I bet you’ve seen this before, it’s been around awhile. But since I wrote my big “woe is me” post Wednesday, I figured I’d toss this in today.
Since Goodreads conducted the survey, and only 3000 people took the survey, my bet is that the results are a bit skewed in their favor—and I bet their own skewing is what inspired them to start charging authors and publishers for their giveaway program. Either that, or the fact that Amazon owns them now. I enjoy Goodreads as a reader somewhat more than I do as a writer, and it’s true, I do find books I’d like to read on that site. But I’m not your ordinary reader. I rarely have to pay for a book, and I rarely pay full price. I also rarely get to read books by big-name authors.
But going back to viewing this in light of Wednesday’s post, look where Facebook and Twitter land. I don’t doubt this at all. Both Facebook and Twitter have sponsored ads for all sorts of products, while Goodreads is exclusively for books.
Top of the list, though, are “known author” and “friend,” a.k.a. “word of mouth.” Both of these fit into the addage that the best sales tool is your published book. If you had an eye-catching cover and a great, well-written story, readers will be in search of your next book. The more you publish, the higher your sales are likely to go.
Still, marketing and publishing go hand in hand. I looked through a friend’s Amazon page recently. She has written more books than just about anyone I know; but I can’t tell, judging by the number of reviews she gets, that she’s any better known than I am, despite her contracts with big-name Christian houses. (Granted, reviews aren’t a good measurement, but compare the number I get with the number someone like Debbie Macomber gets, and you can see who’s better known.) However, I’ve never noticed my friend promote her books other than when she has a new release. She admitted, during a talk we had once, that her royalties run about the same as mine.
It would be great if we could couple our efforts with TV ad campaigns, like James Patterson or Nora Roberts or Nicholas Sparks, but that’s not our reality. We don’t have big contracts with big publishers, nor do we have the disposable income required to fund national campaigns ourselves (most of us don’t, anyway).
So what do we do? We keep plugging along and take sales where we can get them. Who knows when our rockets will launch!