Wednesday, August 5, 2015

For #Writers: I don't usually rant...but I am doing so today! Insecure Writers Support Group

MONETIZING is the word of the day. Everywhere I look, everyone I see, everyone I talk to is utilizing that concept. Is it causing our brains to tune out the commercialization tactics bombarding our lives at every moment? No. I feel like we'll be speaking in commercials soon, if we aren't already.

I remember a time when television was free but for the price of watching the commercials. Now I pay for cable and have to watch the commercials, any way, and don't get me started on the internet. Every page contains commercial material and after I stop the pop ups, I find advertising embedded in the web page.
This blog is no different. Well, somewhat... I 'm not taking money for any of this advertising. It's all about my books.

I want to reach a bigger audience because I believe what I write is entertainment at a reasonable price. If I charge less than $2.99 for a book on Amazon Kindle I only make 30% if I charge $2.99 I make 70% It isn't price fixing but it sure is price controlling. Even when you consider authors are out there giving away their work as a form of advertising, with so many free books available, who's willing to pay for a first time author experience? I think about how hard it is to hook a reader these days and wonder what it takes to develop a loyal reader base. Any ideas?

There was a time when workers banded together to demand better working conditions, hours, and wages...but today unions have a bad name. Professional organizations should have some answers. Upper echelon authors' sales have to be impacted by the ridiculous numbers of books being pumped into the market daily and yet authors, like lemmings, keep jumping off the cliff. Taking that leap of faith...this book could be the one!

 How do you decide what professional organizations are right for you? The first group I joined wasn't what I needed but they were great for making me think I was taking myself seriously...the beginning of my quest.

I'm a member of (Tampa Area Romance Authors) the local chapter of  RWA (Romance Writers of America), and I'm a PAN member (Professional Authors' Network) which means I've met some criteria to prove I'm attempting to work in this industry as a career. Lately, I find myself wondering about membership fees and whether they're worth what I'm paying for. The learning curve from 0-60 was worth it, but I believe the sustainability isn't meeting expectations for all their members.  And although these organizations are groups of authors who are highly supportive of one another, an unusual situation in a highly competitive industry, they can't keep up with the needs of an ever changing industry.

And another truth is...we aren't all competing for the money...but we are competing for exposure.

The dollar spent by a reader on an inspirational book isn't coming out of the erotic writer's pocket. I even recall when there weren't enough books being release in the genre I liked. As readers we have more choices (in some cases perhaps way too many) than we've ever had before. The new books pile up on top of the older books. The new books are buried beneath the next ones that release. At the release rate, it's only the most reviewed, highest rated, best selling books that you see. But if you don't have reviews before you put the book out...how does that work?

The industry is full of reviews of a questionable nature. How do you decide whether a FREE book is worth downloading? OMG we're in trouble when we've gotten to the point where we can't be bothered. It's free and we get angry when we discover it's not up to standards with what we're used to reading.

Who can you trust for an accurate suggestion for a Blog, for a book, for advice, for an organization?


4 comments:

  1. Who can you trust? The words of authors you've gotten to know.

    How do you decide if a free book is worth downloading? Well, many readers out there download whatever free book they find. That's why so many free books get a ton of downloads. As for me, if I know the writer. I will pick up his/her free book. If it's in a genre I like, and the title, cover and blurb interests me, I will also pick it up.

    Setting a book as free is good exposure. But only do it for 3-5 days.

    IWSG co-host Write with Fey

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    1. Chrys Fey, yes I agree. People who read what I read and write reviews are exactly what those genre authors need and who we readers expect reviews from. I wrote the Hearts of Darkness series which I felt was a cross between JR Ward's BDB and Laurell K Hamilton's two series and if you throw in a little Christine Feehan, too you can see who influenced my writing. I'm still aspiring to be as good...

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  2. I agree, Eliza...for me, it's an ongoing battle to be noticed. With all the freebies and .99 offerings, getting a reader to pay 2.99, 3.99, 4.99 for a book is tough, especially if they've never read your work. I also agree with Chrys. If it's an author I know, or one that's recommended to me by someone whose work or opinion I value, if it's in the genre I like, if the cover or the blurb grab me, I'm more likely to pick it up, free or not. Getting reviews? I've just about given up. Wish I knew the magic formula. As for organizations, I've got nothing local, so I'm not able to attend meetings for those I actually do belong to. I don't feel as though I'm really getting anything out of them at this point and wonder if the expense is worth it just to say I belong. By the way, love your writing influences...throw in a little Darynda Jones and you have my top picks :)

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  3. Yep. It's a crap shoot. Don't doubt it.

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