Again, I have a traditional publisher interested in my series. Again came the request for me to remove all published works that the agent finds inviting. Again I felt a surge of enthusiasm.
The first time I had an agent contact me in 2012, I removed everything off of Wattpad and the ‘deal’ did not work out. This time, I did not comply. I started to, then stopped.
I understand that the agent is not interested in Starlet’s Web, with my 28,000 Wattpad followers, 648,000 Wattpad reads, and 27 average 4.3 star Amazon reviews.
Why isn’t he? My stats show that I have traction but it is up to me to demonstrate that I can sell it. Fair enough. Publishing is a business. Being a former marketing executive, I understand products completely.
The editor was also positive about the great potential my stats revealed. He was relieved that I have not invested in promotion but am following a launch plan where I’m finally at Stage 2 of 4.
Why haven’t I spent the big bucks on my own product? Because it has taken so very long to get ARC posts as an Indie author. I didn’t want to spend money promoting an ARC. In November 2012, I published the ARC version of Starlet’s Web and requested a review from about 160 reputable bloggers. After 3 months, I had 10 commitments. At the time I published the ARC, Goodreads had a bad reputation for trolls. But I like Goodreads as a reader and requested ARC feedback on it, starting in January. I did have troll problems but I’m grateful for connecting with the readers and enjoyed the experience. When I told the editor that I did well on Goodreads, he laughed, saying it was insignificant in the publishing industry and that I wasted a good 6 months of my time.
I did? It is insignificant? We indie authors have so very much to learn.
Although my Stage 1 target was 30 Amazon reviews, I entered into Stage 2 this month. I uploaded Starlet’s Web to Smashwords and NetGalley for the first time. I am promoting Starlet’s Web on Goodreads. I will pay for my first ad on BookGorilla October 25. Barnes and Noble is running free ads for me for all of my novels. I have secured commitments from bookstores to sell the books during the holiday. I’m ready to go.
Meanwhile, I am supposed to de-list Starlet’s Run (#2) and Starlet’s Light (#3). But, but, but…
I did click the de-list button on Kobo and iTunes. I deleted 9,800 reads of Starlet’s Run off Wattpad. But then I just couldn’t ruin all that hard work of requesting ARCs from Amazon. I just can’t de-list from Nook.
But there is so much more that I have learned from one year ago.
I’ve connected with readers and bloggers. They’ve enriched the series from their input. They’ve improved my work.
Don’t I owe it to them to keep the stories live as ebooks?
How could it truly hurt a traditional publisher’s future sales of whatever the Starlet Series would become after editing when only about 1000 readers even know about Starlet’s Run or Starlet’s Light and only about 30 bloggers have read it? If Goodreads and bloggers truly are an insignificant part of creating a bestseller, then what is the threat from an Indie writer asking them to read an ARC?
Is the request for an Indie writer to remove the works a power play?
I don’t know. I’m learning.
Carla Hanna, author of the Starlet Series | Love. Betrayal. Acting. Hollywood entangles talented teen actress in a web of lies.