I wasn't sure if I should post this or not, but hey...someone has to say it.
The competition among authors for readers is rough, and getting rougher!
I'm not a competitive person, except with myself. Give me a challenge and this little Capricorn will rise to meet it or die trying. So, my way of beating out the competion is to write the best book I can and promote the heck out of it. But these days, is that enough?
With the advent of ereaders becomming common and affordable, print authors are competing with e-authors. And with so many places offering free reads, eauthors are competeing with anyone who has a computer.
How are we to survive?
Our fans. Fortunately there are still people out there who will pay for a book by their favorite authors. It's because of them we write. It's because of them our publishers get paid and can pay us.
Now, here's a story I heard that made me so mad I'll have to say my mantra a few times after I type it. I wasn't there, so I can't verify its validity, but the woman who told me about it attended this author's speech and I think she's a trustworthy source.
She said the author she was listening to was a well-known NY Times best seller. What she said was "If you don't cut your competition down with rotten anonymous reviews, you don't care about your career."
Excuse me? Huh? What the...
I do care about my career--very much, but I have never done that and never will. This is one instance in which the word 'never' is appropriate. I believe in Karma and I wouldn't want that woman's Karma for all the publishing money in the world!
Seriously, are we that desperate? Just the thought of that makes me want to cry. I love what I do and I want to be able to continue. So, what do I do? I reward my fans. It's all I can think of that will help me, them, and the industry without compromising my ideals.
That's what my contests are about. I not only have contests to gather new fans, but I run contests on my yahoo loop to reward old ones. I may not give away books since many of them have zillions, but a pretty scarf, a pair of nice polarized sunglasses to save their precious eyes...anything I can afford is worth it to thank them for their loyalty.
If anyone has an opinion on this, I'd be delighted to hear it.