The Road to Glory

Written By: Jackie Weger - Jan• 13•16

No matter what anybody tells you, there ain’t a road map to Success…

eNovel Authors at Work...a group of indie authors sharing our experiences and ehow. Always FREE

eNovel Authors at Work…a group of indie authors sharing our experiences and ehow. Always FREE

So you read a book or an advert landed in your mailbox that tells you the ten things the most successful authors do. Honey, those authors did not do those ten items overnight. And if the successful author is a man, he ain’t ironing his own shirts, cooking his own dinner, changing diapers or caregiver to his aging parents, one of whom suffers Alzheimer’s. Often as not, he isn’t even typing his own manuscript. Nope, he has paid help–for all of it, and he didn’t make that start up $$$ writing and selling ebooks.

Snake oil ~ Looks good, sounds good--Bites!

Snake oil ~ Looks good, sounds good–Bites!

There is a wealth of grand hype all over our digital industry by people who will tell you all about their road to Glory–if only you will pay for the services they sell, buy their non-fiction ehow books, and attend their Webinars that end with: For more, sign up! Only $299. If they are so dang successful, how come they aren’t living in a villa in the South of France? Why do they want your money and mine?

There is an email in my inbox right now offering to sell me the names and email addresses of 20,000 Reader’s Digest subscribers.

It is NOT illegal to sell names and addresses.

The Texas Department of Safety–Driver’s License Division sells the name and address of every single person who owns a license. Most states do. However, there are stringent laws against spamming. Fines up to $17,000 per complaint. Yep. Google the laws–every country has them. When you send an email to those folks, you have to give them a way to instantly unsubscribe. You must have your real name and mailing address in the body  of the email–somewhere. Not a post office box. That’s the law. Moreover, Mailchimp and Mad Mimi newsletters services are gonna ask you where those lists came from–and most will refuse to allow you to use them because those names are not organic. And the laws include fines against such services that do not monitor their client’s subscriber lists. Notice the offer to sell me that Reader’s Digest subscriber list doesn’t mention FTC spamming laws. Nope. If I’m dumb enough to buy the list, I’m the only one with a dog in that hunt. And If I use it, I’m in a world of hurt. One complaint is all it takes.

UPDATE: To learn more about the site that sent me the offer to buy those 20,000 Reader’s Digest subscriber’s name and emails, read David Gaughran‘s experience with the guy Here.  It is a must read for indie authors. David is the author of Let’s Get Visible, my indie author bible.

Every contract an indie author signs with an online public relations firm that suggests in hype it can take a book to stellar heights has this disclaimer: No Guarantee in some fashion or another. Here is why: Your book may NOT be ready for prime time–but those firms will take your $$$ anyway.  Or, there is nothing behind the hype–only a scam. They make their money by feeding your dream–not telling you what your book needs, i.e. editing, a decent cover, or that your book description reads like an 8th grade book report. Why do they care? they are not gonna sell it anyway.

How do you protect yourself?


It often takes time to get a cover and book description right. Hero is on its 5th cover. The book is professionally edited, formatted & covered. Next on–setting up a promotion. I wrote it. I’m gonna sell it–somehow.

Read the testimonials and check out the authors and books on Amazon and B&N. Load the book into Kindle Nation Book Tracker. It’s free. You can check the history of the book, its price, and sales stats for a year or more. FREE books in a short promotion often rise to #1 TOP FREE on Amazon. That ain’t a sale. Look at the stats once the book is back to paid. That is the tell. ebook online public relation firms DO NOT pay for promo slots for your book.  The author buys those slots. I hate to tell you this, but there is no easy road to best sellerdom.  It is work and it is fleeting. A book cover has to capture the essence of the tale.  The book description has to be tight: Name the protagonist, the protagonist’s mission, the conflict, the landscape, the era,  if it is critical to the story arc. The book description is the hook. That is what snags you a reader, or not.

Once in a while, Amazon will tag a book I have in promotion as a best seller…but that is only when the book is in promotion. Once the sales drop off…so does that cute little BestSeller icon. Nanosecond Glory. It is nice while it lasts and I move on.

Find on Amazon

Member book published one year ago. It has 695 organic reviews. None bought. None traded. That is rocking it!

It is author choice to buy any kind of promotional package. I’m not suggesting you don’t. But! Know what you are buying and what you are paying for. Educate yourself about our indie industry.  Ask the right questions and get the answers in writing. Yes, I know you need reviews. In eNovel Authors at Work we don’t trade reviews. We put this gem right after The End:

Thank you for taking the time to read [title]. If you enjoyed it, please consider telling your friends or posting a short review. Word of mouth is an author’s best friend and much appreciated. Thank you. [author name].

