I have just downloaded and read an ‘eBook’ called ‘Fake!‘ by Graham Murray of Living Books USA. He blows the lid on those unscrupulous swines that fake reviews for their eBooks, usually free ones that are absolute rubbish. Graham goes into detail as to how you can tell these fakers, usually they are the top ‘Highest Rated’ authors on the list but they don’t deserve to be there.
This faking of reviews is a by-product of the revolution in writing and publishing that is the eBook. Today just about anybody can write and publish their work online and call themselves a writer. In time, quality will show and the dross will fall by the wayside. More and more readers will learn how to detect the trash before they waste their most precious commodity on these eBooks. Not their money, especially as most of these fakes are free, which shows what they are worth to their writer, but their time.
I was glad I stumbled on Graham’s site. I also downloaded two other freebies and bought an eBook, ‘The Definitive Guide To Using Smashwords As Your eBook Distributor’. It has a ton of good info within and for just $0.99 it is terrific value. As well as the very helpful info, I learned a few things, too. First of all I have offered many of my titles at a discount using Smashwords Coupons and will monitor this to see if it helps sales.
Another thing I have noticed was how Graham has 60 titles, but these are not full length novels or even novellas. They are short stories, 4-7,000 words in length and just $0.99. I think there is some merit in this strategy and will be offering selected short stories and small anthologies at the same price. I will also look at producing some useful non-fiction documents, some free and some at just $0.99. The mix should help generate downloads and from them, sales and from those, regular readers.
This is a good example of taking note of what other people are doing and, if it seems to make sense, giving it a try yourself. One thing I would like to know is how Graham does his covers. They are all very well put together, even for the free offerings. I am not a graphics person but I can give it a go and I think it is a skill any writer/publisher should master. The other skill is marketing and that is the big focus for 2012.