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Sunday, August 24, 2014

Extracts from Dean Wesley Smith's "Killing Your Sales One Shot At A Time"

A fellow author suggested I read Dean Wesley Smith's blog. My friend has been heeding DWS's publication advice for some time now and is satisfied with the results he has seen so far.

I began reading the blog with these two entries. The straightforward advice Mr. Smith offers to indie authors impresses me, more so because he gives sound reasons for each of his recommendations. I'm grateful for the advice, even though I read it after shooting off a few toes. Fortunately, many of my missteps are d/u/e/ t/o/ s/h/o/t/-/o/f/f/ t/o/e/s/  reversible.

The subject of this Daily Scroll entry is atypical. Readers who came here today in hopes of new insights about awakening their creativity may be disappointed. Not to worry! Imagination & creativity return tomorrow, after a well-earned day off.  In the meantime, emerging authors --and some artists--may want to consider Mr. Smith's advice. I could have suggested DWS's blog & given the URL but I really hope that you'll go read both of Dean Wesley Smith's entries in their entirety. Hence, extract-baited hooks. :-D

Speaking of which, all extracts are taken from Dean Wesley Smith's blog, The Writings & Opinions of Dean Wesley Smith , with thanks.

(Advice for Indie Authors Warning About "Shooting Yourself in The Foot")

Dean Wesley Smith’s “The First Foot”Aug 6 2012
“ (I’ve) started noticing how indie writers shoot themselves in the foot as far as sales. And not just once, but often so many times that it guaranteed that no sane reader (past family and friends) would pick up their book.”

Shot #1
“Tiny little author name on the cover, sometimes hidden in some part of the very busy artwork.”

Shot #2
“Wrong genre. In about thirty different ways.”
“…Always have someone else tell you what your wrote.”

Shot #3
“Dull blurbs, filled with plot elements.”
 “…to buy the book, the reader first wants to know WHAT THE BOOK IS ABOUT. Not the events in the book

Shot #4
“All your books look different, even if they are in the same genre or series.”

Shot #5
“Covers look like they are indie published.”
“Professional covers take a skill that is easily learned given some practice …if you just toss up a standard CreateSpace template cover, your book will shout indie and drive readers away.”

Copyright © 2012 Dean Wesley Smith
"This chapter is now part of my inventory in my Magic Bakery."

“…I know most of you don’t like this thought, but reader satisfaction is why you must get genre right. Besides sales.”

“…the toe that got no comment at all really was the 5th and most important toe. … If your book looks like an indie book and you can’t tell because you never hold it up beside a professional cover in the same genre, and understand that most professional bestseller covers tend to have four or five print elements, then the gun just isn’t pointed at that toe, it’s tied to it.

Shot #6
Spend all your time promoting your first book instead of writing your second and/or third book.

Shot #7
Too much ego or bad thinking to use a pen name.
“If you cross genres, be polite to your readers and use a name for each major genre.”

Shot #8
Underpricing your work for the wrong reasons.
 “… devaluing your work is not the way to start to gain readers.“ 

Shot #9
Ignoring 65-70% of your market. Or worse, going exclusive and ignoring 90% plus of your market.
Indie publisher after indie publisher ignore paper books, even though survey after survey show that print books are holding strong among all readers, even those with electronic devices.

Shot #10
Getting in a hurry.
Make a business plan that covers years, not months.

Warning #1… I don’t mean slow down in the writing process itself. If anything, speed that up…I’m saying slow down in the worrying about (and the focus on) sales.

Warning #2…The sales will come if you put your work out there and keep learning.
Nothing will kill a writing career except for a writer stopping writing.
Have fun. The sales will come.

Copyright © 2012 Dean Wesley Smith 
"This chapter is now part of my inventory in my Magic Bakery."

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