Does it work? Yes, it does. eNovel members have above 400 published ebooks across all sales venues. Organic readers have now posted about 15,000 reviews on our books over the past three years or so. In three promotions over a 20 month period, organic readers have kindly posted above 550 reviews on The House on Persimmon Road.

Would love it, if you followed me on Amazon

Would love it, if you followed me on Amazon

I’m Jackie Weger, Founder of eNovel Authors at Work. We share what we learn right here. We don’t offer gossip or rumor–only F.A.C.T. and we check those nine ways to Sunday.  We beta test and vet promoters.  These promoters are on our Approved List Above the Fold because more than a dozen members using the sites see a Return on Investment on every promotion: Bookbub. ENT. Booksends. fkbt. ebooksoda. Digital Book Today. Fussy Librarian, and Choosy Bookworm. We also promote with: BookZio, booktastik, eBookBooster, Reading Deals, It’s Write Now. Many Books. Book Praiser. We like the latter list because the owners are organically growing their subscriber lists, we know who they are, they answer our questions and work with us.  And each sites does move books.

Please note: We have removed The Midlist from our promo lists. It was sold and is no more. 

@JackieWeger, eNovel Authors at Work

Comments always Welcome.


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  1. Another great entry, Jackie. It takes a lot of time and effort to write and to learn to market. Articles such as the one above and on this site should be read by all authors. Success doesn’t happen overnight. It’s like writing – you have to learn your craft, create the story, the plot, the characters etc. Promoting your work takes effort and a great deal of research. Trial and error. What works for Jackie Weger may not work for Mary Brooks but you have to try. Okay so Promoter A didn’t work for me but it worked for Jackie – find out why. Maybe their followers are not into your genre or maybe the cover sucks (as the article says) or the description needs work. When you find a site that promotes your work and gets results…ooh baby they are on my hit parade.

    As for reviews…I was sceptical after reading your article (the first time I visited the site) about adding that blurb (yes Doubting Thomasina that I am) but it does work. You have to guide your readers and ask them to do something otherwise they read the book, give you a pat on the head in absentia and go live their lives.

    Enjoy your articles, Jackie. Thank you.

  2. Polly Iyer says:

    As always, very astute commentary, Jackie. And you’re right. It’s very hard work, sometimes leaving little time for writing. It’s also frustrating, rewarding, fun, educational, exhausting, and pure escapism. So glad to be part of this group.

  3. Thank you for sharing, Jackie! As always, very interesting and educational. Often, new authors believe that the bulk of the work will be over once the book is written, edited and published. (I was one of them.) 🙂 But truthfully, marketing takes up just as much time and effort. And somehow you have to find the time to write another book…

    Great article, Jackie. Keep them coming.

  4. Piper Templeton says:

    Thanks, Jackie. Sifting through all of the marketing avenues is dizzying, and you help streamline and make sense of it all. It’s much appreciated!

  5. Laurie Boris says:

    It’s a tough job, but we love it. Thank you, Jackie, for spreading the word.

  6. EM Kaplan says:

    I think I learn something new every day. More than one thing, if I visit here!


  7. Wise words, Jackie. I see from the first couple of pars that you’ve had a host of sales messages from the same people, or their lookalikes, who have been hounding me lately!

  8. Susan Tarr says:

    Each time I come visit your site, Jackie, I leave with renewed hope, and intention. These posts help dispel some of the hype that seeps into our mindset, and cement the better practices. Thank you!

  9. P.C. Zick says:

    It’s a quagmire out there, and we’re bombarded daily. Many of those books claiming to take you to stellar heights are merely a constant plug for their other books or other sites which are probably paying them some type of commission fee. I get discouraged often with how much there is to navigate, but it helps tremendously to read your posts that lay it on the line. Thank you.

    • Jackie Weger says:

      Patricia! I sit on my wallet. The folks spinning those magic webs that ensnare indie authors are writing non-fiction ehow books about how best to market our books, but really know zip about the fiction market and how we are obliged to entertain our readers. If we have a thousand dollars to spare, our best investment is in an editor, a copy editor, a beta reader, a cover artist who ‘gets’ our concept and a professional formatter who can guide an indie on front and back of book matter and knows how to present text, fonts, POV changes and chapter headings that creates a smooth read. Yes, we can get discouraged and yes, we are oft times frustrated. Next we run a campaign, sell some books, see a few reviews tick in and feel good about our careers. I love indie authorship.

  10. Tj Shortt says:

    Great post as always, Jackie!
    So much to learn and there are soooooo many people clambering to grab a naive author’s money.

