10 Self Publishing Strategies for Success
Just because we now live in an era where many people choose to self publish, success is never guaranteed. However, if you follow the steps listed below you'll certainly improve your chances of doing well.
1. Educate yourself about publishing.
The more you research this topic the less stressful you will find it. You'll also have a greater chance of implementing strategies that will work, and in the long run you'll save yourself time and money.
2. Research the competition.Make sure you're not going to write something that current best selling authors are also writing about. They are the ones who are going to have a much greater chance of success with their current readers. Most people will rather go with someone who they know and love than someone who is relatively unknown.
3. Write what's in demand.If you hope to write for money then write in the most popular genres.
4. Think about your sales at the beginning.Before you put pen to paper give your potential audience a thought. Who are you going to sell this book to, how can you make yourself known to them?
5. Hire a copy editor.Personally I think this is the most important point. If you're serious about making a profit from your writing, you have to be professional and put out professional looking books.
6. Use a great title.A title that makes people think: ooo, I wonder what that book is about, is intriguing. I'm definitely more inclined to buy something I am curious about.
7. Make sure you have all the right ingredients to create a proper book.This includes an ISBN number, a good blurb, and a great title.
8. Have an eye catching cover.
This is your chance to hire a professional designer to make the cover the best it can be.
9. Price accordingly.No one wants to pay $9.99 for a two thousand word short story, especially by an unknown author.
10. Constantly promote.Everything you do has to be about your book. Enthusiastic marketing is more likely to be successful than a half hearted attempt.
Why it's Good To Blog: Tips for Writers
A blog is an easy way for you to build an ongoing relationship with your readers. It's the place where you send everyone who knows you online. However, blogging regularly is difficult sometimes, especially when you're busy doing other things.
Here are five points to help you focus on maintaining your relationship with your readers and promoting your book.
1A. Setting up a contest on your blog. The contests prize could be your book. This is a way to promote yourself, your book, and your blog.
B. Ask questions in relation to what your blog is about. Have your readers had a different experience with the topic you share? Encourage them to share their knowledge.
2A. Talk about your own book. Your blog is a fantastic place to talk about your book. Engage your readers with your books characters. Let the readers have a chance to step inside their head.
B. Tell your readers where you got your inspiration from. What inspired you to write the book. What initial thoughts did you have to ignite the interest. If you've written a non fiction book, you can share helpful advice to help improve your reader's life. If you share just enough information it will leave them wanting more, and it'll greatly improve their chances of buying your book.
C. Post excerpts of your book. Give your readers a little taste of what's to come next in your book. Try to leave it on a cliffhanger.
3A. Use the same theme. Use the same theme from your book on your blog. Talk about topics that you can relate to your book.
B. Current affairs. What's happening in the world right now that you can relate back to your book.
4A. Talk about yourself. How did you find your writing experience. Was it the same as you had expected. Are you a writer that plans your books, or do you just let them flow? Talk about your personal life to create a bond with your readers. Talk about what's happening in your writing life, your initial problems and how you overcame them.
5A. Talk about other authors in your genre. Discuss what's happening in their life and career if you think your readers will be interested in this. Arrange to do interviews with them and ask them if they would like to do a guest post for your blog.
Why Free is Sometimes the Best Thing to be: Tips for Writers
If you've spent hundreds of hours marketing your work and it's still not selling as well as you expected, maybe it's time to consider giving it away for free. Even if it is selling well, giving your work away for nothing may make it sell even better. This is a tactic I've still got to try for myself, so I can't speak from experience, but over the eight weeks I've had my book available to buy on line, I've met many writers who use this tactic and it works extremely well for them.
When I first began to research marketing, the last thing I wanted to do was give my work away for free. I'd spent hours upon hours writing my book, and to ensure my book was in the best possible shape that it could be, I paid to have it professionally edited. So it was perfectly understandable why I thought then no one should be able to read my entire book for free. But since then my attitude has changed slightly after reading all the articles on this particular section of marketing, and seeing how well it works for other writers.
