Podcast on Self-publishing
Debra Simpson of North San Diego Business interviewed me for her half-hour podcast. I invite you to listen to as we discuss the challenges of self-publishing, my new novels, and take some listener calls.
I ran across M. Louisa Locke’s marketing tips on a website and thought they showed an innovative approach. There’s hundreds of ways to market your book, but the key is for you to develop the ones that work for you. As Kawasaki and Welch detailed in their book APE, you must be willing to be an Author, a Publisher, and an Entrepreneur to be successful.
M. Louisa Locke’s marketing tips for her third book, Bloody Lessons.
- I used Twitter, my Facebook author page, and my blog to announce the availability of my latest book, Bloody Lessons.
- I put the print copy of the book up as a giveaway on Goodreads.
- I sent out an email to all the fans who contacted me over the past three years and told them the book was now available and asked them to sign up for my newsletter.
- I also contacted professional review bloggers who had reviewed my previous books and offered to send them copies. I ended up with solid, professional reviews and have gotten many more positive customer reviews on Amazon.com, which I know will continue to help sell the book.
- On the day of the launch, I made the first book in the series, Maids of Misfortune, free for three days via KDP Select and discounted the sequel, Uneasy Spirits, to 99 cents for a week. By combining these promotions, I was able to point out that a reader could get all three eBooks in the series for under $5, knowing that this would attract readers who had not yet heard of the series.
- In the first two weeks of publication, I held a contest on my Facebook author page where I gave away $5 Amazon gift certificates to the first people who could answer trivia questions about the new book. I also participated in a virtual book tour that took me to seven book blogger sites. As a result of all these marketing strategies, Bloody Lessons has continuously shown up on the bestseller lists in multiple categories.
Originally, I thought I had a solid choice between Amazon-CreateSpace and Lightening Source. But, I’ve come to realize that for first-time, self-publishers, there really isn’t a choice. While Lightening Source, via Ingram Spark, represents an opportunity to publish on an international scale, across e-books and paper copies, the predominate opinion in the industry is that the retail stores and major outlets will not purchase an indie paperback. They want to contract with a company, a traditional publisher. Amazon’s pricing model is also at odds with traditional publishing prices, which creates friction between the two approaches to the industry. (Follow the Hachette-Amazon court suit.)
So, as a self-publisher, trying to get noticed, your best bet is to stay with the “big dog,” Amazon. You can add your paperback versions through Amazon’s print-on-demand (POD) company, CreateSpace.
I believe that your pathway should be to start with Amazon and get noticed. Once your marketing has built your customer base sufficiently, you might receive offers from a publishing house, who can distribute your book through the major retailers. It will take time—marketing and patience.