Pathfinders (Chapter 1), Goodreads and Mopping Up

I UNDERESTIMATED THIS self-publishing gig.

Writing the damn thing ain’t enough. There’s also the ‘small’ matter of promoting it.

For a guy that spent a decade in sales, selling anything from mobile phones to stationery, from CRM packages to Training Software, you’d think this part would be a breeze.

However, this is a whole new ball game because I’m an unknown quantity with no guarantee of success.

Part of making sure that I’m at least visible to readers is to be available on a number of different channels.

In future blog posts I’ll be sharing some of the marketing tactics I’ve tried, online and off – the successes, failures and ultimately whether they equated to any books sold.

Despite being a bit green when it comes to twitter, I’ve read on a number of blogs about how it’s the de facto #1 platform for aspiring writers and authors to find their target audience.

Maybe it once was but all I see now is shameless promotion.

It’s heaving with writers who have a following:followed ratio of 1:1. Dipping my toe into the water and engaging with some groups, my news feed began to fill with random follows. Soon came the incessant chatter about book offers, and recycled tweets about promotions.

On one hand, it’s demoralising to see just how many books are being peddled, every hour of every day. On the other hand, when you scratch a little deeper, many of the efforts look pretty poor, carrying inflated reviews, bad spelling and author credentials that look suspect to say the least.

A high number of social media followers doesn’t guarantee that subscribers will buy your book/product. I’d rather try and carve out my own little niche and build a loyal tribe that connect with my content, instead of the scattergun approach that many users take, swelling their numbers but diluting the message.

I guess I need to be a bit more discerning about who I follow (my twitter is aidanjreid).

Anyway, I digress.

Among the items which have pressed my rage button this week has been the Amazon page and, specifically, making modifications to my profile through KDP and Author Central.

It’s essential to catch first time viewers who stumble onto the book page. I’ve had to teach myself some basic coding to format the heading and font into something a little catchier than just a block of text (see image above).

tool2
Goodreads Giveaways – More Eyeballs!

Whether I’ve achieved that, is up to the jury. I’ve also been optimising the page for keywords, working the algorithms to widen the net for readers of certain genres or themes which directly relate to my book.

The turn around time for those changes to be implemented can be up to twelve hours so I’ve had to bide my time to see if my handiwork succeeded.

Aside from beautifying my Author page, I’ve organised a free giveaway on Goodreads. To those who are unfamiliar with the site, Goodreads is like a Facebook for book lovers, where you can post reviews, join in Q&A’s with authors, enter competitions to win free books, etc.

It’s pretty cool.

For anyone interested in entering the competition to win a free paperback copy of my book, you can find out more here – giveaway ends March 3rd.

Anyone else, who fancies a wee read this weekend (only two pages) can check out the opening chapter of PATHFINDERS in the link at the bottom of this post.

For those suddenly flush with cash (woohoo! Payday!), Pathfinders is available on general release in paperback and digital format from March 1st, though you can reserve it now.

Amazon UK (Paperback, Digital), Amazon US (Paperback, Digital) – Other regions too.

Further Reading – The Follow Me/Follow You Blog Chirade, Interview with Self-Publishing Queen Catherine Ryan Howard, Seed/Birth/Life of a Self-Published Novel

pathfinders chapter 1

14 thoughts on “Pathfinders (Chapter 1), Goodreads and Mopping Up

  • I also used to work in marketing (albeit in a bank) and it amazes me how little people realise about the need to actively sell things. As an example, there are times when I feel quite sad because people make signs for the side of a road which no-one has a hope of reading as they are too small or such like. It is a bit of an art.

    Liked by 1 person

      • So true! So true. I wanted to ask you something, I am planning to get your book from Amazon after it is released and I wondered how you feel about my reviewing it online? It will have a smallish audience of course but thought I would ask.

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      • No problem whatsoever. Heads up, I’ll be making the digital version free for the first couple of days so I suggest u wait then. But, yeah…no problem. Critique is appreciated

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      • Cheers Graham. Would love your feedback. If you thought it was up to scratch I’d send you an advance review paperback copy of book 2 before release. But one book at a time eh? 🙂

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  • A lot of established writers say it’s blasphemy to tweet your books on Twitter, which has invariably led many people to say NEVER TWEET YOUR BOOK unless you want to use up your indie author karma points, but I don’t think a link a day would hurt. When I ended up clicking the link for Working Stiff by Judy Melinek, M.D. and TJ Mitchell early this year, I realized that in my case as a reader, it worked (though I’m sure some someone will say, “well, you’re a writer,” and that somehow would influence that desire to click on a link, or any link for that matter).

    There’s a balance in using all of social media – or at least the ones you’re comfortable with, and as long as you do something in moderation and not tweet your book links 10 times a day, it’s not going to kill your reputation as an indie author. It may not sell you hundreds of books, but it can sell 1 – 2 books a day. And for an author starting out, I’ll take that 1 or 2 books a day while also keeping in contact with the people I actually do know on FB.

    Liked by 1 person

      • For some, Twitter is a mystery especially when figuring out what to tweet about. But one thing that’s good with wordpress.com blogs is that you can set your posts to be posted on Twitter or Facebook and even Tumblr. Add certain hashtags to it (#amwriting is pretty much a given for writers or #bookboost if you’re talking about your book along with a link) and it’s not just a book link but a link to your blog or author site.

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      • I haven’t noticed much traction for me on Tumblr as a writer. I was way busier as a fangirl with my pretty cool gifs, but now that I’m an “author” it’s not as exciting for my followers, I guess, especially when I started writing original fiction versus fan fiction. I primarily use Tumblr for inspiration though, and automatically have my wordpress posts posted on my lizmadridauthor tumblr so it won’t seem like I haven’t updated.

        I haven’t checked out Stumbleupon yet though, so can’t say much about that.

        Liked by 1 person

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