I was pretty wired and didn't get much sleep that night.

Barry and Joe have talked about how the one major thing traditional publishers still have is print distribution, and it's true. I would never be able to compete with Stephen King and Dean Koontz when it comes to print. But digital? Digital is a level playing field. There's nothing stopping me or anybody else from selling as many copies as Dan Brown (though, admittedly, that would be pretty difficult).

Self-published titles have begun creeping onto major bestseller lists for a while now -- remember back when the New York Times refused to include self-pubbed titles? -- and the novelty has begun to wear off. Before it was shocking to see a self-published author beat out traditionally published authors. Now it's becoming commonplace.

As I told Joe, I believe that The Serial Killer's Wife would not have made the USA TODAY bestseller list had it been traditionally published. Certainly, two years ago, my agent could have shopped it around, and who knows, maybe a publisher would have paid a lot of money for it, enough money that it would have guaranteed me a spot on some bestseller lists. Then again, it's even more likely (and much more probable) that, had we sold the book, it would have received a modest advance and then came out with little fanfare. It maybe could have gotten some decent trade reviews, and maybe have been eligible for awards, but then sales would taper off and the marketing team would move on to the next book (or several hundred books) and the book would wallow away in digital obscurity. Yes, the publisher might include it in a promo one day, and it might sell a lot of copies, but I wouldn't have much control over any of it, would I? Not like here where I chose what book I wanted to promote, what promotional price I wanted to set it at, what date I wanted to pick. Even when my "deal" was to expire, I didn't need anyone's permission but my own to keep the deal going an extra day. And hey, look at the outcome. From now until the day I die I can call myself a USA TODAY bestselling author.

Of course, luck played a major factor, as it does in almost everything else. Had I run the deal a month before, a week before, even a day before, things may not have turned out as well as they did -- or who knows, maybe they would have been better. One thing I do believe, however, is this would not have happened had I had my book in KDP Select. Keep in mind that I'm not disparaging Select (I currently have a few titles in the program, as a matter of fact), but I believe it was having my title high up in the Top 100 lists of multiple platforms that helped get it onto the USA TODAY bestseller list. After all, how do they even compile the list? Amazon is usually pretty hush-hush about numbers, but do they provide sales data to major newspapers? What about Barnes & Noble? If anything, these newspapers base their lists where books are ranked on major sales channels, and had my book only been on Amazon, it would have barely gotten any notice (after all, it never even reached the Kindle Top 20).

Finally, the next day was filled with emails and texts and phone calls from writer friends congratulating me. There was even some emails back and forth between me and my agent. When it was over, though, you know what I did? I went back to work on my latest novel-in-progress. Because in the end, these little victories are great and help boost morale, but they won't keep things going forever. No matter how much we worry about important things like editing and cover art and reviews and silly things like branding and platform, in the end it's the book that matters most. It's the book that readers will ultimately judge us on, and it's best we never forget that.

Just the other day some yahoo wrote an article on Salon how self-publishing is the worst. Apparently he published a few books traditionally in the past and is now doing it on his own and whining because it's hard.

Well, yeah, it's hard.

Nobody ever said it would be easy.

But hey, what do I know? I'm just now a USA TODAY bestselling author thanks to a book I self-published two years ago. An extreme outlier, one person said of me recently. Sure. And before last week, I had thought the same about other authors, who no doubt thought the same about other authors before their books, too, became bestsellers.

That's the thing -- you just never know. You have to keep writing and publishing and hoping for the best.
The publishing world is going through a lot of tumultuous changes right now.

I'm just glad that, when it comes to my books, I'm in control.

Joe sez: First of all, it must be said that The Serial Killer's Wife is a good book. Writing a good book doesn't mean it will find success, but it helps, and Rob has shown it is possible for a book to keep finding readers even years after it was published.

This is a Very Cool Thing.

I stayed a night at Rob's house when I was on my Rusty Nail 500 tour. He was a gracious host, and as we chatted over beer we talked of the someday he would eventually break into the world of publishing. 

Well, he did, editing a fun collection of hint fiction. Then this Kindle thing came along and Rob dove in.

My career path was different. When I was legacy published, I would have eaten my own arm raw in order to get on one of the two big bestseller lists (USA Today or NYT) because that would have ensured my books would have stayed in print, and I'd keep getting new contracts.

Years ago, being a USA Today Bestseller or a NYT Bestseller had a lot of cache with readers and publishers. It meant the book had sold a lot of copies, and was probably worth reading. I spent many book launches with fingers crossed, hoping to sneak onto a list.

It never happened. And it may never. And now, after years of wanting desperately to be a bestseller, I'm okay with not being one.

In the past, being a USA Today bestseller helped your career by allowing you to sell more copies and garner bigger advances from publishers. 

It still has some of that power. Rob got some foreign offers for his bestselling title, and a savvy agent could get Hollywood interest because of it, or parlay it into a legacy deal if that was something Rob wanted.

But I've also have foreign deals and movie options without ever being anything other than an Amazon bestseller and having a smart agent.

I'm not trying to take the wind out of Rob's sails here--I'm very happy for him. It's a very real success story and Rob is an inspiration to self-pubbed authors everywhere. He has shown that it is possible to find mainstream success being an indie author. I've never broken through that glass ceiling, and he has. 

If you want to do as Rob has done, follow his example and publish on all ebook platforms, because these are all weighed and counted when USA Today and the New York Times compile their bestseller lists. And make sure you have an agent who is able to exploit a bestseller announcement by making you more money because of it. 

Also, it's pretty sweet to be able to put A USA TODAY BESTSELLER on your book covers and in your book descriptions. That can't hurt sales. 

My point?

