The trouble with Kindle

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I love Kindle.  I like that I can carry a pile of books of one hundred books in one hand. I like it that Kindle has brought publishing within reach of anyone. It’s simple to create a book and easy to upload it and Kindle will even create a cover for your book.

There’s a drawback though and this week I have been battling with one of the biggest drawbacks of Kindle and independent publishing.

Win a contract to publish a book and you get the support of a team of experienced people. They’ll help you publish your book from design and editing to marketing and sales, They’ll be there to take the pain. They’ll leave do what you do best. They’ll  leave you to your  writing.

Turn to Kindle, there’s plenty of wonderful help and plenty of generous people out there to help with advice and support, but really you’re on your own.  Editing, design, marketing, sales are all down to you or the depth of your pocket.

That can be fun. That can be exciting. I have a long background in communications and marketing, so I know about what it’s about. I’ve worked with magazines. I’ve worked with designers. I’ve edited and proof read. I’ve promoted and sold.

But things change quickly and especially the internet, IT, and the web changes quickly.  And to be fair I don’t think many people know a great deal about what they’re doing when it comes to the on line world.

The rules keep changing. The big boys like Google and Facebook change the rules. What worked yesterday might not work tomorrow. It all becomes a bit of a gamble, and a bit like throwing bones. Marketing has always been like that. Half of it works and half of it doesn’t and if I knew which half worked I could save myself a lot of money or I could make a lot of money advising other people.

This week I’ve been struggling with keywords and categories, trying to make sure that I pick the right words to give my book a chance. I’ve written lists, researched on Amazon, searched Google and read article after article.  In the end I’ve made my choices realising that, like all data, it’s mostly down to luck.

I know what terms I will use. I’ve made my choices but I still don’t know if those are the terms my ideal reader will use when she or he is looking for my book. And everything depends on that.

That is the only drawback I’ve come across in this mighty endeavour of independent publishing.

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