My Author Blog
|Posted by [email protected] on February 11, 2014 at 11:05 AM|
Okay so I became a writer, always wanted to do it but never knew how. I wrote my book, I wrote blind and didn't know what I was doing. My first book The Art of Magic Realm of the Castles took two weeks to create but another three years to re edit and pluck up the courage to actually publish.
I guess I was encouraged but it still, it took a lot for me to publish it. I had no idea what to do but I did use my head to find out how.
A lot of companies charge stupid amounts of money for something you can do without cash outlay. I began with Lulu and they were okay and this is how I found other places like Smashwords, KDP, Createspace and Draft2Digital. This is the easy part, publish your book and wow so cool but now you have to sell it!!
Promoting a book is so difficult. The market is so swamped now with books from all genres that its difficult to really make your book stand out enough to grab peoples attention.
So, how do we do that....book cover! This is a big and very underestimated selling point. You have to have a very eye catching cover. However, there are many covers out there too. It has to be real outstanding.
That is not all, its okay spamming books everyday on social networking sites but personally I get so sick of seeing them and because of this I wouldn't even consider looking at them because I am so sick of seeing the same thing. They mustn't be selling well or why else would they turn to spam instead of steady promoting once or twice a week. Don't over-face possible readers, they will ignore you.
A steady promotion schedule is required. There are many reader groups on facebook which allow advertising, join them and maybe pick two per day to advertise once, figure out when it seems to gain more traffic, what time of day, don't put on there "BUY MY BOOK ITS GREAT!!!" Put your link and a little teaser about the book or something catchy...which worked for me. The one I received the most interest was this: Do you love Lord of the Rings? Harry Potter? Well my book is nothing like them but it is a fantasy about..., this created many likes from people I don't know, gained curiosity and people commented on how it made them giggle. This is good feedback but it does not make them sell, interacting with the comment and get to know the people who took interest. Have them like your page, invite them to become friends on your profile, this endears readers to you because you show a genuine interest in them. This will help grow a fanbase.
Twitter, Google+, Linked in are all great for promotion but you also have to interact with people and not just spam, spam is bad okay!
Join reader forums, genre forums, again, do not spam as people will flag you and have no interest in what you have to say. Interaction is of paramount importance.
Goodreads and Librarything, Shelfari etc, become a site author via the author program. I joined Goodreads and it took two months of having one or two friends and four months later I have 6 fans and 455 friends.
Do not expect to be an overnight hit, it rarely happens, be gentle but persuasive, offer the odd free book for people providing they give you a review. Never ever pay for a review, it is frowned upon, you want genuine reviews from readers who do or don't enjoy your book.
Don't expect everyone to love your book, tastes vary and you will get people say 'oh it was crap, grammar was awful', your only human, even professionals get it wrong, no book is perfect. Some of the most popular commercially published books on the market have mistakes. Fifty Shades is a huge seller from an Independent/Self Published author which is a grammatical bomb, terrible, but people overlooked that because the story is what they enjoyed.
Marketing and promotion is expensive, use everything you can find for free promotion, use social networking with respect, interact with prospective readers, give people something they want. Take criticism, take it on the chin and learn from it, some you can ignore but others will really help.
Get yourself a proof reader, a friend, someone who enjoys your book...a fan, they will appreciate it and also tell others what they are doing for you, this is a big hit with readers...an author who will listen to them.
Word of mouth by your readers is the biggest author tool in the world, let them help, let them encourage others to read your book.
Utilize local papers and other media platforms, contact your local paper they love local stories that bring readers to their papers, local radio, anything you can. Talk to local bookstores, offer signings but build some real hype before it and get all your friend to come in with a copy of your book, others will see them all and join the queue, buy your book so you will sign it, so many people (your friends) waiting so this person must be good... sheep syndrome...whats happening there let's go find out, humans are a naturally curious creature by nature and hate to miss anything.
Use the biggest tool you have, YOU!
I watched a warning I found very helpful, Facebook Fan pages, yes great tool but will take time to build a genuine following, I have had my Author Page now for 3 months and have 460 likes, yet when I look at a post it tells me its only reached 47 or 80 people, why? People just press like for the the sake of it. Genuine people will watch your posts and interact too. Paid likes, advertising platform on facebook.....hmmmm no! You will suddenly have thousands of likes but when you look at the geography of these likes they are in places you have never heard of or places which wouldn't have interest, be patient, these likes swamp your page and you will get much less interaction. Be careful, take your time and allow people who do like your work 'like' your page. Offer giveaways, competitions with your books as the prize, anything to gain interest, dont grab the bit and allow your horse to run away, this is not a race.
I read another authors post the other day and like he said, he now makes $5000+ per month on book sales, he has many books, but it took over a year for his first book to sell, it was word of mouth, not spam and adverts.
Keep writing, an author isn't found with just one book, you need multiple books to give you a better chance. Don't give up, never give up, there are fans out there that will love your work and be loyal.
Your book, I know I have grammatical mistakes, it was my first book, I flew solo, I had no clue what I was doing. I have had to revise it, when I read it I knew what it said so overlooked all problems, but others don't, ensure proof reading. It is important.
If you are unsure of what you are doing, join groups like mine on facebook; Self Pub Help & Marketing, we are all authors, even commercials on there as we really help each other, no arguments but we discuss what works and doesn't, which web tools work, we share each others pages, websites etc, its very informative.
Besides social media we have other tools like Blogs, websites, one of the best website builders I have found is webs.com you have ten pages to play with, grow your traffic whilst you have it for free and take it further by buying a domain and pay for it once you gain interest.
I really hope that this has helped in some way, I help other authors, I am no expert but will do what ever I can to help people like myself. Join groups which give good advice and ask, no question is stupid, if you don't know the answer, one of us will or will find out for you or give you the tools to find out yourself. Never sit in the dark and be ripped off for money that is not worth spending.
Be aware that there are scammers in this world just the same as everything else. There is huge competition, massive, so you have to be smart. There is 'Author bitching', steer clear of it and interact with people who enjoy interacting with you, don't listen to 'bitching', there is a war between Independent and Commercial Authors at the moment but now many commercials are moving into the Independent Market because we control our books completely, others are becoming commercial because many love their books and Publishing houses have approached them because of it.
Write, enjoy and be sensible.
Well for me that was deep but hopefully informative and I really hope that has helped people in some way. Respect your readers, they are who will make your name for you, be good to them and show them your a person, don't snub them because your an author...your not...your a human who has become an author.
Never snub your fans because they will ruin you as soon as like you!
Okay enough rambling from me, below are the links to my books if you would like to take a look.
I would appreciate it, and do comment on the bottom of this post because I love feedback.
Join me on facebook Author Sharon Wheater, page and profile, would be nice to chat.
Please share this blog, people may appreciate the help.