I have the novels, just none of the marketing skills



Thank you, I’ll get working on this. It sounds quite doable and thank you for sharing. I don’t know about getting someone to edit my stories though. All that I make either goes into my kids or medicine. Usually I just self edit and then use a ton of free programs to try to worm the errors out to where I can see them. I know it’s not a fool proof method, but it’s what I have right now.

But I am always looking for avenues to trade labor


Unless you receive a very high advance, the amount of “marketing” you get from a pubisher will be very minimal. They (a) will put you in their seasonal catalog (b) will send out a few arc copies to reviewers but that’s pretty much it. Now, I should say that I get much more in the way of marketing (but all my contracts were for six-figures and one was more than 1/2 a million). But even then, the “push” is extremely short lived. Keep in mind that each week a new “crop” of books is coming out and the marketing department is moving on to someone else’s book in a very short period of time.


Minimal compared to Stephen King, sure, but still more than I think the average self-published writer could get from shouting among the masses on social media.


Distribution isn’t marketing…it’s…well…distribution. But shelf space is very limited these days and I’ve even seen some releases from the big-five that didn’t make it onto the B&N shelf. Also reviews in mainstream media are extremely rare. Most large papers don’t have a “book section” and again, those very limited spots are going to big-six titles.

Being with a traditional publisher does open doors…but it’s not through marketing to readers. The doors include libraries and possible foreign language translations. (Two venues which is hard for most self-published titles (although I had a few libraries stocking my book when self-published and I sold 2 - 3 foreign rights).

Your characterization of “some footwork” needed by the author is 180 out of sync. The author will get “some” help from the publisher but the bulk of the audience building is going to be relegated to the author no matter which route to publishing is trod.


I’m not talking about Stephen King “level.” I’m talking about my books that had advances of $150,000 - $540,000 (for 2 - 4 books). These are VERY high advance (especially my debut) and the amount of marketing I got WAS better than those who get a 5,000 or 10,000 advance, but it’s not very much in the grand scheme of things and as I said, it’s VERY short lived.

I never suggested “shouting to the masses on social media.” There are a lot of strategies that can be employed (see my links above). The BIGGEST opportunity that self-published authors have (though I wouldn’t recommend this until they have at least 3 books out) is AMS ads. I’ve never run them, but I know a lot of SP authors who do - and they are very successful with them. Unfortunately 90% of my books are traditional so I can’t launch one … and it’s not something the traditional publishers are utilizing.Your hands are actually “more tied” when traditional than self when it comes to what you can do from a marketing standpoint. Another example…BookBub. Which is one of the most successful marketing initiatives. It requires a price drop (something self-published authors can do). But those of us released through traditional houses have no control over such matters.


Then start with your shortest story and work up to the longer works. If you are lucky, you’ll have the money to get the longer ones edited. You can start here, see if you can clean up the short ones, then if you get some readers here, you might get some buzz for your work.

But I’ll be straight with you - I’ve got 29 works out there, and my average month is $5, my best month in 5 years was $60. You are betting on a LONG shot, which is not good enough for a family. You’d make more money, faster, as a waitress in a good restaurant (or a bartender in a decent restaurant.)

5 years ago, you might have done it (supported a family right off) writing Romantica. Those days are about over. The Romantica authors on Smashwords are panicking because the money isn’t there any more. Those chicks were living in mansions and driving fancy cars two years ago, writing 3 or 4 shorts a month. But even Bigfoot and Dinosaur Porn doesn’t pay like it did.

If that’s your genre, don’t worry about editing, the readers don’t demand it. They just want more and the kinkier the better. Just be prepared to publish a short a week. Go to Smashwords to distribute, because D2D won’t take Romantica.

Personally, I’d quit writing before I’d stoop to writing Dinosaur Porn, but I don’t have kids to feed. To Each Their Own Path.


I had no idea Chuck Tingle was in such dire straits. :laughing:


Was that his stuff? LMAO

When I saw an ad for ‘Taken By The T-Rex’ I thought my head was going to explode. (This was a couple years ago.)