It's one of the same points I've always made. Figure out what your goals are, and adjust your strategy accordingly. Making a bestseller list isn't a goal, because it outside of your control. But you can certainly follow Rob's example and give it a shot. 

Four years ago, it was damn near impossible to become a bestseller without a legacy publisher behind you.

What was once impossible, is now possible. Pretty damn cool.

66 comments:

Tony Hursh said...

I may be in the minority here, but "Amazon Bestseller" is much more impressive to me than "New York Times Bestseller". :-)

Brian Drake said...

I couldn't help but click on the Salon article linked in the story, and I can confirm for all that the author of that piece is a whining little twit who can't stand that people aren't paying attention to his brilliant opus. You're welcome.

Congrats, Rob. I appreciate your endorsement of Bookbub. I will give them a try.

Robert said...

Thanks again for giving me a platform to talk about this, Joe.

It should be mentioned, of course, that oftentimes these lists are arbitrary and don't reflect true bestsellers (I'd certainly rather have your sales numbers any day). And if this recent post over at Hugh Howey's blog is any indication, many bestselling titles are purposely being ignored:

http://www.hughhowey.com/does-bn-manipulate-its-bestseller-list/

Jude Hardin said...

Congrats, Robert! Making the USA Today list is a great achievement.

It should be noted, though, that authors exclusive to Amazon (through Select or an AP imprint) might actually sell as many or more books than authors who make the big lists. Authors exclusive to Amazon don't make it onto those lists because the NYT and USA Today require reporting from multiple platforms. It doesn't seem fair, but that's the way they do it. For this reason, I don't begrudge writers who call themselves "bestselling authors," even if their bestselling status is only on Amazon. I don't do it myself, but I think it's legit.

Anonymous said...

Just wanted to say thanks for your insights. I'm very new to this so it's very helpful to get the perspective of someone who is less established and yet able to make a go of it. Congrats!
Also, thanks for that Salon link, which is hilarious, though I suspect, unintentionally so. You'd think a guy with enough professionalism to get three books published would know better.

Anonymous said...

I once sold 7,000 copies over a 2 day period off a Bookbub promotion and did NOT make the USA Today bestseller list. So timing is indeed crucial.

This summer should be ripe for indie opportunities to do so, as fewer traditional releases will make the sales threshold a bit lower than in the fall.

Amber Dane said...

Congrats, Robert!
A nice post to read to start off this Monday.

Anonymous said...

I think the whole Bookbub thing is a sad commentary on the state of indie authors and amazon rankings.

Authors write a book and then give it away for free (or nearly free) and on top of that pay a third party to help them give away for free. Then they get overwhelmed with glee when they see their books dowloaded by people looking for free stuff, who may or may not (probably the later) ever bother to read it.

I appreciate there can be a bounce or cross-over marketing effect to the author's other books. Still, I don't like the fact that Bookbub now controls the Amazon rankings (at least for the free books) and that rankings can be a bought and paid for thing by authors.

We've entered the era where anyone can now become a "bestselling" author simply by opening their wallet and then giving stuff away for free.

To my mind, that's not really becoming a bestselling author, no matter how many times it's downloaded. It's more in the nature of playing a game that anyone can play simply by buying in.

That said, this is not a commentary on whether any particular person's book is good or bad. It's merely my personal option of the games that indie authors are buying into which, to me, do not speak at all to the merits (or lack thereof) of the author or the books they have written.

Anonymous said...


Blog Entry Quote:
"Because, let's face it, there are a lot of books out there -- a lot -- and we need to do whatever it takes to set our books apart from all the rest."


This is why going out of your way to create unnaturally occurring competition for yourself by provoking trad publishers and trad authors into using indie pricing and marketing strategies is a bad thing.

Robert said...

I think the whole Bookbub thing is a sad commentary on the state of indie authors and amazon rankings.

You do realize, though, that Bookbub is used by major publishers as well. In fact, just today, there are at least three deals for books published by major publishing houses. I've even seen Amazon use it for books published by their own imprints.

How do you think most books became bestsellers in the past? Publishers put up good money for co-op spaces in bookstores, bought ads, etc. None of that's changed. Just more and more of it's heading to the digital side of things. Word of mouth is still a great marketing tool, and there are still books that become bestsellers because of it, but for the most part books are placed on bestseller lists for more reasons than just because they're good books.

Plus, it should be noted that Bookbub is one of hundreds of websites/newsletters out there -- except, right now, it's one of the most prominent.

Having said all that, I understand where you're coming from, but advertising (even paid advertising) is all part of the business.

Walter Knight said...

Bookbub? Okay, I'll check into it.

Anonymous said...


From:

http://www.hughhowey.com/does-bn-manipulate-its-bestseller-list/

"And poor Maya watched as her sales gradually diminished due to the lower visibility."


This is what happens when your books get bumped down the rankings.

Due to supposed manipulation or from just plain more competition, getting bumped down the rankings hurts your sales. Your e-books are forever so you can have another chance at the "big time"--but your competition's e-books are forever as well so they have another chance to BUMP YOU DOWN THE RANKINGS ALL OVER AGAIN.

This is why going out of your way to create unnaturally occurring competition fro yourself by provoking trad publishers and trad authors into using indie pricing and indie marketing strategies is a bad thing.

wannabuy said...

@Tony,
IMHO Amazon bestseller is more impressive.

I'm amused by the anons... Here is what works from someone who is only a reader. Write more books so your fans will be able to buy them!


To those anons:
I've tried over 50 indie authors over the years. Probably closer to 75. The ones that were good... I buy out! But good is subjective... find your audience. Yes the books are low cost, but so what?

I love a genre that was dying out (scifi). Without indie authors, my favorite genre was losing appeal (I love book length or better yet trilogy length tales, not shorts). and alternate history...
and a few dozen other genres.

