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Somebody please 'splain self-publishing trends, like on Amazon?

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MorningGlow Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-16-11 05:45 PM
Original message
Somebody please 'splain self-publishing trends, like on Amazon?
I am boggling at this: On another board (not DU), a writer posted the link to her e-book on Amazon. She was offering it for free and was hoping to reach 50K downloads (she was close to her goal). So I thought "What the hell" and downloaded it. I noticed she had more than 100 reviews, and her overall rating was four out of five stars. Impressive, I thought. And then I started reading.

Abominable. Horrendous. Catastrophically AWFUL.

I am not kidding--this was one of the worst things I have ever attempted to read in my entire life.
So... :wtf: How does something this bad get close to 50K downloads AND get a four-out-of-five-stars rating?

I'm also curious about how the Amazon system works in general; for instance, how do people find a book out of the myriad e-thingies offered? I don't believe this author blogs or is well known any other way. Do people just happen across it, read the description, think it sounds good, and download it? Would that really nab 50K people? (I'm not being skeptical--I truly want to understand the logistics of e-book trending.)

Somebody please enlighten me. In the meantime, I'll be in a fetal position in the corner, trying to block out the memories of what I've just read (and trying to stop worrying that e-pubbing is going to lower the bar for us all). :banghead:
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sybylla Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-18-11 06:48 PM
Response to Original message
1. Could be they're faking it.
Maybe to get attention from an agent for their next project. Maybe for bragging rights alone.

On the other hand, I am amazed at what gets published sometimes. The recs may simply be the fact that there's no accounting for taste.

Still, I'm of a mind to think they're faking the downloads and recs.
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MorningGlow Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-21-11 06:52 PM
Response to Reply #1
3. True--I mentioned this to my husband, a computer guru
And he said that there are ways to fake your way up in the ranking/number of downloads, plus ways to post fake good review. I must pick his brain sometime to find out exactly how all this is done (besides creating a zillion fake e-mail addys and then loading up on fake reviews).
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icymist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-19-11 04:15 AM
Response to Original message
2. There are new real rules. That was part of my reason for posting before...
Edited on Fri Aug-19-11 04:16 AM by icymist
Everything has changed. I, as a new writer, has noticed this. E-books means that anybody, and I mean anybody, can get published. Just check our amazons rule! Well, that means there is a whole lot of crap being published out there these days! I figure that the trick is to be seen, somehow through the garbash? I'm still learning.
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MorningGlow Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-21-11 06:54 PM
Response to Reply #2
4. Exactly--how do you legitimately capture "eyeballs"
based on quality of work and effort you put into publicizing yourself? I'm still learning too.
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Ozymanithrax Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-22-11 12:20 PM
Response to Reply #4
5. there are hundreds of short story fiction markets on the internet that...
pay rates from free to professional rates.

(1) Write and submit short stories to these internet markets.
(2) Set up a website/blog just for your writing, and keep links to published stories there.
(3) As you get more and more published, then you can use those to build an audience.

It is not just that anybody can get published. A number or professional writers have now moved to e-book publishing because the big book publishers are not friendly to writers who don't sell enough, and there are writers who have works now out of print that use E-book publishing to keep older works in print.

Come up with a writing plan that covers how much you write and how often you will submit stories/novels to prospective publishers/agents. Find a group of first readers who like you well enough to do the work, but not so much they will blow smoke up your ass. These need to be people who are sharp enough to give you good criticism. If you can find other writers to do this, that is good, because you can offer them the same service. You will find that in reading and critiquing other people's work, you make your own better.
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MorningGlow Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-22-11 02:11 PM
Response to Reply #5
6. Oh, I understand the concept of e-pubbing and why it's gaining ground
And I also know "how to become a professional writer" (I am one) with critique groups and beta readers and blogs.

What I'm asking is how terrible writers garner positive reviews and a high ranking on Amazon.
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Ozymanithrax Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-22-11 08:10 PM
Response to Reply #6
8. (1) They cheat
(2) They have friiends do it who are willing to blow smoke up everyone's ass.
(3) they understand that they can always find people hwo will like their work and make sure they comment.


There is no system taht is perfect, asking the public to come in and comment is asking the opinion of amateurs.
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yellerpup Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-22-11 06:45 PM
Response to Original message
7. When I read your post, I searched for the fellow who
Edited on Mon Aug-22-11 07:13 PM by yellerpup
asked me to read his sci-fi manuscript, not exactly Planet of the Apes, but it had similarities and featured lemurs. The first paragraph was a word in the lemur dialect and it had to have been at least two hundred letters. I checked the web to see if he has self-published; he hasn't. Intending to self-publish, my husband the whiz, set me up on Amazon (pre-publishing) and I've just sent corrections back after looking at the proof. It is beautiful and makes me happy to look at it. I'm not selling this, I'm just so proud of the cover.



In the meantime, an author I asked for a blurb not only gave me a rave but also hand carried my ms to his publisher. I think that having an excerpt included in the Cherokee Arts & Humanities Council anthology this Fall is only going to help. The marketing director wrote to tell me that my book is with a reader and we are supposed to talk in early September.

The bar has undeniably been lowered, but so have the gates. Good luck!

Edited for inattention.
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Tansy_Gold Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-24-11 09:06 AM
Response to Reply #7
9. There are many discussion groups covering the issues of e-publishing
I participate in a few of them so I won't mention them in a public space here, but feel free to contact me via PM if you'd like some information.

The reviewing process for Amazon is insane and not to be trusted, but free downloads can mount up. People will take just about anything for free.

The ease of self-publishing means that yes, there is an enormous amount of garbage out there, but at least for the author with some talent and skill, there is also much more opportunity to connect directly with readers rather than having to go through an agent and/or publisher first.




TG
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nolabear Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-03-11 09:35 PM
Response to Original message
10. My novel is Amazon published and I'm working like a dog to get honest reviews.
It's in the hands of several respected online reviewers in areas where audiences will be interested in my specific writing. I'm setting up small radio station interviews, writing articles that drive traffic to my web site and Amazon, I have a distributor (MAJOR requirement), am actually paying Kirkus Indie for a review, knowing that their reputation rests on an honest, no-bullshit review from a group with credibility. I'm going to indie bookstores, some of which are already carrying it, and yes, I'm asking every human being whose favor I can call in to write an Amazon review. But it's important to drive people to Amazon or B&N or Powell's website, where they can order.

It's a step by step process, but the book is very good and I have the writing credentials to back it up and I choose not to wait for someone else.

Sorry about the crap. It's definitely out there.
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mainer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-05-11 12:51 PM
Response to Original message
11. Trouble is, the author doesn't realize it's crap
She probably thinks it's the best thing ever written.
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