So you want to be a writer and get your novels into the marketplace by through self-publishing. You’ve got the perfect idea, written a great novel that is well edited and has a great cover and now you’re ready to sell boatloads of copies. You upload your novel onto Amazon, Smashwords or any of the digital and print on demand storefronts that are available and yet your books aren’t flying off the shelves. What is a self-published author to do?
In truth, writing, editing and publishing your novel is the easy part. Generating sales takes more than an amazing novel especially when you consider how many books are in the marketplace from large publishers and independent authors. How will anyone know about your book when it’s one of thousands that are vying for the public’s attention?
The answer is marketing. You’ve got to be your own publicist and spread the word about you, your book and what you’re doing to help bring it into the consciousness of the masses. Some of the things I’ve done since self-publishing Chronokari Alpha: Time is Relative and Edge: East Wind in Paradise through my publishing company Boeboe Creative is join Twitter and Facebook to give the books a social media presence. Tweeting consistently, actively updating your Facebook page with new and relevant information will help to make others aware of you as an author and the projects you are working on.
Another thing that I’ve done is to organize book launches and to get interviews on radio (local or internet radio is a great place to start) to help promote the books. The biggest thing I’ve done though is to join the comic book convention circuit. I’ve been to 5 shows this year (Toronto Comicon, Fan Expo Vancouver, AnimeKon, Fan Expo Canada and London Comic Con) meeting the public, telling them about the books and perfecting my elevator pitch to get people interested. I’ve sold quite a few copies of my paperbacks at these conventions and at the very least I've generated some interest from those who didn’t pick up a copy. London Comic Con was the first con this year where I sold out of Chronokari books! Thank you London!
Now comic book conventions may not be the place for the average author to promote and sell their books, but there are several book fairs that are available for you to do the same thing I’ve done this summer. A great one in Toronto that I plan to exhibit at next year is called TCAF (Toronto Comic Arts Festival). It’s put on by the Toronto Reference Library and the Beguiling comic book shop and I have only heard wonderful things about it.
The final thing I’m going to do is to advertise on some internet radio shows. Now advertising has its pros and cons and there are some people out there that would steer you away from it. Even with all of the warnings though, I’m going to give it a shot. The internet radio shows aren’t typically owned by large corporations and their advertising rates won’t blow my budget all the way to Jupiter. Taking that into consideration and since these shows have a sizeable audience, the ads will reach a fair number of people.
These are some of the things that I’ve done but if you want some more tips head on over to Nat Russo’s blog to see what he did to get his books noticed. I follow Nat on Twitter and he’s always doling out good advice. This blog entry was really helpful for me and I’ll be using some of his suggestions in the coming year. Click the link to see what Nat has to say.