Goin’ Global

Posted: May 10, 2014 in Self-publishing
Tags: , , , ,

A mere eight years after the first tweet was tweeted, I’m starting to get the hang of Twitter. Sort of. In my defense, I’ve only had an account there for five months, the first three of which were spent wondering what the hell was going on. I’d tweet out links to these here blog posts, an occasional pat on the back to my favorite team, or a shameless promo for one of my books (accompanied by an appropriate hashtag or trending term, of course: No one likes junk mail). Meanwhile, I was constantly following, following, following. Sometimes I was followed back.

The results? Well, I consulted with my social media department (a Yoda figurine equipped with a ten-sided die suspended in Magic 8-Ball goo), and we came to a consensus: Too soon to tell. There’s no way of knowing how an increased Twitter presence has affected the bottom line yet. Check back with me and my favorite Dagobahdian hermit in 2019 or so and we might have some concrete numbers. In the meantime, I recently stumbled across an interesting feature of Twitter’s that had managed to evade my tractor beam since the day I cruised into their galaxy in my heavily-modified Death Star— that little “change” link next to the Trends list.

Like all Luddites, I’m afraid of change. Especially when it’s presented to me in the form of a hyperlink. Earlier this week, however, I mustered all my courage and did the point-and-click thing. Turns out the Trends link isn’t nearly as dangerous as it looks. Seems downright friendly, in fact. It lets you peruse what’s currently popular in a number of major cities in a number of major countries. Since I’m all for expanding the market for my books outside of my immediate family, I thought I’d play around with the Trends settings and see what was what. I’ve previously made impassioned pleas to readers in Australia, Canada, and Germany to check out my books (with mixed results), so why not go truly global? Well, as global as is prudent in the realm of KDP non-Select.

A quick perusal of the Top Ten in nations like Brazil, Mexico, Italy, and France reveals a pleasant surprise for any US-based author looking to ply his or her wares beyond their own borders. My admittedly less-than-scientific research has found that roughly half the trending topics in these countries are expressed in English. As for India, nearly all are in English. Japan? Well, their Trend list reminds me of a David Lynch film — lots of complex and strangely beautiful characters, but I have no idea what’s happening. If I ever master English, I’m going to try Japanese next.

I guess the moral of this story is that, thanks to 1s and 0s,  there’s a great big ol’ world out there at the ends of our fingertips. It would be foolish not to use it to reach out to readers. My lofty goal, given all this wonderful technology? Sell one copy of one of my books in each of the foreign countries Amazon lists them. Timeframe? By November 20th, the day I uploaded my first novel there last year. I’ll let you know how it goes. For now, it’s off to the Twitterverse!





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