♦Welcome to another edition of the Open Book Blog Hop!♦
Predict how changes in the industry, in technology or in the tools you use to engage readers (social media, blogging, etc.) will affect your ability to earn a living or make your mark as a writer.
Welcome back to another edition of the Open Book Blog Hop! If you’re new to the series, the authors included are grateful for your reads and appreciate, even more so, when you share our writings with your friends. If you’re new to the series, welcome aboard. The authors engage and impress weekly. Be prepared to become a regular reader.
Let me gaze into my crystal ball and see the future of my efforts promoting my work to readers and continuing to write.
Well, if I could, I’d be doing that a lot in an effort to figure out what works, and what doesn’t work for readers so that I could bring them the best experience possible. Right now, what works, is my book being part of the Wattpad community. OP-DEC: Operation Deceit has over 50k reads in a year and half and The Shadow Soul is nearing 7k in only a half of a year. I house the companion for my series there as well. (The companion is the glossary you get with the book, but on steroids with graphics and videos all made for the books.)
To look forward the wisest course is to take a look at the path you’ve taken thus far. Selling books has become a guessing game since I was able to get into the market. There was a point early on that indie authors were doing very well. Now, they’re lucky to gain a readership, let alone maintain one. Most days, I’m writing all this content for the blog in the hopes that people will eventually find it, and they will enjoy what I’ve posted. If you don’t have content, they definitely won’t come. Likewise gaining subscribers, the numbers go up and down, mostly stagnant this year.
Unfortunately, there is a Catch-22 to all of it. Without readers, authors don’t get read. The conundrum folds in on itself, endlessly frustrating. Reminds me of how my father used to say, if you want to act in a movie you gotta have a SAG card, to get a SAG card you gotta have acted in a movie. You need readers to get readers, but how do you get readers? There are so many gurus spouting sure fire formulas, if you’ll just pay them a couple hundred to get in on their secret—and you know that spells gimmick scam.
The frustration deepens when you read about people looking to pirate books. There goes your next meal. Forget paying the rent that month. The lights are going out. How can you write without the power for the computer? Without food in your belly? The money to do your research, market, pay the editor or designer? Copyrights cost and there are all these incidentals that crop up. Forget health care! But these readers are assured you make enough anyway, and they’re poor. Pretty sure my tiny apartment that I share with someone, essentially giving me space like a dorm room, doesn’t constitute living it up. But, they’re poor so that justifies stealing from authors.
However, there are so many great people out there who don’t mind spending the money on a book. The issue is convincing them that your book is worth spending money on. How do you even begin when social media does everything it can to work their software so you are forced to buy ad space you can’t afford, and they limit that too, sending it out to unvetted users? The glut of books on the market are all doing the same thing, and there is this din in the readers ear, and they’re ignoring the majority of ads because it’s all just a blur and ugliness.
What I see coming is writers forced into other work to survive, and giving their work away for free. The glut will mostly remain, because it’s caused by scammers as well as legitimate writers and a herd of terrible writers. Art will suffer. Writers will suffer–be taken advantage of by scammers promising their dreams. Then, the pendulum will swing the other way. Some new way of selling will come along and those prepared to take advantage will. Remember the crisis with music downloads back in the 1990s? It later opened up new avenues for independent musicians, and music survived the huge stint of theft. Those who survived are doing fine and things have normalized again.
Will I be prepared for when the next stage in books comes? Will I still be around when things open up again? Will readers just start to find me, and all this searching for the answers be a drawn out snow ball rolling down the hill gathering more snow?
It takes time to build a readership, and even though these terrible things I have listed above are taking place, things must get better. The reason why is that social media wants to survive, and selling ads is how they will do that–therefore doing the best you can to build upon each successive ad campaign will lead to building readership. Continuing to write great content on your blog, and behave as if the world is watching, will result in readers finding you. You basically just need that one viral post, right? What is viral to you? For me, it’s a few thousand. And that success will build you further successes. Readers will come. Write so they have something to read.
I also plan to continue working a regular job because it eases my need for income and makes me independent of the ups and downs writing alone would afford. Sure thing it would be great to just be able to write, and I will get there at some point in my life, sooner or later. That is absolutely assured.
In the meantime, I enjoy the readers on Wattpad, and I watch that build up to remind me that I’m not half as invisible as I sometimes fancy myself being in the middle of anxiety attacks.
Hop on over to see what the other authors have to predict…