Another Thing that is Different

I already knew this about books at Amazon.com, but I didn’t really realize it about authors. Books at bookstores, especially big chain bookstores, end up on tables or facing out or on endcaps because someone has paid to put them there. Books at Amazon are ordered by algorithm. Any book can appear just as important as any other book in the results. This has been really nice for small publishers whose books appear to have equal value to the big guys in terms of the consumer’s experience.

On a side note, did anyone else see that article about how independent bookstores seem to be making a small comeback precisely because people have come to value them for their curatorial role? How will I find a book I might like? I go to someone I trust to tell me.

Anyway, at Amazon, I look like a real author. I’ve got some dates. I’ve got a book trailer (the same one I posted here, but I changed the ending to say “Available wherever books are sold” instead of “coming soon”). I’ve got  a picture and a bio. People, I have not even told some of the people invited to the book launch party that I’ve written a book, just that they should come hear me tell some ghost stories. “I wrote a book” still seems like something kind of ridiculous. I wrote some stories, for this blog, and y’all liked them and convinced me to collect them.

It wasn’t hard. I didn’t suffer (at least in the writing part. This part has been a mess). I had great, great fun. I didn’t drink too much or need to go off to the woods to get it done. I certainly didn’t bleed all over the page. Shoot, if writing were always like this, I would write books all the time.

So, I feel a little fraudulent. I think a lot of creative people do. Best to just ‘fess up to it and move past it.

Still, if one of the barriers to entry for self-publishers is “you don’t seem like a real author,” Amazon doesn’t have that barrier.

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5 thoughts on “Another Thing that is Different

  1. So, I feel a little fraudulent. I think a lot of creative people do. Best to just ‘fess up to it and move past it.

    I’ve never felt fraudulent a second in my life over my art or creative ability. I work hard at it. I worked hard to get my degree in fine art. Same for you, you studied writing.

    Don’t ever feel fraudulent. And you took the long way in getting your book to the masses. If anything, you’re working harder than those so called “published authors” because you don’t have a team of people behind you.

    No, don’t ever feel fraudulent.

  2. Hi B,

    I’m giving up on wanting to post this question on the “right” blog issue, and am trying to let go of feeling bad for not having bought your book yet in the (omg!) four weeks that it’s been out.

    I’ve been looking forward to your (then-potential) book for eleven months, damn it! All I want to know is: seriously, what is your preferred way for us to buy it? What gets the most revenue to you, what vendor is nicest to you, where do you want us to show up on an algorithm, whatever rubric you want to use – but I’m honestly incapacitated in this purchase by not knowing where the hell I ought to buy your book from!

    And it’s really annoying, because I can’t wait to read it. Even though I read it before.

  3. Don’t even worry about it. I’m happy to have people excited. Really, truly, any way you want to get it benefits me in some way. If you order it directly from the printer (using the link to the right there), I get the most money, but the shipping charges are high. So, if you order it from Amazon, I get a little less money, but it improves my ranking with them–a very good thing. If you go to your bookstore and demand they order it for you, I get the least money, but it helps force the issue of whether bookstores should be carrying it.

    So, truly, don’t worry about how you get it. Every way has benefits to me.

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