Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Finished & Published - Think You Are Done? Think Again!

So there you are. Your book is up in Kindle, maybe Smashwords, and maybe even in Paperback. Sitting on Amazon's site. Sitting in B&N. Now you can relax, right? Now you are done. Finally, Peace!

Got news for you. You have not even started yet! If you publish a book with a "respected publishing house" the first thing anyone will tell you is now you have to do most of your own marketing. Well the same applies here, but in ten-fold. Now you have to do your own marketing. Cruel world isn't it?

All you wanted to do was write a book. The adage "if you build it they will come" does not work. You are going to have to be aggressive and you are going to find out that you are up against some very very stiff competition. 

The first thing to learn is that you will read about all the success stories. The ones who published Kindle or Nook and in a year sold massive amounts of copies. So it cannot be that hard right? I mean they did it, right? 

Murphy's law. It may happen to one person in say a million and you are not going to be that one person. So you have to figure out where and when and how. You need to do research and you need to do a lot of it. You need to market your book.

Truth be told, the absolute best way to do this, if you have the cash lying around, is to find an excellent publicist, who will take your book on, and let them do the work. But that can cost upwards towards 5-10k to do it right so you have to decide. If I had that cash it would be the route I would take. Simply put, a good publicist will have the contacts and will know how to market your book in print and on-line. And that translates into sales.

But you do not have that cash. So it is up to you to market. And here even the shy among us have to break out of the shell and use what is available in this day and age.

A few ideas and or links:

Facebook - Create an Author Page or a book page. Then get as many people as you can to link to and "like" your page. Keep it moving. Post to it. Do NOT let it stagnate.

LinkedIn - use the group structure in linkedin to find groups in your area of writing. There are many, some real friendly and some not. You have to try and experiment. Follow some discussions which you like. Contribute. Jump in. Get your name out there.

Twitter - well here this is a bit overdone but starting to Twitter now, if your book does take off, will save you from starting it up later. So Twitter is simple and easy. Right now may not do a thing. But it is for the future. So Twitter away.

Take a look at www.kindleboards,com. This is a great forum for Kindle people. Try some other forums, though I would be very careful at which you spend time at. Some of them, we will not mention names atm, are expert at flaming and trying to put down new members. (Lots of real sick people out there.)

If your book is up in Amazon or B&N you are going to have to get people to review the book. Now there are quite a few things to pay attention to, even if it is your own Grandmother reviewing the book
1. People look if the review says "Amazon Verified Purchase" to make sure the book review is legit. In other words if you are not just getting trolls to write reviews (a very bad idea btw as you will find your book trashed in a lot of forums and web pages.) So try to get verified reviews.
2. Tell people when they write a review, if you know the person, NOT TO say they are your family or best friend.
3. Make sure you fill in your Author page at Amazon.
4. Also tell them to also hit the "Like" button on top of the page (many people forget to do this).

This is important as many bloggers who review books today will not do so unless you have X amount of verified purchased reviews at 4 or 5 stars, (Yes they are getting snobby...live with it.) So you have to get those reviews. But you also have to sell to get the reviews. Chicken and Egg syndrome. Never said it would be easy. You want easy? Forget the sweat of publishing and find something else to do.

Write to the bloggers who review books. Find one in your niche. See if you can get a review. (Lots of info on kindleboards.com)
Write to book reviewers at newspapers. Simple, short, concise. See if they are open to doing a book review of the book. And always offer of course to supply them with a copy.

The two bad scenarios to the above is:
1.They will say "No." So you move on.
2. They never answer. Rude, I know...but you move on too.

All you risk is a bruised ego, and if you decided to publish or are being published even by a respectable publisher, you better be able to handle a bruised ego!

You need to be creative. You need to figure out what your niche market is. And you need to act on that on niche market.

Do not, I repeat, do not rely on any one else to do this for you.Some people may help. Others may not. But other people have their own lives, and as we all know, people tend to exaggerate their own self-importance. So you are going to have to do this yourself. 

Of course if you do get sincere offers of help, then take them. Use contacts. Use any contact you can including your own local newspaper for a review. You would be shocked what one mention of your book in print or on the web can do to sales.
**Stay tuned a bit on software usage to create your books, print and ebooks in next post

My own Public Relations:

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