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.


  1. Post the info directly to facebook and twitter, and as was said in "'Field of Dreams'... They will come." Also contact small book stores, like the one in Blakely, Ga and ask what you need in order to do a book signing. (My guess is you'll have to have books to sign, but they may want more.) Just remember to keep good records so when the IRS comes calling because of all this new, unexplained income you can show them how you got it.

  2. First of all, you have 2 followers on twitter, so only 2 people saw that tweet. I'd say not to give up on twitter, but if you want to use it, get some followers. :)
    Kindleboards huh? Now I used smashwords to create ebooks before, but never for pay. I heard they take a long time to pay you.
    What service did you use to make print copies?
    Also, just realized that amazon charges per book on shipping, which is a huge ripoff for buyers who want to buy sets. I give it a thumbs down and probably won't use them unless I buy one book at a time. Unfortunately, as an author, I want to offer my books there because they have a large following.
    Another idea, a website made just for you book.

  3. Thanks Sandra and Elsha for your comments.

    For right now anyway, the book remains in ebook format only. I will only consider print publishing if the books sales warrant it.

    Elsha-thanks for your mail. I'm hoping that I had sent you an earlier version of the project. I do tend to repeat information. I had removed some of it by the time it went through about eight edits. Of course, some of the repetition is there on purpose and for effect. I just hope that, in the end, it is not overdone. I just recently opened a twitter account so it will take some time to build followers. I do like Smashwords in that they post any sales, downloads, reviews, and samples almost immediately. Of course, they do state in the terms that they pay only once per quarter. That schedule works out for me since I have a full-time job that will sustain me until my work breaks the NYT bestseller list. Oh, wait, that probably won't happen with this particular book.

    You have a great point about a website dedicated to the book. I might consider starting a website specifically under the name I use for all of my paranormal, fantasy, and erotic work.

  4. This is very useful to know. You've answered a lot of questions and even eased a few doubts.

    Thanks so much.

  5. That was straight from smashwords, page 4, HTML download.
    Most sites, createspace, lulu, blurb, pay quarterly. I just read somewhere that a person using smashwords was paid through amazon before they were paid from the site, which I have found to be true of createspace as well. Even on a quarterly basis, they were not paid in a timely fashion.
    I'm not looking for immediate rewards either, just saying to be aware. :)
    I hope you aren't discouraged by my note. Recently I have been revising my own works that I set aside a long time ago and am being harsh with it. I'm in edit mode. But also, I am writing for nano and putting as much word vomit on the page as really good stuff. I know I have my work cut out for me!
    Maybe we could exchange snippets and offer each other critique some day.

  6. No, your comments do not bother me at all ... well, okay, maybe just a little. Naw, just kidding. I gladly take all critiques and critisisms, as long as they are not given with malice.

    I guess I should let the work rest for awhile and then go back and really look hard at the repetition. Although it may be too late for the current work, and it seems to be selling well. I've gotten numerous sales and a bucket-load of non-paying downloads.

    I'm already beginning work on a follow-up to this novel. Already, I feel much more focused than during the writing of this work. I chose this story to finish as a new year's resolution and, at the time thought it nothing more than a short story. Now, the work has taken on a life of its own and the characters speak to me clearly. Of course, the next work may not be as erotic in nature as the first.

    This work served as a great departure from things I normally write. But, I'm having fun with this.

    I would be glad to exchange snippets, reads, edits or just ideas.

  7. they say you should never look back on your first novel, that it should be buried.. i take that to mean it needs to be rewritten until you don't recognize it rather than file 13-ed.

  8. I'm new to the publishing game myself and I'm not sure what I'll do when my book comes out. But these are great ideas. You can come on my blog for a stop on your tour...if you like. Let me know what I can do.


  9. Sounds great. Clarissa. I'd love to do a blog tour for release on the mainstream outlets.

  10. Lulu is free except for purchasing the first printed copy that you buy and approve. On my first attempt the first few pages were not in the correct order. I added another blank page then bought that one, then approved and it was ready for people to order. It's fulfilling to hold your own book in your hands.


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