In order to be successful, a self-published author must come up with a good book idea, develop a fine story, write well, edit the manuscript, learn how to format both a paperback and an eBook, and become adept at marketing.
That’s a tall order. Why risk all of that hard work with any possible bad karma?
If you don’t believe in karma, then don’t think karma – think branding. The image that you brand as an author can have a significant impact on sales. Don’t risk bad book karma or negative branding – whatever you prefer to call it.
What do you hope for as an author?
- Many sales.
- Frequent reviews.
- Word-of-mouth referrals.
- A nice review average.
- Good and fair comments about your work publicly.
- Necessary criticism privately.
Authors may not all share the exact same wish list, but these items are probably pretty high up on most writers’ lists.
Now assess your book karma:
Part 1 – You as a reader:
- How often do you read self-published books (that you discovered yourself)?
- Do you leave good reviews for books (written by complete strangers) that you like?
- Which books (written by complete strangers) have you referred to friends, family, acquaintances, or colleagues?
- What have you done that might help an author you don’t know whose book you enjoyed?
- Have you ever (publicly) said anything bad about any other self-published books?
- Have you ever (publicly) said anything bad about self-publishing? eBooks? Amazon? Kindle?
- What do you say when people you know ask you about buying eBooks, whether you like your Kindle, if self-publishing is a good idea, etc.?
Part 2 – You as a writer:
- Did you take the time to perfect the editing and formatting of your books?
- How do you react when you receive criticism about your work (privately or publicly)?
- Do you ever respond negatively to customer reviews?
- In what ways have you helped other aspiring authors improve their own work?
- Have you ever abused the customer review system, tags, likes, etc.?
- How do you behave at online discussion forums and your other online activities?
Chris McMullen, self-published author of A Detailed Guide to Self-Publishing with Amazon and Other Online Booksellers (Volume 2 coming in mid-April)