The box set debate...
I learned a lot of neat marketing avenues, some offering more impact than others.
I learned the art of what works with ads on facebook and book bub, and was taught the benefits of having a solid newsletter, which wasn't something I had before I started doing these sets.
I've worked with 20+ other authors in these sets and been successful at hitting the USA Today list five times and barely missed the New York Times list with one of those five. None of this was easy.
It took posting to multiple groups on facebook every day to keep our book in front of the readers eyes. They say you have to see something multiple times before you are compelled to one click buy - its all in the psychology of marketing. Visibility. Repetition. Rinse. Repeat.
It took all 20+ of us to send to our newsletter lists multiple times over the course of six months.
It took 20+ of us tweeting like madmen every day.
Did we offer giveaways to try to get readers to buy. Hell, yes. Was purchasing the set a requirement to be in the giveaway? No. Was it something in the list of optional entries? Yes, because you'd be an idiot not to include it as an option. Scroll down a little in my blog here and you'll see a traditionally published author doing the same thing.
Did we offer a free gift when a reader actually did buy the set? Yes. Again, this is part of good marketing practices.
Did we ask friends and family to buy the set and to help spread the word? Yup. Why not ask for the support of those closest to you to reach your dreams?
And probably the most important and meaningful thing to me personally, I met a boat load of talented authors and made some fairly good friends as a result.
So hearing the beat down from some in the indie community regarding these sets is very disheartening. We busted our asses. We worked as a team and it is being discounted by a few who have an imaginary ax to grind.
I'm sure I'm putting myself in the cross-hairs by calling this out, but the people hell bent on tearing us all down are not the type people I ever want to do business with.
I have always been the kind of person that migrates towards those who want to help the writing community - first with my years in the Backspace forums trying to build my voice, and where I learned about Margie Lawson's online classes, which helped hone my craft, to the local RWA chapter that I was in for a few years. Each and every organization I was associated with had the motto of writers helping writers. It's ingrained in my nature.
Then came Facebook and K-Boards and Goodreads, where at first it seemed to hold the same values, but it was soon apparent that these were places that attracted trolls and people that have one agenda; to tear others down or to make a fast buck off people.
Fortunately, even within these cesspools, there are pockets of like minded writers who want to help others. Whether that help is in the form of honest feedback or services meant to boost careers or just daily moral support in this solitary career. I found those like me who have the same propensity for helping others.
Are there scammers out there? Yes. I've had my share of run ins with scammers, even uncovered a pretty big scam ring of fake agents, so I like to think I'm a little more savvy than a newbie out there. So, I don't agree with the opinion being portrayed as fact regarding the sets I have participated in.
But services that don't work out the way you hoped are not the same thing as a scam. Buyers remorse is not the same thing as a scam, either.
However, being afraid to voice an opinion or dissatisfaction with a service, that is also a problem, as well. Not everything will appeal to everyone. Not every service will bring the returns you expected. And we should be able to voice our disappointment in how the service performed for us without retaliation. It doesn't mean that service isn't right for someone else.
But I don't believe the fear of stating an opinion on how something worked or didn't is at the heart of this specific shit storm.
This is a creation of the internet age where public bashing has become something of a spectator sport and made acceptable at some level for those that are angry.
It is not.
We saw it in the election with people so jaded by their viewpoints that they tore apart anyone who thought differently. This is the behavior that turned me off to a boat load of people to begin with long before this current situation cropped up.
Those same people creating this swirl were the ones that made blanket statements bashing an entire group of people. Public shaming just because of the party on their voter registration card. This negativity that these people used to wield their perceived power was atrocious.
These same people seem to be the ones that thrive on drama. They don't care who they hurt just as long as they have the spotlight and their perception is validated. They even drag innocent people into the mix with their assumption of guilt.
These are the people that focus way too much of their time tearing down others and not enough time really listening to alternative viewpoints. These are close minded people who believe their opinion is the only opinion and everyone else is wrong.
These are not people that have the best interests of others in their hearts or their actions.
It is all very, very sad.
I have stayed out of this debate trying to quietly celebrate my accomplishments with those around me, but someone hiding under the guise of an anonymous identity decided to bring me into it with false allegations and put a link to one of my trilogies in the notes of a post along with three other author book links.
So I'm putting my thoughts out here and I expect those same vultures to go on the attack now.