Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Authors, Friends, and Social Media

Since I've recently become an "indie" author-a decision I may later rejoice in, or regret-I've undergone a crash-course in social promotion and self-marketing.

There are many opportunities for the indie author. Although, I believe that, first and foremost, one should concentrate on writing a quality story that is free of grammatical errors and plot holes. I must say this now, before I discuss marketing opportunities, that I had the help of an outstanding editor and new friend-Tammy Parks. I must give her mention here because, even after reading through my own work eight times, yes EIGHT times, she still found typos and spelling errors or missing words.

All I can say is: "She must have some kind of enhanced vision and spidey-sense the way she found all these."

Anyway, here's some of the things I've done in the first week after publication to foster and awareness of my book and increase sales.

The first thing I did was post the news on my blog and on facebook with a coupon one could use to download the book for FREE. Oddly enough, and contrary to my own belief, this fostered zero sales directly related to the blog posting. Sure, I saw an increase in page views and a spike in sample downloads but no firm sales.

Next, I twittered the news, referencing my blog post with the free offer-same thing and no increase in sales.

Next, I issued a news release using PR LOG. Of course, I linked to my book's page and my blog. From this, I saw a spike in page views but not such an increase in sales that I could directly attribute it to the release.

Yesterday I joined Kindleboards and posted in the book bazaar section advertising free copies of my book in exchange for reviews. Almost immediately, downloads went through the roof and sales quickly surpassed double-digit increases within four hours.

My book quickly rose to number ten on the Smashwords best-seller list and is holding there.

So, I would say that I've found the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow with Kindleboards. But, keep in mind (I've recently learned this) that ebook marketing is much faster paced than marketing for other formats. An action taken is usually seen in hours instead of days or weeks, and news falls off the end of the world much quicker.

What I mean by this is that one can see an immediate explosion in sales from a new approach but that news is forgotten by the next day. I'm hoping that the sales I've had and all the folks that downloaded the free copy of my book will come back and post reviews, or encourage others to buy the book.

I think I'm off to a good start but can only hope that these immediate and short-term efforts will have a long-term effect.

I would still like to attempt a blog tour or other forms of information and marketing means, but I want to wait until the book is released on the major markets such as Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Ipad, Sony, Kobo, Diesel, and others before doing this.

Am I doing the right thing by waiting? I don't know. If any of you readers have suggestions, I'm open. Also, I would be eternally grateful if someone were to explain to me how to organize and do a blog tour.