I now search for when dozens of indie authors will launch their next book. Big 6 authors? Eh... persuade me the cost is worth it. (I'm a fan of a few, but only a few.)

I'd like to know what fraction of US books are now ebooks.

Neil

Eric Daugherty said...

I posted this early but it seems to have disappeared.

This was a very nice post Robert, I enjoyed reading it and I hope you have even more success in the future.

Also, congratulations to Mr. Konrath. I see "Bloody Mary" is 1st overall on the Amazon free 100 list right now.

Alan Spade said...

So, The New York Times and Usa Today have understood if they wanted to regain credibility towards readers, they had to include self-published books in their lists. That's great.

What is a little sad is to see there are authors "specialized in Amazon" who distribute only on Amazon.

When you think about it, Amazon would just have to make its devices compatible to the epub format to allow readers who have a Nook or a Kobo to shop on Amazon. It would make sense, because Amazon's website is largely superior. Yes, I do know about the kindle apps on iPad and all. Not sufficient, IMO.

On another side, they will ever be readers who hate Amazon and will never shop there.

I guess one of the reasons they don't do it is because they don't want to fragilize Kindle Select. If they did it, it would be much more tempting for indies to do only epub format, and to forget Kindle Select.

Still, the main reason remains to protect their proprietary format.

Ryan Schneider said...

I just read Ted Heller's article in Salon. He didn't sound whiny. He sounded like an author who drank the Kool-Aid way back when and managed to get three novels published.

Then his fourth novel took a giant dump and he fell out of favor.

Now he's realizing just how steep the self-publishing road is. He's shocked and dismayed and hurt and pissed and confused and befuddled. All the emotions typical of a struggling writer.

Whiny? Maybe a little. But put yourself in his shoes. The legendary New York Times loved his novel. Now he's not even dog shit on the sidewalk outside the front door of their NYC offices.

He's learning the lessons Joe has been espousing for years.

Time for him to decide if he loves writing or if he loves being a bestselling author.

If it's the former, this will be a temporary setback. If it's the latter, he's screwed.

Picks By Pat said...

I really began to learn the power of Amazon when they placed my novel, published 5 years ago in hardcover, on a lst of special promotions for a week and it leaped into the top 100 in the mystery genre. Sure it was just for a week, but it did pretty well for the next month. And the best part...I didn't have to do a thing...except write the book. Now I'm trying to finish the next one. Imagine what they can do with it.

Anonymous said...


"wannabuy said...

I'm amused by the anons..."


I'm glad I amuse you.

I'm sure Robert Swartwood amuses you too when he said:
"Because, let's face it, there are a lot of books out there -- a lot -- and we need to do whatever it takes to set our books apart from all the rest."

And I'm sure Barry Eisler amuses you too when he said that very few people make it in both the self-publishing lottery and the trad lottery.

P.S. Power said...

Competition is good. I know that people will whine and moan over the idea, but the more books that are easily available, the more people will read.

And the more chance a hardworking and talented author will have to collect those readers.

It's incentive to do better, to write what people by and to learn to craft things into a form that will give people a reason to pay attention.

Like most things worth doing, it isn't always going to be comfortable and the "best" may not always be what sells.

Hello: That's anything that deals with the public, isn't it?

Ten years ago I functionally wouldn't have been allowed to be an author. Not one that made a living doing it.

Now I have that chance, in exchange for working hard, paying attention and being just a little clever.

As for being a "best seller"...

Well, I've never claimed that for any of my works, even though most, if not all of them have been in the top ten of at least one (and normally more) genre listing on Amazon. perhaps I'm missing a trick?

:)



Joe Konrath said...

I think the whole Bookbub thing is a sad commentary on the state of indie authors and amazon rankings.

I think you have a major lack of understanding with how retail works.

Things sell if they are available and desirable. But they must also be visible, i.e. a consumer must know something exists before they can buy it (or download it for free).

There has always been competition for eyeballs. Hence advertising, which makes products more visible.

I don't like the fact that Bookbub now controls the Amazon rankings (at least for the free books) and that rankings can be a bought and paid for thing by authors.

See my above comment on advertising. Do you think Coke and McDonalds became billionare companies because they are the best beverage and burger in the world?

Advertising, marketing, branding, promotion--these make products visible. They have always been a part of the publishing industry. But now, for the first time, authors can use them. This is good, not bad.

To my mind, that's not really becoming a bestselling author, no matter how many times it's downloaded.

It comes down to goals. Everyone writer needs to figure out what they want. Some may get a big kick out of giving away 100,000 books. Some may want 100 reviews. Some may want to make $100,000 a year. Some may even have goals that aren't in multiples of 100. ;)

Point is, there are no doubt people who don't consider me a bestseller, even though I make $100,000 a month, and have sold over 1,000,000 ebooks (sold, not given away).

"Bestseller" is a descriptive label. Or, perhaps more to the point, a title, like "Sir" or "Duke" or "Esquire". If you feel someone hasn't earned it, but they feel they have, what does it matter? There are no black and white rules regarding bestsellerdom. And I don't find anything that makes writers feel good about themselves to be sad.

Joe Konrath said...

This is why going out of your way to create unnaturally occurring competition fro yourself by provoking trad publishers and trad authors into using indie pricing and indie marketing strategies is a bad thing.

That's like saying we never should have given women the vote because that gave them a say in government that might differ from men and alter the course of elections in ways men don't want.

Better to keep it an exclusive, secret club. That's what makes the world better. Segregation and selfishness. If I teach a man to fish then he might catch the fish meant for me. Instead, I'll stay fat while the world starves.

Good philosophy. It's why human beings have accomplished so much throughout history; by keeping things to themselves rather than sharing information and helping one another.

Failsies.

Joe Konrath said...