Giving your work away for free is something every writer should do to increase sales. If you have sold fifty copies of your book to people you know, encourage them to pass your work on to people that they know. If you have all fifty people doing this, you're going to gain a lot of other potential readers quite fast. If they each gave your work to three other people, then that's a lot of eyes reading your work. If these strangers then in turn offered your work to people they know, your readership increases even further. As a brand new writer with only one book out this is something I feel I have to do. Otherwise it's hard to gain new readers in such a quick timescale. If I do this now with my first book then those readers, if they enjoyed my work, will be more likely to buy my other books. Library books benefit from this system too, as I look for more work by authors whose other works I've enjoyed previously for free.
By following this system of marketing, you're creating a brand name for yourself. You're exposing your work to as many different people as you possibly can. Think of it like many other retailers do when they say: buy one, get one free. Buy one, get the other half price. Even if you're an author with multiple books out, you might have one which doesn't sell as well as the others. Consider saying to your readers that if they buy two of your most popular books, then they can have the other book that doesn't sell well, for free. Then at least you're getting your work into the hands of these people and they might read the other book after all because they've got it for free. And they might actully really like it, and then they're encouraged to buy your other work that they might not have possibly considered before.
The Truth about Marketing
Marketing is one of those things where everyone has different views on how to tackle it effectively. We're all trying to achieve the same goal, and that's to sell more products, but everyone has their own way of getting things done. However, there are certain factors that are true no matter how you approach things.
1. Your Success is down to you.
If you're working alone then you are responsible for everything. You can't blame other people if things go wrong. Things will only get done if you do them.
2. You have to have an idea of what you're going to do.
You might have goals and dreams, most people do. But what separates the successful people from the failures, is that the successful people have a plan in front of them with instructions of how they're going to reach these goals and dreams. Ambitious people realise dreams are hard to follow without directions. Imagine someone asked you to drive somewhere you'd never been to before. How on earth would you get there? You need a map of some sort.
3. You have to do everything.This includes all the boring stuff that we all hate doing. Success is never easy. You have to have a certain amount of self discipline when you're working by yourself. You have to be your own boss and get things done. Don't be too hard on yourself though, set realistic targets - ones you can achieve, otherwise you'll end up stressed and frustrated.
4. You have to see the bigger picture.Very few people have overnight success. You've got to have the determination to stick with it, even when things aren't going well. If things aren't going right anymore, change something to see if that makes a difference.
5. Take note of successful peopleThese people must have done something right in order for them to be where they are now. Observe them, learn from them, ask them questions. Whatever feedback you receive, it might be really good advice.
Good Things Come to Those who Wait: Tips for Writers
If you're an impatient person like myself, it is unlikely you enjoy marketing. I say this because if you're anything like me, then there's no better feeling than seeing instant results after a hard days work. And unfortunately, marketing rarely works like this, unless you're exceptionally lucky. It can be so depressing to see no results when you spend your entire weekend working. Feeling so deflated, you think - what's the point? I could have been out enjoying myself in this glorious weather. Then you don't do any work for the next three days, and then you suddenly see an increase in sales, sample downloads and page views, despite the fact you've spent half the week doing other things. You start to think there's no pattern to your work, and your sales ... and you might be right. But it might just be your weekend work paying off.
The most important thing to remember with marketing is PATIENCE. A lot of people get so frustrated and fed up, they dismiss their efforts as failure because they don't see instant results, so they'll immediately try something else and if that doesn't bring success, they'll move on again. In the end, they'll have dismissed everything as a failure, and believe nothing works because they simply haven't given anything a chance to grow and develop. To have any chance of becoming a success, you have to give things time. If one particular strategy doesn't work out over a reasonable amount of time then move on with something else. Experiment. See what works and what doesn't. A lot of writers experiment with price change; that's a common area for discussion.
