Archive | April 2013

SELF PUBLISHING ON KINDLE – Have Any Books On Kindle Ever Sold No Copies?

I wasn’t planning on writing a post on the blog today but my attention was caught by one of the Google Search terms that helped someone find my blog…..the phrase being “Have Any Books On Kindle Ever Sold No Copies?

Answer. Plenty. How come?

‘Lack of any form of proper promotion’ would be my first answer I suppose. If no one knows about your book no one will buy it. It makes sense.

The second answer would be ‘If the subject of the book is so obscure and seemingly irrelevant to 99.9999% of potential readers then that might be a problem’. I can’t think of a good example to quote off the top of my head but how about “Yemeni Basket Weaving for the Lost and Bewildered”? (Apologies to all those Yemeni basket weavers reading this post…I’m sure Yemeni baskets are fantastic…come to think of it I might be interested in that book myself. I fit all the criteria).

Third I guess is if the book is totally hopeless….badly written, full of mistakes, ridlled wiht typo’s, and unedited. Believe me, if you upload a book like that to Kindle you will soon get found out, so to speak.

Will that do for starters? I’m sure there are a hundred and one (at least) other reasons why a book might not sell any copies but if your book hits the mark on my first three suggestions then there’s no point going any further.

But seriously, if I may, even good books, well written and promoted, can sit there on Kindle and earn nothing. Nada. It happens all the time, But that’s the nature of the beast. There is so much competition out there these days it’s not easy.

You just have to be honest with yourself and try and be objective about your book….and don’t expect miracles. So, upload your book, take a punt, promote it, and see what happens.  You have nothing to lose. You never know there might be zillions of potential basket weavers out there.

Never Underestimate The Power Of Your Blog Posts – They Are All Over GOOGLE

Just a quickie. Nothing too life changing, but interesting all the same. Well, I thought so.

Yesterday I was browsing through my Stats (as one does) and my eye drifted across to the ‘Search Terms’ section.

Now for those of you who have never really thought about this, those terms are the exact Search Words or Phrases that someone has typed into Google (or other search engines too) and then found your blog post and had a look at it.

Okay, this is not new, you probably already knew this, and you’re thinking “So what?” Well, I have to say “Big Deal actually”……why?

Think about this…..someone is searching for something very specific and they found your post. Just one example from yesterday’s Search Terms on my post was ‘How Many Kindle eBooks Can I Expect To Sell?’ A bit of a daft question really, but it does serve as an example.

Think of all the articles, websites, blogs, you name it on Google…yet that search term resulted in them clicking on one of my blog posts about just that very subject.

Just to check I went immediately onto Google and entered the very same Search Term and Bingola! Guess What? My insignificant, little blog post on the subject came top of the Google Search. Top. I looked at the thousands of other search suggestions, many of which were incredibly good and detailed, yet my whimsical blog post came top. Number One, and the searcher actually took a look at my post.

You may still be thinking ‘So What? What’s the Big Deal then?’

Well, do you know how many web developers/promoters/search engine optimisation agencies shed blood and tears to get their client’s websites to number one on Google on anything?

So to briefly sum up…..always bear in mind that your blog post, the very one you may be uploading right now, has the potential to reach a heck of a lot of ‘Google searchers’……and as soon as you upload a post it ‘floats’ around in the Googlesphere (I wonder if I could copyright that term? That would be worth a few dollars, surely? Somebody must have done that?)….and has the potential to be found by zillions. Consider that for a moment. Think of how you might use it for one of your books/projects…..

I’ll leave the thought with you. Have a good day.

Typos, Spellcheckers and Proofreaders – Don’t Get Me Started!

I’ve just produced a book for a first time writer that has broken all records….well, at least the records I keep. I will share them with you if that’s okay?

The writer is a smashing chap. It’s his first book, and I suspect his only one, but it’s good fun and I know he will sell a stack of copies to his friends, relations, work colleagues and fellow ‘hobbyists’.

I am not going to name him, obviously, and there is no way he will ever read this…..but let’s just say his manuscript came to me a couple of weeks ago to be turned into a book and published by my imprint Write Good Books. Fair enough.

The 120,000 word manuscript contained rather a lot of typos, spelling errors, grammar quirks, misplaced commas, a vague number of full stops and a weird and wonderful use Or Misuse of Caps and incorrect spellings of place names…..san Francissco mite Give, you some idae of The problem  !!.