Barry Eisler amuses you too when he said that very few people make it in both the self-publishing lottery and the trad lottery.

You'll have to point out Barry's exact quote.

But the quote, as stated above, is correct. Very few people make it in any industry. The 20/80 rule. And in that top 20%, there's another 20/80 breakdown.

Very few people become CEOs. Very few people become college deans. Very few people become congressmen, or archbishops.

Publishing has always been difficult to succeed in. But it has become easier. This is a good thing.

"Because, let's face it, there are a lot of books out there -- a lot -- and we need to do whatever it takes to set our books apart from all the rest."

Ebooks aren't zero sum. There is plenty of visibility to support plenty of authors, and readers tend to read many authors.

The whole idea of "the only way to secure your station in life is at the expense of someone else" is silly. It's a big enough sandbox for everyone to play in.

Learning how to make your titles visible is called capitalism. Every time there is a Coke commercial on TV, it means people didn't see a Pepsi commercial. Is it unfair to Pepsi that Coke has a bigger ad budget? And with Coke and Pepsi, it IS zero sum. When a person is thirsty and has a choice, he buys one or the other.

With books, people buy many, and they aren't exclusive.

Yes, there are only 100 spots in the Kindle Top 100, like there are only 500 spots in the Fortune 500. This is a business. And last I checked, no one every said life would be fair, fun, or easy.

You want to be one of those Top 100? Write more, learn more, and work harder. Then cross your fingers.

Joe Konrath said...

Also, congratulations to Mr. Konrath. I see "Bloody Mary" is 1st overall on the Amazon free 100 list right now.

68,000 giveaways in less than 36 hours.

Obviously, these are from readers who haven't heard of me, or else they would have gotten it the last time it was free.

There is a staggering number of readers with Kindles. You don't need to reach them all. You only need to reach a certain number of them every once and a while and you can make a comfortable living.

But the 68k freebies don't mean much. Sure, some of them will read the book and become fans, but that's not a consequence that can be accurately tracked.

But Whiskey Sour, going from #700 in rank to #383 in rank since Bloody Mary was free is something I can track. My extra sales in Whiskey Sour and my backlist have paid for the promo I did for Bloody Mary (along with the missed sales of Bloody Mary for the 5 days it is free).

Then when the promo ends, Bloody Mary will have a better rank than before, as will my backlist, and that effect will last for at least a week.

Tomorrow I'm trying something with Haunted House. We'll see how it does...

Anonymous said...

This discussion reminds me of an old business saying:

"No one knows how good your product is, only how good your marketing is."

You can write the best novel in the world (or 5 of them), but if no one finds it, you are screwed. Or, you can 'Bookbub' it for $400 and introduce it to 400,000 readers who voluntarily signed up to be notified of such books.

I was one of the first to Bookbub, have done so monthly for nearly a year - and my sales have doubled across my 15 novels. In 2012 I averaged $9k a month in profits, thus far in 2013 I am averaging $17k.

None of my books are bestsellers and none of you have ever heard of me, I'd wager. I have to laugh when anyone badmouths the Bookbub method. These anons cannot be writers, surely?

My other claim to fame is emailing Joe my data and leading him to drink the Bookbub Kool-Aid despite his then-current position against paid advertising. Bookbub is no banner ad, I assure you. Congrats Joe!

Joe Konrath said...

My other claim to fame is emailing Joe my data and leading him to drink the Bookbub Kool-Aid despite his then-current position against paid advertising.

Proof that even the Mighty Konrath can be a luddite occasionally.

Bookbub emailed me in October of 2012 saying they' done a free promo for me, and asking if I'd be interested in using their service. I ignored the email.

In January, my wife told me about this new service she was using to find free and cheap ebooks. Bookbub. I ignored her.

Then I answer a random email from a peer (thanks!) talking about the virtues of Bookbub, and it finally clicked with me. Took four months for me to realize the potential, and I'm supposed to be forward-thinking. I was late to the gate on this one.

Robert said...

Just to prove I'm being "fair and balanced," I should note that I ran another Bookbub promo this past weekend. Didn't sell nearly as many copies as I did for THE SERIAL KILLER'S WIFE, even though the book was listed in the mystery and thriller category.

Why?

Maybe because the promo was for the second book in a trilogy (though I also lowered the price of the first book, too). Maybe it was the day the promo ran. Maybe it was the fact it was a holiday weekend. Maybe the book just wasn't as appealing to readers as TSKW. Who knows.

But that doesn't mean I'm never going to try another Bookbub listing again. As Joe says, it's all about experimenting and trying new things. Nothing is ever 100% certain, and even though the promo wasn't as successful (I didn't even crack the Kindle top 100), I'm still happy I did it, because the book found new readers.

Joe Konrath said...

Didn't sell nearly as many copies as I did for THE SERIAL KILLER'S WIFE, even though the book was listed in the mystery and thriller category.

Why?


Because publishing is an unreproduceable phenomenon.

No one knows why some promos work and others don't. No one knows why some books blow up and others don't.

No. One. Knows.

I've accumulated enough data for a team of experts to ponder over for years. The fact is, I still can't figure out how to make something a hit. The book itself, cover art, promo, genre, timing, marketing, fanbase--I can make good guesses, but I still fail all the time.

Maybe I should start blogging more about things I've tried that didn't work. The problem is that I have detractors who would inundate the Twitterverse with BS like "Konrath's sales dropped! I told you self-publishing was bullshit!"

Because of who I am, I really can't talk much about failures. I fail all the time. If you don't fail, you aren't trying hard enough. But I have so many people who want to see me fail, that if I ever posted my numbers dropped 50% (and they have in the past) it would be front page Publishers Weekly news and ten guys would blog on HuffPo about it.

