Thursday, October 8, 2015

The Cheese Keeps Moving

Think of a maze where the paths shift around, new ones appear and old ones become dead ends. That's not the plot for a new horror story, it's the playing field of self publishing.

Tried and true only seems to last for a few months, symptoms of an emerging industry. When you think of how young self publishing is, you have to expect bumps in the road. A new ereader could hit the markets tomorrow requiring a brand new distributor. Or a new distributor could wrangle a bigger hold on the market making authors migrate as quickly as possible because the first ones over always have an advantage.

Free isn't as big a boost as it used to be. Advice on sweet spot pricing ranges are all over the map. Every day I read another article or blog post with advice that is immediately poo-pooed in the comments as being old hat. Which comes down to the truth of the matter - nobody really knows.

What worked last year doesn't always work this year because everything is evolving. From formatting to distribution to discovery, things change so rapidly it's hard to form a roadmap.

Last year I tried just about everything and failed at most of it. I was reading the "Get Out There!" articles and going against my nature to do it. This year I dropped the ball in January when I got the flu-from-hell. By the time I felt up to tackling the dreaded marketing again, I knew I needed to reassess things. I did a very basic Return on Investment analysis. Were my sales up from all this flailing about in social media? Nope.

So I dropped the things that were painful or that I didn't understand well enough. I had spread myself thin joining up to every new site and forcing myself to post something somewhere. I think I have an adequate internet presence that anyone could find me easily. I'm not going to tie myself in knots to be on any site that doesn't come easily.

And I will keeping on doing what I think is the simplest and best advice - keep writing and publishing good books.

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