Wednesday 14 March 2012

Barnaby wonders why?

Reading the author's bulletin boards at Amazon and elsewhere, it is apparent that some authors number the downloads of their ebooks in the thousands, some in the hundreds and the majority in the ones. Barnaby can't help wondering what it is that prompts readers to download a book by an unknown author.

Genre is obviously important.  Some folks will never read Science Fiction, for example, while others may seek out only Humour.  Quality of writing ought to be high up amongst the reasons, but Barnaby isn't entirely convinced that this is as much of a number driver as one might think.  Certainly there are many fine writers out there who have yet to be discovered.  Many of them better writers than some of the most downloaded.  Price will be a feature.  Many people will never pay for an ebook, believing that all internet content should be FREE.  There is a huge volume of work in ebooks which is FREE, but even among the FREE body of work there is a huge difference between the numbers downloaded for one author compared to another.

Reviews are an important driver, especially 4 and 5 star reviews, which is one reason why all authors crave good reviews.  (The other, of course, is that they just want the reassurance that their work has pleased somebody.  In fact, most authors probably value the reward of a good review far more than the monetary reward, if indeed there is one).

The biggest driver, though, is always going to be publicity.  Advertising, if you like.  And the best advertising is the 'word of mouth' recommendations from people who have read and enjoyed a particular ebook.  It is reported by many successful independent authors that the biggest driver of sales or downloads for them is the ubiquitous Facebook and Twitter.

Barnaby is a bit old fashioned in this respect and much as he would like you to click on the Facebook button on his website he'd be even happier if you just told your friends how much you'd enjoyed one of his books.  And, of course, if you could post a review as well, it would make his day.  Go on, you know you want to.

No comments:

Post a Comment