I have been having nothing but problems with my blog at blog.com. I have decided to migrate to wordpress and continue. For the near future I will be mirroring all my posts on both sites with the hope of eventually managing both sites with different information.
I will likely keep this blog as a contination of the previous – information about my adventures in writing and publishing and the blog.com site may become a place where I can spotlight exclusively my books and those of other indie writers.
I plan to copy all the best posts from http://davidgordonburkeebooks.blog.com/ over to this site so that all the really important and helpful info for indie authors will be available here. My rants and updates on my books will be left behind. It was only important at the moment it was written anyway.
So for today I will start out with this note:
Do have a really good cover produced by a graphic artist. This is especially important in the highly competitive world of Indie Fiction. I did a few of my own covers for my non-fiction books but in that case I was selling the content / information contained within and my experience and knowledge. In fiction you are creating a fantasy world – the adage ´Don´t judge a book by its cover´ – a lot of hogwash.
Do have the very best book you can possibly produce. Ok, I am on a limited budget so spending big bucks for a profesional editor is out of the question. There are alternatives which include going over the book a thousand times with a fine toothed comb and getting others to read it and check it for you. Even the best mass produced commercial paperback novels ahve the odd typo now and again so hopefully your readership will be forgiving.
Do get the formatting right. There is nothing worse than an Ebook that doesn´t jump to chapter 5 when you click on chapter 5. I use MS Word and then format and convert into .Mobi and .Epub using Calibre. Still, it takes a lot of tweeking to get it just right.
Do give away a bunch of copies for free. Ask people to review your book. Reviews equals sales. It´s that simple.
Do find a way to get people to review your book. I am struggling with this. I have about 10 new reviews lined up for the next month or so. It is important to realize that the single, most important issue for making sales is reviews. As one person put it, we are rarely responsible for starting a standing ovation at a concert but once it has started, we are quick to join in. The same can be said for reviews. Once a potential customer sees that 25 or 30 people have bought and read the book, they will be more likely to follow suit.
Do have a marketing plan. As you can see, I take the promotion of my books very seriously. This doesn´t mean by any stretch that your facebook, twitter, blog, Amazon author page, Goodreads account and every other idea you can come up with will mean sales. It doesn´t. Take my word for it. But you must remember that this is a long term project. Other than a few anomalous cases, writers rarely hit with their first book in the indie self publishing world. The idea is to have a number of titles so that eventually your popularity will snowball.
Do create a promotional video for youtube. This video can also be added to your Amazon author page and Goodreads and all the other sites you frequent and post to.
Do interlink every page of promotion you create. Your youtube channel should link to your blog, your blog to your Amazon author page etc. etc.
Do be creative in your marketing. I will be running a few new promotional campaigns here in the next few months so stay tuned to see the kinds of things you can come up with as promo blasts.
Do write a series. I have yet to go this route but I am giving a lot of thought to how I could create a sequel or a new series.
Do give a lot of thought to which genre you wish to write in. Although the more popular genres will be more competitive, in my case I have picked such a limited genre that the potential for sales is more limited. Of course there is the other mentality which is the big fish in a small pond scenario. I hope that with a few more books in my genre, I will establish myself as a master and might grow further than some others. Only time will tell.
Do learn about setting up your books for the Amazon search engine. This includes naming your book, adding in keywords, getting the book listed in the right category and writing a killer book description / blurb.
This is just one of my personal pet peeves – unless your books are at bookshops across the world, don´t put ´Bestselling Author´ on the cover. This turns people off. It´s a lie.
Don´t forget to have an author page in your book with links to your blog and facebook and dotcom and other pertinent pages.
Don´t forget to set up a Author page at Amazon and at Goodreads – mínimum. You need to build a platform. Get some buzz going. Ok, most authors agree that it doesn´t help very much but then again, are you going to take the chance on not having it. As an Indie author who is constantly trying to learn more and more about the Indie publishing scene, if I hear about an Indie author that doesn´t have at least some of these elements, I´m burned. I want to know about them. Maybe they could share a tidbit of helpful info but no – they are too busy writing the next 50 Shades of Grey. I´m out of here.
Don´t be shy. Why not ask your readers on the last page of your book to give a review. I go so far as to tell them that if they write a review, I will send them another of my books for free.
Don´t jump on the first ebook promo service out there that promises big sales. There are many, many web-sites that offer the world for $39.99. They promise to blog and tweet your book to half the world but I have yet to find a service that can guarantee that I will recoup my investment with them in direct sales.
The best of these sites will still put you to work. I am a member of the Rave Review Book Club. This is a group of other writers and readers who tweet and retweet each other´s books. They have a variety of other ways to help you get sales including book reviewing and a listing of your books on their web-site. In the end, it will still be your effort that decides if you succeed or fail.
Don´t give up. This again is a long term project. You will need to write and write more and when all else fails, write some more.
So that´s the post for today. I hope to see everyone that was following me at my previous blog move over here.
David Gordon Burke
Find my books here!