Have you ever wondered if you’ll be able to read all of the ebooks that you’ve acquired? I have over 1,000 ebooks on my iBooks app alone. I never thought when I had begun downloading ebooks, that I would ever be privileged enough to have so many on hand. But, with the help of friends, and a mixture of free and paid ebooks, I now have what would be considered a mountain of books if they were print editions. If that wasn’t enough – In addition to my iBooks app, I also have books on my Kindle and Nook apps.
As a reader, I’m a happy bunny. I have so many choices that – if I wanted to – I would never have to buy another ebook again in my life! I would never have imagined that this could be possible five years ago; the idea that I could own so many books without needing the shelf space.
However, as a writer I wonder if the ease of “one click” buying threatens author discoverability. Seeing how I have so many ebooks, from self-published to traditional authors, I can’t tell, when perusing online stores like Amazon or Barnes and Noble, if I already have a certain book in my inventory. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gone to download an interesting book only to find out that I have it already. Now, as authors we understand that one way of possibly gaining attention with our newly released “baby” is by giving our ebooks away for free. If the author’s only goal is looking for clicks, meaning how often the book is downloaded in a specific period of time, then you probably won’t care about anything else. However, if they are hoping to gain new fans or trying to build a tribe, they’ll want people to not only download their book – they’ll want them to read the book and come back looking for more!
So, with that in mind I’m wondering if easy access to ebooks is an obstacle to building a tribe and finding new fans. Established authors with a large fan base may not care, but those of us who are just starting out may want to take heed. Like I stated above, I have ebooks written by both self-published and traditional authors; some well-known, but most of them not. Will I ever get to read a certain book that’s become a “needle in a haystack” in my iBooks app? Or will the book become even more obscured and hidden as I buy and add more ebooks on top of my impressive mountain? I have no idea, but as I’m revising my second novel and reviewing my marketing platform for the debut, I know one thing that I’ll have to decide – is it worth giving my ebook away for free? Will I add to my tribe or will my hard work doom my novel into becoming a needle in someone else’s haystack?