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Social, books, readers & the future.

Facebook’s algorithms; that’s Facebook’s way of restricting who sees your posts, so you must buy ‘advertising’ if you want more than 3% and 10% of your friends to see any single post.

Try posting to several groups in within a few hours or commenting on a reasonable number of people’s posts/pages, you will find yourself ‘Restricted’ from Facebook or even banned.

The reason is simple; Facebook is not making money if you are not paying. So, they tease you, let you on but, as time goes by, they squeeze everything they can from you.

They do this by an inexorable creep. When you are used to ‘how it is’  they change it… just a touch… until it becomes the norm again, before adding further restrictions.

Soon, you will pay for everything, but FB will be such a major part of your life networking, you will not want to leave, so you will keep pouring your hard-earned cash into Mark Zuckonaburger’s pocket.

The big sites, the big brands, the major players continue to buy sites which rival their own or are ‘complimentary’ (read competitive) to their own expansion.

GOOGLE owns YouTube, Blogger, Wallet, Nexus Q, Firebase, Skybox, Project Z and lots more.

FACEBOOK owns Instagram, WhatsApp, Oculus VR, ProtoGeo Oy which are a few which lists among the many companies FB has obtained.

Bing and LinkedIn belong to MICROSOFT, as do the plethora of companies under the ‘Microsoft‘ name, along with DirectX, Mojang, Nokia and Skype, Havoc and CBS Interactive.

Goodreads belongs to AMAZON, as does Audible, IDBM.Box office, Twitch, and Alexa… No, not Amazon’s digital assistant with the same name, but the analytics provider Alexia.com.

For a small player, finding a niche, a new way or pre-empting and moving faster than the big fish react is about the only way new people can compete, and that is what a small group of independent authors are doing.

The publishing world, selling books, the very business on which the (now) giant company Amazon was founded, is in a constant state of flux.

Major publishing houses compete against the giant Amazon, in turn, both are being systematically challenged by small print publishers. These small print publishers were once derogatorily known as vanity publishers, many of whom are changing and developing into hybrid organisations capable of territorial and worldwide distribution of indie authors works of the highest quality.

Then we have the indie author, many who are fiercely protective of their independent status and who have achieved massive success with little or no ‘outside’ assistance.

But massive ground shift changes are still occurring.

These alterations create an issue many indie authors have, their resolute decision to cling to what they know, to keep repeating old and outmoded methods of marketing and promotion in vain hope it will work ‘this time’, that their sales will increase, will return to what they once were.

They will not.

The world moved on while you blinked.

Obstinate and stubbornness is not a way forward, it is not a way to progress, to keep up with the rest of those travelling the superhighway of the interweb. For instance, it is a long established, an ingrained practice to give books away for free. Once this method attracted and generated serious readers, people who would then buy the authors other books.

But that was then.

Now it is time to stop living in the past.

It is useless and pathetic to give books away nowadays. No longer will someone who receives a free book look at that author’s other work. Instead, they will simply collect free book after free book. Who can blame them with over 2.8 million to chose from at any one time?

With Amazon’s own figures showing only 2% of free books are ever read, it is easily deduced how much recipients value them… zero. Which in turn devalues all that authors works and the knock-on effect damaging the entire indie author community in turn.

Recently a ‘new‘ way to give books away was been created by entrepreneurial individuals who identified the desperation of authors to ‘shift’, (not sell), their books. These businesses charge authors a fee to give their books away to a large database.

The return, they say, each author can build an email list of those who have their free book and could… maybe… possibly… buy another one of their books at some time… in the future… possibly never.

In practice, these free books give away organisations generally only attract a mass of freebie hunters, the majority who ‘unsubscribe’ (as is their legal right), shortly after receiving the free copy.

This leaves authors further out-of-pocket.

Not only have these authors usually taken a huge amount of time creating a book, they have invested in editing, proofreading, cover design, possibly buying rights to images, setting up websites, social media pages, swag (promotional material), author copies and/or some stock copies of their books.

Now, they have paid money to a third party to give all that away to a freebie hunter who has no intention of reading their book, let alone buying one in the future… ever.

If one takes the total of these costs, (let alone the time invested), then assesses the average royalty a single book sale generates. It does not take a mathematical genius to calculate how many books the author would need to sell to recoup their investment, or what percentage of that ‘book debt’ is created by giving away or paying someone to give away their books.

Electric Eclectic is not a publisher it is a marketing brand, a brand franchise if you wish.

In its simplest form, Authors publish a long(ish) short story, (at present only eBook formats, but that is changing), under license to Electric Eclectic as a Novelette, Prequel, Backstory or Parallel.

These books become an advertising medium, carrying links and addresses to the author’s other works, websites and author pages, Electric Eclectic social media pages and website etc.

In return, the Electric Eclectic books are offered, at low cost, to readers who can rest assured each book is vetted for great content, each book, from whatever genre has high-quality storytelling and is entertaining. Everything a reader wants from a book.

The prime objective is to allow readers a taste of an authors work, their narration and style. It also allows readers to try new genres at minimal cost. In all, it is a way to introduce readers to authors and find high-quality compatible matches.

Authors keep all royalties on sales, so it is a promotional medium which pays the author and not takes from them.

Refreshingly different.

Electric Eclectic is not sitting still, with a growing number of indie authors they are developing their services and choices for readers.

Already EE has a quarterly prize draw to say thank you for leaving a review on Amazon, and a subscription service with lots of extra ‘goodies’ is on the way.

Why not browse the Electric Eclectic website, choose a book or two and let them know your views?

They are open, welcome communications and answer all messages as soon as they can. Alternatively, visit the Electric Eclectic Facebook page.

I hope you found this post informative and helpful, even a little entertaining?

Thanks for reading, Paul

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