More Readers

Created almost 3 years ago by johnsoncm with 16 comments
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Vvrmleq2 Whoa · Author · added almost 3 years ago
I like the way things are now, in terms of funding, to be honest. I think reader and order numbers signify something significant about a book. This does not necessarily mean if one book has 100 orders and another has 20 then the book with more is "better". 

I think that is the problem with metrics. Online, people are constantly comparing themselves and their content to others. This can potentially cause a writer to lose focus on their work and start obsessing over maintaining a certain number. Ultimately you’re going to have to write your book and then someone will have to sell it to an audience so in my mind you may as well just focus on that. 

What I’m trying to say is that the numbers on your book like "followers" aren’t going to add up to anything if you can’t convince people to care about your book and I don’t think you can do that without knowing what your book is and then finding those people in the right places (forums, groups, irl) and sharing it with them.
Ww 2 7kl johnsoncm · Author · edited almost 3 years ago · 1 like
@Rick Heinz ,

Earlier you said "Syndicate backing isn’t a matter, or a metric, of if a book will sell or not. That’s more a matter of community engagement."

I don’t know that I agree.  A book’s marketability is based on whether or not the community is engaged.  If the community is engaged, they try to get the book funded.  Now, in my mind, I think we should examine WHY the community is engaged.  If the motivation is to get a book they believe in and enjoy published then that would directly translate into a very marketable (and from Inkshare’s stand point - profitable - book)  if the reason for the engagement is a version of Quid Pro Quo or simply the author’s friends trying to do their buddy a favor - never even really reading the book......well I think something vital is broken then.  From the publisher’s stand point, it makes less sense to have a book fund because their circle of friends is loyal, then because the book is actually good.

Just a disclaimer - I’ve always been the kind of cat to speak my mind plainly, and I realize it doesn’t always come out in a political tone.  It doesn’t often put me in a position to win friends and influence people.  But still, I think it’s the right thing to say "hey, I think there’s something to look at here".
Ww 2 7kl johnsoncm · Author · added almost 3 years ago
I jumped on the  Launchpad thing too.  Fingers crossed
Ww 2 7kl johnsoncm · Author · added almost 3 years ago
Yeah, I can dig the slowly but surely thing.  But I also think having discussions like this are good because you might get an unexpected solution. Lots of authors from different backgrounds, mine is business finance and investments, so I tend to think in money
Img 0137 p bw C. Brennecke · Author · edited almost 3 years ago · 4 likes
There are some good points and questions here, so I think I’ll weigh in on a few of them.

Re: Readers - Yes, we need more readers on the site. Yes, that is the goal that Inkshares is currently focused on. But, we aren’t there yet. That is why it’s in everyone’s best interest that those of us campaigning now should focus on bringing readers in from the outside world.
Support from within the community is awesome, but no one should expect to fund their novel from that alone. We’re just not there yet. If we want to get there, we have to contribute by helping build the reader base. Sure, most of your readers aren’t gonna stick around and buy more books on the site, but a small percentage might, and when all of those small percentages combine, it starts to add up. It’s slow, but it is happening. 

Re: Reader royalties - The original idea for Inkshares was that readers would get a share of the profits (hence the "shares" part of the name). However, they hit a legal roadblock and had to move away from that. 

Re: Dollars vs Readers - When Inkshares first launched, they did use dollar goals. I’m not sure what their reasoning was, but I’m happy that they changed it because A) Using dollar goals allowed the site to be used and seen as more of a vanity press, and B) Using reader goals is a much better test of how well a book will do once published. 

Re: Accounts that can’t be followed - Great idea! I think a lot of supporters would appreciate that. I’ve seen some "private" user accounts before, so I think it is already possible to do this, however too few people know that it’s an option.

Final Thoughts: We’re getting there, but it’s very slow going - and for good reason. Influencing an audience to buy is no easy task. This is a young company with a small staff, and it’s extremely impressive to see what they’ve accomplished so far. They’re working towards the goal that we all want to see, but it’s not a goal that can be accomplished overnight. We can contribute by bringing in new readers and building platforms that contribute to a positive reputation offsite. 

Mrr black n white crop M. Robert Randolph · Author · edited almost 3 years ago · 2 likes
I agree with both sides, but I just wanted to say what I’ve come to think of "not funding" on Inkshares as equal to getting a rejection letter. I got a stack of ’em. I know my book is good, but maybe I’m getting rejected for other reasons like I’m reaching out to the wrong person or submitting under the wrong genre. Inkshares can’t possibly publish every book that gets submitted. I’m glad to have my book posted here. I’ve got more followers and readers here than I have on my blog. So that’s a start at least.

