Gather ’round, ye aspiring author lads and lasses. Let’s. Talk. About. KBoards.
If you’re new to the self-publishing revolution (or the entire Independent Creative Revolution, as Joanna Penn describes it), here’s the skinny in a few words. Once upon a time, consumers got XYZ stuff (what have you) from major distributors, be they shopping malls, superstores, mail catalogues, or whatever. And those distributors got their stuff not from creatives, but from another round of distributors; mass-producers (think factories, sweatshops, sure, but also record labels, big movie studios, and traditional publishing houses). Then one day a little greek girl named Pandora opened a box called ‘the Interwebz,’ and the world spent the next twenty years turning itself inside-out.
Don’t get me wrong; the old way of acquiring goods is still there, sure. But, you know. Amazon. So there.
So the narrative pedaled by self-publishing authors such as myself is that now creatives have direct access to consumers via the internet, or at least direct access to distributors (like the ‘Zon), thereby cutting out a middleman or three, commonly referred to as ‘gatekeepers.’ It’s a thrilling time to want to write something and sell it, because you really don’t have to go through the process of querying agents and having them intercede with publishers so that someday you can do a book signing and score a whopping forty cents per hardback. I mean, good on ya if you do anyway. You’re in it for the glory, I guess. But a lot of people are saying (insert accordion-hands and fake hair here) that you have the potential to make more money cutting all that out and publishing on Amazon (or iBooks, or GoogleBooks, or Kobo, or Smashwords, or etc. etc. etc.).
So KBoards. What is it? A massive (huuuuge) forum dedicated to all things Kindle (the Amazon e-reader)–‘Kindle Boards.’ And nestled squarely in the middle is a sub-forum, the Writer’s Cafe. And it is a living, breathing melting pot of pure gold, my friends.
Because if you DO decide to try to self-publish a book or twenty and you hope to actually make some money or get some readers (same thing, by the way), you’ve now got to compete with literally hundreds of thousands of titles that SHOULD HAVE PASSED BY A GATEKEEPER. I mean editors, beta-readers, cover designers. People. Please. Have some respect for the process. Ugh. I have a headache. I have to go take an artistly nap now. K bye.
Anyhoo, the good folks over on the Writer’s Cafe are an amazing collection of authors of wildly varying success levels in terms of income, sales, readership, contentedness, life-goals, their parents asking them when they’re going to meet a nice girl and settle down, etc. etc. And some of them share EVERYTHING. I mean, these people are so generous with their information, I feel like a robber sometimes if I lurk. You got a question about writing your blurb? What to expect to spend on cover art? Need marketing advice? Facebook ads? Blogging? Don’t understand the Amazon TOS? Writing question? Tricky trouble tackling tenses? Can you claim a comma conundrum? This is the place to go. Heck, even if you think you know it all, I dare you to go peruse the first few pages of posts. I bet you’ll find something of interest.
And all of this information, this fantastic wealth of FREE INFORMATION, if studied discerningly and applied wisely, apparently can and will help you rise above the noise and get your book(s) out in front of some eyeballs. The rest, of course, is on you–that is to say, if you wrote a bad book, that’s your own darn fault. Sorry ’bout it.
Herego, take this tip today: go check out KBoards if you’re interested in the self-pubbing racket. I’m a proud lurker. Hope to have something of worth to contribute there as well, one of these days 😉