Thursday, 12 March 2020

Lost in the Wilderness Of Marketing and Promotion. Are Publishers Helping?

Over the past few years, many small presses have got into severe difficulties or even closed, and I've been wondering why. I don't think it can be blamed on a shrinking market, because from what I've seen the market is not shrinking. In fact, I see new authors every day.

I also see many posts, articles etc that suggest many authors, new and existing, are struggling with marketing and promotion. It is a problem that spans genre and is prevalent in all shades of the rainbow. New authors, in particular, struggle. Those, like me, with added difficulties, are entirely lost.

As an autistic author, I cannot possibly navigate social media, let alone excel in such things as blogs, websites and promotional campaigns.

This brings me back to publishers. What are they doing to help their struggling authors? With some exceptions, from what I can see, very little. Sure, we get editing and book covers - which vary vastly in quality and some promotion around a book release, but by and large, it appears they focus most of their marketing expertise and resources on established and/or successful authors. What assistance can be found, is impersonal, often handing out information-heavy, non-personal leaflets or handbooks, instead of being individual to the abilities and needs of each particular author - individualized marketing plans, for example.

The marketing model of focussing resources at the top of the pyramid, ultimately don't work. By throwing almost everything you have on the top of the food chain, the highly successful authors, who often have little interest in, no time for, and even derision for their lowly brethren, they are setting themselves up to fail.

In my opinion, the highly successful authors require the least effort, resources and energy as they already have momentum and an extensive fan base. The real value for a publisher lies in the small fry. By boosting them, and helping them become successful and well known they are ensuring more revenue (as the top tier will still be generating the same) and evening out, or even reversing the pyramid. At the very least, they will be bringing in more money because they have a greater number of successful authors.

Am I saying this because I am still a little autistic fish swimming in a huge neurotypical pond? Maybe, and maybe I'm looking at it from a different viewpoint as autistic minds tend to take different paths than neurotypicals. Also, I am not a business person, never will be and have no desire to try to be, as the anxiety simply isn't worth it. I simply know that whatever is happening appears to not be working.

Another thought. With so many authors struggling, a publisher offering an individualized, custom marketing package would surely attract a lot of interest, and perhaps become a market leader in promoting a practical, working model for success.

Or maybe I'm just talking out of my ar... discontent.

Wednesday, 4 March 2020

Re Release: Innocense and Carnality by J Alan Veerkamp

Happy Re-Release! 

It’s official! Innocence & Carnality is back up for sale!

It was a difficult decision to self-pub my book. Pulling my rights back after Dreamspinner Press’ lack of payment—I’ve been paid only approximately 10% of everything they owe me—was one of the hardest things I’d ever done. The financial trouble they were having only came to light for me after I & C originally released last year.
I wanted to believe they were making strides to make things right. Pay back past due royalties, rebuild author relationships, and get back to proper business. Dreamspinner was one of the big boys, so of course things were going to right themselves.
Unfortunately, they didn’t. The situation depressed me so badly, I barely wrote last year. Another author had gotten legal advice and shared how if Dreamspinner went bankrupt (which was a definite possibility) the contract language to revert rights wouldn’t supersede bankruptcy law when they seized assets. For a publisher, assets are the books. I wasn’t going to lose my book for however long it took for the courts to unwind the mess we were in, so I asked for my rights back in December.
It didn’t take long, but I was able to re-publish Innocence & Carnality through Amazon as the sole owner of my story, and it’s now available to read through Kindle Unlimited, or you can purchase your own ebook or paperback copy.
Innocence is his only currency.

The gilded cage of propriety where Nathan grew up as a member of the Deilian aristocracy became a true prison when, at fifteen, his homosexuality came to light and created a terrible scandal. His parents see only one way to preserve their reputation amongst the other noble families: fit Nathan with a chastity belt to increase his value to a potential partner and marry him off as soon as possible.

The recipient of that prize is Lord Rother Marsh Delaga III. After a hasty wedding, Rother whisks Nathan away to the strange and seductive land of Marisol, where Nathan will begin a new life, free to explore the pleasures of the marriage bed, though his life is still not his own.

But Rother’s Delaga House is a place of secrets, dangers, and depravity Nathan can scarcely comprehend. Where friends are few and peril waits around every corner, Nathan must employ all the manipulation he learned from high society, along with his talent for clockwork. Most of all, Nathan must adapt, compromise to survive, and cast off the preconceptions of his homeland.

Because only he can orchestrate his freedom, and it’ll come at a cost.

Buy Link:
Available as ebook, paperback, or read for free as part of Kindle Unlimited.
About the Author:

While spending years more focused on visual arts, J. Alan Veerkamp never let go of his innate passion for storytelling, wanting to write and draw comic books when he grew up. Once he discovered M/M fiction, a whole new world opened filled with possibilities. Why couldn’t you have fantastic and dynamic sexy tales with an M/M cast? He started reading the online tales of authors like Night Tempest, Rob Colton, and Alicia Nordwell, which only fueled his need to create. Eventually he found, and with a little coercive nudge, started sharing his tales with an unexpected level of positive response. The experience and support gave him the courage to cross his fingers and aim for the world of M/M publishing.

Born and raised in Michigan, J. Alan continues to type away, wishing it was practical to use a noisy old-fashioned keyboard that clacks with each strike, if only to annoy his loving partner and spoiled miniature dachshund.