First, I want to apologize for not going as fast as I wanted to. I am working with a developer now and some of the features I want are slowing us up. With that in mind I am updating the site to accelerate how I can.
The purpose of MichiganReads will be to offer a central location for Indie and Small Press authors to showcase and sell their works without taking advantage or creating an intimidating or confusing avenue.
Indie Authors offer many high quality reads to people through different approaches. They are not on TV and sometimes not in mainstream bookstores, but they are often high quality stories that beg to be read. Not all, I read 327 books last year and of those several were “ick”. I know I know, “ick” is a tough word, but they were “ick”. I hope we can get some of the “wow” out there and a healthy audience! The bulk I read from Indie and small press were “wow” and I wanted to help more people see “wow”.
I have to say this, but many authors are taken advantage of, or manipulated by savvy groups to their advantage. When you do the math, it is easy. IF you have to pay x to publish a book it will cost x times 3 to make up that money in sales, sometimes more. (I have a rather complicated spreadsheet to determine my Return on Investment (ROI). For every event and item you do, you have to sell books to break even.
An easy example, if you go to an event and spend $100 on the event, $100 on lodging, and $50 on food AND make $2 per book sold above all other items, you have to sell 125 books to break even OR the event has to open a door or have some other positive attached. Even if you think events are a waste of time and advertise all the time, for every $100 you send you have to sell a considerable number of books.
Worse, there are some people who have spent a lot of money with promises, and not achieved those promises. Some companies will happily charge a great deal for publications.
There is also no “one” avenue that works every time, and no “perfect method” unless you are quite rich, don’t mind loss, and have unlimited time to find it for you. (Or are so famous people flock to your book) There are lots of good options, and I think Mark Dawson’s courses are a good eye opener. (He is also the only high end Indie that wrote back to me every time)
Costs mount up, web sites, newsletters, marketing people, ads in papers, ads online, google, amazon, and more. The costs can be staggering.
Then there are authors that splatter negativity on each other thinking people will buy their book, not realizing that if they have 1 book, they will only get that one sale and have just soured a well.
Michigan Reads is not the only avenue, but it will be a one stop show so to speak and no one will have any advantage over anyone else on the site at this time, and perhaps never. I have been considering showcases but my initial concept is we proceed or fail as a group, not with someone having massive advantages.
Starting the week of February 13th I will be opening the site to a limited number of additional authors. This will not be as automated as I originally intended and will consist of a few steps. First, you can sign up on MichiganReads below. We will reply and once we do, We will set a date for us to talk and put your book onto the site. No, we will not be soliciting your life savings or trying to take advantage of you, instead there will be a low cost for displaying your book on MichiganReads by the month. This will be used for development and centralized advertising. So far, I have done all the work and funding for this project with only some assistance from a few amazing authors.
It is my hope that we can move forward together as a group that supports each other, and tries to help Michigan Readers find us all. Worst case this will be a minimal investment, best case we will help each other forward and shine a light for Indie and Small press to succeed.
If you are interested in signing up, click here.