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Nicola

Bad Stories on Amazon

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Bad Stories on Amazon

 

What do do about it:

Quote

So What Can You Do to Compete With All the Junk-Food Books?

Gaining visibility at a low-enough cost to make a profit on sales is the entire game. Here are a few techniques that are working in my sphere, which is dark fantasy and fantasy romance:

1. Serialize Your Fiction

Amazon wants something every 30 days? Fine. Serialize your works. Break them up into 20–30k word installments and publish them every 4 weeks. Is it ideal? Of course not. You’ll get 3-starred by some people for putting out incomplete stories, but that’s better than getting no visibility at all.

To test, you can take an old work that’s not selling and chop it up. Don’t change anything, because you’d be putting out multiple versions of the same book and confusing people. Just re-issue the pieces with some new covers and see what happens. Amazon doesn’t care if what you publish is 2,000 words or 200,000 words, as long as it comes every 30 days.

2. Cross-Promote With Other Authors

Use newsletter swaps and reciprocal Facebook posts. These are becoming more and more important, now that Amazon is not giving books organic traffic. If my niece loved Detective Manny & The Dazzling Diamonds, chances are I’d also buy Super-Sleuth Sammy & The Enchanting Emeralds. Reach out to other authors. They’re all in the same situation. Despite what you may feel, they’re not your competition. They’re your allies.

3. Record Your Own Audiobook

This is not to put on Audible, but as free content for places you can’t otherwise reach. Upload it to iTunes, Amazon, Spotify, YouTube, everywhere you can think of. The purpose is to get more people aware of what you do. You don’t even have to do the whole book, because the function is exposure. You can read novellas, short stories, etc. Just be organized and link back to your book or website.

4. Start a Patreon or Other Subscription Site

There is a lot of info on how to do this already, so I won’t get into it here. Even if you don’t have that many patrons, you will have a Review Army which will give you those necessary 5–10 first reviews to bump your Amazon rank for new releases. Your podcast could integrate with a Patreon easily.

I am particularly interested in the Audiobook mention.  Could I rent my voice out for these short, free content sound bites?  I'm going to put that on my Pateon page!  

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This was very interesting, Nicola. Katie's posts are always thought provoking. Even though I don't write fiction, still gives me food for thought. Thanks for posting this. :D

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Well, this is a fine mess.

 

I think I could write a series of fast, poorly written stories, but I'm not sure I would want my name on them, not to mention the time it would take from trying to write something that has real value and an enduring quality.

 

Now, if I were only a Dickens, I could write fast and (usually :) ) well, so I could both turn out my work and make money doing it.

 

Alas, I am a mere mortal, so I will continue to plod along, with the laudable goal of upping my daily production to more than a couple of hundred words.

 

Stick around for a hundred years or so, and I will be ready to publish some amazing work.

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10 hours ago, Nicola said:

Could I rent my voice out for these short, free content sound bites?  I'm going to put that on my Patreon page!  

I think you definitely could.

 

One thing I'm surprised the article didn't mention, though, was Kindle Unlimited. I think the KU ecosystem is the major reason why many the top-selling books in some categories are not necessarily the best ones.

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Posted (edited)
15 hours ago, RADerdeyn said:

I think I could write a series of fast, poorly written stories, but I'm not sure I would want my name on them...

 

That's what pen names are for. ;)

 

13 hours ago, EBraten said:

One thing I'm surprised the article didn't mention, though, was Kindle Unlimited. I think the KU ecosystem is the major reason why many the top-selling books in some categories are not necessarily the best ones.

 

Agreed. The KU ecosystem is like stepping onto a different planet, where our laws of physics don't apply. 

Edited by Accord64
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21 hours ago, EBraten said:

One thing I'm surprised the article didn't mention, though, was Kindle Unlimited. I think the KU ecosystem is the major reason why many the top-selling books in some categories are not necessarily the best ones.

 

Yes, I'm with you, EBraten.  Kindle Unlimited is the way to go.

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I mentioned this article in the closed Story Grid Workshop group on Facebook. My friend Roland wrote

Quote

While this is somewhat true, short books (like a book split up) and serialized shorter fiction don't sell well, which means they drop out of sight soon after publishing.

More people DO see a new publication, but only what they are looking for. The algorithm rewards ongoing sales more than publication dates.

That being said, better books sell better longer. Some better books will be classics one day. Few of the cranked out books will be around decades later unless they have something special going for them. We all know some classics that could have been better written, but got our hearts...


...which is to say, stay the course and write our best books.

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Posted (edited)

Maybe the answer is to write a good story about bad stories. That might cover all the bases...

Edited by RADerdeyn
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44 minutes ago, Lucian Hodoboc said:

I still have no clue how to publish on Amazon

 

Lucian, Amazon gives you step by step instructions. There are also tutorials on Youtube that are helpful. You can also do a search for other articles on Google. There's a lot of info out there. :)

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