Being a self-published author means that you get access to a host of services that aren’t available to you if you go the traditional route. Like checking your daily sales reports on Amazon. As a self-published author you can check in whenever you want to see how many books you sold that day. Consequently, some days are awesome. You sold a lot of books! And other days you feel disappointed or confused or just like plain crap. Your sales took a dive, or worse, you sold none at all.
In short, you get a free ticket for the approval vs. rejection rollercoaster and you can ride it as many times as you want. Sometimes the ride leaves you feeling exhilarated and sometimes you just feel sick and dizzy and question why you ever thought getting on the ride was a good idea at all.
Studies have proven again and again that humans make purchasing decisions based on emotional factors. This probably happens most frequently in the glittering online jungle known as Amazon.com. I read recently that Amazon is the only search engine people use with the mouse in one hand, and a credit card in the other. For me, a regular Amazon customer, I don’t even need my credit card. The site has my payment information recorded and it’s as simple as one click to send a new book to my Kindle.
If you’re a writer, and a reader, I know this is true for you too.
Emotional decision making + split-second purchasing power =
You better have a damn good book cover.
I’ve been reading a book on modern Russian history, covering the years 1917 until the present. I had known that writers in the Soviet Union functioned under severe repression, but I hadn’t known how extreme it really was or that it lasted for almost six decades. The writers and intellectuals of this time used a phrase amongst themselves, “writing for the desk drawer,” to describe the common knowledge that it was useless to try to publish one’s work because any writer with a dissident view would be censored, if not punished. “Writing for the desk drawer” hit home for me big time, because I know so many writers today—in free countries—who are still carrying on the practice.
If you are a writer looking to publish, chances are that you’ve done your fair share of research online about what the publishing world is looking for. And you know that this world encompasses not only publishers, but agents, fiction journals and magazines, and readers. It’s very easy to believe that if you can figure out “what publishers are looking for” then you can be that thing, and make your writing career a success.
Welcome to my new author interview series! Each month I’ll be interviewing different authors about their work and their publishing journey. Today’s interview is with K. M. Alexander, author of The Stars Were Right, which just launched yesterday on Amazon Kindle and Kobo.