Originally Posted by VydorScope
Mark Cook (that his name, right? ) said it best when he said that piracy was not the biggest problem for the independent author, it was anonymity. I think there is a lot of truth in that.
Ha! That's gotta be the fourth person I've heard that quote attributed to... maybe you're thinking of Smashwords' Mark Coker?
Originally Posted by ApK
Really? You've never tried a new author without stealing from him first?
I've paid (small amounts) to several names I'd never heard of but for stumbling over them on the web, including Steve, for that matter.
As have I... and without stealing them first. I've found most of my independent author reads by word of mouth, though that method has not served me well at all (despite offering my ebooks in all the ways readers like 'em). Good reviews and ratings likewise haven't driven sales.
To an extent, I can blame the subject matter (serious science fiction is being heavily overshadowed by Star Wars-type space battle sci-fi, and all SF is being overshadowed by romance and urban fantasy) and the prevailing publisher-driven attitude (to wit: Indie authors suck), as well as the above-mentioned lack of word of mouth from satisfied readers to their friends... but let's face it, all that blaming only goes so far.
Sooner or later, a carpenter who's good at making chairs looks around his shop, sees a roomful of unsold chairs... and realizes it's time to stop making chairs. That's not to say he has to give up on chair-making; but he needs to stop and figure out how to sell the chairs he's got first. Once that problem is solved, he can go back to making new chairs... or find something else to make.
This is where I am right now (and have been for about 2 years now): Trying to figure out how to sell the stories I've already written, before I write any more. Whether or not I'll write another novel is fully dependent on my success in marketing myself.
And getting back to the OP, I think this is something every writer should consider when deciding if this field is right for them. In hindsight, I should probably have never started writing, since I've never been a good self-promoter, nor do I have a horde of friends to support me and my work. I wish someone had explained it to me, so I might have gone into some more worthwhile activity and spared myself the hassle of writing.