Sunday, July 15, 2012

Reason No. 37 Why Your Book was REJECTED!

I self published my ebook with the high hopes of building a 'platform' as per the advice of agent Michael Larsen author of How to Write a Book Proposal and agent Mike Nappa at Nappaland agency (author of 77 Reasons Why Your Book Was Rejected [and how to be sure it won't happen again!]  After all, according to reason #37 of Mentor M's book, an agent might bypass me as a potential client because Amazon readers don't like me or agents might bypass me because of Reason #56: "You Have no Sales History to Speak Of." (This is different from Reason #57 "You Have a Sales History, and it Sucks." Man, writing is a finicky line of work!) Of course, in order to have any Amazon readers (to love or hate me) I first must have a book up on Amazon, which means I must first be published (or self published) before I contact an agent. (This is the main reason I put my memoir up on Amazon--because I am dedicated to following theses guys' advice.) The fact is (as I have learned) agents like to know if people are already reading your stuff, they like to know if you already have a fan base, and they like to know that people actually like what you write. So, having a book out there that elicits some good Amazon reviews--this helps. As agent Mike reminds us in his book, everyone in the biz reads Amazon reviews so we should be working hard to hopefully get some good ones.

However, with all that being said, I am immensely enjoying having my ebook up on amazon--and not for the reason of building a platform in order to attract an agent. I just like being in charge of marketing. I like seeing sales come in, I even like getting the reviews (both good and bad--though I enjoy the good ones much more). I enjoy thinking about what my next step is going to be, I enjoy following the ebook trends and changes, I enjoy keeping my book rights, and I enjoy working on part two of Saving Mary: The Deliverance which I will also release as an ebook. (In fact, I would say that if you want to release an ebook I wouldn't bother at all with a publisher.)  

But (you may be asking yourself) if I enjoy being self-published in this new ebook era why would I still be hoping to bag me an agent? Why do I continue with this blog? The answer is four-fold. First, I see that the ebook market and the hard-copy bookstore market are two completely different markets (one of which requires an agent to succeed in) which means, if I want to be in a bookstore I more than likely need an agent. Second, I am not convinced that non-fiction sells best as ebooks (though I could be wrong). I say this because I just read my first non-fiction ebook on my Kindle: Fresh Air: The Holy Spirit for an Inspired Life by Jack Levison

I enjoyed this book and highly recommend it, but I wanted so much to make notes inside it and it took me some time to figure out how to do that, then it took me more time to figure out how to find my notes. Through it all, I deeply wished I had bought a hard copy so I could keep the book on hand to look up my notes (I guess I'm still a bit 'old school'). So since my other books are non-fiction I have to take my feelings into consideration: would they sell well as ebooks or would they do better as hard copies? In fact, this article called "Your Ebook is Reading You" talks about some of the issues readers are having with non-fiction in ebook form. Here is an excerpt from the article:

 Barnes & Noble has determined, through analyzing Nook data, that nonfiction books tend to be read in fits and starts, while novels are generally read straight through, and that nonfiction books, particularly long ones, tend to get dropped earlier.

My third reason for still searching for an agent is that there is still a stigma attached to virtual books (that they lack in quality) and since I'd like my non-fiction to be taken seriously, I may need an agent rather than a great editor. And finally, the fourth reason I am still looking for an agent even though I love the ebook market: I am a curious sort of person and so I'd like to experience both markets.

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