What am I doing wrong? - Page 2


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Thread: What am I doing wrong?

  1. #11
    I haven't read all of the replies so I apologize if I'm repeating everyone else...

    1. This is your first weekend selling your book. I don't know what you're expecting, but no one has great sales at this point.
    2. You need marketing of some sort to get your name out there. Simply having your book on amazon won't do that for you. There are millions of novels on the site and they're ranked based on sales. Having it up there is a great way to sell if you have a way to get people to your Amazon listing.
    3. Make sure your book is as polished as possible. The greatest mistake a lot of first time self-published authors make is that they don't hire a professional editor and cover artist/designer. Yes, these are expensive and you may have to save up for them, but they're worth it in the end. A book that hasn't been edited properly can be spotted a mile away and will hurt sales. A poor cover design can do the same. (note: I'm using my tax return to pay for my editor. I've also considered donating plasma to help pay for such things).
    4. Review other books on amazon and other book review sites. That'll sometimes help get your name out there.
    5. Send your book out for a review. There are many reviewers that you can find to do this for free (preferred because then it's honest) and if your novel is good then it can help your sales a ton!
    6. Have it in an e-book format. Put it out for free for the first few weeks to a month. After you've written a few novels, have one of them free as an e-book permanently. People are always looking for new authors and one of the more common ways is by downloading free e-books. I've seen this with my own eyes.
    7. See about putting your novel out through a distributor. This will help it to get into stores but is never a guarantee. Likewise, you may want to use a distributor for the e-book. (I like smashwords and plan on using them when my novel is done with editing for the e-book. Trying to decide what I'll use for the paper book. The key is research.)
    8. Start a blog, a website, a facebook, and twitter. Social media is important and if the big boys are using it then we should too. Vblogs are an idea too though I personally don't know much about them.
    9. You may want to try doing some book signings at stores in your area (smaller stores are more likely to want an unknown author), write a press release, and see about doing an interview or two on a local radio show. Doing a virtual book tour is good if you have a blog (basically you become a guest blogger for someone and later on return the favor).

    Being a self-published author is like having a hundred jobs all landing on your shoulders. You are not in competition with other authors, you are in competition with the publishing houses. Keep that in mind and you'll probably do well.

    *hugs*
    Jayelle
    "To be professional, you need to be professional." ~ Jayelle Cochran
    Hidden Content | Hidden Content | Hidden Content | Hidden Content

  2. #12
    Hi Lanian,

    I noticed on your other post in the welcome forums that you said you only released "part" of your novel on Amazon.

    "I released the first part of my novel on Amazon this past weekend, and really hoping people enjoy it!"

    From what I've read and understand only releasing part of a book is a big no-no in epublishing. People want the whole thing. That could be hindering early sales.

  3. #13
    Think of a pondwith 1,000,000 goldfish crowded in and swimming around. One of those fish isyour book, and it's not even a big fish, and probably near the bottom of thepond. What are the chances someone will even notice it? Same thing onAmazon, when a book is released by an unknown author. It's one in a million.

    Telling familyand friends is a start. Are they telling others? Are they posting reviews? Isit really their 'job' or 'responsibility' to do that?

    Others havemade some good suggestions. Draw attention to that goldfish in the pond, set itapart a little. You can't do everything but do some things--and writeanother book. Two goldfish traveling along together--there's a better chance ofbeing noticed.

  4. #14
    Is the book good enough? You only stand a chance I think, in the self-publishing world, by writing a really great book with a compelling opening so the 'Try me' option turns into a purchase. I know I'm just one punter with his own tastes, but I started losing interest a few paragraphs in. I'm sure others wouldn't feel like that, but that beginning has to really zing, really slap me in the face to get me wanting to try enough to spend a few dollars. Telling a thousand people about it won't do much good if they're not engaged with what they're reading. Hence my original question.

  5. #15
    I have lot of writer friends on Twitter and Goodreads. These social networks are quiet effective in promoting your work. Join many writers blogs and leave a review about their books and join their conversations. This is how people will get to know you better.