But what you also have to remember is that one method might not work for everyone,. That's why it's important to do your research on successful writers, and you'll find that they've all done different things but they've still found success. It's important for you to use these people as inspiration. Don't get disheartened if you try something and it doesn't work out for you. There's no guarantees. But do try the techniques that have been tried before because you might have the same success rate.
Exposure is another good thing to remember. You might be the best writer of the year but if you don't do anything to get yourself noticed, then other people won't appreciate your work because they won't know about it. Leave your work everywhere. Visit every appropriate website available to market your work. Some places won't work for you but others will, that's the thing to remember.
The internet is looking like it's here to stay, so even if you're having a drought on your sales, things may change and improve. Success isn't guaranteed but neither is failure.
Reasons why it's more Efficient to Work Together: Tips for Writers
Here are some facts to get you thinking.
1. When people work together to acheive a common goal, they usually accomplish the goal faster than they would do if they worked by themselves. As the saying goes: two pairs of hands are better than one. Group work in my experience is also far less stressful than if I was working alone, because people share ideas and concerns. People can identify potential issues and talk them through, so they're not as big as they would be if you were dealing with them alone.
2. If you're in a group and you set a deadline to finish your work, you have less chance of letting things slide and dismissing the set date, as you would let others down. When you're working by yourself, it is so easy to have a casual attitude and put things off because you're not letting anyone else down. But if you're working with other people, they're relying on you to pull your weight and do your share of the work.
3. If there's a financial cost to whatever you're working on, if you're a part of a group you can help relieve the burden by sharing it out. If you're working alone, however, you might not be able to do certain things simply just because you can't afford them.
4. Groups of people use each others strengths. Whatever they are, you can offer them to the group. Your strength may be another persons weakness and vice versa. Group work helps ensure that everyone uses a strength to help each other out.
5. People who work in groups have much better access to networks than if they go it alone, their network is much broader simply because they are working with other people.
Do you have any more tips? Please let me know.
How to make Facebook work to your Advantage: Tips for Writers.
More than 500 million people use Facebook, so it does make sense that if you have something to market, then you should use it too. Seen as so many people use Facebook, it is considered a major marketing tool, but only if it's used effectively. Using this social network you have the potential to build a huge developing relationship with existing and future clients. But you do need to have a balance though. You don't want to target people all the time with just the sole intention of marketing your work, otherwise people will be driven away. However, if you choose to ignore Facebook in its entirety, you'll be ignoring a very important group of fans, such as family members, work colleagues and friends'.
Facebook, like Twitter, is vital for maintaining an online presence. If you post something new and interesting every day, your chances of building up a rapport with people greatly increase. If you're online every day, you'll also see people asking for advice and guidance, and this is your chance to step in and help them if you are in a position to do so. Once you start to help people, then it's almost guaranteed that they will thank you for it and will be more inclined to listen to you in the future.
If you want to be thought of as a serious writer, and you post something every day on Facebook, it's crucial to be conscious of what you are saying. Avoid posting things which have a double meaning, and don't unfairly criticise anyone, even if you are entirely justified to do so. Be civilised with everything you say. This way, you have less chance turning people off you with your comments. I'm not saying don't post anything that's personal to you, by all means do - that is another way to make a close connection with your readers. I'm just saying don't post anything on Facebook which you aren't happy sharing with the rest of the world.
By using Facebook effectively you have a chance to build your network up over time. See who else you could be friends with on there. Do you know who follows your blog if you have one? Be friends with them. Are there people who have helped you in the past? Have you helped people out that would appreciate you as a friend? There are so many different people on Facebook that you could connect with. Other writers and authors, people who work in the publishing industry, are all people who could be useful in the future. And I am sure that you would be useful to them in return.
After all, Facebook allows a certain level of interaction that most people cannot get anywhere else.
I hope you've found this advice useful. If you use it over the long term, opportunities will open up. If there is anything else you would like to add, please feel free to leave a comment.
How to Promote Effectively: Tips for Writers.
One thing that can overwhelm people with marketing is the small issue of promotion. (Yes, I am being sarcastic.) Promotion is so overwhelming because people worry if they're approaching it correctly, using the right strategy, or if they're simply doing too much.
