Sunday, April 17, 2011

The Trip Wire

Okay, here's the question of the day: you're a writer. A writer of ebooks. And obviously you want to sell'em. So you begin social networking. Find sites all over the internet that works for you and you make your presence known. You constantly update. You continuously 'friend' for new friends.

The question is this . . . When? When does this active social networking gig begin to pay off? What trip-wire has to be stumbled over before there is a sudden bounce in sales and a sharp rise in fans buyng your books that feeds on itself for a long period of time?

Vincent Zandri and J.A. Konrath come to mind when I think about this. They sell thousands of their books a month. A MONTH!! That's impressive to say the least. Mind-boggling is more like it. It literately just boggles the mind.

So did they do it just be social networking?

Konrath has said repeatedly his previous writing gig with big publishers didn't help him in the least when it came to selling ebooks. Vincent Zandri is not so sure. I asked him that very question the other day on a--get this--social network site and he said he thought his previous exposure had to have helped some.

I have a sneaking suspicion there's more to it than just social networking. Like it has always been . . . and always will be . . .I think you have to be in the right place and at the right time to be 'discovered.' And like always--a huge amount of pure, unadultered blind LUCK comes into play.

Social networking. Hard work. Exposure. And fricken' blind luck makes the successful writer. I can do the first three. It's the LUCK thing that bugs me.

How do you stumble into blind luck?


  1. Luck, old buddy, is a fickle critter. Luck is an accident. Being lucky is not. The latter takes a lot of work and time. I'm afeared both of us are still working on it. I have faith and determination. I think you do, too. Hang in there.

  2. It's so hard to say what works and what doesn't. I currently have seven ebooks published (one crime fiction and a six-part children's fantasy series), and my royalty checks buy me a cup of coffee (without cream or sugar, mind you).

    My publisher advertises some and makes the books available as paperbacks on some sites, I belong to quite a number of networks, I blog, I have a website, I have an author page on Goodreads, and I'm still earning a cup of black coffee here.

    Lately, I've been very blessed. Some friends from networks and writing sites have mentioned my work in their interviews and plugged me here and there, for which I will be eternally grateful. I guess only time will tell. I don't know if having an agent makes a difference--I've never had one. But agents don't sell your books, they make the deals. But is getting a deal the answer? I believe you already have to be big to get a deal with a big publisher, who will publicize the daylights out of you. But how do you get to be big in the first place?

    It's a vicious circle. You go round and round and it's hard to break out and begin to move forward. I'm just going to keep working hard at it and getting as much of my work out there as possible and letting as many people know about it as I can. I'm not sure what else can be done.

    What a depressing and discouraging comment I've made here. It's a darn good thing I love to write...

  3. Are you sure about Konrath's comment? I remember him saying his previous publication success did make a difference, and that his success was not necessarily the best example to use when going straight into ebooks.

  4. Dana, I remember him at least once making the comment he didn't think his previous successes amounted to much. But then, I've been wrong before.

  5. Yo B.R...Great Blog...I mean, my take is this:
    I have two novels that were published by the big boys and along with that comes some pretty great reviews from the likes of The Boston Herald, Pub Weekly, etc...When The New York Post calls The Innocent (As Catch Can) "Masterful...Sensational...Brilliant!" or whatever in one review, people tend to pay attention. So, even though I'm pub'd by an indie now, I still get to use those reviews on all my books and they definitely help...
    Rock on....

  6. Vince--I have to think working with the big boys, and getting big name reviews, has to help out. Just has to.

    But I think John's comment above is apropo. The rest of us are just left with hard work. (and a prayer that our hard work makes us that luck)