That wouldn't bother me. But it wouldn't benefit newbie authors, because self-publishing is a good choice, and whether I like it or not people look to me for answers.

Sales fluctuate. They rise and fall. Riding high in April, shot down in May. That's life.

The point is to keep experimenting, keep trying, celebrate success, learn from failure when possible.

Anonymous said...

If you aren't failing, you aren't trying hard enough.

I had 4 novels rejected 500+ times by traditional agents/publishers over the years. Each time I took constructive criticism, studied, and came back with improved work.

Those 4 novels, and a dozen others, have sold 150,000+ copies in the past 2 years as indie offerings.

Don't skip this step! - readers are not the best critics, industry insiders are - and enough of them will provide you with feedback to sharpen your craft.

Alan Spade said...

One can admit we learn more by failing than by success. But why are we failing ? There are so many factors involved.

If you take one basic step, for example : covers. You can learn by hearing a bookseller say your cover is crappy.

But still, you'll learn a great deal by observation, and by determining which cover resonate better with you and with readers.

We need to fail, but we also desperatly need good examples.

Yes, you can learn tons of things by reading crappy self-published books (because the errors appears so clearly there), but there's always a moment where you'll want to know how some great writer has resolved an issue.

And when you think you have covered all the grounds and written the best book you could, there's always the uncertainty factor about what will make you more visible than others at the same level at this particular time.

There are some failures factors that seem very hard to investigate.

Anonymous said...

"I think you have a major lack of understanding with how retail works."

On the contrary, I understand all too well. Before Bookbut, a mere few months ago, I could list a book for free and would, based on normal competition and the strength of the product and the author name, always shoot into the top store 100 and get 8-30K downloads.

Then comes along Bookbub, which has figured out a way to wedge itself into the venue of normal competition. Now, to get the same result, I would have to a stranger (Bookbut) $700 or more because they're found a way to game the market.

The last book I gave away got a whole 128 downloads. It was every bit as good if not better than the ones that got 10,000-30,000. Why only 128? Because Booknob now controls the market.

So, yeah, I'm no fan of Bookbub, which is getting rich beyond belief, to the detriment of authors like me. I'm sure I'm not the only one.

Anonymous said...

"Joe Konrath said...
That's like saying we never should have given women the vote because that gave them a say in government that might differ from men and alter the course of elections in ways men don't want.

Better to keep it an exclusive, secret club. That's what makes the world better. Segregation and selfishness. If I teach a man to fish then he might catch the fish meant for me. Instead, I'll stay fat while the world starves.

Good philosophy. It's why human beings have accomplished so much throughout history; by keeping things to themselves rather than sharing information and helping one another.

Failsies."


___________________________________



Your use of giving women the vote analogy is a red herring.

Democrat men would want Democrat women to vote and help advance the Democrat views.

And Republican men would want Republican women to vote and help adavnce Republican views.

But making things EXCLUSIVE has been a time honored tradition in politics--just look up GERRYMANDERING to see how voters with opposing views are LOCKED OUT EVEN TO THIS DAY.

Now for the business world...

Exclusion has also been a time honored tradition in the business world as well and is praticed even to this day. Just look up how companies SUE EACH OTHER OVER COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT.

I remember when the makers of a popular videogame called "Streetfighter" sued another company who made a similar videogame because the character types were similar. Why sue? Why not share the character types? They lost the law suit, but the point is they tried to MAKE THE CHARACTER TYPES EXCLUSIVE.

If sharing is so wonderful, why didn't Colonel Sanders share his SECRET RECIPE for making delicious Kentucky Fried Chicken?

If sharing is so wonderful, why do Coke and Pepsi guard the SECRET RECIPES for all their beverages?

If sharing is so wonderful, why do some (not all) restaurants guard the SECRET RECIPES for some fo their dishes?

If sharing is so wonderful, why do many tech companies guard their TECHNOLOGICAL SECRETS?

If sharing is so wonderfful, why doesn't Google share their search engine technology so other search engine companies can improve their search engines? Why don't all the search engine companies get together to create the best search engine technology that any company can use for free to build their own search engine website?

If sharing is so wondeful, why don't all videogame companies share their 3D rendering technology? Why don't all the videogame companies get together to make the best 3D rendering technology that any company can use for free?

(Continued...)

Anonymous said...


(Continued...)

If sharing is so wonderful, why does your fictional character "Chandler" accept a mission against a fictional biotech executive who is selling biotech secrets in the e-book short novel "Hit" written by yourself and Ann Voss Petersen?

If sharing is so wonderful, why does Moe and Homer Simpson keep the SECRET INGREDIENT to their beverage the "flaming Moe/Homer" in an episode of "The Simpsons"? The beverage was a huge success and money maker until Homer revealed the SECRET INGREDIENT at the end of the episode, then every bar copied the beverage and Moe lost all his customers. And yes, I know it is just a cartoon, but it just goes to show that other people understand what I'm talking about. They just don't want to come right out and agree with me because they don't want to be LABELLED AS SELFISH.

And your mention of the word SEGREGATION is a low attempt at invoking racial overtones.

Failsies.

If I were selfish, I would say keep the indie pricing and marketing strategies secret from everyone, but I only say GOING OUT OF YOUR WAY to create UNATURALLY OCCURING competition for yourself by PROVOKING TRAD PUBLISHERS and TRAD AUTHORS into using indie pricing and marketing stragtegies is bad.

I'm just saying LET THE COMPETITION OCCUR NATURALLY.



OCCUR NATURALLY.



Sometimes you sound like (SOUND LIKE, there's difference) you have a vendetta against trad publishing, and so it seems like (SEEMS LIKE, there's a difference) you GO OUT OF YOUR WAY TO PROVOKE THEM.

