Archive for self-published

Marketing Ideas to Increase Sales of Your Self-Published Novel

Posted in Marketing with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on August 19, 2017 by Dawn Ross

Marketing Increases Sales

I will soon be ready to publish my novel. This will be a great achievement, but it’s just the beginning. If I plan on selling the book, my next step is to market it. If I don’t market my book, no one will know it’s available, which means no one will know how good (or bad) it is. I have to market my novel so that people will know about it and hopefully, be encouraged to buy it.  Below are some ideas I have on how to market a self-published novel.

Keywords & Tags – Make sure that when you set your book up on its self-publishing platform that you use proper keywords and tags to identify your book. If your book is sci-fi, use the keyword sci-fi. Also consider the subgenre. Is it a space opera or is it cyberpunk, time travel, apocalyptic, hard science fiction, or another type of sci-fi subgenre? Is it for children, teens, or adults? Here is a good article about keywords for those of you planning on self-publishing on Amazon or CreateSpace – https://chrismcmullen.wordpress.com/2013/10/03/createspace-kindle-keyword-and-category-tips/

Multiple Publishing Platforms – If you publish your book on Amazon and/or CreateSpace, keep in mind that your book will only be sold on Amazon’s site. If you want your book sold on other sites, then you need to contact those other sites. By the way, if you self-publish on Smashwords, Smashwords automatically offers your book for sale on multiple book sites (as an e-book only, but e-books are currently outselling physical books and this is not likely to change).

Your Own Website – It’s so easy nowadays to set up your own website and/or blog. WordPress, Wix, and others allow you to do it for free. However, building your own website isn’t enough. You have to market it too. For a website, you have to consider SEO marketing. For a blog, you need to post regularly and about topics that would attract visitors who would be interested in your novel.

Social Media – Consider a Facebook fan page for your novel. Consider a Twitter account. Depending on your genre, you may even try Pinterest, Instagram, Snapchat, and others. Just be careful about spamming. You don’t want every single post to be about your novel. For example, sci-fi writers can post about new tech, new sci-fi authors, new tv shows or movies, and so on.

Paid Advertising – Advertise on social media sites such as Facebook or Twitter. Also, consider advertising on book selling sites. Amazon has such a service, as does many other book selling sites.

Local Events – One of my writer friends pays for a booth at local comicon events. Depending on your genre, you may also consider Renaissance festivals, gun shows, home shows, lawn & garden shows, art festivals, and so on. Keep in mind that sometimes booths at these events are rather expensive. I’ve seen booths cost as much as $500 for just a three-day event. It might help to have other paraphernalia for sale. My writer friend also sells t-shirts with art from his book covers on them, mugs, calendars, etc.

Book Signing – Ask your local coffee shops and books stores if you can do a book signing event. Be sure to advertise locally on Facebook groups, radio stations, your town’s website, and wherever else you can think of that would attract people appropriate to your genre.

Get Legitimate Reviews – Don’t ask your friends. You need to find the right sources or your reviews will mean nothing. Here is a good article that explains why – https://davidgaughran.wordpress.com/2017/07/19/when-reader-targeting-goes-wrong/#more-4479.

For legitimate reviews, try contacting websites that sell books to see if they do book reviews or if they know someone who does. Try bloggers who regularly review books of your genre. Be cautious of paying for reviews. Their reviews can come across as being biased. This doesn’t mean that you can’t pay someone for their time, but you will want to check out their previous reviews. If they always give good reviews, then no one will take their review of your novel seriously. You risk a bad review, but if your work is good enough you can balance it out with several legitimate good reviews. Besides, even bad reviews can get you publicity. Do you know how many bad reviews the Gothic horror novelist Stephen King gets? Lots.

I hope this list gives you some ideas on how to market your self-published novel. If you have any other ideas, feel free to share.

