Many rookies think: "If I write it, people will read it."
But that's not true. Most self-published books are kinda like dreams. Your dream was interesting to you, but when you tell others what you dreamed last night, their eyes glaze over, because your nightly hallucinations really aren't all that interesting to anyone else.
Chances are, even your friends and family aren't really interested in reading your self-published book. Your mom might read it to do you a favor, but if it wasn't written by her precious little angel, she probably couldn't care less about it.
Up until a few years ago, there were only about three million books on Amazon. Then people started self-publishing and the flood gates opened.
Nowadays over a million new books are published every year in the US alone. Most of them self-published, and most of them really bad. (That doesn't mean every self-published book is bad. But I'll get to that later.)
In one day more books get published than anyone can read in a lifetime.
Even if there were no more books published ever, there are still more books in existence today than anyone can read. And most of them suck. Good luck trying to find a good one. It's like finding a needle in a haystack.
And books have to compete for the reader's attention with movies, TV, Netflix, the web, social media, apps, video games, and all sorts of other things. Some business experts call the era we live in today the attention economy, because everyone is trying to get your attention, to sell you stuff.
Even those people who still love to read books above all else only have so many hours of spare time. Even the most voracious bookworm can't read every book that's out there.
So readers have to be very selective. They don't want to waste their time on a shitty book. And after reading a bunch of really shitty self-published books, a lot of readers are hesitant to even take a chance on another self-published indie book.
So when you self-publish a book, not only are you competing with millions of other books, you're also at a disadvantage because your book is self-published, and a lot of readers are unwilling to even try your book, because they've had so many bad experiences.
And they already have a long list of books they want to read next, as soon as they're finished with the book they're reading right now.
Occasionally I read a few Facebook groups for wannabe writers, or indie authors as they like to call themselves. What strikes me is how utterly clueless most of them are. When I ask them: "Why would anyone read your book as opposed to some other book?" a lot of these rookies reply: "I'm not competing with other books. People can read my book and the other book."
But that's not how this works. Readers can only read so many books in a month. And unless you give them a really good reason to read your book, they'll prefer to read some other, more famous book. You're competing for the reader's attention. And if you don't even know that, you've already lost.
Most rookie wannabe authors spend a lot of money on self-publishing their book. They follow the advice of other wannabe authors. They pay an editor. They pay a cover designer. They pay "professional review services." They pay someone who claims they can promote the book. They might even pay some other failed wannabe author who claims to be a "publishing company" and then charges them hundreds or even thousands of dollars to simply upload their book on one of the free self-publishing platforms. Easy money.
And then, when all is said and done, and they spent a ton of money, these rookies wonder why their book isn't selling. They think they did everything right. They did all the things the other wannabe writers told them to do.
They didn't realize that the other wannabe writers don't sell any books either.
Before you take anyone's advice, check the sales rank of their own books. If their Amazon sales rank is somewhere around 700,000 or worse, they're barely selling one book per month, if even that. Why would you follow their advice? They have no idea what they're talking about. They're rookies pretending to be experts. It's almost like they're role playing. They're make-believe writers, the way kids are make-believe astronauts or pirates.
Its pretty annoying to real writers, when some unqualified, talent-free hack calls himself a writer, because it devalues the word. Millions of shitty self-published wannabe writers are giving real indie writers with real talent a bad name.
If everyone is suddenly a writer, then no one is. It feels like cultural appropriation. You're stealing their identity. You're appropriating the one thing that is sacred to real writers. You're not a writer. You like to write. There's a difference. To you it's just a hobby, and yet you decorate yourself with stolen feathers. You give yourself a title you haven't earned and don't deserve. Just like you can't wake up one day and pretend now you're a proctologist.
And the flood of shitty self-published hobby books are making it more and more difficult for real writers to make a living with their craft. Imagine if suddenly everyone claimed to be a lawyer. It would make it much harder to find a real lawyer, with actual legal expertise.
Wannabe writers talk a big game, about the book industry, as if they were veteran insiders. But in reality they have no more to do with the actual book industry than the Hollywood movie industry. They don't even know the fundamental basics.
On Facebook, there are hundreds of wannabe writer groups, each with tens of thousands of members. And they think it's a good idea to post their book link in these groups for wannabe writers.
You know what most of them have in common?
No one is buying their books.
They spend hours, running from group to group to group, posting their book link. Tens of thousands of them do that. So as soon as you post your book link, someone else posts their own book link above yours. But you didn't notice, because you just posted your link and immediately ran to the next group, to post your link there, too. You didn't even look at the previous book links before yours.
Well, the next wannabe writer does the same thing. He posts his book link above yours without even looking at yours, and then he runs to the next group. They all do that. Everyone blindly posts their own book link and runs to the next group. But your link disappears within just a few minutes, because so many other links get posted above yours. And none of these links get looked at or clicked on by anyone.
It's a gigantic, ridiculous waste of time. And yet, thousands of wannabe writers do it. Why? Because everyone else is doing it, too.
Never underestimate the stupidity of crowds.
And then there's the Sharing is Caring meme. Every Sunday, hundreds of wannabe writers post "Sharing is Caring" and encourage others to post their book links in the comments below.
Lots of wannabe writers run from Sharing post to Sharing post, to post their book link. Over and over and over, on post after post after post. It's idiotic, because just like in the writer groups, no one looks at the other links that were posted. Everyone just posts their own book link and runs to the next Sharing is Caring post, to post the book link again. Over and over and over, for hours.
The end result? Not only a giant waste of time, but it also turned your book link into spam. When you post the same link more than a few times, Facebook marks it as spam. You are literally destroying your own book link by participating in the Sharing is Caring idiocy.
And once Facebook marks your book link as spam, their algorithms make any post with your spam book link virtually invisible. People don't get notifications for your spam posts, or your posts become hidden altogether. And the cherry on top? Your account gets flagged as a spammer.
Facebook might disable your account altogether, or block your access for a few weeks, which is known as Facebook jail.
Wannabe writers constantly complain about getting sent to Facebook jail, because they don't understand that they're sabotaging themselves. They're shooting themselves in the foot by turning their own book links into spam.
And why are they doing something so incredibly dumb and counterproductive? Because everyone else is doing it.
Brilliant. Good thinking.
>>>Real Writers vs Wannabe Writers