I'm not saying that you actually have a vendetta against trad publishing, but many authors PERCEIVE that you do. Just go to a couple BBS boards (I won't name them) where they talk about you sometimes and anyone can see how many other authors PERCEIVE you.

Jude Hardin said...

The last book I gave away got a whole 128 downloads. It was every bit as good if not better than the ones that got 10,000-30,000. Why only 128? Because Booknob now controls the market.

It's because Amazon changed the rules for its affiliates regarding free giveaways. Now the big sites like ENT and POI can't feature as many, so it's harder to get a lot of downloads.

Anonymous said...


"Joe Konrath said...
Ebooks aren't zero sum. There is plenty of visibility to support plenty of authors, and readers tend to read many authors."



Yeah, sure.

This form the same guy who said "the cram rises to the top".

Well, what about the authors who aren't so "creamy"?

Well maybe you can share some of your visibility on this millions of hits per year blog with the less "creamy" authors. I'm sure they would appreciate it. Ripley King posted not too long ago that you never do a promo for unknown indie author's. Maybe you can do a promo of one of her books?

I'm not Ripley King (I don't care if you believe me), I'm just rying
to make a point.

Anonymous said...


(fixing typos from my post above)

Yeah, sure.

This fromm the same guy who said "the cream rises to the top".

Joe Konrath said...

I could list a book for free and would, based on normal competition and the strength of the product and the author name, always shoot into the top store 100 and get 8-30K downloads.

Bookbub is one of many variables. Many many many. Correlation does not equal causation.

Then comes along Bookbub, which has figured out a way to wedge itself into the venue of normal competition.

I want to repeat that, changing a single word:

Then comes along Amazon, which has figured out a way to wedge itself into the venue of normal competition.

Without Amazon, you never would have given away any ebooks. But one upstart business with disruptive technology is okay and another isn't? Why is that?

The last book I gave away got a whole 128 downloads.

I've used Bookbub for the same title, and had wildly varying results.

Right now I'm still #1 in free downloads. My Bookbub promo was yesterday. Today there were 7 new free ebooks on Bookbub. So far, none are beating me. Why not? Answer: Who knows. It's a crapshoot.

Joe Konrath said...

Democrat men would want Democrat women to vote and help advance the Democrat views.

You'd think so. But that wasn't what men wanted. Hence suffrage.

Why sue? Why not share the character types?

You're confusing sharing universal information with proprietary information.

If you invent a new game genre, you don't own the genre. You own the game you invented and its specific characters. That's why we have a lot of science fiction writers, and not just one.

Sharing the knowledge of Bookbub is not akin to selling specific code to a video game so competitors can make money form imitations.

What if the guy who invented fire kept it to himself?

Just go to a couple BBS boards (I won't name them) where they talk about you sometimes and anyone can see how many other authors PERCEIVE you.

Yes. That's what I'll do. I'll scour the Internet to see how people perceive me. And if they don't like me, I'll write "WANKER" on their gym lockers.

Oh, wait. This isn't junior high.

This blog is here to teach what I've learned. If some people don't get it, I simply don't care. If some people don't like me, I simply don't care. It is such a non-issue that I feel silly replying to it.

I have no vendetta against anyone. I'm rich and happy. Occasionally I pass on what I've learned to other writers. My responsibility ends there.

Robert said...

I'm just saying LET THE COMPETITION OCCUR NATURALLY.

But what is natural in publishing (or really any business)? Just put a book out there and see what happens? Don't give away any copies, or have special discounted promotions? Don't send the book to bloggers to review? Just wait and see and hope for the best?

You mention how you listed a book for free and got a lot of downloads and then, presumably, a bump in sales. How is that even close to being "natural"?

A lot of people like to bad-mouth traditional publishers, but I think there are still a lot of smart people in the business, and for them to use "indie pricing and marketing strategies" is nothing new. Remember even before ebooks, publishers would sometimes release specially marked down paperbacks by major names? It happened then, and it will keep happening as the business model changes. That's what's natural.

Joe Konrath said...

I like "the cram rises to the top." ;)

I believe it does. But it doesn't always happen overnight.

I've sold over 100,000 copies of The List. I wrote it in 1999. I sold my first copy in 2009. It took ten years to find an audience.

Ripley King posted not too long ago that you never do a promo for unknown indie author's.

I started blogging in 2005. Spend a week reading every blog entry I've done since then, plus all the comments, and see how many indie authors I've helped, including with promos.

But so what? It's my blog, I do what I choose with it. Rob Swartwood let me stay overnight in his home while I was on tour.

He helped me. Have you? But yet you no doubt visit this blog looking for help.

I'm just one guy. It's not my job to save the world.

Ripley King said...

Damn right you're not me. I have the balls to say what I mean, and mean what I say, and do so by name.

As far as Joe is concerned, he's paying it forward. Makes me want to shove beer down both ends at the same time, just so he'll be my friend. (cue warped circus music here)

Understand this. Big publishing has been loading the dice with books given away, ensuring the author make the bestsellers list, and have been doing it for decades. They're called ARCs.

Marketing is one thing only. Your product in the public eye.

I swear to God if I had the cash I'd buy a Bookbub ad, and another, and another. That's just good business.

As for any name author going out of their way to actually discover someone, anyone, just one new author . . . What a joke.

Do you have any idea how many authors I've asked for a guest post? And these morons ignore me because I don't have a name. But that doesn't mean I don't keep trying.

Those same writers come here and other name-author's blogs and kiss ass, hoping they'll get somewhere.

Lelaina Landis said...

What's the dissent about this week? That indie writers use Bookbub or that Mr. Swartwood wrote about it on Joe's blog or that Joe used to be against paid advertising and now seems to be doing a 180 --?