I’m also planning to submit to the Launchpad contest. If my book had been published I wouldn’t be allowed to, so I’m glad I have this chance to enter. I mean any 50 pages? This is my chance. Most agents only want the first 3 chapters. I can show off the epic battles near the end. I’m excited about it. ;)
Picture Rick Heinz · Author · edited almost 3 years ago · 4 likes
Yeah, @johnsoncm , It’s crowd funding. Before you crowd fund, you’ve got to have your own platform and do your own legwork. 70% of your book funding needs to come from your own resources easily right now. 

I know it’s the harsh truth, what @Ricardo Henriquez is saying has merit. 

As part of what you are doing in crowd funding is selling yourself and practicing your self promotion skills. 

Syndicate backing isn’t a matter, or a metric, of if a book will sell or not. That’s more a matter of community engagement. Authors who are helpful to the community, will be picked up by Syndicates more than anything else.

Which, does increase the chance the book will fund. But you’ve still gotta bring your own readers to the table. 

There just simply aren’t enough authors to reliably fund a book from someone else on the website. I could go further into some tactics and some math behind stuff. 

One thing to do: Is recruit people who want to support as readers, to join syndicates. Although that’s a hard sell because basically you are paying a lot of money for years before you get a product. 

However just so you know: Inkshares Nirvana moment is when they have enough readers on the site where it’s easier to fund, and they are indeed working on that behind the scenes. It’s just going to take years for that kind of traction to build up. 

They do, however, come. I’ve got 5 people who are just avid readers that stalk a lot of books on here. I brought them to Inkshares with me. Now imagine if every other author had 1-2. 

10492145 10152537787574467 5636434093663626414 n Ricardo Henriquez · Author · edited almost 3 years ago · 1 like
I agree with you  @johnsoncm  that is a great book, but maybe this is not the right platform for that book to see the light. All I’m saying is that Inkshares is what it is. It is a crowdfunding platform and like any other crowdfunding platform it is on us the authors to make sure our projects hit their goals, not on them. That is just how this business model works. I don’t mean to be heartless, just matter of fact. As authors we need to make the best strategic decisions to get our work out, if crowdfunding is not something we are good at, or have the time or network to do, then Inkshares is not the right avenue for us. We can’t expect them to change their business model just because the books we like don’t succeed. Believe me, I support a lot of books here and I’m sad every time one of them don’t fund.
Ww 2 7kl johnsoncm · Author · edited almost 3 years ago · 1 like
Here’s a good example of what I mean below:
Look at Jaye Milius with Terminus.  I picked her up in my Collection because I believe in her books successful publishing. It’s a Staff Pick, in my Collection, and picked up by 2 Syndicates.  Obviously it’s gotta be a good book or all these people wouldn’t be on board.

She has only 160 orders under her belt, and 16 days left to fund.  How does that make sense?
Ww 2 7kl johnsoncm · Author · edited almost 3 years ago · 1 like
Thanks Ricardo I appreciate the pre order.
I don’t know that I agree entirely though. One of the reasons I went to Inkshares was because I had gone other routes with another book I wrote. I tried a traditional publisher, and they wanted a marketing survey of people who would buy my book. As a new author that wasn’t possible for me. I don’t have the social media network other people do, and the last 15 years of my life have been spent moving from one state to another and often times working multiple jobs. That left no time to build a ’boots on the ground’ social network either.  But does that in anyway impact the quality of, or the marketability of my book? I’m obviously jaded here, but I believe it deserves to be published, I wouldn’t bother writing it other wise, but it’s not less deserving of being published because I can’t generate enough local interest.
Now I know that’s not what you’re saying, but I’m using it to make a point.  So much good stuff is missed or passed over. The next JK Rowling or George RR Martin could be on this site right now. But due to similar circumstances as mine, they might not fund, and that’s a loss to the literary world.  Personally, on the subject of humanity, my experience is that they will not engage in an activity unless they have a reason to ’buy in’.  That could be financially, emotionally, spiritually, or on principal, but there MUST be a buy in.

What’s the buy in for a reader now? A $10 eBook (something they could get on Amazon much cheaper) and the warm fuzzy of saying I helped this author guy or gal I’ve never even met? 

