“I went to a bus station crammed with buses, but only got on the one going my way.” – Roy Stolworthy
So saith a self-published writer on LinkedIn in a discussion I saw recently. A member of one of the writers’ groups asked whether there were too many authors, and if so, was that the reason why they did not sell very many books? A couple of replies were to the effect that authors write what they want to write about, and so possibly might fail to write about what is actually trending. Another, Roy Stolworthy, wrote that he went to a bus station crammed with buses, but only got on the one which was going his way.
I liked the last reply. It says a lot. Readers will buy books based on their genre preferences. I prefer to write novels about family dramas which some call ‘women’s fiction’, so therefore, in theory, should my books appeal to half of the entire world’s population? It would be great if they did, but as I’m not yet up there in the best-seller lists, maybe some of the women are catching a different bus!
What do you think? Are there too many authors? I’m starting to think along the lines that no, there are not too many authors, but maybe there are too many free books available. Readers tend to favour the free books instead of paying even $0.99 for one. Therefore authors will see decreased sales, although I do tend to see a spike in purchased books when my own KDP free promotions end. However, I have reduced the number of days that my books are given away for free now. After ‘A House Without Windows’ was free for a weekend in April I had over 1100 downloads and 15 verified purchases the next day, but after ‘Revenge’ was free for a weekend recently I only had 12 downloads and no verified purchases afterwards. There is no rhyme or reason to it, but I still think it’s the number of free books available that might be causing a lack of sales for some authors.
I’d welcome comments on this topic. ‘A House Without Windows’ is more of a thriller/suspense, whereas ‘Revenge’ is more women’s fiction, so again perhaps the thriller genre is more popular. There’s my answer then – I need to catch the correct bus and write another thriller!