Tag Archives: indie authors

Hacking GoodReads to find your perfect book (and help others find theirs)

I’ve been looking through some GoodReads romance lists and it’s fairly disappointing. Fifty Shades of Grey and its sequels are still listed in top romance categories like “Hottest Adult and Young Adult” (emphasis mine). It’s past time to fight back against this type of thing.

It’s time to hack GoodReads.

I found hope for this in the comments on the “Hottest” and “Most Popular” lists. Romance readers are ready for—and have discovered—indie romances in so many more than fifty shades. Romances by authors of different ethnicities, romances featuring other than the typical male/female couple. Romances without BDSM—remember those?

Are you a reader who’s ready to hack GoodReads and lead the revolution? Here’s a “how-to” guide.

  1. Search for lists with “different” or “indie” in the heading. They’re out there. A list called “Books You Wish More People Knew About” has 16,000+ books!
  2. Create a list! Did you just read the wackiest book ever with a werewolf heroine whose cubs are in school so she joins the PTA? Find some friends who’ve read wacky books that don’t fit into any other lists and make the list. Cross genre is a definite thing in today’s world.
  3. Most of all, if you’ve read a book that you loved, find a list for it! Especially if it’s an indie author. Indie authors would love to see their books on a list where more readers might find it.
  4. Comment on the “Hottest” and “Most Popular” list if you know an author or title which should have been included. You never know when you might be able to point a reader to a book they’ll love but never would have found without you!

The revolution in the publishing industry has begun. Battle lines have been drawn between big publishers and small, between more of the same and originality. The battlefields are places like Amazon, Smashwords, indie book stores, chain bookstores, online ebook retailers and especially a place like GoodReads. What’s at stake? The right of the reader to buy into the ideas of their choosing—not what’s chosen for them.

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Filed under Publishing, Writing

I need to be writing. Even if I sometimes ask what’s the point?

Here’s a little peek at how I as an indie contemporary romance author often feel: Hello? Is this thing on?

I recently read a very good blog article about why indie writers need to avoid underpricing their books. The author made several very good points, but one in particular stood out to me. Unless we write as a hobby, we’re hoping our writing will eventually support us. It’s hard to do that when you’re selling your work for 99 cents.

I’ve spoken up several times on this subject in support of writers selling their work for whatever the hell they want to sell it for—provided they can find buyers. It’s survival of the fittest out there in the publishing world, and anything you can do to give yourself an edge is fair game.

The problem is, pricing your ebook at 99 cents is no longer going to give you that much of an edge. In fact, giving it away is no longer going to give you an edge. The only real way to get an edge in today’s market is to study your craft and write and promote and study and write and promote…and pray. Yup, that’s right. Pray. Pray to God or Buddha or your muse. Pray for that magic moment when, for some unknown reason, the words you wrote catch on. Something snags the attention of the reading masses and it’s your book that’s being tweeted and talked and posted about.

I’m still waiting for that. Reviewers (for the most part) like my writing. But hey, most of them get my books for free. (Want a review copy? Email me. I’ll send it out. Kindle or paperback. Your choice.) So I’m still trying everything I can, including different price points, to catch that wave.

Just the other day, I dropped the price of Ducks in a Row from $2.99 to $1.99 in the hopes that it would spur some sales. The sequel, Saturday Love, is with an editor now and I hope to publish it in January. I think there are literally dozens of people waiting for that sequel, and I have no intentions of disappointing them. If I could grow those dozens to hundreds by January, that’d be pretty awesome, though.

And, can you keep a secret? Next week on July 1, Close Up Magic will be free for one day only. I’m not telling everyone yet, just you guys. I’d hate to discourage anyone from paying for the book now.

But as I wait for that moment when it all comes together with pricing and readers and promotions and magic, be assured I’m writing. And I’m striving to write each book a little better than the last one so that eventually my readers won’t even look at the price of my novels. Eventually, they’ll see another book by me and buy it without worrying about how much it costs because they know it’s worth it.

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Filed under Marketing, Writing