  11. As always, excellent advice! Wish every author read this post.

  12. Mary Smith says:

    An excellent post, Jackie. I do feel for indie authors who do not have a support network like we have in eNovel – it must be so difficult to know who to trust to not rip them off. To know what will work and what won’t. Promotion is incredibly time-consuming and can be frustrating – but when it works, it’s a great feeling. I love my little best-seller sticker from my last promo – cut it out and kept it. Bit like putting something important and personal in a scrapbook! 🙂
    Mary Smith

  13. Excellent tip about the Kindle Nation Tracker – thank you for sharing. It’s always frustrating to receive mail from people who you never signed up for and rarely, they don’t provide the option to unsubscribe. It happens to me all the time. Very rude, very bad practice. At least, some of this mail originates from author accounts in social media networks like LinkedIn or Google+ so I can tweak my settings to turn these off.

  14. Amy Vansant says:

    Learning how to promote our books is always a work in progress!

  15. Traci Hall says:

    Terrific observations as always, Jackie. I soak up as much as I can whenever you post! Indie authorship requires constant testing of the water…to see what works and what doesn’t. Your generosity in sharing real info and real numbers makes it a little bit easier to know which way to turn. The support of other enovel authors is great, too – thanks for all you do

  16. Mike Markel says:

    You’re right about writing and every other creative track: overnight successes generally aren’t. Being an indie author is a craft that generally requires years . . . I was going to say “to master,” but that’s too optimistic. It takes years to become even moderately competent. I thank you for helping me reduce the time required from decades to years.

  17. Donna Fasano says:

    Keep your nose to the grindstone. Just keep at it, day in, day out. Hard work pays off.

    Donna Fasano
    Author of Following His Heart
    Join my Street Team: Prima Donnas

  18. So true! Thanks for sharing more of your insights, Jackie.

  19. Thanks for reminding me about Tracker. I put all my books in there and promptly forgot to check back. Great tool. And yes, we work our butts off trying to get our books out to new readers and reviewers, but thanks to you and other like you we get a little help!

  20. RP Dahlke says:

    As always, the BEST advice for authors, both newbies and us “old timers!”

  21. Thanks for great advice. There’s so much “help” out there that it can be overwhelming for a newbie like me. I so appreciate your words of wisdom.

  22. Jay at Choosy Bookworm is a nice guy, but I have to say, I saw zero sales & no ROI after a paid ad with Choosy. Maybe its readers are genre-biased toward other genres, I don’t know.

  23. Missy says:

    Thank you for this Jackie. It is very heartening, because I have accumulated a list of over 300 “musts” for marketing and was wondering when i would ever find time to do them all!
    Now i can relax and just do a few at a time 🙂
    Re Tracking in Kindle Nation Daily.

    I loaded in a book and it’s showing just fine, but I can’t figure how to get the History?

    Could you explain please?
    Many thanks 🙂

    • Jackie Weger says:

      Hello Missy: Thank you for stopping by: How you get the history on a book once loaded, you will see an array of icons on the right. run your cursor over each and it twill tell you what it is. Tick the little blue ‘i’ says stats. That bring up current history and an option for last 30 days and previous months. Tick on the option you want. You cannot hurt these sites…so explore!

      Hope this helps,


  24. Another spot on article Jackie.

  25. I’ve created a website about scammer Korede Abayomi, seller of the Reader’s Digest subscribers list:

    • Jackie Weger says:

      Julia Atkinson: I saw the link on David’s site and read the entire article. You did a magnificent job outing this guy. I had no idea Judd Miller is an alias of Korede Abayomi, owner of indiewritersupport. In my small way I vet and beta test promoters, so paid $15.25 for a premium membership…and soon figured out the promoter was problematic. After a few emails to the site and this post…I discovered I was banned from the site. However, I am still on the site’s mailing list…so see the scams…Not a week goes by that an email from a promoter does not land in my mailbox. I always ask who are you? How many subscribers? I encourage indies to check those Alexa rankings. If a promoter won’t talk to me, tell me his or her full name, and where the promo site is homebased, I seldom do business with them. Unless it is a well-established site with a decent track record. However, there are few of those. We need transparency. Thank you so much for stopping by. Honored to have you here. Keep in touch.
      Offering you my highest regards, Jackie Weger

  26. Marketing is a funny thing. And if everyone markets in exactly the same way, those channels get overloaded – and stop working as well or at all.

    I say market to your differences, not your similarities (because I can’t do the similar thing).

    When I figure out what I mean by that, I’ll tell every one. I have a bunch of ideas, but I don’t know yet which ones I dare put in motion: most are irreversible – and out me in one way or another.

    It would be so much easier to just follow tried and true paths.

  27. Some great info on this site, Jackie. Thanks 🙂

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