Just like Blake Shelton on The Voice pointing at himself to get picked to be on his team. As indie authors, we have to put our hand over our head and point at ourselves to get readers attention. The key is to be as charming as Blake Shelton but maybe not as drunk.
In the past, we needed a publisher to shine a light on us, now we have to do it ourselves. Unfortunately, I believe for many authors this is counter-intuitive to our nature. As writers, we want to sit in a room and be alone in the dark with our characters and stories. Not out there shouting to pay attention to us.
As an avid reader here’s something you should know about the authors plight and what you should know about why you might not be finding new authors.
The Mystery of the Algorithm: Words + Math = Sales
There are SO many authors out there promoting their own stuff using Newsletters, Blogs, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and so many other platforms to be discovered. Doing their best to scream above the noise and it’s not easy to get your attention. With all those tools you still have one other mountain to climb to be discovered and that’s the Amazon & Apple algorithm, which has nothing to do with words and it’s all about the numbers.
Do you know most people buy their books from the Amazon Top 100 chart or Amazon recommendations? I used to do that exclusively now I use blog reviews and social media for my recommendations. Amazon no longer controls my choices and I feel so much better.
Let me tell you a little how the Amazon list works its not purely on sales, it is also based on the number of reviews, clicks and some other mysterious options that aren’t disclosed. If you are a well-known author staying in the charts is much easier, discovering a new author is very difficult for this reason.
When ebooks first started there was a great rush in discovering new authors like Jamie McGuire and SC Stephens. Do you remember that feeling? I find it’s getting harder and harder to find that special author because there’s no place to be discovered. Do you have the same issue?
The reason is the algorithm! Have you noticed that so many books will end with the author begging you to leave a review? This isn’t because we need your validation. Of course, it would be nice. The reason is that it helps boost our books up the charts which then makes sure the books are found which will translate to sales. Ultimately this means we get to keep writing stories you like.
Look I am guilty as anyone it’s tough to take the time to write a review because we think we have to write some beautiful heartfelt review that so many people do on Amazon. Don’t sweat it, you don’t have to be Shakespeare! Next time you finish a book and the Kindle asks you to leave review take two minutes and give the books a 5-star review and say, “it was great, I’d recommend to friends”. They don’t have to be long winded but one more review for a book they worked long and hard on will make a difference to the numbers.
Unfortunately, when it comes down to it, it’s all about the math, not the words that sell our books, however, if you take the time to leave a review you will continue to be able to write the words.
You can find my book Instant Connection Vol 1. on Amazon