Why marketing makes a difference

Posted: January 19, 2014 in Uncategorized
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Well…I launched myself into indie authorspace on 6 January 2014 – coincidentally on my mother’s birthday. After going through the processes of cover design, editing, formatting, ISBN getting, researching online bookstore options, researching everything…I pushed the publish button on Book 1 of my new paranormal series for teens.

ShadowscapeWeston1 (4) small is now on sale just about everywhere. Yeah, possibly a bit of overkill given that most of my sales will come from Amazon, but I covered the bases, listing with Smashwords, Lulu, Kobo and a rather unusual option Gumroad.

So it’s out there. I’ve even established my own publishing arm Caerus Publishing Australia. And now the waiting begins, or does it? Definitely not. Anyone who thinks you just list your book and dumbly wait for sales is going nowhere fast. Writing the book is one thing, marketing and pushing it day in day out is quite another.

Consistent marketing is the one thing that will sell books over the long term, and I’m willing to be patient. I’m not marketing Shadowscape for today or tomorrow but for next year, my next book, the next 5 years, the next 5 books. I’m willing to be patient because I have a lot of stories to tell – plots and characters whirling around in my head and heart. Half formed dialogue and the periphery of scenes fermenting in my imagination. 

So given I’ve got the drive to write the stories because that’s what I love – yes love (not cliched) – then I’ve got to find out all I can about marketing my books. That’s the reality and it’s a long term reality unless thousands of readers automatically find Shadowscape on Amazon and decide to part with a couple of dollars, as if by magic. It’s early days yet, but this is what I’ve tried:

* Getting the buzz happening on Twitter and very ably assisted by the Masquerade Crew via @PromoMasq. They are dedicated to promoting indie authors and their price range is very reasonable. Also using my own account – not to bombard hour upon hour – but to autoschedule random tweets at strategic times while I get on with the business of my usual tweeting.

* Listing my book on specific Young Adult websites. This has taken a bit of research, but I realise I have to search out my young readers and not expect them to come to me.

* Getting as many reviews as I can. Incidentally, if you are interested in reviewing Shadowscape – on your blog or website – please let me know and I’ll send you a PDF for review purposes. If you are an indie author I’m happy to return the favour and review your book on my blog. Or add a review to my Goodreads author page

* Accessing the free public relations press release sites. There’s a good list on Mashable. Though dated, it’s a good start: http://mashable.com/2007/10/19/press-releases/

* Making some content available free – readers will decide for themselves whether they want to download the rest of the book. Usually, I choose 15%. And then there’s Wattpad which I intend to set up over the next few days.

* Using Amazon’s Author Central Page – might sound like that’s a 101 but it’s very effective. I’m endeavouring to let as many readers know about me, as I can.

* Paid advertising – I’m still investigating this but I’ve set myself a small budget and I will choose judiciously.

* Enticing journalists and publications to write about Shadowscape. I will be pitching over the next few weeks to specific young adult book publications, online and print.

* Establishing a website. It’s an oldie but a goodie and many authors will say it is the thing that makes a difference.

* As a new author, setting a realistic price point is just common sense. Readers need to get to know me, and ultimately trust that I have a story not only worth reading, but buying.

In addition to the above, I’ve set myself a goal of doing one new marketing activity every couple of weeks. This means I’m always moving forward and keeping the momentum going.

The major learning curve for me is that establishing a presence in outer authorspace takes hard work and perseverance but it’s kind of fun to discover what works and what doesn’t. I figure in a few years I’ll know a bit about book marketing.

If you want to check out Shadowscape, head to Amazon and if you have any marketing tips, I’d love to hear about them – leave a comment if you have time. You can also contact me on westonfamily1@hotmail.com if you’re interested in reviewing Shadowscape.

  1. cherylcarroll1 says:

    this was a very useful and well organized list of tips for getting started! i am also new to selfpublishing and having fun. i would certainly enjoy reading and reviewing your book, and if you are interested in erotica would send you a copy of mine as well!

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