Promoting Your E Book: First Steps

Yet another terrific post at Lindsay Buroker’s site, where she interviews a breakout self pubbed author on basic marketing steps:

1. Set up a website for the Author and separately, the Series (if it’s a series)

2. Setting up Author page on Amazon

3. Setting up Author page on Goodreads

4. Kickass cover

5. She waited until she had 3 in the series to release, for a cumulative effect

To read the full post: http://www.lindsayburoker.com/interviews-success-stories/sue-london-amazon-bestseller/comment-page-1/

 

And then there’s this gem of info on KDP Select, also worth checking out:

http://www.lindsayburoker.com/guest-posts/amazon-kdp-select-for-ebook-promotion-yea-or-nay/

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6 years to Write a Book

As a successful epic fantasy writer who quit his day job and got picked up by Penguin, Anthony Ryan definitely attracted my eyeballs. It was also heartening to see that he was not 16, but rather was a middle aged person with a former real day job – totally real life stuff. Plus he’s really dryly funny.

http://anthonystuff.wordpress.com/2012/05/23/the-secret-to-e-book-self-publishing-success/

Why reading this post makes me better:

1. He took 6 years to write his one book, Blood Song.

At that rate I’m still ahead as I’ve never spent 6 years on any book. That said, I’ve spent like 20 years writing and yet to finish even 1 book. Much less publish.

2. Sales started off slow.

In his 5 first months of publishing Blood Song he sold 2000 copies, most of them in month 5.

3. Quality.

He writes the old fashioned way, concentrating on plot and language and all that instead of just churning out stuff for the sake of stuff.

All things for us aspiring writers to remember.

I Feel Like Quitting

Yes, it’s one of those days.

My kids are sick and deadlines are looming, but I know that the thing that has pitched me into writing darkness is this: I posted the first few chapters on Wattpad as an experiments and got no more than 7 reads and 1 comment (admittedly, in 3 days). Which in turn made me realize how hard it is to get traction.

It also makes me wonder whether I have the gumption to keep trying.

But then, the moment I just started thinking about the actual novel and finishing, the sheer calming effect of my practice suddenly kicked in. The horrible cycle of addictively checking my Wattpad stats (hell, the thing doesn’t even earn you money!) and coming up empty handed stopped or at least quieted down.

It’s discomforting to think writing fiction may never earn me money. But maybe, at the end of the day, it’s just my practice. My Zen thing. The way a bird sings, so I should write: freely. Generously. For the love of the schtick.

Promotion Dos and Don’t PRIOR to Book Launch

According to the ever awesome Lindsay Buroker, I’ve been doing it all wrong. Forget blogging to attract an audience (although I do that anyway out of the need to whinge, keep notes on important stuff, and save my husband’s ears) – etc. What works? According to her, samples of your work. So post them. On your website, if possible.

As a very worried newbie who’s freaked my book will sink like a stone forevermore in the murky waters of the e-publishing ocean (yeah, like I’m even close to finishing?), this moved me. Read the full post here!

http://www.lindsayburoker.com/?s=wattpad&x=-894&y=-172

A Summary of Book Publishing and Book Cover Design Sites

Fantastic post! Includes royalty rates and capabilities.

Here’s a sample (verbatim from the post):

Payhip

Payhip will help you do most of the hard work: host your eBooks and securely deliver the eBooks to your customers. It will also handle payments through PayPal for you; all you have to do is upload your eBook to start selling. Once your eBook is on the site, you can promote your book anywhere (FaceBook, Twitter) with a link for your eBook page.

Sign Up [Free] | Royalty per Sale [100%]

To view the whole post, visit:

http://www.hongkiat.com/blog/sell-ebooks/

This is one resource I’ll be referring to again.

Book Cover Designers

Here’s a short summary of some more book cover designer sites that I’ve found:

1. Another designer of book covers, not the best in my opinion but cheaper than many:

http://www.bookwebs.co.uk/ebook-cover-designer/

Bookwebs offer three levels of ebook cover design.

– Bronze £50
– Silver £70
– Gold from £200

They also offer custom websites but I don’t think it’s good value — ” Three page starter ‘ebook’ websites from 199 pounds”, with limited space for uploads of stories. Better to go Word Press where you can get a nice website template.

2. BookBaby.

They are basically an e-publisher but have cover design options too, with a nice portfolio!

Basic package at $149

Deluxe package $279

http://www.bookbaby.com/ebook-cover-design

Muuuch nicer visuals!

 

3. BookTango

Another e-book publisher offering cover design, this for $159. Seem less focused on this than BookBaby but the samples covers shown are strong.

Closer to the Goalpost

Tonight, after a solid 2 hours tidying up the first half of my novel while waiting for my kid to get out of school (oh how my butt hurt from that bench!) I can safely say that I feel it’s getting there. The first half that is. The second, half, ho hum, has yet to spin to a tidy conclusion. And then there’s still Book 2 to deal with.

Still, I feel some hope: part 1 of Book 1 is already long enough to be called a decent-size novella at 40K words. I’m tempted to put it up and self publish as is just to get a response. However, I have a feeling it’ll lack oomph without the second half. (There’s a reason why they are part 1 and part 2 of the SAME book). Either way, the mere thought that I’ve got something nearly good enough to publish without dying of shame has raised my flagging spirits. Beta reader is coming this week, and said friend will be handed a printed copy of the first half to critique. After like 20 years of practising writing novels, classes, finally some progress!

Which means that now I have to put on my thinking cap and see if I can figure out how to self promote. I still haven’t given up on traditional publishing, and I think my book is good enough to be picked up but I’m curious to see if I can break in on self pub. Plus there’s the lure of insta-royalties if you make it. And if the book sinks like a stone, at least my reputation won’t be wrecked!