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Friday, 1 June 2012

Self publishing - the big sellers and how they did it!

Joe Konrath could be called one of the superstars of self publishing - he's shifted a lot of books and he continues to do so. He runs a great blog, The Newbies Guide to Publishing which no doubt helps to sell his books - and so it should, there's a lot of interesting and helpful information there. But the way he seems to gain his following is by using shock jock tactics. He goes all out for controversy in post after post, in which he goes for the traditional publishing model like a bull who has spent far too long in the sun. And he's at it again in this POST by attacking Stephen King. Now it's obvious that the author is trying to stir things up, hoping that the media will run with his comments in which he offers to congratulate Stephen King for being one of the few bestselling writers to advocate eBook piracy. How did King do this? Well he didn't really but Konrath decided that a statement that King's new novel for Hardcase Crime will be available in paperback only, was an open invitation to piracy. This sort of approach may not work for everyone, and the more faint hearted will balk at the idea of attacking publishers, booksellers and other authors for being too dumb to understand just what is happening with this new digital medium. But it sure works for Joe.

John Locke on the other hand is much more gentle but none less effective in his marketing - more so really seeing as how Locke was the first self published author to sell a million eBooks with Amazon. Locke does however make a big deal of using social media and he is very active on Facebook and Twitter - not so much with his blog though which doesn't seem to have been updated for weeks. Locke's eBook, How I sold 1 million eBooks in 5 Months is well worth reading as he details the way he used social media to shift so many books. Locke is a great believer in building up a mailing list of fans. He seems to have created a system for marketing his books that works so well it’s infuriating. He cracked the code. His success is pre-meditated.  "My success came from the friends and authors I met on Twitter and through blogging, emailing, and selling books one person at a time." John Locke

Two very different authors and two very different approaches, but they both have something in common and that is that they both produce extremely readable books. And that is the single most important factor for success so whatever method one uses to get their work noticed, they have to produce good work in the first place.

And so in the spirit of experimentation I am going to try and get you all to buy my novel, The Rhondda Ripper by copying the methods of the two big guys, and what's more I'm going to do it here and now:

Firstly in Joe Konrath mode -  Buy my book The Rhondda Ripper by Gary M. Dobbs and prove all those scummy, gatekeeping, tosspot publishers who didn't publish it wrong. I am the digital guru and you need to follow my example but first buy my book.

And now in John Locke mode - Please buy my book The Rhondda Ripper by Gary M. Dobbs. Go on pretty please all my Twitter and Facebook friends whom I know intimately, each and every one of you. I'll have you all around for tea and biscuits next weekend but for now buy my book, please friends.

Or then again maybe I'll just tell you that I think I've written a bloody good book and leave you with some of the reviews.

Gary Dobbs partners up Parade and Buffalo Bill making for an enjoyable detecting duo. He does a fine job of bringing the famous Wild West showman to life and his descriptions of Pontypridd, the era, and people sparkle. I'm hoping Mr. Dobbs doesn't leave Frank Parade on the sidelines too long because I'm betting there are more adventures in him. Or, maybe Bill Cody -- there's an idea worth exploring -- Buffalo Bill as a world-traveling crime-solver. The Education of a Pulp Writer

Gary Dobbs (AKA Jack Martin) continues his string of fast paced books with "A Policeman's Lot." Not a western per se, as are his Jack Martin books, "Policeman's Lot" still has some of that western sensibility and it even features Buffalo Bill Cody and his Wild West show on a visit to England, Wales in particular.

The story takes place a number of years after the Whitechapel murders but ties back to those murders in a most interesting way. I won't give more away because the twist at the end is original and took me well by surprise. Yet, it made perfect sense within the storyline of the book. Mack Captures Crime

One word: Wow. This is a good book.

The story begins slowly, a man's morning routine as he gets ready for duty and faces the possibility of a busy day, but he has no idea how "busy" it's going to get! Throw in Buffalo Bill, a Wild West show, murders that may or may not be connected to Jack The Ripper, and you have a really hot read. I don't want to say too much for fear of giving something away, but it's a well-written yarn and you will get hooked right away. It's also, for me, a nice change of pace from the modern urban hard-boiled junk I've been digesting lately. Brian Drake 

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