I had a friend who wrote a short with 2 cockroaches getting it on and he had a thousand copies a day go out while it was free.

He was so disgusted!

There was like 10 of us trying to be serious writers with zip sales hiding out in a private corner of Goodreads (during the Troll Wars) he wrote the ‘roaches in love’ story, reported back to the group and I think 6 people quit writing shortly thereafter. It was very discouraging.

It was just a couple years later that Dino-porn showed up on the best-seller’s lists. (Shake my head.) Somebody laughed all the way to the bank. Then there was the would-be Senator who wrote Bigfoot Porn, and it came out during the election.

I wonder if he won?


That sounds…kafkaesque.


That’s what we said!

Sometimes life is stranger than fiction.


I meant that his story sounds like fanfiction of “The Metamorphosis,” Kafka’s famous short story where a man turns into a cockroach. Literally kafkaesque.


I did that during the brief time my novel was on KDP (long story). It didn’t pay off. I think the issue with that, Bookhub, and similar is the lack of gatekeeping. Anyone can buy a slot there and customers know this, so they don’t give it more attention than any other ad. And the pricing is what many (optimistic) authors will bear, so on average it has low direct ROI.


Well, I’m sorry it didn’t work out for you, but based on the number of people I know who are doing it…and doing well with it. I’d say it’s still viable - again not something to do until you have at least 3 works out (and each one has a number of reviews - at least 12 on Amazon and 25 on goodreads) but with that foundation the technique seems to work very well.


I admit I lacked that at the time.


Ah, well, that might have been a contributing factor.


I’m seriously considering going this route. Is that part of KU? because I just took my two RS novels wide.

They both have 19 reviews, so that should be enough. The rest of my works are short stories, and the ZA series, none of which have enough reviews.

I’m gonna give Perma-free a shot with the first of the ZA series. I did well with that the first time I tried it. Maybe I can get enough reviews to try that.

I’ve had surprising success by turning my most popular short stories into thin paperbacks. They are getting regional reads in Ohio.


AMS ads just require you to be the publisher of the book so you can do them for KU titles and books that aren’t in the KU program.

Personally, I wouldn’t do permafree with just two novels. And I also wouldn’t spend a lot of money on AMS with that many books. 3 is a magic number. I’d concentrate on getting your 3rd novel out then either Permafree or AMS becomes a possibility. And yes, if you have shorts that lead nicely into your series - then I would use THOSE for permafree introductions.


That’s great news.

I’ve taken a lot of my short e-books out of KU because pages read just doesn’t generate enough income. I can make just as much money on B&N as I can with Pages Read.

I’ll look into AMS ads when I get the 3rd RS novel finished.

The first of the 3 book ZA series went perma-free this morning. If it does generate some sales, I’ve got 2 more books in that series I can publish in a couple months.

It’s a matter of figuring out what will work each book. Every book and every author is different.


I currently make about $50 a month writing comedy smut for podcasters that’s supported through patreon, so I do have a bit of a head start. But the comedy smut is copywritten to those podcasts and my name isn’t really associated with it unless someone is asking for the author for another job The actual ‘audience’ who enjoys it doesn’t really know who I am. I’m currently trying to get my stuff out there further and hoping to get some good plugs on the larger podcasts as a thanks for their increased traffic.


Sounds like you’ve got a foot in the door! Getting ANY broadcast/podcast writing experience is good. It’s a matter of getting the next gig that pays better.

WattPad advertises WattPad Studios, so there’s something you might want to take a look at.

I’m still trying to get to that point. With a bunch of e-books out, I’d’ve thought I’d be there by now. But Amazon’s KU can be a doubled edged-sword. I can get a couple reads per month per e-book, but at $.004 per PAGE it doesn’t buy me a coffee at Starbucks.

I’m starting to look at the short story market, see if there’s any market for Literary type fiction.