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Quill and Feather Pub [Public] / Re: Article: No one buys books
« Last post by The Bass Bagwhan on May 01, 2024, 10:36:57 AM »
When you say, "Amazon is a bottomless pit", I thought about it and decided it must be true. It's not just all the books — it's the zillion other products it lists. But sticking with the subject of books, the concept of trying to stay within that top 500K is an intriguing, different approach — a different mindset really. And trust that Amazon, dare I say ("trust" and "Amazon" not usually synonymous) does indeed dump all the rubbish to the bottom of the pit.

As for direct selling from a website, I've tried this several times and just can't get it to work well. I suspect that many readers do actually rely on the ratings and reviews that Amazon provides to trigger a decision to buy.
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Quill and Feather Pub [Public] / Re: Article: No one buys books
« Last post by Bill Hiatt on May 01, 2024, 06:14:31 AM »
If you search by my name (first and last, not just last), you can find my books.  If you search by my last name only, I only have one book on page 1.  If you search by title, they'll come up.  If you search by like anything else, you will probably never see any of my books.

That is why the idea of selling direct is more and more appealing.  If the only way that someone can find my books is via my website or any social media pages I might have, why should Amazon get a cut?
I wonder how many other people have this experience? It's been a long time since I did a general genre search and found myself--but then again, I'm not looking for myself so I might not even have noticed.

This month, over 61% of my sales are from AMS ads, if the records are to be believed. But the other ones must be coming from somewhere. I'm not seeing much effect from Substack yet, and it's been ages since I saw much from FB. My own website furnished only a few clicks to Amazon. Even if they all became sales, that doesn't sound like all of the sales are accounted for. Organic visibility of some kind is all I can think.
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Quill and Feather Pub [Public] / Re: Article: No one buys books
« Last post by Post-Crisis D on April 30, 2024, 07:15:41 AM »
If you search by my name (first and last, not just last), you can find my books.  If you search by my last name only, I only have one book on page 1.  If you search by title, they'll come up.  If you search by like anything else, you will probably never see any of my books.

That is why the idea of selling direct is more and more appealing.  If the only way that someone can find my books is via my website or any social media pages I might have, why should Amazon get a cut?
84
Quill and Feather Pub [Public] / Re: Article: No one buys books
« Last post by Hopscotch on April 30, 2024, 07:09:46 AM »
Well, we the vanished can take some comfort in Herman Melville's comment to his worried father-in-law:  "...independent of my pocket, it is my earnest desire to write those sort of books which are said to ‘fail’...”
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Quill and Feather Pub [Public] / Re: Article: No one buys books
« Last post by Lorri Moulton on April 30, 2024, 07:07:35 AM »
When you say disappear...do they no longer show up in searches or just not in a top 100 category?

IMHO, another reason to have our own stores and sites, where we can link the books (including Amazon) to make it easy for readers to find them.
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Quill and Feather Pub [Public] / Re: Article: No one buys books
« Last post by Bill Hiatt on April 30, 2024, 07:06:10 AM »
I guess my books are garbage because they are very well-hidden in the depths of the pit.
I'm sure your books aren't garbage, but we were just talking specifically about how must a book disappears if it doesn't immediately get sales. Are you saying yours do disappear right away? That might be worth investigating if so.

I've had some that were pretty invisible. They reappear whenever they get a sale.
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Quill and Feather Pub [Public] / Re: Article: No one buys books
« Last post by Post-Crisis D on April 30, 2024, 03:58:17 AM »
I guess my books are garbage because they are very well-hidden in the depths of the pit.
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Quill and Feather Pub [Public] / Re: Article: No one buys books
« Last post by Bill Hiatt on April 30, 2024, 03:06:16 AM »
Agreed.

The true garbage is well-hidden, and there's plenty of good indie stuff to read.

That said, I've had stuff that didn't sell on day 1 but didn't immediately disappear. I suspect that people with proven track records get a little bit more consideration. (I'm hardly a bestseller, but I'm not cranking out garbage, either.) I also notice that my new ebook submissions seem to just zip right through approval, at least on good days. The last one was up in under two hours.
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Quill and Feather Pub [Public] / Re: Article: No one buys books
« Last post by TimothyEllis on April 29, 2024, 11:59:00 PM »
Indie publishing on the other hand is drowning in a mire of its own making. The "tsunami of crap" it was accused of 15 years is now very real.

I don't really agree with that.

Amazon is a bottomless pit.

The top 500,000 books sell, and the rest just sink down the abyss, and vanish.

They poured in hundreds of thousands of low content books, and they just vanished. People are still pouring them in 3 at a time, and they still vanish. Same with Bot drek. It just vanishes. Same with short books people think will make them a fortune.

The reality is now that if your book doesn't have pre-orders, doesn't sell on day 1, or doesn't get any KU downloads on day 1, it just vanishes. And after that, if the book stops selling, it is moved down to make way for one that is.

None of them impact on those selling at all.

The top 500k is pretty stable. Amazon moves things down over time, but sales keep a book there. What fails to sell is no threat to anything selling, nor does it make it harder to find them.

Over time I expect that 500k to reach 600k, but it doesn't seem to be in a hurry.

For now, the 'mire' is basically irrelevant to people who read a lot, and who hunt the top 100 lists and back catalogues of people on them.
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Quill and Feather Pub [Public] / Re: Article: No one buys books
« Last post by The Bass Bagwhan on April 29, 2024, 11:41:50 PM »
Aside from the aside that digital publishing is a relatively new consideration in this sort of market analysis, absolutely nothing in this article isn't old news. For a hundred years, and especially in the late 20th century, trad publishers have gambled money on books and often don't win.  Blockbuster books have always subsidised midlist authors. Celebrity tell-all books and memoirs (sporting and political in particular) have always been bafflingly popular. Huge advances have sometimes failed, "sleepers" have sometimes inexplicably been best-sellers. The amounts being paid now are 21st century, but otherwise the business model in regards to curating a publishing list is exactly the same.
Even having to promote yourself as a trad author is nothing new. You had a four-week window of care-factor from the publisher after your book hit the shelves before they moved on to the next title. Savvy authors spent all year grinding through book club meetings, speaking at any sort of event where an author might be welcome ... an old trick was offering book stores that you'd sign their store copies to give them more appeal — sounds cool, but it prevented the stores from returning those copies as "Returns".
The greatest factor in success is still luck. There are so many best sellers that publishers will admit they can't explain the popularity in comparison to a dozen identical titles.
Tradpub was very, very slow in acknowledging the digital revolution, and it did look in danger of extinction. Now it dominates it with sheer money. You can be sure that when a Big Five publisher releases a new blockbuster, it sure as hell doesn't log into the KDP dashboard. Exclusive deals and agreements are reached behind closed doors.
Trad publishing has been adapting fast. It ain't going anywhere soon. Indie publishing on the other hand is drowning in a mire of its own making. The "tsunami of crap" it was accused of 15 years is now very real.
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