5 Stages of Ebook Death

I think it is important for us indie authors to recognize the five stages of ebook death, so we can make proper burial arrangements and then move on in life, no doubt hardened by the experience.

Regarding the burial, I suggest downloading a dead ebook on to a thumbdrive and then interring it in your garden, perhaps with along with a scoop of fresh manure. If you live in the city, I suggest a traditional toilet flush while listening to Danny Boy on your iPod, not the Johnny Cash version. Cremation followed by spreading the ashes at a Barnes and Noble is also and option, if you can find a Barnes and Noble that is still in business.

Based on my experience the death process starts with one month of no sales, and is then followed by months of anguish which can be broken into the following clearly defined stages:

Stage 1: Denial (1 month of no sales)

My book can’t really suck. I’m so smart. It took me so long to write it. Maybe nobody has bought it because they’re too busy. Yeah, that’s it. They’re too busy. I can still get a couple of positive reviews. It can still go viral. Maybe a movie star will read my book and talk about it on Oprah. Yeah, that’s my ticket, Oprah!

Stage 2: Anger (2 months of no sales)

Readers suck. They are so f’n stupid. They only read books about vampires in love and the great battles of World War 2. Amazon is a f’n monopoly that only cares about the big authors. Apple sucks. Microsoft sucks. Democrats suck. Republicans suck. In fact people suck in general.

Stage 3: Bargaining (3 months of no sales)

Dear Mr. Bezos, I’ll list my book for free on Amazon.com, if you agree to make me a best-selling author. If not, I’m off to Apple.com…Mr. Bezos, is that you laughing?

Stage 4: Depression (4 months of no sales)

I suck. I’m so f’n stupid for spending one thousand hours writing a piece of trash that nobody wants to read. How could I be such an f’n idiot. I should have listened to my wife when she told me not to write a book about the joy of refrigerator repair.

Stage 5: Acceptance (5 months of no sales)

I have a great idea for my next book!

W4$:)

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12 thoughts on “5 Stages of Ebook Death

  1. Well, look at it this way: when you finally get that bestseller, people will be thrilled to go back and see that you have other books waiting for them to read. It’s all about the spin, right? 🙂

  2. Loved your post. And ebooks, unlike print ones, stay on the cyber shelves. Crubin is right. When you hit it large, all those dead ebooks will become zombies, rising from their graves, consuming the consumers! LOL.

    • Pat-
      It seems everybody has a different experience. Amazon could work for you. For sure, giving away free books, is not generating the sales it used to. One big problem is you don’t know your customer. How do you run a business when you don’t know your customers? I’m moving to “buy in” email promotion. It will take time, but I expect the results will be better over time. I’m reworking my blog now to facilitate more direct sales from known readers…

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