 More likely if they are on this site right now, they are like the rest of us, desirous of seeing good books get published, speaking of which have you looked at mine yet?  I’d like to fund all of them, but I can’t afford it so I’m saving my purchases for those who I believe will purchase back and market me to their pipeline.
10492145 10152537787574467 5636434093663626414 n Ricardo Henriquez · Author · edited almost 3 years ago · 5 likes
I think that something you have to take into consideration is that inkshares is a crowdfunding platform, which means you are in charge of bringing enough readers so your project succeeds. The idea of being salesmen selling to other salesmen come from the mistaken perception that the way to funding is from selling within Inkshares. Inkshares is too young for that. The bulk of your sales have to come from people you know and their extended networks.

Readers will come. Once the books they are publishing start picking up steam and inkshares’ authors build a readership beyond those who helped them fund, people will come, but we are some time away from that still. AS of now, it is on you to find the people in the real world that will come here and purchase your book. Very few of those will stick around and support other authors. It is what it is right now.

I believe the strategy Inkshares is utilizing is the right one. I know they are aware that most of the burden for funding is on the author right now and they want to help reduce that burden. I doubt a form to do that will be giving a % to a reader. I certainly wouldn’t use the platform if that was the case.

PS: I am fan of your book. Bought it early on. I hope you fund because I want to read it.
Ww 2 7kl johnsoncm · Author · edited almost 3 years ago · 1 like
Maybe clear off inactive readers, or allow a temporary guest sing on for people who are only supporting a friend or family members book. One that can’t be followed by other authors 
Ww 2 7kl johnsoncm · Author · edited almost 3 years ago · 1 like
I’m not saying it would be easy, and yeah at startup all those legal and financial hurdles would have been very difficult. But now Inkshares has some experience and money under its belt.  We absolutely have to get more Readers on board.  As long as inkshares stays reasonable and realized we can only do so much, maybe there wouldn’t be a cost increase.  Maybe limiting the number of active projects, so that more funding could go to fewer books, or highlighting a particular project each week.  Whatever it is, it’s going to be a growing pains type of experience. But without more Readers, we are still mostly car salesmen selling cars to other car salesmen.
Dsc00487   copy Craig A. Munro · Author · edited almost 3 years ago · 1 like
As I recall the whole inkshares premise was going to be something along the lines of owning a % of the book and getting a % of the royalties. It never came together though and the legalities never got sorted out (I’m sure I read that somewhere). 
The count based on the $ value makes sense and would be something I wouldn’t mind seeing. But I wouldn’t be surprised if that came with an increase in target numbers... 
Ww 2 7kl johnsoncm · Author · edited almost 3 years ago · 1 like
Maybe also, changing the requirements on pre orders from units to dollars?  I’m not sure on this but if someone pre orders at $10 or at $20, does it matter, or still count as just 1 pre order either way? Because if a $20 pre order counts only as 1 instead of 2, then I lost out on 10 extra ’units’.
Ww 2 7kl johnsoncm · Author · edited almost 3 years ago · 3 likes
Hey guys.
So, disclaimer first. I love Inkshares, I think it’s the greatest thing, and one of the few real ways for new authors to have an actual shot.  The principal is sound. Authors write, the crowd picks the best, you don’t have to front production costs - boom! Should be a recipe for instant success. You guys get production costs upfront so if the book flops you don’t lose anything, which shouldn’t happen cause the key demographics CHOSE the book themselves,so you get royalties too from what aught to be a successful book.
But the system grew and changed direction a bit, as systems often do. That just happens. There are so many authors on the site and we are all trying to sell our stuff, there’s not a lot of money to go around between all of us starving artists to fund all the books we’d like to, and the contests tend to pull focus from us if we aren’t in that genre. And when big names come on, like the Gary Whitta’s of the world, a lot of folks will follow and fund them, hoping they and their vast network will reciprocate.
I think k we need more Readers, just readers . Which I know is hard to get people to come over and do this if they dont also have a stake in sticking around like those of us writing do.  So I wondered what a possible solution might be.
Don’t get me wrong, this probably wouldn’t be easy to implement or extremely cheap, but I think it could help.  What if when, as a Reader only, when you supported a book by pre ordering, you got a bit of the royalties? Not a lot mind you, like 1% or 1/2 of 1%.  Something small enough that the individual authors didn’t really feel it, but Readers who support many books over a long period of time, would certainly build up.  It’s unfortunate but people need incentive to do new things, and right now if they want a book, they go get one, online or in a store.  The immediacy factor is a big deal.  But if they had a financial incentive.......? Just a thought.  You guys probably already thought of it, but I’d love e to know what your take is on that.