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Hands-on Book Promotion Tips from Successful Self-Publishers

Posted on 2014-Jan-13

by Paul Salvette

Self-publishers are known for their diverse skills when it comes to connecting with their potential audience and sharing their business advice with their fellow authors to succeed. While three successful self-publishers may give different suggestions what authors should do to promote their work and maintain top quality, authors should not fret the level of freedom they have collectively possessed to put the best products out there for the world to see.

Melissa Foster

Discussing her successful formulas via the Self-Publishing Advice Blog courtesy of The Alliance of Independent Authors, NYT best-selling author Melissa Foster shares how she stays relevant in the creative business. Apart from delivering high quality books and reaching out to readers consistently, Melissa’s secret for success is one that encourages writing what you are passionate about to produce the best work. Although there are a number of daunting tasks to be completed on your part as a writer, another key aspect to take into consideration is the reader who will eventually be the judge to decide your fate. Melissa holds practicality dear to her heart when she prioritizes her daily tasks juggling between tending to family and meeting the deadlines of her publishing schedule. Being an author-publisher allows her to control everything ranging from publishing dates to topics she wants to write. Last but not least, as long as readers expect quality, authors are obligated to produce a professional output at all times.

Lindsay Buroker

It has been three years since Lindsay ventured into self-publishing. This year she shares 6 lessons she has learned throughout her passionate career. Having successfully published a series of eBooks, she has built a fan base through characters/worlds for them to invest in her stories. In a series, the book numbers logically make readers aware of all the other books in the series; once they obtain the first book and enjoy reading it, there is a higher chance they will try other books. In her particular genre, fantasy, it might be considered a risk to change the writing style so abruptly that results in fewer readers trying new characters/world. However, that does not mean she forbids herself against writing a standalone novel. The advantage about self-publishing allows her to experiment with “pilots” that can be further developed into a series. Although investing time in pilots can be time-consuming and risk-taking, self-publishers have every opportunity to measure feedback and test the waters. If it is not doing successful at first as you might have expected, give it some time for the book to sell by itself and you can start writing a new book in the meantime. While working on the other book, she promotes it from time to time through her newsletter, Facebook post, Twitter feed. She has some nice feedback from readers who responded to her email. Regarding the reviews, she sees value in the criticism and will adjust the next book. In her opinion, switching to a new genre requires that the readers be informed thoroughly and no price reductions will influence them. International sales increase throughout several retailers—Kobo, Apple Stores, Amazon UK and DE—are enough to cover her expenses. She assumes that her success outside the US must be having a perma-free book out there. Who knows? A title that is doing about average in the US may be a hit in other countries. Although she has never had her work translated, she will look into how to promote her book in international markets.

Joanna Penn

Joanna names the title of her latest blog something that might not be what most authors typically expect to hear; that is, becoming a speaker. The unorthodox premise does raise questions among creatively introverted individuals who dread being in front of the camera, yet have a story to tell the audience. Taken from the excerpt of her book, Joanna shares why authors might want to decide to speak. If you are comfortable sitting behind the computer screen telling stories readers are desperate to hear, public speaking is another mode of storytelling that can help inspire people in real time. Building the level of confidence and organizing your thoughts are skills where you can gain personal development by getting outside your comfort zone as you prepare the topics you want to talk about. It goes without saying that speaking literally drives word-of-mouth marketing as you can promote your book in person enabling you to make physical connections with readers. If speaking is not your cup of tea, Joanna reminds us that it actually is an integral part of successful authors’ success anyway that they have to speak at festivals, conventions, events, radio, TV, etc. Speaking can be an additional source of revenue as authors earn a significant fee and still stand a chance to sell their books and products at the venue. “‘Back of the room’ sales are almost guaranteed if you give a great talk/workshop/seminar, because people want to take something of you home,” she emphasizes. It should come as no surprise when the several questions are raised by the commenters regarding accidents, finding encouragement, coping with fear of failure. One Q&A session with Derek Rempfer allows him to recall the wonderful experience speaking to the congregation. To answer how he, as a fiction author promoting a book launch next month, might find the topic a challenge to be passionate about, Joanna recommends talking about personal stories and speaking coherently about the story rather than saying bluntly what is hard to explain.

Throughout their discourse, authors can find practical information in each self-publisher and learn how they can build a fan base based on the hands-on guidance. With their active participation in the conversation, readers can always trust these blogs as go-to reference to build confidence and realize their potentials from actual case studies.

Label: Self-Publishing

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