  6. #16
    WF Veteran Gavrushka's Avatar
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    Damn, it sends me cold thinking that networking is the way to sell books. I use Twitter, but my followers number in single figures; I don't use any other social media.

    IF I write a story of marginal note, I doubt there is anything I could do to make it sell beyond a few hundred copies over its life... I do appreciate that networking may accelerate the word of mouth effect, but perhaps I feel my time would be better spent challenging my creative talent to produce something better. - I can see the lot of the self-publisher is not an easy one, but I remain convinced that a novel of value will be heard and will be well received in due course.

    Yesterday, I produced the first novel that I deem is suitable for publication. (From a position of knowledge; I'd thought I was there when I first started writing... Oh dear ) . I've many months of work ahead of me (I mean thousands) spent editing and improving it. Oh I'll leap up and down and beg a few people to read it, but if it does not sell, I'll write another.

    What I am trying to say (and very poorly) is that if you accept that your prose is not quite up to standard, you can focus your efforts on writing better stories rather than blaming your sales technique.
    Not available to BETA READ at present due to (reading) workload. Hidden Content

    Twitter: Hidden Content

    On my ninth novel, and I think I'm just starting to get the hang of this writing thing...

    ===

    Self-promotion: a necessary tool for those who cannot find others willing to sing their praises.


  7. #17
    If a self-published author doesn't or can't put the effort into learning the discipline of marketing where is the book going to go? Plopping a book onto Amazon and crossing one's fingers isn't the way to be successful. I'm not a self-published author, but my background is sales and marketing. The promotion of a product takes time, creativity, motivation and tons of determination. People don't care about your book, there are thousands upon thousands of books from well established authors just waiting to be read. The work has to stand out, you have to stand out and you need to develop a lot of relationships outside of friends and family.

    That's not meant to be a discouragement, just a reality check for writers who want to self-publish. I'd suggest focusing on traditional publishing if you don't have the talent, time or interest in marketing a book. That way, you can focus on writing, and as Gavrushka suggests, spend precious time developing those skills.
    Anything that doesn't take years off your life and drives you to suicide hardly seems worth doing.
    - Cormac Mccarthy

  8. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by Gavrushka View Post

    I can see the lot of the self-publisher is not an easy one, but I remain convinced that a novel of value will be heard and will be well received in due course.
    It's an old, worn out cliche but if it was easy, everyone would do it. Even a novel that is stellar has to be promoted to generate effective word of mouth to get it to sell. That takes a lot of work because the default position of readers, and especially publishers, is skepticism. Besides, if the work is truly that good, consider traditional publishing to get a team of people behind you to promote it and garner more sales and readers. Google some successful self-publishers like John Grisham (yes he started out by printing 5,000 of his own books and promoting), Amanda Hocking, Barbara Freethy, EL james, and James Redfield.
    Anything that doesn't take years off your life and drives you to suicide hardly seems worth doing.
    - Cormac Mccarthy

  9. #19
    The effective use of keyword tags also can help immensely, in my experience.

    "Life is a risk; so is writing. You have to love it." ~ Richard Matheson

  10. #20
    I remember a musician rejoicing when, after several months' hard work, he released his first CD. "Whew! I'm glad my work's finally over," he said.

    "Are you kidding me?" I asked him. "Your work is only beginning. Nobody knows about all the time you put in. You better market that thing if you wanna make some money."

    I don't know why, after seeing and hearing interviews of authors on TV and radio, writers don't try to do the same. Approach your local media—print, radio, TV, and internet. Have book signings at local libraries and coffeeshops. At least do that much for yourself.
    Publisher of the Durham Skywriter (Hidden Content ), Durham NC's online community paper, and host of TV Skywriter, Sundays 7pm USA Eastern time, on YouTube and Google+'s "patriciaAmurray" page. Currently working on my first nonfiction book, "And Then We Saw an Eye: Caring for a Loved-One with Alzheimer's at Home"

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