Struggling a little with Goodreads yesterday. Spent a good three and a half working hours learning and navigating their Author program, and still no idea whether I will be listed. Especially as I share an author name with a guy who writes spiritual and religious tracts.
According to one LinkedIn poster, I’m probably wasting my time as Goodreads is ‘Troll City’. Frankly I’m not bothered. There are few opportunities for the self publisher to get out there, and if a few whack jobs want to play bougres stupides , well that’s just fine by me. In three years walking street patrol, getting verbal abuse every working day my skin thickened, and I can give far worse than I get, if it’s even worth responding. My tongue and pen are honed to a razors edge. If I really have to waste the time, there are ways and means to deal with mere abuse. Bring it on.
It all goes back to the simple truth about self publishing in a niche market. Getting your work into the public domain is all about networks. Listing on Amazon, listing on Barnes & Noble, listing on iBookstore, on Kobo, Authors Den, Goodreads. Not to mention other distribution platforms. They’re all networks with their own quirks and special requirements. There’s a learning curve associated with each one. Boxes to be ticked. Procedures to be followed. Teeth to be gnashed. Hair to be torn out by the roots. Pass the antidepressants matron, I’m just off to my padded cell to have a quiet little scream.
You get there eventually, but it takes time and energy better devoted elsewhere. No wonder others prefer the Traditional Publishing route.
Writing, rewriting, repeatedly re proofing and editing a hundred and fifty thousand word novel is a piece of cake by comparison. That’s just the third in the Stars trilogy.
This is purely anecdotal I know, but since the Snowden / NSA scandal broke, with all the revelations about surveillance, I’ve noticed a significant decline in online activity. Not this site, because it’s always been pretty low activity. Really, what is less interesting than a self publishing writer in a niche market talking about writing and self publishing in a niche market? On various forums I read, once active posters seem to have dropped off the web, and I’m wondering if this is symptomatic of an overall decline which probably impacts on online sales. I mean for everyone.
I know that Internet use ebbs and flows like the tide, but one time enthusiastic users seem to be less enthusiastic than usual right now. This is nothing I can pin down, and seeing as it’s a developing situation there are few real resources. Alexa.com shows that Google search use basically fell off a cliff in early June after six months of increase. Facebook is 11% down in search activity. Yahoo also suffered a sharp decline in June. Bing a small increase. This could of course be due to the holidays, as the majority of Internet use is driven by a younger audience, and will no doubt be back up in September when school restarts. On the other hand I find myself concerned that we’re seeing the start of an ‘Internet recession’. An overall decline in Internet use as people drop ‘off grid’ in an attempt to avoid everything they say and do being logged and recorded.
Like I say, there are few reliable sources of immediate information, but I liken it to watching a change in the clouds a day before a storm rolls in. The harbingers are there. Once hyperactive users have gone silent. Companies are talking about taking their online business ‘offshore’ and even the antivirus company I use is doing deals on VPN (Virtual Private Network) connections. I’m halfway inclined to configure my router to anonymise web access like in this tutorial, but it’s such a pain to reconfig if something untoward happens at the other end (Loss of proxy, things like that).
For those of us who have bet the farm on a ‘web only’ eBook strategy, this apparent decline does not bode well.
Apropos of nothing; during a rainstorm over Dodd Narrows yesterday evening around 7:30pm, I was privileged to witness exactly what is at the end of the rainbow. On a full arc double bow.
Original image. No photoshop. This is what actually lies at the end of the rainbow.