It can be hard to find a balance with this. On one hand you don't want to shy away from it completely, so no one knows who you are, but you don't want to be constantly in peoples' faces advertising something that they don't want to buy.
So where do you start? It's vital to remember that you need to build up a rapport with people. You are trying to build an audience of readers after all. Try to make a connection with as many people as possible, and reach out to them. Ask them questions, but always be prepared to offer them help and advice in return. If you do this, people will be more likely to warm to you.
So once you've got some sort of network going, how do you promote effectively? Well, there are two types of promotion:
Passive - Where you can do something and forget about it. Email signatures, posters, business cards, video trailers, are good examples.
Proactive - Using social networking sites like Twitter and Facebook to promote your work. Posting on your blog is a good way to interact with people. Participating in interviews with other writers is another way too. You can leave comments on other blogs with your signature link. This is especially useful if you have a Twitter account because there are lots of articles for you to comment on.
There are other ways to market. Just by simply getting yourself out there and speaking to people, getting yourself known to others, not just as a writer but as a person in general. Join writing and reading clubs. The more angles you approach this from, the more people you'll meet and the more fans you will gather.
The Importance of a List
I have been published for five weeks now with Smashwords, and already I have met hundreds of other writers like me. And we all have ONE thing in common. We all find marketing so difficult.
'Where do you start?' is a question many ask. They feel overwhelmed by the information they have at their fingertips. They're constantly distracted by Facebook and other social sites. They forget what it is that they were originally looking for.
Before you read any more ... make a LIST of what you have to do today to market your book. For example - Do you have to email your friends to let them know you're recently published? Give them details of where the book can be purchased. Better yet, create a signature to go on the bottom of your emails. Then the information is already there when you send emails out.
This is what my signature currently looks like - http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/54060 That's all - just a simple link to let them go to the page to purchase my book.
This list that I have just told you to create is absolutely vital for keeping you focused, and it prevents you from getting distracted. Surfing the internet is so easy to do, and before you know where you are you'll have spent all day doing things entirely unrelated to marketing your book. Making a list also helps you feel more in control... That list is the first step for marketing your book. Even if it's just a list of books you need to read about marketing your book. Always, ALWAYS start things with a list.
Why you should sign up to Twitter
The second most important step to take in marketing is to set up a Twitter account. When I first started to look into this wonderful network, I thought it was nothing more than a complex code of information. I mean, what can you possibly say in 140 characters that other people would consider useful? But the more you begin to understand this information source, the more sense you will make out of it.
When you first sign up with Twitter, I would recommend the first couple of weeks you should do nothing more than follow people. If you're an ebook indie author like myself, you might find it useful to follow people like J.A. Konrath. See what information these people tweet, but keep in mind not to follow too many, otherwise you'll be overwhelmed with information. The most important thing for you to do at this stage is learn from the people you choose to follow. See what they do that makes them a success. Notice what their tweets look like. Some of the tweets will just be a simple sentence of information, but others will look like a more complex code. And it's this code you should take notice of. Most tweets will often contain the hashtag # in front of an important word. The hashtag acts like a separate page for the important word, and people will go to these pages to look for information.
For example I could say in a tweet - My book is bestseller on Smashwords http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/54060 #erotica. In this tweet, I have conveyed the information I wanted to get across to other people by telling them that my book is a bestseller on Smashwords, giving them a link to purchase my book, and directing the tweet to people who like erotica. The hashtag enables me to reach a much broader audience than I would do if I just keep the tweet simple. You can put the hashtag word anywhere you want to in your tweet, it doesn't have to be at the end. It could be at the beginning, or in the middle. As long as you remember to insert the hashtag before the important word you should be fine. Just remember not to spam your tweets with hashtagged words, keep it to three. As you look at the tweets around you, you'll discover the poplular hashtag words, but remember to keep the hashtags relevant to your tweets. Happy tweeting!