A review of the Written Word Media promotion service!
As many of you know, I’ve been documenting how difficult it can be for a self-published author to promote their books consistently when you’ve also got a day-job. There are many tools on the web that can help the self-published man or woman, but many require a fair amount of time up front.
Learn from my Self-Publishing Experience: Part 2 – Advance Reader Copies and Promotional Opportunities!
Hi all, and welcome to part two of my self-publishing experience post.
It’s a busy time of year here in the mid-Atlantic. School is ending and all the stuff that goes with that is being thrown together in a hurry! I’m moving rooms, moving houses, and have to balance all that with grad school and writing. Whew! When do I find time to sleep?
1.) Create an online presence in advance, not when just publishing.
2.) Get some beta readers and have your book read before an editor looks at it.
3.) Make a publishing plan and stick to it. Do your work in advance so you won’t have to do it on the fly.
Here are steps Four and Five.
4.Send out Advance Book Copies – So you’ve published your novel, but no one knows it exists. And no one is willing to risk their money on an unrated novel. It’s easy to spot friend and family reviews, so what’s an author to do? The answer: Advanced Reader Copies. Grab some people you know, but aren’t your closest friends, and ask them to take a look at your book. If you’ve already done step 1 and 2, then you probably have some people who you trust to review your book fairly and honestly. Notice I didn’t say POSITIVE. A book with a ton of five-star reviews the second it comes out may arouse suspicion, and can garner angry reviews from readers who buy it based on those reviews but find it horrible. On the other hand, a book with a mixture will most likely elicit people’s interest and will garner more honest feedback. People don’t like buying an unknown quantity, and especially don’t like getting duped. But with a few reviews, more people will be willing to try it, even if it’s a three and a half star book.
Now you can purchase book reviews through Kirkus and other websites, but it’s far cheaper and more beneficial to you to utilize your readers. A handy thing to toss in at the end of your book is a nice ‘If you liked the book, please review it online” comment. It can’t hurt, and certainly can help, even if you just get one person to review out of 10, if you sell 100 books that could be ten positive reviews! That’s a nice amount to show up on Amazon and Barnes and Noble.
Also, don’t forget that you can take snippets of reviews and put them on your blurb or other places, like your website – especially if they are from a more recognized reviewer. Just be sure to credit where the review came from.
5. Promote, but don’t be obnoxious – So you’ve got your twitter and Facebook and goodreads account and everything is going well. Are you posting a million messages a day about your book? Hopefully not! That’s annoying and is called spam. But I know none of you would ever spam… right? It can drive your followers away if all they get are messages about your book. Be different! Write about your life and what’s happening. Limit yourself a few posts a day. Be sure to use your hashtags effectively too.
I’m not saying to never talk about your book, I’m just saying use common sense. It shouldn’t be the only thing happening in your life! Here’s a list of some other ways to get people to try your novel.
1.) Write a short story or two about your world and make it free (or $0.99) on all marketplaces. People can decide if they like your writing style. For example, I’m in the midst of something called ‘The Traitor’ about the non-assassination of Julius Caesar. Maybe it will bring in some readers. Maybe it will reward twitter and Facebook and blog followers.
2.) Use your online presence to team up with other indie authors for cross-promotion and similar things. Especially around the holidays (and right after!) deals and networking can really pay off!
Anyways, I hoped that helped. What do you all think about what I learned? I’m sure I missed a ton of other things, which I’m sure I’ll have to write about in the future!
A sneak peak inside Brass Legionnaire, a look at my promotion plan, plus major updates!
Looks like I’ve finally set a publish date – May/June 2012.
Just to get you in the mood:
A clattering sound drew Julius’s attention back to the tower in time to see the tribune hastening down the metal ladder. He waited for Constantine to join them before asking nonchalantly, “So, Tribune, sir, how did reason fare over violence and anger?”
The tribune grimaced. “We’ll just have to reinforce the lesson with a bit of old-fashioned corporal punishment.” A thousand-throat scream of fury and belligerence interrupted him.
He ran back to grab the discarded speaking trumpet. This time he addressed the defenders. “Ready, boys—remember your training! Keep your thrusts short and cover your brothers. Repeaters, I want as much fire as you can place on those rebels. Aim for the leaders if you can!”
The guttural screams rose in pitch. “Here they come!”
The rush to publish is on! Here’s a quick update of the comings and goings during the last few days.
1.) The edited files are being read through as we speak (3/4 of the way through now, making notes to return it to the editor!)
2.) Illustrations are in progress (Saw the first one – looks awesome!) The readers will definitely be in for a treat!
3.) Super top secret awesomeness for the Kickstart Supporters (and later the newsletter sign-uppers) is completely finished! I’ll post the very first draft of it on here to give you a baby clue as to what it may look like.
4.) Finished the book series website, but holding off on publishing it until the book is almost ready.
5.) Upgraded my wordpress to change Modern Papyrus to danielottalini.com – This is now more my blog and author site, rather than the review and thoughts blog it was originally!
Wow, so much done, and yet still so much to do! It’s early April now, and my goal was to have the book published by June, so now that is a very reasonable goal (in my mind at least). Still have an array of things to do before then though. I’ve taken some time to sit down and set up a plan to promote my book.
1. Talk to friends, family, etc. (Short and sweet – they’ll probably get sick of me)
2. Build an online presence on Goodreads (Add me as a friend!) Twitter, Facebook (Coming soon!), and my blog. This is in progress now! For example, the folks over at Indie Book Collective had some great promotional things going down. I’d want to join in on that!
3. Set up and finalize book-website with cross-linking between it and here.
4. Set up a newsletter service through Mail Chimp or Adweber.
5. Get bookmarks, stamps, and business cards through Zazzle so that I can do low-level promoting (leaving bookmarks in books at library, business cards when paying tabs at restaurants, shamelessly self promoting myself in all areas 🙂
6. Set up giveaways on Goodreads and send books to be reviewed by several self-publishing blogs/steampunk blogs. One I’ll definitely be contacting is IndieBookSpot for their author interviews and reviews.
I’m sure I’ll think of more in the meantime, but that’s it for right now. Anything else I missed that should be included!?