It is happening. The sharks are coming thick and furious to infest the red ocean.
With the self-publishing boom, more people than ever before are writing and publishing books. And the red ocean is full of hopeful writers, new books, not so new books . . . and sharks, those looking to make a fast buck off anyone floundering at sea. Those who are lost or confused or innocent, or unsure where to go. This is when the sharks eat freely and get fat.
At first it's not too bad, even exhilarating, as you embark on the self-publishing adventure. There are the expected costs of editing, formatting, design, and printing. Savvy self-publishers are careful to watch what they spend for these production expenditures. Because of all the warnings about scam "publishers" who charge exorbitant prices for what you can do yourself for less, most are careful to watch for sharks at this point.
But what about once the book is out and you want sales? Or maybe you had sales some years ago when ebooks were fresh and new and people were downloading en masse on their new Kindles. But the market has slowed and money is tight. You've written more stuff and need increasing funds to pay expenses and still meet your bottom line.
Beware, however, of the wolves in sheep clothing. Or to stick to the metaphor, sharks dressed like helpful professionals. Big promises, fast talkers, the hard sell: "There's a million ebooks out now. If your book is to stand out in the crowd, you've got to do more than the other guy. Pay me and here's what I'll do to make it happen."
It's deceptive since some of it is true, but then comes the part about "pay me." Remember this one key fact about being a self-published author: You are first and foremost a business. If more cash is going out than coming in, the business will soon be broke. Do the sharks care? Not at all. They took your money and are busily zeroing in on their next victims.
Or you can learn how to make Greek yogurt. I finally mastered it! Instructions are on my website. Because when I'm frustrated and annoyed by all the greedy opportunists out there, I go to my kitchen and make something. Or maybe I clean out a closet while ignoring everybody.
Meanwhile, you've been warned: sharks are infesting the crowded waters of the self-publishing ocean. And so, my writer friends, please watch your money.
"Never give up. And most importantly, be true to yourself. Write from your heart, in your own voice, and about what you believe in." ~ Louise Brown
"Write something to suit yourself and many people will like it; write something to suit everybody and scarcely anyone will care for it." ~Jesse Stuart
"A writer's job is to take one thing and make it stand for twenty." ~ Virginia Woolf