The Global Numbers Game
The internet is so wide reaching (hell even the Pope probably has a Twitter account) it’s important to note the benefits and successes of e-books are not restricted to niche market books. Traditional commercial fiction can sell just as well with this method, if not better numbers wise, the only difference being there is stiffer competition within the commercial fiction genres. An author will have to work harder to market their book, but if they are savvy and can connect with their readers on another level, they can break through. This blog is largely about how to do this.
Now I can hear the worriers chattering away in the background like teaspoons in a blender. Won’t e-books with narrow markets face the same problems as hard copies? It’s true; there are only so many people that may want to read about a specialised topic. So, let’s return to the global numbers game and say 20,000 people enjoy this niche market. What are the chances that all those 20,000 people around the world are going to find your book, in an Australian (or a UK/US) book store within 3 months of its first release (remember our works have a 3 month hourglass here)? Guaranteed not even 1%. These books will NEVER EVER get traditionally published, not if the best you can get is 200 books sold in those crucial 3 months. If they are published in Australia, they will never get the chance to be marketed to the people in America, the UK etc.
But the book has still been written, so why should it never be published if it has information that someone is going to find helpful and buy? And that person is not in Australia? Are you going to just jot down the last several years (or decades) as time wasted and move on? Or cling to your manuscript like a cat lady clings to her spinsterhood?
The best thing about the web is it doesn’t matter what country the person is in, you can reach them. It doesn’t matter if someone discovers an interest in your topic 2 years after you have released the book, your book is still on the web so you can still get money from it years later. Traditional publishing is restricted numbers wise, time wise AND geographically. You may not be an international star but at least you will get money for your hard work.
TOMORROW: The opportunities available for emerging, established, and popular writers in the e-book realm