I did my research, and I have Bookbub on my list of marketing strategies to try when/if everything else heads seriously south. From what I've heard, most indie authors a return on their initial investment at the very least.

Traditional publishers employ paid advertising to market their wares. Why should it be so different for the indie writer? This "built it and they will come" philosophy is admirable, but it only gets you so far. You can be the best writer since, um, Italo Calvino (had to think of someone totally stellar), but if no one knows your books exist, the endeavor is sort of pointless, no?

The only thing that rankles me about Bookbub is that "cheap" or "free" bit ...

Ripley King said...

Got that right.

Veronica - Eloheim said...

The only thing that rankles me about Bookbub is that they turned me down! LOL

I plan to submit another title to them though!

Anonymous said...

What Joe has done in helping authors cannot be measured. He doesn't need to give everyone--or anyone--a damn blog post to do it, either.

The information contained in this blog is enough--way, way more than enough.

Because of this blog, in 2011 I started self-publishing. At first I made like a hundred bucks a month. Slowly, I did better and better. Last year I made over a million dollars through self-publishing. I write for a living.

I am living my dreams, in large part, thanks to what Joe has done on this blog. If someone can't figure out how to do it right from the kind of information Joe divulges here all the time, then that's their problem, not his.

The guy doesn't need me defending him, but I'm just saying the truth. I owe him a huge debt of gratitude, as do a million other authors.

Joe, when are you going to take on Barnes & Nobles list fixing?

Anonymous said...

"Do you have any idea how many authors I've asked for a guest post? And these morons ignore me because I don't have a name."

Maybe that's the reason, you don't have a name. But maybe it's something else. Authors develop a reputation through the things they post online. Not all reputations end up created equal.

Ripley King said...

Any author turning down a chance to promote themselves when asked, to tell others about their books, to share a little insight into their writing world . . .

Sounds moronic to me.

No, they would rather kiss ass, hoping to get noticed. I saw the same thing, following agent blogs over the years. Too bad not one of you give a damn. Me, I just had to get you all to admit it, words from your own mouths, bursting their bubbles.

It's tough finding out you don't matter, but buy my friends!

My second post, telling the truth as I see it. I sure built a bad rep off of that first post. Maybe this reply post will destroy everything about me.

Joe Konrath said...

Too bad not one of you give a damn.

This blog doesn't give you fish. It teaches you to fish.

As for not giving a damn, I believe I've been thanked in more book acknowledgements than just about any other living author. Apparently by all those writers I never helped.

How many writers have you helped, Ripley? How many lives have you changed?

I'll share a secret with you. No one cares how much you give. Because you can give and give and give and still get some pinhead in your comments section whining about how unfair you are.

No good deed goes unpunished. True dat.

You want a guest blog here? Hit the Top Ten Kindle bestseller list, and then share how you did it with other authors. Share information, not desperation. Inform. Enlighten. Inspire.

My success is my own. I did it solo. So have countless others. Focus on that, and not how you perceive your peers are ignoring you.

Our words and actions define us. Keep that in mind, always.

Joe Konrath said...

Joe, when are you going to take on Barnes & Nobles list fixing?

I'm not. Hugh did fine.

Anonymous said...


"Joe Konrath said...
You're confusing sharing universal information with proprietary information."


Funny.

You are confusing a man made constuct like like "proprietary information" with another man made construct like "universal information".

You say POtato another author says poTAto.

"Six of one, half a dozen of another."

Dude, it's all the SAME.

Anonymous said...


"Joe Konrath said...
This blog doesn't give you fish. It teaches you to fish."


Not true.

You get to DECIDE, that you GIVE fishes (promos) to your friends.

But you don't GIVE fishes to unknown indie authors, you just supposedly TEACH them how to fish.

You make way too much about the information you put out.

Try some humility to keep that big ego of yours in check.

Rob Gregory Browne said...

There are many authors who sell upwards of 50,000 copies of a book on Amazon exclusively who would never make the New York Times list. But there are authors who sell 10,000 at the right bookstores and make the list.

I can only say this: if Amazon calls me a bestselling author, you can be damn sure I'm using it.

Anonymous said...


"Joe Konrath said...
What if the guy who invented fire kept it to himself?"

Funny.

Anybody who sees lightning strike a dry tree, can see what happens and then put two and two together. Dry wood plus some way to add heat.

Gottfried Leibniz and Isaac Newton both invented/discovered calculus independently.

The British had an edge over Nazi Germany because of a new technology they invented called RADAR.

Because of RADAR, the British were able to use their smaller Air Force to effectively defend against Nazi Germany's latger Air Force. Probably a good thing that they kept the technology to themselves, huh?

Anonymous said...

"Joe Konrath said...
I started blogging in 2005. Spend a week reading every blog entry I've done since then, plus all the comments, and see how many indie authors I've helped, including with promos."

LOL.

I'm not here to stroke your big, strong, manly, EGO bog boy.

I'll leave that to all the authors who like kissing your ass.

Anonymous said...


(fixing typo)

I'm not here to stroke your big, strong, manly, EGO big boy.

Robert said...

I can only say this: if Amazon calls me a bestselling author, you can be damn sure I'm using it.

Does Amazon typically call writers bestselling authors, besides those published under their own imprints? If anything, I almost always see writers calling themselves bestselling authors, and believe me, many of them have barely sold 1,000 copies of their book, let alone 50,000 copies.

Rob Gregory Browne said...

"Yes, I do know about the kindle apps on iPad and all. Not sufficient, IMO."

I'm curious why you think is is not sufficient. I used the Kindle app on my Nexus 7, my iPad and even my phone and I love it. It works exactly the same as it does on my Kindle Fire.

As much as I loved my standalone Kindle e-ink reader, I've passed it on to my wife because I find myself using the Nexus 7 almost exclusively and don't feel I've sacrificed anything.

