Tag Archives: good
Do you want to find good ebooks?

Maybe you’re like me. You’ve got a Kindle or an iPad (or something similar) and you’ve launched yourself into the world of ebooks. They’re cheap, plentiful and available on-demand within seconds- awesome! The trouble is, after a while, you discover that GOOD ebooks aren’t so easy to find. First of all, there is a tremendous amount of shit out there that’s promoted as the best-ever, most brilliant and entertaining books ever written… except those endorsements are written by the authors’ mums. Every unpublished man and his literate dog have embraced ebooks as a means to self-publish, even if they can’t spell- let alone write a decent novel. The really good stuff (or the new releases anyway) isn’t cheap at all, thanks to the publishers being in chaos about pricing. And a lot of backlist titles from famous authors you’d expect to be available… well, aren’t. Maybe the publishers are hanging on to them, maybe they can’t confirm the digital rights… who knows?

The reason I’m suggesting my ebooks are good- depending on your reading tastes, of course- is their track records. Of the eight I’ve now released seven titles have been published in Australia and around the world. Between the original publishing, subsequent reprints and licensing to Readers Digest (for one title) there are about half a million copies of my books on bookshelves somewhere. That’s got to stand for something. Only “Ghost Tales, Four Stories of the Dead Among Us” is a brand new title released by me exclusively as an ebook and is, I guess you’d say, unproven.

Yes, this post is a piece of blatant, unashamed self-promotion… which is where the publishing industry is heading, so you’d better get used to it. Look at the good side- you get to read a great book at $1.95 (Ghost Tales) and if you don’t like it, you can hurl abuse through the comments section below. Brilliant.

How NOT to promote your Ebooks!

Rule No#1 in promoting yourself is supposedly getting involved in online writing communities, forums, Facebook and the like. Anything social, right? So to “test the water” last night I registered at a forum called The Writer’s Forum (www.writersforum.com) where aspiring, established and indie writers are encouraged to share their thoughts, experiences and promote their work. I wrote a nice Introducing Myself post in the Introduce Yourself forum, then I posted in the Publishing Forum what I’d done in the past, present and future, how I’d just published my eight books as Ebooks (making no attempt to disguise the fact I was in promotion mode) and I also offered to discuss with anyone interested the process I’d just gone through. I was genuinely polite, honest and transparent (as my old boss like to say).

This morning I check the forum and see my post isn’t there… odd, but these things happen. I log on and bam! I’ve been permanently banned, never to be lifted, for spamming. This isn’t an auto-response thing. The noddy running the forum has deliberately decided to ban me.

So I wrote an email to the webmaster asking why I’ve been banned. Okay, I was a little pissed off and DID ask whether he was interested in having experienced writers contributing to the forum- or whether he just wanted unpublished people who would desperately resort to paying his sponsors’ for their dubious services- nasty I know, but jeez, an instant, permanent ban and being labeled as a spammer? I found that offensive and uncalled-for.

His response later was that I’d obviously not read the forum rules, which state that only “active members” can promote their published works and that I hadn’t proved that I was going to be a contributing forum member. Okay, I get that- but hell, who reads the rules? He was certain his forum members would “succeed without my expert advice”. I didn’t say I was an expert- I said I’d had plenty of experience to offer. There’s a difference he’s apparently incapable of understanding.

Now I could, in turn, reply that he is supposed to be a forum moderator not an internet demi-god and that a responsible moderator would have simply removed my post and sent me a brief message as to why I didn’t make the grade (yet) for promoting my books. I could also suggest that he personally, plainly hasn’t ever had anything published beyond the second-grade finger-painting his mother stuck on the refrigerator door for a week when he was 12 years old (think about that)… or maybe he just resented my achievements as a writer and enjoyed putting the (banning) boot in?

Lesson here is that if anyone finds themselves about to embark on a similar mission, perhaps a more stealthy approach to establishing a presence on these forums first is better? Apparently some writers forums aren’t particularly interested in people who have actually achieved anything and are willing to share that experience- or at least the moderators aren’t. It upsets the sponsors who, for god’s sake, don’t want informed, free advice being handed around instead of people paying for it.