Here I Am!
When you decide to self-publish, you can’t just put the book up for sale on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or other ebook retailers. This is no time to sit back and wait for the money to roll in. You have work to do, my friend, and this work should be started before you publish. If you haven’t done so, start a Facebook page and sign up for Twitter. Join groups that deal with promoting eBooks. Trust me on this, don’t put any of this off to the last minute. If you have a regular FB page, set up one for you as an author, and one for the book you are going to publish. Connect with other indie authors. When they promote a book of theirs, share the link on your page. Chances are they will do the same for you when the time comes. On your author or book page, don’t talk about your family life, political views, or religious beliefs. Post about your work, and your future plans for your work. Like and Follow other authors. You need to build a network and followers, and Facebook is the best place to do this. Now, when you do start either of these pages, FB will give you an option to pay for promoting your page. I haven’t done this, and others who have, have had mixed results. It’s up to you whether you want to spend the money. Join the groups specific to the genre you are writing in. Make sure you read the rules for these groups, some have one day of the week when you can post a link about your ebook.
Start a blog on WordPress. If an indie author is looking for blog sites to promote their work, let them do it on your blog. In all likelihood, they will give you the same courtesy when your book goes live. Start writing things that don’t have to do with your actual book. Write about writing, what inspires you, what you like to read, what programs you use for writing. Post links to websites you frequent that have to do with writing and publishing. Interview other indie authors. Write reviews about books you have read. Let people get to know you and your writing style. Do interviews with the characters in your book. If it’s a fantasy book, post any maps you made. Give away a few ARCs before the book goes live.
A website for your book and/or you as an author are also recommended. A lot of indie publishers are on a shoestring budget, but there are two great places to set up free websites: Wix and Weebly. When setting up a website, make sure it loads fast. Don’t load it down with flash and videos. Again, keep the domestic stuff off the sites. Give away a few ARCs before the book goes live.
Setting up an email newsletter can help you spread the word. MailChimp comes highly recommended. I have yet to set up an email list, but it is on my list of things to do.
Well, the day has arrived! Your ebook is now available for purchase. With great anticipation you start the promotion process, sending out emails, posting to the various promotion groups you joined. A word of warning: don’t overdo it with the posts. Think about when you watch TV or listen to the radio. You eventually tune out the ads you see or hear. If you over post the news about the book being available, people are going to start tuning out.
Another way to get the word out is hold a Release Day Event on Facebook. They can be fun. You can hold it yourself or pay someone to handle it for you. The ones I attended had games such as Caption This, Name this Movie, and trivia questions. Prizes range from bookmarks and key chains, to a copy of the ebook. The author is in attendance at the event, answering questions readers may have. They are a lot of fun when run well.
Now, while all this is going on, do not neglect your writing. Don’t rest with one book. Write short stories for it, make them available for free for one day, then set them to sell. Eventually, make a collection of the short stories to be sold. Keep on writing. You get more sales the more you put out there.
May the words ever flow!