These waters are suddenly FULL of sharks.
I self-pubbed my first novel, When Libby Met the Fairies, in 2011 — early enough to catch the first happy wave of indie authoring. I didn’t do a lot of marketing. I didn’t have to. I took advantage of Amazon’s KDP Select free days. I listed that book as free. And then I publicized the free days by submitting the information to maybe a dozen or so sites that list free books.
I got over 20,000 downloads.
I might have paid a few dollars here and there for some of the listings, but for the most part, it cost me nothing out of pocket.
Since then, I’ve published three more novels. And like all indie-authors, I’ve watched our little industry change. You know the drill, I’m sure! The market is flooded with indie titles. Traditional publishers are starting to compete with indies on price. Amazon has made big changes to KDP, including the introduction of Kindle Unlimited.
It’s getting harder — WAY harder — to get noticed.
But there’s been another change, as well.
These waters are filling with sharks — and they smell blood.
They smell the blood we authors shed, mingled with our tears, as we write our books and then try to get someone, anyone, to read them.
You’ve seen them, I’m sure. Tweeting services. Advertising services. Blog tour organizers. Promote your book this way, promote your book that way.
Read the fine print, and they all have the same disclaimer. No guarantees! Results may vary! Don’t blame us if you use our services and don’t sell any books!
Well guess what, dear author.
They’re rip-off artists — and YOU are their mark.
And, as you might be able to tell from the tone of this post, I am extremely PO’d about it.
So I’ve decided to write about it.
I’ve decided to write about it long, and hard, and often.
But I need your help.
I’m SURE there are “author marketing services” out there that are honest, and legitimate, and actually deliver measurable results.
But the vast majority are a complete waste of money.
Let’s band together to protect each other from the sharks.
Reach out to me. You don’t have to use your real name. You don’t have to name the service that disappointed you — or outright ripped you off — if you don’t want to. (And in fact, please do NOT mention a service by name in the comments, for now.)
I’m not interested in “outing” specific companies or services at this time.
What I do want is to talk to other authors.
I want to deepen my understanding of what authors experience, today, when they hire someone else to help them with marketing.
As I understand your experiences more fully, I’ll report back what I’ve learned, here, in this blog. And then, when I’ve got enough, I’m going to compile it as a handbook for authors.
Together, we can fight back.
Please share your experiences with me by emailing me at kirsten AT kirstenmortensen DOT com, or use the contact form on my About page, or leave a comment.
Everyone who contributes to this project will receive a free e-copy of the handbook when it’s published.