Books, Bought and Sold

Books, Bought and Sold
Listen to Books, Bought and Sold

You might not know this… but e-books on just about every major retailer are sold based on sales rank. Yes, I know the content matters, and books are bought based on an appealing cover or a masterful blurb. The real truth is that most people don’t search for an author they love, but by the genres they wish to read. They then choose a book from the first ten books that appear from their search. 

You might say that’s good because a lot of other people have read those books and the customer is more likely to get a book that they’re satisfied with, and that’s likely true. The problem with that is there are far more great books waiting to be read that didn’t appear on the first page of only ten books.

Think about it this way. When you step into the breakfast cereal aisle of the grocery store, what do you find? Are there only ten different varieties of cereal? No. There are fifty or more if you stick to just cold cereals. If we start adding hot cereals, pastries, and energy bars, the number of options increases again until you may face a choice of over a hundred items to potentially purchase.

The question for the reader is this: Why limit yourself when purchasing a book when you don’t do it when buying breakfast cereal? Don’t let the book store decide which books are best. Click next a few times and scroll through some pages of thumbnails. Relax and read a few reviews and even check out a few previews, but don’t get sucked into buying the first book that displays on the screen. You’ll never know if you missed an opportunity to buy a better read if you let the system decide for you!

Authors, what does that mean for us? Promotion and marketing are the keys. Don’t forget the 7/11 rule. The more often a reader sees a book that they would potentially enjoy, the more likely you are to eventually sell a book. You need an eternal presence so you must always be promoting your books. It doesn’t hurt to have a free book to pique interest and other books to link to. It also doesn’t hurt to build that backlist so readers who like your style will have more to enjoy.

You also must seek readers where they are. Sadly, people aren’t always in a good book. So social media presence matters. And I’m going to say it. You have to spend money to make money. I know. I don’t like it either, and it’s super hard for me to do that. But it’s important to learn how to advertise your books.

I’m not any kind of expert, but a little advertising can go a long way. Just remember to be doing all the free promotional stuff as well. There’s no ‘throwing money at it and praying’ that will substitute for good old-fashioned hard work. You basically need to combine the two, but I’d do the free stuff first, then create a manageable budget for advertising. Never spend more than you’re comfortable spending. But relying entirely upon only organic traffic may very well be a lost cause.

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Why Editions?

Okay, now that we’ve had the commercial break let me speak to another aspect of book sales. A reader asked me, “Why are there multiple editions?” That’s a loaded question that actually has a serious amount of work involved to answer, but in case anyone else wonders, I thought it best to clear that up. 

First, let me start by explaining to any new readers that Ophelia Kee is it. No editors, no publishers, no paid employees, or outsourced extras. I designed the covers, then changed them. I built the book trailers. The music score is either my invention or music that is part of the public domain. (Thanks to the maestro app.)

Just as I write the book, I also edit the book, add in extra features such as the links to my other books, links to my social media, and bits of information that I think might be helpful like the quick reference page at the ends of the books. 

The first editions didn’t have those things. I was new at the game. I added more social media. I realized the need for a quick reference page. I bought the website and the blog and needed to add that to the books. I published more books in the series and needed to go back and add links, but none of that meant I needed a new edition.

I also improved my editing tools when Google docs improved their grammar and spell-check and later began using Grammarly to help me too. This caused me to edit again works which I had previously published. Still no need for a new edition.

Nothing about the stories has been altered, but some minor spelling and punctuation issues have been corrected to aid the reading experience. To my handful of beta readers, who read for free and always ask the hardest damned unanswerable questions, thank you for being so relentlessly tough. You are the best.

I’m truly the epitome of the starving artist and indie author in many respects. If you come across a typographical error, I apologize in advance. Let me know, and I’ll try to correct it for the next reader. I wish every reader a good experience with the stories that make up Draoithe, so please don’t fear the new edition or an altered book cover. Just know that I’m getting better at my art, and I hope that translates into a better reading experience.

Thank you in advance for understanding that Draoithe has been a labor of love and is the product of countless hours of work by mostly only one person. Your continued support is greatly appreciated.

When you see a second edition, it just means that the book has taken a new format. If the book was originally published as an 8.5×11 but I changed it so that it was a 6×9 sized book, or if the book has been published with added content as some of the hard covers have been, then a new edition is in order. Rest assure that the original story hasn’t been significantly altered, I’m simply adhering to industry standards. I hope that clears up any confusion anyone may have had about the second editions paperbacks and hardcover books.

When you read anything, please be kind and leave a review. If you have any questions or simply wish to comment, I love to hear from readers. 

Until the next blog post,

Be Careful!

Happy Reading,

Ophelia Kee

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