Indie Publishing: The Start-up Business & Diving into Book Two
Finally, I’ve got my act in order after several months of banging my head against a brick wall and chasing my tail. I’m aware that my lack of organisation has affected how much time I’ve spent interacting with my fellow bloggers, so my apologies for this. My two excuses, if allowed, are post-viral exhaustion combined with the nightmare of book-marketing by the trial and error method.
I don’t want to bore you with discussing my health in detail, other than to say that a tablespoonful of liquid magnesium malate and glycinate a day seems to have done the trick re energy, focus, and calm.
Having achieved a comparative state of equilibrium, I’ve spent the last week establishing a regime, in which the time spent on preparing Novel No. 2 outweighs the time spent marketing Novel No. 1. As a result, I’m already a quarter of the way through editing and formatting my children’s crossover fantasy novel, Noah Padgett and the Dog-people.
Note that I’ve said editing and formatting, as this time round I know enough about the technicalities of preparing the Kindle and Create Space versions, to enable me to do both tasks as I go along. I’m working primarily on the paperback version at the moment, while integrating as many as the Kindle features into it as I can using the styles menu on MS Word. More about this in the future, in a separate post.
For those of you who’ve indie published your first book, or are about to do so, you might like to hear what I’ve learned during the three months following publication of Desiccation
- Marketing on Twitter is possibly a complete waste of time unless you’re already famous.
- People are overwhelmed by stuff to read and if you don’t grab them in two seconds, you’ve lost them.
- There are loads of people out there writing how-to books about publishing and marketing. One tip. Check these so-called experts’ own book ratings/sales statistics/reviews before buying.
- The majority of affordable marketing packages for indie authors are aimed at the US market rather the UK one.
- As an unknown indie author, it’s much harder to persuade US readers to buy UK novels, than the other way round (except for crime novels/thrillers).
- English slang and spellings can confuse US readers.
- When people review your books on Amazon’s UK site, the reviews don’t show up on the US site. But when people review your books on Amazon’s US site, the reviews do show up on the UK site.
- If you don’t have at least five 5-star reviews on Amazon (US) — never mind how many 5-star reviews you have on Amazon (UK) — you can mostly forget about advertising in the US, which is a catch-22 situation, as this is where UK authors need extra advertising.
- Goodreads Giveaways offer exposure to new authors and might not result in immediate sales, but 999 people entered my last one and 367 added my book to their shelves with the chance that some of them get around to reading it in the future. That giveaway lasted a fortnight and the winner lived in the US. The latest one is for a month but with fewer people eligible to enter, due to the cost of mailing the prize to some parts of the world.
- Amazon Giveaways are useless for UK authors as they’re only available on the US site and are over with too quickly.
- Quirky cross-genre novels are harder to sell than ones that fit into a definite category.
- You can spend months fiddling with your product description, meta data, categories, and keywords on Amazon and Create Space, but it’s better to get it right in the first place so you can make a killing from Day One when those Amazon algorithms are crawling around your book, eager for action. Warning, they get easily bored.
- Just because your novel has teenagers in it, doesn’t mean that teenagers are the main buyers.
- In the short-term, you may not make a profit on your first novel, but you might on the back of your second novel. Thus, you have to look at the first novel as part of your start-up business.
- Word of mouth, having an established blog, and guest blogging produce the largest amount of sales. Thank you, my darlings, for all your support 🙂
So my lovelies, that’s my experience. What do you all think? Agree, or disagree? Anything to add by way of tips? I’d love to hear from you all…