Is it me, or are there lots of people who want to help me sell my newly published book? Ever since I published my children’s adventure story, Splidge the Cragflinger, I have become very popular. I wish I could report that it was coming from children aged 9-12 and their parents, all eager to buy my book, but sadly I cannot. I have found myself the target of the self-publishing service industry.
In 2005, when podcasting hit the UK and I launched the Vobes Show (originally called The Radio Vobes Radio Show) the same thing happened. This time it was the podcasting service industry who buzzed around me like wasps round a cream cake. All of a sudden, experts came out of the woodwork, told me how I ought to podcast and what equipment I should use. New software to make it easy to record podcasts were rustled up and published. Manufacturers of microphones, mixing desks, pop shields, recorders, mp3 players jumped on the bandwagon. It seemed for a while everyone wanted to help me produce a better podcast; a podcast that listeners (the hundreds or thousands of listens who were going to be coming to hear me) would love!
Well, guess what? The people who made money out of podcasting were not the people providing the podcasts. It wasn’t the people who were researching their shows, writing scripts, making notes or gathering material to present, recording regular shows, uploading them to web based audio storage servers or spending time building the audience week after week.
The people making the money from podcasting were the people providing the services for the podcasters. Wasn’t it always thus?
And now with the huge interest in self-publishing, the services industry is back and just as eager to please. Oh, didn’t you know, everyone can publish a book? Didn’t you know, you should write one and get it published. Didn’t you know you can make MONEY by publishing your book?
So the promise is there. The lure beckons. Temptation is hard to resist, and just like on Youtube, you too can make a video and earn money (in their case through advertising), the good news it is really easy! And there are tons of people who will take you by the hand and help you do it!
Of course, they don’t say much money you will make. And they don’t say the making money part is the easy bit of the process. No, let’s be clear. The easy bit is getting your book, video or podcast published. Anyone can do that, and everyone does, and there is the rub.
It’s noisy out there. There are millions of books, videos an podcasts and all of them are saying ‘Buy my book, look at my video, listen to my podcast!’ But very few are actually making ‘real’ money from doing it.
I say again, the people who are making money from self-publishing are the ones selling the ebooks called something like ‘My guide to self-publishing’ or ‘Make money with ebooks’. Or the others who offer ‘ebook promotion’, ‘We Tweet ebooks’, or ‘You are too damn lazy to do your own marketing so we will do it for you’, etc And all for an oh, so affordable price.
For clarity, I am not saying these services are bad or that they don’t work. I just pointing out there are a hell of a lot of them and they will happily take your money. The question is, will you sell enough books to make it worthwhile? I don’t know. I haven’t been in the self-publishing game long enough to find out, but I do know, as a rule of thumb, the people who make money from this sort of artistic endeavour are the people providing the service. They are dream sellers.
My book Splidge the Cragflinger is a historical fantasy novel for children aged 9-12. Details and samples in ebook format and audio are available for FREE at www.Splidge.co.uk.