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Friday 19 April 2013

Part 2 - Are you serious about your eBook?

Part 2 – Are you serious about your eBook? Being Indie, is being ‘inBUSINESS’...

1. Once your book starts selling you will attract a certain amount of reader interaction. Don’t engage in this lightly. It should be genuinely desired and encouraged. In my humble opinion it should be the goal of every author (yep - EVERY author) to chat and connect and interact with their readers. I absolutely love receiving the hundreds of messages of enquiry and encouragement from my readers. There was a tough time not so long ago where the heartening messages were the only thing that kept me stuck to my gruelling schedule. Don’t forget – they like your stuff so much they took time out of their day to contact YOU.

2. Following on from the above...it is important to include a personal contact email address in your book. No, include it at least twice. Make sure it’s at the beginning and, because Kindle books can start on Page 1, also include it at the end. In addition, include links to your website and blog where, again, it will be easier for readers to contact you personally.

3. The email address is the starting point for your next big project - The Mailing List. Once questions and contacts and queries and messages of support start flooding through your email then create a contacts list. This list will be the first thing you turn to when you publish a new book and, like me, you might find it useful to bounce new ideas off some of your readers.

4. You become a serious Indie author when, as the title of this post suggests, you understand it’s a full-time business. To help with this, direct traffic from your established social marketing site to the quieter ones. Create a circle. Call it a ‘nail that sale’ circle. Direct traffic from twitter to your website to your blog to Facebook to Goodreads to Pinterest to LinkedIn etc, etc, and leave an easy and helpful link on every site that leads to your ‘buy’ page. Take some time to learn the way these sites work (I am sadly guilty of not doing this myself – yet.)

5. Twitter may or may not be your best social medium, but it has been mine. Do not let your marketing tweets grow stale. Change them regularly. Think up new tweets, almost as if you were an advertising agent. Oh wait, you are! Freshen them up every week or even every few days. Get a friend or loved one to give them a brand new perspective. Once the great reviews start rolling in use the rich content within them. Keep it inventive, original. And don’t forget your fellow authors – they will support you and you should support them.

6. Speaking of keeping it fresh – change your marketing strategies often. One month write a new and interesting blog post. Another, write an informative or a personal blog. On another engage in several interviews. On yet another month host a guest blogger or a fellow author. Each new approach introduces you to a different audience and lends greater visibility to your name and what should fast be becoming your brand.

7. Join an author group on Facebook or Goodreads and other Social Marketing sites. You will find new friends and new outlets for your work. Listen carefully to what these people have to say. Share your experiences and give your advice freely.

8. Here’s one I intend to try soon, but haven’t yet had the chance beyond a single interview. If anyone has had any success with this perhaps you could drop me a line of advice. LOCAL marketing. Most places have a local press, a free paper, a giant supermarket and coffee shop that enjoys promoting ‘local’ initiatives. Some supermarkets have a free paper. Perhaps there are some book clubs in your town?

9. Organise a Blog Tour. There are many bloggers out there interested in your stuff, but it’s unlikely they will come to you. It sure can’t hurt to send a note of enquiry, and there are guidelines around to help you write it. Clearly, it would be useful to coincide the tour with a new release, but be careful – I’ve seen these overdone, and it can be boring as hell!

10. GIVEAWAYS! Everyone loves a freebie! Maybe coordinate one before a new release (this helps to form your marketing campaign.) There are many ways to organise a giveaway, KDP being the most obvious. There is an Amazon page that links you to all the sites where you can advertise your free book, along with the respective forms to complete. Check it out - http://authormarketingclub.com/members/submit-your-book/
It’s a tough one, this giveaway lark. I personally don’t believe it has ever helped me sell more books, but then I haven’t embraced it to the max like some of my author friends. Not yet. In addition, you could have paperback copies available and run an entirely more personal giveaway. Goodreads also offer coupons.

11. Please remember, there are many forms of ‘art’ out there, and many people trying to self-promote their work. Diversity is good. Help your fellow ‘artist’, as well as your fellow author and your potential audience broadens dramatically.

12. A final and important point- this is a self-fulfilling journey, no matter how you measure a person’s success. If you can’t try to help your fellow author to sell more books than you, then you shouldn’t be here. If you are a genuine supporter of the new author movement – then hop on and enjoy the ride! The way ahead, though veiled in mystery, promises to be a thrilling one.

13. Brag a little. You wrote this thing. You created this entire world from nothing. Someone out there is reading your creation before they go to sleep or instead of watching Greys Anatomy. They bought your work and they’re loving it! It’s stopping them turning the light out! Damn, isn’t that just one of the best feelings in the world?