Its’ been nearly three months since ‘Destiny of Angels’ facebook page went up and I joined the eager writers, keen to encourage readers, writers and publishers to their page so, for all you other newbies or anyone who’s taken on the challenge of juggling the extra balls of marketing and promotion into their writing time, here are my findings about the ‘Brave New World’ of Indie publishing.
1 Continually promoting your book on every page you can find…..doesn’t work!
I began by following what other writers were doing on facebook. Enticing headlines, links to the novel, using capital letters for emphasis….It felt wrong! Approaching ‘strangers’ on fb felt like grabbing people off the street and shouting in their faces….they didn’t know me or my writing so, why would they read my book?
2 Some pages are better than others….find your groove
Some pages just encourage the above while others help, educate and support authors. You’ll know the helpful ones in a couple of days…..they bother to read posts posted by ‘others’ and you get the ‘feel’ of real interaction happening rather than a continual stream of new books to buy and special offers. My favourite page that isn’t a fellow author is The e-readerhouse https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-e-reader-House/289972744414836. The page is helpful, interesting and has lots of interaction.
3 Be yourself!
My good friend and fellow author Peter Jones ‘How to do everything and be happy’, told me to be myself and promoting my novel would be easy. In the first few weeks, I called him a liar! After a few more weeks, I knew what he meant. I left comments on pictures and articles that I liked and enjoyed, began to share information and gradually, I began to feel part of the community.
I began to follow certain pages regularly….these were the pages I felt part of and then I noticed that some authors were always active on my page. We began to share stories and links, promoting the other author or his/her friends…..and the idea for the Amazing Karmic Sharefest came to me!
4 More than a writer
Over the weeks I discovered that the successful writers pages were offering more than their book. Some offered interviews/blog swapping, others book reviewing, promotions, competitions, giveaways and some technical info about the internet and the world of digital publishing…..where did I fit in?
Brought up with the adage ‘Do as you would be done by’, I decided to make the ‘Destiny of Angels’ page a place for sharing, helping and promoting but not just books…..crafts, dancing, cake making…..lots of creative, inspiring pages to help spread the word for all the artistic community. I’ve started interview/blog swapping too, asking the questions that I would like answered as a reader to an author. Anyone who would like to ‘swap’, please contact me.
5 One book is not enough
When ‘Destiny of Angels’ launched on 21st April 2012, I truly believed I was launching my writing career into the world and that everyone would want to read my story. I was naive. As nearly 1,000 books were downloaded on my free promotion days, I figured half would read it and half would love it enough to post a 5* review on Amazon…250 glowing reviews….WRONG! Almost three quarters of the downloads were in the US………nobody posted a review.
Having said that, I’ve had some wonderful feedback and great reviews on Amazon UK but still the books aren’t whizzing to the kindles and one of the reasons is……I only have one book.
This was an important lesson for me.
6 Important lessons for me
I can only spread myself so much. I’m enjoying interacting on facebook now, learning about the publishing world as it changes daily and picking up tips to make all aspects of being an Indie writer easier. However, for the moment at least, you won’t find me on twitter or other interactive sites. I am a writer but I’m also a dancer, dance teacher, reader, partner, mother, friend, sister………As parts of my personality, they are part of what makes me the writer I am and I don’t want to lose touch with the other parts of my life.
In the past, I’ve spread myself too thin, said ‘yes’ to everyone….and been poorly.
Decide who you are and how you are going to interact on interactive sites. Being consistent is important. For me, I’m happy to say that if any of you met me ‘in the flesh’, you would find the same person you’ve been talking to online.
Decide what you can give to the Indie community.
Do what rocks your boat….don’t try to interact like others do, unless it’s you. Book trailers look really exciting…..I’m going to wait until all three books of the Trilogy are ‘out there’ and then have a go!
Decide how much time you are willing to give over to promotion. I’m sure there will be people at this point who will insist that to be successful you have to give everything……
Decide what it is you really want. For me, having the opportunity to share my story with as many readers as possible is my aim and…….
The more books the better! I’ve decided to make sure that my time is more evenly spread between writing and promotion and………….I have a second book, non-fiction this time, coming out in September!
Now I can see myself on the path to becoming a successful writer….success for me is writing the books I love and having them read and enjoyed by readers all over the world. It’s only one small step and you’ll see me there, lantern in hand…….one step at a time.
I totally agree, e-reader have been fantastic, and yes we are babies in a strange new world. I have found some sound advice from places like writers platform, but it seems we do stand alone in our world. Self Published means fight for a way to the top. Some Authors are buying one anothers books to get further up the book charts, but I am affraid I believe if its good it will make it.
I was told by UP-AUTHOR’s site manager it takes 5 years to sell a book, I believe that it is because, people need food, but as much as we’d love the idea they don’t need books!
Hopefully though once they have read the first one, we make them want the second!
Thanks you this is very insightful and we both seem to be at exactly the same stage in our writing career.
Let’s hope we are both here soon saying that our books have gone Virual!!!!
I read that authors were buying each others books….but you can’t buy everyones! Thank you for stopping by Ruth and sharing a little of your journey so far….Newbies rule ok!!
What a wonderful account of your journey to become a successful Indie author. LIke you I struggle with ‘Am I doing enough promoting …? Am I doing enough writing …?’ I’m afraid I haven’t got the balance right! I hope one day to achieve the perfect balance between all aspects of writing and promoting. n x
It’s such a juggling act…and with children, family, dancing….for me, anymore interactive sites was one ball too many! Thanks for dropping by Ngaire…good luck!
I know how you feel. I started my Facebook page a little earlier that you, but my book has only been published a little over a month – in most places. I’ve learned that setting a date in some venues doesn’t mean anything – it means nothing to them. And that makes you (the author) look unprofessional. And while I haven’t done this before, a little help might have been nice. I’m in it for the long haul – like you – and have learned to set aside a small amount of time for Facebook, etc. and focus on the craft of writing more. Eventually, we will have fans – and they will want more. Keep up the good work. I know you’ll be successful – you have the right attitude for it. And also like you, I LOVE ereader house! I think they rock!
Thank you for stopping by and sharing your journey and I too will be devoted more chunks of my time to writing. Ereader house gave me the start I needed posting revelevant advice and giving so much of their time and energy. Thanks for the vote of support and I look forward to hearing in the future that E G Gaddess is a household name…..and wrote on my blog!
I thought I had left a comment before, sorry, don’t know what happened….Wendy, this is an excellent post. So much to do in this writing world and easily one can become drowned, lost. There is not enough time to do everything as we have a life too…but you are right, the key is deciding what we want/how much to give. Thanks for sharing your experience and the sound advice. I have heard from the few authors I really interact with that they are doing so well because of the number of books they have out. I’m still wrapping up what I hope is final edits on my debut novel (book 1 of a series) I know we will all do well. Seeing yourself as becoming successful at anything you do, you will succeed.
Thank you for your kind and encouraging words:-) Good luck with the debut novel and you can be sure the caring, sharing Indie writers will be there to support you:-)