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Tuesday, February 7, 2012

The Kindle Boards: Not for me

So, I've spent about a month trying to be a part of the Kindle Board community. My conclusion: For me, it's not a good use of my time. Here are my reasons:

1) You can't talk about your books in the reading forums. So all the owners of Kindles asking for book recommendations, you can't recommend your book. Okay, that's kind of expected. But if someone asks a question about the appeal of self-publishing, you can't chime in about your experience. If someone asks why anyone would write about aliens, you can't share your opinion of why you would/want to/did. You are not supposed to let on that you're a writer at all.

So where can you talk about your book and you as a writer? In the writing forums.

Which leads to number 2:
2) The writing forums are full of authors trying to sell their books to authors. I have yet to see a single post from a reader in there.

But still, many of the authors are quite supportive. Of self-publishing. They encourage each other, they respond, they spread the word. They feel a sense of unity, of pride in bucking the trend of traditional publishing.

I'm not self-published.

And so, 3) If you are not what they consider "indie published" (never mind that Indie actually refers to independent presses, not self-publishing), they don't consider you a part of their group. No matter what I post about, how I try to contribute, my posts aren't responded to. Perhaps many of them feel that they've been snubbed by traditional publishing, and therefore this is their opportunity to tell traditional publishing where to go.

I haven't figured out where that is just yet, but anyway.

If you are self-published, you need to be on these boards. If you're not, it can't hurt to announce yourself and see what happens. But I wouldn't devote a lot of time to it.

Just my 2 cents.

9 comments:

Ann Best said...

Glad you posted this, Tamara. Just what I needed to be reminded of this morning. I had heard that about the Kindle boards. And then the other side of the coin: If you only connect with other writers who are also trying to promote THEIR books....It's crazy out there.

I discovered something interesting last week. I put my self-published novella Imprisoned up for free for 5 days, and posted the fact on my blog. But the almost 300 downloads came, I think, because I tweeted the freebie. And I tweeted again yesterday that it was now back to 1.99 - and went in and discovered that six people had bought it. I've read that (some) people get annoyed if they think writers are promoting their OWN books on Twitter, and yet (some) people have said they don't mind this promotion because we all do it. I don't mind either. I like to hear about new books/authors. It's just that you have to be careful and follow the "rules" as you point out about the Kindle boards, or I guess you get zapped!
Ann Best, Author of In the Mirror & Other Memoirs

The question is: Just how CAN we promote our books?

Julie Daines said...

It's been so insightful for me to learn from your experiences with publishing. Thanks for filling us in on what works and what doesn't.

Emailman said...

I've only just self published so I'm new to all this, but I've already discovered that a lot of indie groups do have some useful information and a some really helpful people, but they are not the place to get interest in your book. There are too many authors bunch together all trying to sell their wares.

Selling your own book is hard. I'm currently brainstorming original ideas other than just following in all the other authors footsteps with blogging and Facebook. I started by sending a press release to CNN. I don't think I pulled that one off though LOL

Sean Patrick Reardon said...

Great observations. I have found the kindle board UK experience to be a bit better.

Karen Jones Gowen said...

This is really interesting, Tamara. Funny how you found the self-published authors to be so clique-ish. I like your supposition of why that might be *smile*

Alan Petersen said...

Hi Tamara,

I'm new to the KB forums. I actually found your blog via the link in the signature area of your forum profile.

I'm a writer, but I'm also a reader. :-) And yes, I'm self published.

I haven't noticed the clique-ish stuff but I guess since I'm self published, I don't see it.

But I don't believe the issue is that as self published writers we're jealous of those who have been published the traditional way.

Personally, I chose not to go the traditional published route because I believe I can get my books out there myself.

So not every self-published writer has been snubbed. The book business is changing rapidly so that is just not a correct assumption.

Maybe (probably) my manuscript would have been snubbed if I had bothered to submit it to publishing houses, I don't know.

I have a marketing background, I figured I'll have to do most of my own book marketing anyway so I don't see the need for a traditional publisher. I hired my own editor, proofreader, and book cover designer.

Maybe down the road, I'll try the traditional route. Who knows.

Anyway, just wanted to share that we're not all bitter, snubbed writers, hating published authors.

I enjoy hearing form both types on the forum.

Hopefully you'll stick around. I do enjoy your contributions to the KB forums which is why I eventually landed on your blog. :-)

Alan

Tamara Hart Heiner said...

Alan,

I'm so sorry I gave that impression. I did not mean to say that you guys are jealous at all. I did say snubbed, but I'm sure that's not the case for all people. I did notice several people make comments that I interpreted that way, but maybe I'm just sensitive because I've been traditionally published! Please realize I meant no offense at all. Thanks for stopping by and I am sticking around, because hopefully I can clear up any confusion that traditionally published authors think they are better than self-published authors.

September Lynn Gray said...

Thanks for clearing up your position on the jealous thing, Tamara. I think that the majority of self-published authors used to harbor some jealousy, just like the act of self-publishing itself was considered a career killer. These days, however, the Kindle and Nook are so popular many of us don't see any reason not to go indie. I, personally don't pay any attention to how someone publishes. A writer is a writer. Surely, there are others who feel the same way on the Kindle Boards?

Tamara Heiner said...

Lynn, I'm certain you are right! I spoke in general terms in my blog, but of course not everyone fits that mold.

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