So what could I do? Send the manuscript back and tell him to check it all again? Well, I suppose I could have…..but, no I didn’t. This man is of a certain age and I had an inkling he had simply had enough of his manuscript and just wanted to get it into print….a lifelong wish to ‘get it all into a book while I still remember it’ kind of scenario.

So, I pointed out that the script contained a ‘rather a lot of typos’ and did he want me to go through the book and correct them as best I could? “No”, was the answer, quickly followed by ‘”I’ve already spell-checked it and it was fine”.

But I couldn’t just let it go at that…..I couldn’t possibly live with publishing a book with so many errors……so I began the long process of correcting the manuscript as best I could in any free time I had available…..it was a long haul. I’m not looking for sympathy here, just stating the facts, ma’am.

So what’s the point of this post? Well, simply that if you write something, anything, you really DO owe it to your readers to get it right. Spellcheckers only work up to a point. They are not the Holy Grail. Human’s are better, but still capable of missing tons of spelling mistakes, so in the end it’s down to the writer (YOU) to check, and recheck and check again.

Proofreaders? Are they the way to go? Spend money? In my whole publishing/self publishing ‘career’ I’ve yet to meet one writer who has employed one. Not one. It’s a money thing.

So what to do? Well, I know a lot of you employ the tactic of picking maybe five people you trust to read your manuscript looking for inaccuracies of any kind and then getting them to report back…..and it works. I know. I’ve been there and done that. So perhaps that’s your back up….but as I say, first and foremost it’s your responsibility. As writers we all owe it to our readers to GET IT WRITE. Sorry….GET IT RIGHT.

Finally, apologies for the long-winded rant of a post…….but here to prove to you that spell-checkers really don’t work is a poem I found all over the web….it’s worth a look…..

Eye have a spelling chequer,
It came with my Pea Sea.
It plane lee marks four my revue
Miss Steaks I can knot sea.

Eye strike the quays and type a whirred
And weight four it two say
Weather eye am write oar wrong
It tells me straight a weigh.

Eye ran this poem threw it,
Your shore real glad two no.
Its vary polished in its weigh.
My chequer tolled me sew.

A chequer is a bless thing,
It freeze yew lodes of thyme.
It helps me right all stiles of righting,
And aides me when eye rime.

Each frays come posed up on my screen
Eye trussed too bee a joule.
The chequer pours o’er every word
Two cheque sum spelling rule.

Blogging or Not Blogging – What happens when you don’t blog for a month or so?

Greetings. I’m blogging again, sort of. It’s been a while. Life got in the way I’m afraid. Enough said. I’ll not bore you with details.

So, what’s new? Well, the break from being a blogperson has produced ‘interesting’ results statswise for yours truly.

So first of all here’s a question…..What do you think would happen if you did a regular daily blog for let’s say three months, built up a reasonable following, and then completely stopped for a month? Any ideas? Maybe you’ve already done that and know the answer. I had no idea. But now I know.

The first thing that happens is nothing much. Visitors still keep coming to your blog and taking a look even though you are posting nothing new. Comments still appear from time to time, mostly on posts you wrote weeks ago and you’d forgotten about. In other words, life goes on.

You may be missed by a handful of your blog followers but it’s unlikely any of them will ask where you are or why you have suddenly stopped. Why should they?  They have plenty of other bloggers to follow. It’s not personal. At least I don’t think it is.

Amazingly, the stats do not dry up….visitors arrive, take a look at what they fancy and rattle up a fair amount of ‘views’. It’s all rather strange, yet not strange at all. Which, I suppose, is as it should be really. I don’t know what I was expecting really.

Oh yes, there is one thing that you’ll miss…all the emails telling you someone ‘likes’ your latest post or whatever. Yes, there is that. But that’s about it really.

So, today is the first day I’ve checked my blog stats for some time and incredibly there has been quite a good deal of traffic through the posts today…..why is that I wonder? I have absolutely no idea.

So, if you ever feel like taking a break from blogging but worry it will all come to a sad end, then fear not. Life, and WordPress continues with or without you. And I suppose that’s a good thing. Yes, I’m sure it is.

So will I keep blogging? Yep. Sure. Why not? But not daily. And only if and when I have something I think is worth saying…and something you might like to read about.

Onwards and upwards as they say……