Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Reviews aren't Bank Cards

In the past 5 years or so since I've witnessed the exploding popularity of online publishing, I've also witnessed a lot of disturbing trends. All the usual suspects. Bullying, bashing, voting down, stealing, failure to pay royalties, all that crap and more.

But the trend that disturbs me the most is this completely false idea that reviews = sales. Wrong. Seriously. Just, wrong.

Even if reviews could work like bank cards, just insert review and get money from the slot, there has to be money in the back first before you can take any out.

Think about that for a moment. Let it sink in.

You want to publish your book? Great! First step, put money in the bank. Make an investment. Put yourself and your work out there. Take risks. Get informed. Gamble small and think big.

It really doesn't matter, you see. Self-publishing, indie, traditional, it's all the same. You will never ever be able to collect interest unless you make an investment first. Accept that right now.

Now... I'll talk about types of investments, because all of the above is just one big analogy. I know it's easier to think in terms of dollar amount, but put that aside for a moment. You have a cool professional book cover? Share the image everwhere. That's one type of investment. Writing samples to show the world? Another investment.

It's hard, I know. I often find I have to use a lot of imagination and hope for the best. That's all I can do, really. Yet, my hope is always based on years of research and hard work. Time is the biggest investment of them all.

And guess what? It doesn't cost a dime.

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