Online Publishing Secrets August 23, 2015 – Posted in: Blog, Inspiration – Tags: , , , , , , ,

There are many secrets in the publishing industry that most writers don’t know about, don’t care to know, are afraid to admit, or even ashamed to talk about. In many cases, they think cooperating with the big sharks in this industry is more beneficial to their image and sales, than being brave about the truth. And that is why the majority won’t say what you will read next, may criticize it and even claim the opposite. The attitude writers have towards publishing companies tends to be same they have with anything else in their lives. People don’t want to know the truth. They want to think that Mamma Government and Papa IRS love them and would never do anything to hurt them. Any psychologist with an inside on statistics related to human development will tell you that most adults have never truly grown up, and continue to operate with childish paradigms, simply because they didn’t evolve beyond that, despite their physical appearance. So, let’s grow up a little bit, shall we? It’s time to know what life is really about. And I’m sorry to say but you won’t find any Cinderella in this story, and maybe even not a happy ending. So, if you can’t handle it, stop here! And, if you can, let’s see what Grandma hides in the closet and how to punch a big bad wolf in the face.

There are many options in the market that can help you publish a book internationally and they have enough marketing tools to take your book to where it needs to be. Some companies are better than others, and from what I’ve read online, they can’t please everyone. Writers have different opinions, needs and requirements, and I find myself often disagreeing with most of the things I read. Anther important issue to take into consideration, and that nobody seems to care about, is the motivation behind each company. I’m not happy with most of the publishing companies out there, specially the most famous, because they seem to be a big scam, and never truly benefiting anyone in the long term, except the company owners themselves. You will see yourself facing unpredictable problems when your sales increase far beyond what the majority of the writers is earning, and that is what always happens to me. When these companies have to pay very high royalties to a writer, they immediately start researching for reasons not to pay him, and then, they will change the codes in their website to make such writer less visible. Those are 2 of the most common tactics they use. Therefore, don’t pay attention to writers claiming to be rich from websites like Amazon in one month or two months, because in the long run, you won’t be hearing from them anymore, even though they may use that special momentum in their lives to try to keep up with the sales through their marketing campaigns. The sad reality they can’t admit anymore, as it would impact their social image, and maybe their book sales with titles like “how I made a million sales on Amazon” as well, is that their income keep dropping and they can’t pinpoint a specific reason, or even prove their suspicions.

That is why I currently publish all of my ebooks through 22 Lions Publishing – This company also has an affiliate program, which allows you to make money from my books as well, earning 50% of the profit acquired. Isn’t that great? You can create a website to sell your books and make money with mine as well. I give you the chance to sell more than what you have written, a chance to share my profits. And why do I do this? Because I think differently. Most writers tell you how to compete, how to form a mastermind group to attack the competition and get book reviews, but competitive strategies are, simply putting it, evil. And maybe you think evil always triumphs, or that your ego is more important than your moral as a writer. But I simply choose not to be that kind of person and I disagree with anyone that tells me I should behave otherwise. It’s sad not to see more writers and publishing companies thinking like me. But let me illustrate you why it’s a better tactic. First of all, you feel better with yourself. You know you are helping another writer promote his books in his website. Second, you develop an abundant mindset, because your happiness with my success will reflect in you as a successful self-made impression. You will basically eliminate the fear of losing to the competition, which often hides behind people that love to compete, and start believing that you can be as successful as anyone else. You can always win when you don’t fear losing, and that’s so basic that I can’t understand why most writers haven’t understood it yet. And finally, you are earning 50% from my sales. You are earning half of the profit from books you didn’t wrote. Isn’t that great? I think it’s amazing. And that’s why I love companies that are in tune with this way of thinking, being Smashwords one of them, and so far the only one I know that makes what I just said very easy to apply.

Maybe you think that what I just said doesn’t make sense. But let me tell you something I learned from my own life experience. There isn’t only one big bad wolf out there, but many, and you can’t fight them all, all the time, all your life. The most reasonable strategy consists in living in an environment where wolfs can’t catch you. And that starts only when you shift your mindset, from competition to cooperation, when you become bigger than yourself, bigger than your ego, bigger than your fears, and bigger than very big companies. I have no problem in saying that Amazon is the worse company out there for writers. Yes, I said it! I killed your sacred cow, and it bleeds. The letters I sent to Amazon and Jeff Bezos kept being ignored but could fill many book pages. I made serious accusations that were never justified. Here are just some of them that really made me angry…

