The invisibility problem in self-publishing
July 31, 2011 | 1:15 pm
There seems to be a commonly-held attitude these days that self-publishing is a road to success, and that all you have to do is price your book at 99 cents and you’ll sell a zillion copies. (I will admit that from time to time I can come fairly close to buying into that perception myself.)
Futurebook has an amusing article by Amazon self-publishing author Walter Ellis who shows the other side of that coin. Says Mr. Ellis, “I publish, therefore I am invisible.”
Having written a couple of successful nonfiction books and a historical fiction thriller, Ellis tried his hand at a modern novel, London Eye, but discovered that UK publishers simply were not interested. So he decided to publish it himself.
It was then that a cloak of invisibility descended. The only people who knew about London Eye were my immediate friends and family, my facebook friends and those whose sadness is defined by their close personal knowledge of recent uploads to the Kindle Store. A number of those I approached – one of them a distinguished publisher – didn’t know there was such an entity as the Kindle Store and were unable to find the book without the equivalent of global satellite navigation.
I bemusedly note that Ellis seems to have come up with at least one solution to this problem—jump-start word-of-mouth by posting an amusing article to a widely-read e-book blog, which in turn might be reblogged by other people who find it interesting. Too bad not every self-publishing writer can do the same!
London Eye is currently available for the Kindle for £1.14 on Amazon.co.uk, or 99 cents on Amazon.com. It seems to be getting pretty good reviews so far. (All two of them.) Who knows…I might just have to check it out myself.