Today I welcome Merlin Fraser (Author – Inner Space Trilogy) as a guest. He speaks with his usual candor and humour about the reason he made the decision to offer one of his books for Free via Amazon’s KDP (Kindle Direct Program).
An Author’s Decision to Move To Amazon KDP Select
Ten years is a long time waiting to become an overnight success; and I suppose if I had realised back then what an uphill struggle bringing my stories to market and then finding an audience was going to be I might not have bothered.
Of course the other thing about pushing things up hill is the fact that you have no idea how high the hill will be and of course you live in the perpetual hope that one day your efforts will be rewarded and you then have a new struggle of trying to keep up.
In the same ten years I have watched as the book publishing world has changed beyond all recognition. When I started out as a writer we had no choice, you had to find a literary agent in the vain hope that they would assist you to find a publisher. It was a closed shop, new members need not apply!
Publishers were little gods and literary agents were their disciples all looking for the next Dan Brown or JK Rowling without putting in too much effort. Making money without risk became the name of the game so ‘New Kids’ were not made terribly welcome and so we entered the age of ‘Coffee Table’ book publishing. You know the sort of thing, so called celebrity ‘Kiss and Tell’ that and all the ‘IN’ cookery books.
However, as they say, ‘Things they were a Changing.’ Big time as it happens, not that we little guys realised it. The digital world of computers and the Internet brought about a revolution in publishing, books could be ‘Printed on Demand’ (PoD) one copy at a time so it suddenly became possible to Self Publish.
Needless to say the Mainstream publishers were horrified and immediately went on the attack by branding such nonsense as ‘Vanity Publishing’ by those unsuitable or unable to make it in the real world, meaning their world. The media bought into that argument and slammed us ‘Wannabees’ into the dirt for our audacious impudence. Still do, when was the last time you saw an independent on a TV Book show ?
Of course it has to be said that in many respects they were right to be critical, far too many writers rushed into print without proper proof-reading or any kind of editing whatsoever and flooded the market with cheap unreadable rubbish. Remember the 99 cent con? At only 99 cents who is going to bother to ask for their money back?
But the publishing world and the rules had changed, the playing field was at first levelled and then tilted in our favour, at least as far as getting into print, book or E Book. It then became possible for anyone with access to a keyboard and the Internet to call themselves a writer and the floodgates opened. All of a sudden that old adage of a million monkeys with a million typewriters coming up with the complete works of Shakespeare didn’t seem quite so farfetched.
Initially I think readers were intrigued and then annoyed at having to trawl through reams and reams of rubbish in search of the odd gem. Of course this is where I found myself wallowing in the pit struggling to see a glimmer of light and fighting to gain recognition in a sea of rapidly growing dissatisfied and angry readers.
In desperation you try everything... you join everything, Linkedin, Hubpages, Facebook, Twitter, Self help groups, groups to Help Others, writing Blogs by the hundred, anything to help get your name out there.
Does it work, any of it…who knows ? not me that’s fer sure no one has rushed to my door waving a movie contract. OK because of all my efforts, good bad or indifferent, I suppose there are a lot more people in the world who are aware of my existence. As to whether they actually care or are even remotely interested in what I write is a completely different matter.
It is an unfortunate fact of life that many people are not very decisive and like to be told what to buy, what to wear and what to read by the media. So for us who have no access to that world it is a struggle.
Of course you could say Hey What the Hell ! If it was easy then everybody would be doing it…. Oh Wait… Everybody Is doing it !
So why Amazon KDP Select ?
In truth it is just the latest place to go, I deliberately avoided signing up in the past because Amazon, bless them, demanded 90 days exclusivity over book sales. At that time I wasn’t in the frame of mind to abandon Smashwords and or Lulu but given that the vast majority of book buyers buy from Amazon it starts to make more and more sense to be there and avail yourself of everything Amazon has to offer.
To be fair to Smashwords and Lulu, they are great places to be but in the first instance they are places for authors not readers and once you have reached the stage of having your book(s) available the problems change to ones of selling and marketing and you need to concentrate your efforts in that direction. Here the big boys in publishing still hold the high ground throwing millions into hyping their latest offerings.
The other reason for signing up with KDP Select is that is the only way to give your book away for free on Amazon. I have five days which I will select between now and Christmas to give away INNER SPACE Book One as an appetiser for the other two stories in the trilogy.
So if you have a thing for Murder Mysteries with a twist, like your heroes to be real people,
Contact Data: Email MerlinFraser123@aol.com
When writing the first INNER SPACE story I wanted to be a little bit different and not just write another murder ‘Who Dunit !’ From the many great Emails received I know I surprised a lot of readers by revealing that fact fairly early on in the story, so the mystery becomes not so much ‘Who’ but ‘Why.’
You may find my main character, police detective Inspector Nick Burton, a little different as well. He is no James Bond, super hero, quite the opposite in fact, he is a real genuine flatfoot cop. Not the sharpest blade in the box but in his doggedly way he gets there in the end. In fact he is just like the rest of us, flawed and vulnerable to life.
I hope you will enjoy the way I blend different genres into one story by adding a touch of the paranormal to add to the mystery and remember INNER SPACE is a Trilogy so some things may not be revealed until the end.
To celebrate the Paranormal aspect of INNER SPACE I am making Book One Free in Amazon Kindle for Halloween Night.
Please, if you enjoy Murder Mysteries, or even if this will be your first dip into the Genre, come take a look and surprise yourself.
PS I love feedback or questions or just chatting about the stories, the themes or the characters so please let me know what you think.
Sincerely, Merlin Fraser
Note from Lesley – Thanks so much Merlin for your post today and best of luck to you on your promotional give away!
*PLEASE NOTE that even if you do not own a KINDLE you can still download books to a Kindle for PC for Free – the software to install can be found HERE. You must first set up an Amazon account, then after that you are able to ‘buy’ all the free books available and there are hundreds every day!
Now you know !!
- In self-publishing push, Amazon expands Kindle Owners’ Lending Library to Europe (paidcontent.org)
- Just another self-publishing experiment… KDP Select (laviniathompsonauthor.wordpress.com)
- How Amazon did everything wrong (but I still got to #1) (artymiak.com)
- Amazon Kindle Owner’s Lending Library opens in UK (pocket-lint.com)