Category Archives: Self-Publishing

Six Ideas for Marketing Self-Published Stories

By My Web WritersIMG00480_3

Self Publishing is taking the world of books by storm. It’s true that self publishing has made it quicker for authors to move from writing a book to making the book available to readers. However, marketing your book makes all the difference between whether readers will find and read your work, or whether if will languish on a virtual shelf.

Here are some ideas for marketing your self-published stories:

Platform, Platform, Platform!
Go to any writer’s conference, and you’ll quickly tire of the term “platform.” It’s what agents and publishers look for in a prospective author, and it’s basically your presence. It’s the way you get noticed, both in person but now largely online. Platform can include a blog, a Facebook fan page, Twitter, Pinterest, Google Plus … you get the idea. The more presence and credibility you have online, the more likely readers are to know about you, and therefore the more likely they are to buy your books.

Begin by starting a blog. If you write about one particular genre or niche, focus your blog around that theme.
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Signature Lines
Building a platform takes hours, over months and even years. Not every marketing idea is so vast, though. Start easily by adding links to your books in a signature line that will go out every time you send an email. Sure, your mom already knows you wrote a book. But perhaps the mom who serves with you in the PTO doesn’t. You never know where information in a signature line may lead.

Brainstorm your Market
Think about who might read your book. For instance, if you wrote a young adult historical book about a German king, you might target high school German teachers. Compose a marketing email detailing (briefly) what your book is about and how it could benefit the teacher and his students.

Or say you’ve written a cookbook for busy moms. Call local MOPS groups and offer to speak at a meeting. Research local specialty foods stores and see if they would be open to letting you speak and do a book signing.

Online Groups
Join online groups or Facebook pages related to your book’s theme. For instance, if you’ve written a romance novel set in World War II, search for WWII message boards, and then within those search out topic threads that could apply to your book. Become active in the group, contributing well-written, insightful comments, and other participants will be more likely to search out you and your books.

Local Media
Despite so many things being online today, don’t forget about the local newspaper. Contact them with a press release about your book. They may even be interested in writing a feature story about you, the local author. Does your book tie in to any local festival, place, or event? Mention this when you contact the newspaper.

GoodReads
Goodreads is a growing site popular with readers. It offers many resources for authors. Sign up (it’s free), and you can list your books there. You can offer a giveaway of your book, which often results in many readers adding it to their “to read” list. You can also post excerpts from your book, make up a quiz about your book – you name it.

~Susan


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Filed under Authoring Books, Content, Marketing, Self-Publishing

Seven Essential Self-Publishing Tips

By My Web Writers

The publishing world has been turned on its head in the past decade, due to the advent of self publishing. No longer do writers need to spend hours, months, or years struggling to write book proposals that could might an agent, and then a publisher. Amazon has made it possible for any writer to get his book to the masses virtually overnight.

But just because self publishing is quicker than the traditional route doesn’t make it a cakewalk. Here are some tips to ensure that your foray into the world of authorship is a positive one.

Write a quality book.

 This seems obvious, but a quick look through the offerings at Amazon will show that it’s not. Just as American Idol has convinced many Americans that they have a future in singing, self publishing has led many a would-be writer to the firm conviction that he’s the next John Steinbeck – or perhaps, Stephenie Meyer.

Take your time writing.

Resist the urge to throw that great novel you wrote five years ago onto Amazon next week. Take your time. Attend local writers’ groups. Read books on the craft of writing. Let someone else read your work, and listen to her advice. Not everyone is meant to publish books.

Hire an editor.

You’ve written a great novel. Now, please, have an editor look it over, both for punctuation/grammar issues and for larger plotting/continuity/character issues as well. We all tend to have blind spots when it comes to our own work. Chances are your editor will find several things that will leave you slapping your head and saying “duh,” but better the editor find these than a reader.

Invest in a quality cover.

Most self-published books are sold online, where a one inch thumbnail of the cover is what will gain a potential buyer’s attention. If you’re good with graphics, you can try creating a cover yourself. Better yet, create several and survey friends and co-workers on which is the most effective. If cover creating isn’t your strong point, you can hire an artist online who will be happy to help. Fiverr is a great spot to hire editors or graphic artists affordably. Check samples of their work first to ensure they have a style you like.

Get help with formatting.

You can write. However, you may not know how to format your book. Whether you plan to publish your work in paperback or digital forms, the formats vary and, especially for digital devices, they change frequently. It’s worthwhile to hire someone knowledgeable in formatting so that your work will be presented in a professional way. Again, Fiverr is a good place to start looking.

Get ready to do some publicity.

One downside to self publishing is that you have no publicity team working to promote your book. Don’t let that deter you: promote away! Contact bloggers on topics related to your book. See if you can hold a session on your book’s topic at the nearby library, or perhaps you can interest a local book club in reading your book. The sky is the limit; start brainstorming ideas for who would enjoy your book.

Learn from your readers.

Once your book is out, you’ll likely get feedback from readers. One great thing about self publishing is that you have the ability to tweak your book, even after it has been published. So, if you learn about a grammar error or something else you’d like to change, a simple fix will result in a better book for future readers.  ~Susan


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Filed under Authoring Books, Content, Editors, Self-Publishing, Writing Careers