This is a continuation of a series of articles on self-publishing which have and will encompass formatting, editing, sites to upload to (pros and cons), book cover designing, tools, social marketing and promotions, and resources for all of these subjects. I’ve done a lot of research in my life and I have to say that this one nearly felled me. I am neither for or against self-publishing-which I also refer to as indie- as I am neither for or against traditional publishing. There or pros and cons to each path. Both will be difficult. As writers we all know this. But we can’t help it; we were born this way.
I have over 60 docs in my drive on this series alone as well as emails, Evernote folders and files. Pardon my lack of crafty writing when it comes to this series. I just want to get the information to you as soon as possible. It will be in no particular order, and there are always new, breaking stories that will fit in various sub-files in the series. When switching from one subject to another, I will be using the hashtag with the subject name to denote the switch. This article is one of several under the marketing sub-folder.
So, on with the show…
My secret site for Self-Publishing is The Future of Ink. See their Top Ten Self-Publishing Websites. You can easily see how prestigious this contest is by the judges involved.
“The Future of Ink proudly presents the winners of the inaugural Top Ten Self-Publishing Blogs contest of 2012. Finalists were judged by Guy Kawasaki, Jim Edwards and Mark Coker of Smashwords.’
Though I’ve been a fan of The Future of ink for a long time, I never read this article until last night and boy am I glad I did. Sue Painter did a masterful job and you will be glad to have it in your arsenal.
Their article on how to sell more on Amazon is also one to read.
Nina Amir is the author of Blog Your Book, and now she has a great article up on The Future of Books that you simply must read. You can see all of Nina’s books on her website and at Smashwords.
In my writing groups, people have asked me a handful of times about author groups that they may be a part of for marketing purposes. There are several that I am looking at with an open, judicial eye that includes The Story Cartel (of which I am a member) and ALLI; but one in particular is getting good ratings from various arenas: the Author Marketing Club.
The Author Marketing Club. it is free to enroll in (though the information for the free options is down the page near the bottom). There are also various packages and levels that they offer. Please note that I do not advise all of the points in the following piece of which will be fully spelled out later on in the series.
Jim Kukral, the founder of the Author Marketing Club has these suggestions for self-publishing:
Step 1: The very day when you have the idea of the book in your head, sit down, give the book a title, and write down who the book is for.
Step 2: The next step is to create a book cover. You can get that done on Fiverr.com for only $5.
Step 3: Place the image of your bookcover on your blog, on Facebook, or wherever you tend to hang out. You can say, ‘Hey, I’m writing this book,’ and build anticipation. It’s like the way big movies do it. You can see the trailer long before the film is ready for viewing.
Step 4: Create a short video or blog post about your book idea with an email signup form. Six months down the track when you’ve actually written the eBook, you’ll already have a group of customers waiting for it.
Jim Kukral is a top Internet entrepreneur, best-selling author and marketer. He teaches at the University of San Francisco for the Internet Marketing Certificate Programme. Check out his new venture, the Author Marketing Club.
Are you on Google Plus? Well their is a lot going on over there. Just a heads up for my writing friends.
A tip that I’m sure you all use so this is just a reminder. The Google Plus pages have exploded, now that they have Communities, with great resources for writers and one tip for you to do your research on this incredible social sharing site is to add your keyword to a hashtag and put it in the top search bar above the content. You’ll be amazed at the amount of information that is then at your fingertips.
For the record, when I write of ALLI, I am writing of The Alliance of Independent Authors. They have two websites: 1) is often linked to in my articles which is here and 2) their professional alliance webpage which you can find here.
The Alliance for Independent Authors is the site to be connected with as it has all of the contacts that you have heard about, plus the watchdog members and are fully committed to excellence and ethical practices. They have a full list of membership options that they will carefully consider when you apply. See specifically, this page.
Bob Mayer has a great post up at ALLi for top indie writers. Not only was he a Green Beret and has translated that experience into the writing life, which you can find at Write It Forward. he has over 50 books published (selling over 4 thousand units), is a New York Times Bestselling author and is co-creator of Cool Gus Publishing.
ALLI, by the way, publishes interviews with best-selling indie authors under the heading, “How I do it…” with great tips from C.J. Lyons and this one from Hugh Howey.
Reviews on top sites or anywhere, quite frankly, are the best way to get free marketing and awareness to you book. Google Top Reviewers and look at the parameters. Contact one and be prepared to send them your book in a pdl form (or whatever they require) as soon as you get done with your call or your email. They already have a backlog of work, and you need to be thinking about this before it is too late for your book launch. And remember, whatever they ask for within a sane parameter, agree to without argument. These people are swamped, and they need to be your friend until and after they have posted a review for you. They probably know a great number of other top reviewers, important webmasters, and many authors; you don’t want to get on their bad side.
The following from Digital Book World is a great list for you to utilize. In its “How to Sell E-books; 5 Proven Tips” I think you will find some great takaways and useful tools.
Also, in this article, DBW lists great blogs with book loving readers (see below) along with a well thought-out article on book marketing:
Ereader News Today: http://www.ereadernewstoday.com/
Kindle Nation: http://kindlenationdaily.com/
Pixel of Ink: http://www.pixelofink.com
Inspired Reads: http://www.inspiredreads.com
Kindle Reader: http://kindlereader.blogspot.com/
To get you familiar with this site and to honor the site that brought it to my attention, the link is to ALLI and the interview is with Jessica Bennett of Compulsion Reads
Joe Bunting at the Story Cartel has a formative article on publishing your book and getting your first 1,000 reviews.
I used to think I had a cute answer when the word metadata was being first used for books. I said, well that’s just seo for your book. But it wasn’t very helpful for who understands seo either? Jane Friedman can help us out with her article on optimizing metadata.
And MediaBistro has information on selling your book through indie bookstores.
Bookbaby has the essential online book marketing tips right here.
And WinePress has an article entitled “Four Ways to Make Your Book Sell Itself”, which is, I think, an incredibly appealing idea.
Here’s an article from the folks at KOBO on the writing life. (A break from all of the marketing ;p)
And MediaBistro has a great slant on using Google Hangouts to sell books here.
I have been subscribing to Talia Newland of Awesome Indies for ages. She has a book review of indie authors that isn’t to be missed and will be featured in future posts. Check out her website in the meantime.
Another site that you should put on your digital radar is Mick Rooney’s site The Independent Publishing Magazine. It is part of the golden sites: Writer’s Digest 101 Best Websites for Writers as well it should be. Take a look around, you will be a wiser bookseller for it.
For readers and book marketing; I Dream Books. This site is becoming one of my favorite sites. They will be the “go to” site when deciding to read and buy a book. You’ll see what I mean.
Have you read some great article on marketing your book lately? Let us know in the comments. And thank you for sharing and signing up for the newsletter. More fun to come at the affordable price of…free!
Image: Thomas Hawk via Compfight