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).
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.