Lakeside’s new “virtual bookstore” promotes local authors
By Antonio Ramblés
English-language writers have been coming to Lake Chapala since D. H. Lawrence first visited and wrote about the area in 1923, but even many local writers are surprised to learn that nearly 200 books by over 50 Lakeside authors are currently available on Amazon.
These numbers really shouldn’t come as a surprise. Amazon/Kindle’s online bookstore not only gives readers one-click access to more titles than in any previous generation, but is backed by an online publishing platform which enables writers to publish their work at no cost. One effect is that more than 300,000 new titles are independently published each year.
The avalanche of new books makes Amazon a mixed blessing for independently published authors, who must struggle to promote readership without the backing of a commercial publishing house. As a consequence, most independently published titles sell fewer than 200 books.
The challenge is even more daunting for English-language authors living in Mexico, arms-length from the sweet spot of the English-reading market and sometimes unknown as authors even to Lakeside friends and neighbors.
Riberas Authors, an independent, non-profit initiative launched in August, is tackling these obstacles with Lakeside’s first “virtual bookstore”.
Its focus is to promote readership of Amazon books authored by resident writers, and Lake Chapala as Mexico’s pre-eminent community of English language authors.
Early indications are that the organization’s effort is filling a clear need. In its first 60 days, the RiberasAuthors.com blogsite attracted over 1,200 Visitors and generated over 3,000 Page Views. One-third of Visitors originate from English-speaking countries across the globe from the U.K. to Australia, for which native English speakers number over 400 million.
Nearly nine in ten referrals to RiberasAuthors.com originate on Facebook, where the Riberas Authors Patrons page reached nearly 8,000 people in its first month.
In November, Riberas Authors launches its YouTube channel, which will feature videos of readings by - and interviews with –ten RiberasAuthors.
In January, pieces written by Riberas Authors will begin appearing regularly in the Lake Chapala Society’s new monthly publication. In conjunction, Riberas Authors will also launch a monthly event dedicated exclusively to readings from Amazon-published books by its authors.
Those interested in supporting these efforts are urged to:
Visit the RiberasAuthors.com blog site and subscribe to updates (“Follow Us!”), or…
…“Like” the Riberas Authors Patrons page on Facebook.
Share Riberas Authors posts on books and authors with family and friends.