  1. Amazon allows reviews from people that never read your book;
  2. Amazon deletes positive reviews, from verified purchases (some of them were my own friends, so I know for sure);
  3. Amazon allows reviews on the author character, instead of his book, and the employees claim that it is a legitimate review. I actually had dozens of different employees repeating this answer, even though some readers accused me of the most absurd and schizophrenic claims. Yes, some readers are purely insane people. Insane people can also read and buy books. And, apparently, according to Amazon, if they say that you are stalking them, it’s true and a legitimate book review. I actually had such reviews in my author page for 3 entire years, before I got fed up and decided to take Amazon to court. That’s when they finally deleted them,
  4. Amazon plays with codes. In one month you can be making one thousand dollars from one single book, and the next day you are back to zero. How? Guess! Nonetheless, Amazon websites from around the world, keep sending me messages with offers that always hide their evil plans. Those offers often include promoting my ebooks in their front page, in exchange for full exclusivity to their company. Yes, Amazon is actually playing the same game as traditional publishers. But I believe they intend to go much more far from this. They want to kill the competition, so that then they can do whatever they want with their titles. The recent change of plan from selling books to selling the amount of pages that readers actually check is just one of the many unpleasant tactics Amazon is playing with, now that everyone thinks Kindle publishing is the best. In fact, I truly distrust Amazon rankings, because when you have dozens of ebooks online, it starts to become easy to notice how the sales, and the rankings don’t seem to match or make any logical sense.
Now, lets change the topic to paperback books. I don’t suggest publishing paperbacks anymore. The world isn’t going in that direction anymore, and the sales of paperbacks are most of the times not for consumers, but exhibitionists. In other words, your friends and relatives may want a paperback to show other people that they know you, even though they may not have any interest in reading your book. But there are many people in Singapore, Sweden and Germany, that may want to read your book, and won’t buy a paperback due to the high costs and risk implied just for shipping abroad. As the economy in European countries gets worse, taxes on imported products can be very high, and they won’t exclude books from that list. But know also that in countries like China, a reader may wait between one month to two months before getting his book shipped from US, and if the title doesn’t please the authorities, he may never get it. But this same reader, can cross the border, go to Google Play and take a book about Mao Zedong to read when he goes back to China. How convenient is that? I’m not against bookstores. I love them. Just like I love to go to Museums and ride horses. But we need cars and airplanes, and I can’t ride a horse from Europe to Asia. Bookstores should evolve, instead of selling crap titles and promote mainstream books. They need to evolve into meeting places, where people socialize, drink coffee, listen to interesting authors speaking (not about themselves, but what they think of the world), and where people can learn with seminars and groups of people talking about similar issues. They basically need to become more dynamic and uplifting, and less boring and outdated. Reading and learning is fun, not geeky. And I’m sorry to say that not all the writers are fat and sexually frustrated. There are many sexy writers out there, that love to explore life, travel, meet new people, smile, and actually learn from their readers, instead of talking about themselves as if God was hiding in their stomach. There are writers, like me, that love to organize meetings around the world, allowing their readers to find them and listen to them in the least conventional places. And that is something bookstores could start organizing. Being dynamic is not confined to a specific place, but the whole world. And that’s how I think. I don’t think small, but big, and always. I’ve lost count to the amount of books I had or still have in bestsellers lists. I was very happy at first, but it’s so common now that I don’t care as much as before. However, I know that many writers hate me, and try to take those books down with spiteful reviews. I can’t say I’m ok with that, but at the same time, I feel sorry for them. Because if you are competing against someone, you are thinking small. And if you need to compete against an entire industry, just to be number one, you must be a very sad person, with nothing else in life to take credit for. I’m not saying that you should contempt for less, but that you should think big. Thinking big is being brave enough to give positive reviews to your fellow writers, learn from them, love them for their uniqueness, and trying to be special in your own way, just by being yourself, and beyond that, becoming what you dream for yourself. Power and fame isn’t a real dream. And you may spend an entire life until you can understand it. Love is the real dream, and you only find it, when someone from a place in the world your never though about, reads your book and sends you a very loving email. That has happen to me, and it was far better and more uplifting than any other book review I ever got. Such appreciation, in a personal manner, is like a kiss, a hug and an honest smile. It brights your day and makes you realize why you are a writer. It’s never about you, but what you are doing to others and for them. Writing is a lonely activity but if you write to be alone you’re not really being honest about it. Nobody in his right mind, will only want a slice of the cake and not all of it. You may have to start with one slice, but you should pursue the whole cake. To be more specific, you may have to struggle for a while before you get the chance to become a full-time writer. But don’t stop there! You want to know who is reading your books, you want to know how they think, you want to meet them, and you want to make them your friends, because they listen, they want to listen to you. And therefore, you may want to listen to them too. And that’s the final peace of the cake. You will have the whole cake when you can give, not take, when you can learn from your readers how to write the next book.

Daniel Marques

Author of “How I Wrote, Published and Promoted 100 Books”

How I wrote 100 Books