Anonymous said...

I gotta say that social media is not always the author's friend. I'm an avid reader and aspiring writer. When I see authors venting and attacking other authors, it is a complete turn-off. That negative impression prevents me from wanting to read their work.

Just sayin.

Joe Konrath said...

You get to DECIDE, that you GIVE fishes (promos) to your friends.

What a silly thing to say.

I don't give fish to anybody. But every so often I allow a guest poster to share what they've learned. In this particular post, Rob was the teacher. If you didn't learn anything from his words, your loss.

Joe Konrath said...

Gottfried Leibniz and Isaac Newton both invented/discovered calculus independently.

And that's why calculus isn't taught in schools. Every mathematician has to invent in on their own.

Just like Bookbub. It should be a secret until authors discover it without any help whatsoever.

Honest question: you're high, aren't you?

Nothing wrong with getting high. I enjoy it. But I try not to get on the Internet and make comments while I'm too wasted to make sense.

Anonymous said...


"Joe Konrath said...
Honest question: you're high, aren't you?

Nothing wrong with getting high. I enjoy it."

LOL.
I'm high on writing, yeah!

(chugs beer, buuuurp)

Alan Spade said...

@Rob Gregory Browne :

These apps are a good thing. But they don't replace compatibility :

- as an author, I lose time when I do epub and kindle format for my ebooks
- as a reader, I do have a Kindle, but many don't have one, and for the readers who (like me) prefer eink, but don't have a kindle, it's a pain in the ass to convert some ebooks they can only find on Amazon. You don't have eink with iPad or tablets or smartphones. It would be so convenient to have universal compatibility for something as universal as reading...

Stephen Leather said...

"I've even seen several writers proclaim themselves #1 Amazon Bestselling Authors, which, quite honestly, is very disingenuous. Sure, it looks nice on the cover of your book, but is it true? Maybe #1 of a genre list, or a sub genre list, but #1 in the entire Amazon store? Hardly. If that were the case, it's a very good chance the book would also have been a New York Times bestseller, and if that's the case, it would make more sense to call yourself a New York Times Bestselling Author, no?"

Actually the great thing about the eBook revolution is that you CAN top the Amazon Kindle list (the big one) without coming anywhere near the New York Times List. My book The Basement was a Number 1 US Kindle eBook (admittedly only for a few hours before dropping back to Number 2) and was Number 1 in the UK KIndle Bestseller list for several weeks. I agree with Tony in the first comment made - personally I'd rather describe myself as an Amazon bestselling author than mention the NYT list which as we know isn't always a true reflection of a book's sales or merit.

Rob Gregory Browne said...

"It would be so convenient to have universal compatibility for something as universal as reading..."

Well, I don't disagree with this, but this is always going to be the reality with technology until one format wins out over the other. Remember Betamax?

In the meantime, enterprising readers are learning that it's really not that difficult to convert an azw file to epub, and great reader apps like Moon+ Reader and Cool Reader to a pretty good job of reading many different formats, including mobi, epub and several others.

Mark McCarrell said...

I really enjoy coming here and reading the blogs, and there is a lot of useful info I've learned to help with my own book authoring and how to get my writing off the ground. I don't understand the hatred people wish to post here, kind of a jealous factor I've noticed with "Anonymous" posters. I never post, just read. But it seems no matter where or what they post as far as helpful info, haters seem to lurk. I've not noticed anyone kissing an ass here as was stated; I've seen compliments handed and some great info to help everyone. It's easy to post hate language and leave as an unknown, but really...why post hateful and spiking words when all we're all trying to do is get our work known.

Anonymous said...


"Mark McCarrell said...
I don't understand the hatred people wish to post here, kind of a jealous factor I've noticed with "Anonymous" posters."



I'm not jealous of Joe Konrath, in fact I thank him for being a pioneer.

Thanks Joe. :)

But frankly, I would have gone down the indie author path without him. The indie success story of another indie author (whom I won't name) was what got me started.



"Mark McCarrell said...
But it seems no matter where or what they post as far as helpful info, haters seem to lurk."



I don't hate Joe Konrath.

I just don't agree with everything Joe Konrath says.

What you consider hatred, really isn't.

Is it hatred when Joe Konrath calls Scott Turow a coward?

Is it hatred when Joe Konrath calls people who support traditional publishing pinheads?

Joe Konrath says he doesn't hate anyone, he's rich and he's happy. And so good for him, bravo on his success.

I've read this blog for a very long time, insults used to be thrown around often by all sides. Now the insults are less frequent, in fact I don't consider anything said by me or Joe Konrath or anyone else in the last few blog entries to be insults.

It's easy to throw the word "hate" around, but it doesn't apply in my case or for Joe Konrath or for most of the posters here.



"Mark McCarrell said...
I've not noticed anyone kissing an ass here as was stated; I've seen compliments handed"



Just because you don't see it, doesn't mean it doesn't exist.

One author's "compliment" is another author's "ass kissing".

Why is your opinion more valid than mine or Ripley King's?



"Mark McCarrell said...
It's easy to post hate language and leave as an unknown, but really...why post hateful and spiking words"



I don't post hate language, that is your opinion.

And so what if I'm an unknown, Joe Konrath allows anonymous posters here and he could easily just not allow anonymous posts but he doesn't.

Joe Konrath has stated that he likes a free exchange of ideas.

And that's what I do, I present my ideas, if you don't like them, the you don't have to follow them.

Frank Sergeant said...

> Do you have any idea how many authors I've asked for a guest post? And these morons ignore me because I don't have a name. But that doesn't mean I don't keep trying.

That reminds me of the joke that goes like this:

"Open your ears, fat head. I said I don't understand why people don't like me."


Frank