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You Don’t Know What You Don’t Know

Posted in Writing with tags , , , , , , on March 24, 2012 by Dawn Ross

The Blue Book of Grammar and Punctuation: An Easy-to-Use Guide with Clear Rules, Real-World Examples, and Reproducible Quizzes

People who can self-publish is great because it allows people like me to finally publish something I spent years working on. It also gives the public more books to read. I don’t know about you, but I have read almost every fantasy novel out there. Being able to read something that is self-published gives me more options. The self-published books may not always be as good, but they can be.

One drawback, however, is self-publishers don’t always have the education, knowledge, or skill to write a professional novel. This doesn’t mean that the story being told isn’t good. It just means there might be a lot of grammatical errors or the story may not be as intricately involved as Robert Jordan’s fantasy novels.

To make your fantasy novel better, it helps if you try to acquire the education to learn what you don’t know. What makes a story good? Is your story any good? Could it be better? Educate yourself. Read other novels and compare. Take creative writing courses. Read books on creative writing.

Don’t be afraid to ask others to read your fantasy novel and provide honest feedback. Honest feedback is not likely to come from family or friends. Share your story on writer’s forums such as Fantasy-Writers.org. Find people on Facebook who share your interests and might be willing to critique your fantasy novel for you. Join a writers group off-line. All these people might be able to provide you some insight which you never thought, find inconsistencies, and give some tips on how to make your fantasy novel characters more interesting.

Many self-publishers take the shortcut of not having their fantasy novel professionally edited. They edit it themselves. But how can you self-edit your book if you don’t know what you don’t know. You can’t find mistakes if you don’t know you are making them. Get a book on grammar and punctuation, such as “The Blue Book of Grammar and Punctuation“.

I have done most of the things I’ve talked about above. But even though I have already written and self-published my first book, I am constantly trying to improve my writing skills. I think my first fantasy novel, “The Third Dragon“, is good. But I want my future fantasy novels to be better. To make your fantasy novel the best it can be, do what you can to learn what you don’t know.

How I Self-Published My Fantasy Novel “The Third Dragon” in Paperback

Posted in Publishing with tags , on January 28, 2012 by Dawn Ross
Third Dragon Book Cover

"The Third Dragon: Book One of the Dukarian Legacy" by Dawn Ross

Using CreateSpace.com, I have created my self-published fantasy novel, “The Third Dragon”, in paperback form. My paperback fantasy novel is currently going through the review process and will hopefully be available at CreateSpace.com & Amazon.com by the end of January or beginning of February.

CreateSpace.com has a step-by-step process which is relatively easy to follow. However, it is time consuming. I already had the fantasy novel ready in word, but I had to tweak the pages so that the front and back matter was in order. I also had to add page breaks after each chapter so that the new chapters started on their own pages. I tried to add a map of the fabled land of Ungal, but this never turned out right.

The fantasy novel book cover was probably the most difficult. CreateSpace.com makes it easy to create your own book cover, but I wanted my own design. To have the design completely my own, I would have to download the back cover, spine, and front cover all as one .pdf document. This meant that I had to get the measurements exactly right. Since the spine is a variable, I had to calculate the spine width based on the number of pages in the fantasy novel. CreateSpace.com gives the formula, but it was still difficult to get it exact on my program.

The next difficulty in creating the book cover this way was getting the .jpg converted into .pdf. Every time I did it, the image got skewed. After over an hour of designing and trying to convert the file, I finally gave up and used CreateSpace.com’s templates instead. This allowed me to download my .jpg images, but now I had to separate the back cover, front cover, and spine. Unfortunately, the spine on the templates was generic, so I could not use my own spine design. But at least I finally got the fantasy novel cover front and back the way I wanted it.

It is in the review process now. Then I will order a proof to see how my self-published fantasy novel turns out in the physical form. Once that is done, my fantasy novel will be ready on Amazon.com and CreateSpace.com. To find it, search “The Third Dragon” or Dawn Ross. (Direct link to CreateSpace.com novel will be posted as soon as the novel is available there. CreateSpace.com will give me my own page to promote my self-published fantasy novel.)