'I've said it before. Marketing your book takes time and effort. It often draws you out of your comfort zone. Authors by nature are solitary creatures. We work alone and do not disturb is always hanging on the door.
Technology can be very frightening to some, especially the older generation. It doesn't have to be. All marketing is done electronically these days and technology is key.
I'll be seventy in a couple weeks and believe me I'm learning all the time. I have to say I'm pretty good with the computer and the technology. I just keep pressing the buttons until it does what I want.
I know a couple authors that have written two or three books and still don't know how to copy and paste. Yesterday I had several calls from a frustrated author that didn't know how to download a file I sent her. We all learn at different speeds, but just because it's hard or difficult you can't give up.
One author wanted to market her eBook to libraries. That is a challenge. First you have to have your eBook on Overdrive for libraries. She saw my eBooks listed there and thought she could register and put her books on the site. It's not as easy as that. Overdrive is for publishers with a lot of books. I found that out the hard way after trying several times to get my eBooks there
For a self-publisher that has used KDP and signed up for Kindle select you have to get out of that. With Kindle Select you agree to be exclusively with KDP.
Next you have to upload your eBook files to a Distributer. I used Draft2Digital. for me it was very easy to use. The books were automatically listed on Overdrive for Libraries.
Talking to the author spurred me on to promoting to my local libraries that my eBooks were on Overdrive and available.
I had to create new sale sheets and call the libraries to find out who the proper person was to send them to. Don't you hate it when people don't return phone calls?
I managed to send to two library systems and will find out the email for some more. I spent several hours doing this marketing today. It's what you have to do to be even a little bit successful. Most of the hours I spend with my writing is on marketing.
I have The Spell Box - Book four in the Green Lady Series half done and I'm anxious to finish it. It might sit on the back burner for a few weeks as I'm having surgery on a torn rotator cuff. That's what I get for not acting my age.
In the mean time my illustrator is working on my next children's book. I keep changing the title. At the moment it's Hayden and Fred. Fred is a caterpillar Hayden brings home from school. the book tells how it turns into a butterfly.
That's me and Hayden in case you didn't guess. This will be my fifth Hayden book and my ninth children's book. Oh did I tell you that Sailing Away to Nod is a winner in the Florida Authors and Publishers President's award.
Please send me your comments and questions. I love to help author learn the ropes.
As some of my readers know I love technology. I moved on to Audiobooks converting my novel, Broken Branches. My second Audiobook Whispers in Time will be released in a couple weeks. Last night I got to wondering how to put the preview chapter of the book on YouTube. It took some time but was a lot easier than I thought.
I set up a YouTube account and began to figure it out. You do need a Gmail account.
I found a free service - Tunestotube. I had a chapter one preview on MP3. I uploaded it to TunestoTube. It even allows you to upload the cover of your audiobook. with the help of a google email account. It automatically connects to YouTube and puts your Audio and cover there for you to use in promoting your book.
I would suggest you only do a preview and not your whole book. After all we want them to buy the Audiobook. My Audiobooks are with Audible and listed on Amazon.
Listen to the preview of Whispers In Time and let me know what you think.
A few years ago when KDP let you offer free downloads and paid you for each page read the royalties came rolling in. You promoted you free kindle, readers downloaded hundreds of your book. Authors jumped on the band wagon and made more than ever before.
Recently I've seen a disturbing trend. I promote my free downloads and maybe thirty to forty readers take me up on the offer but they didn't read the book. It still works a bit for a new release but after that it's a really hard job to get readers to actually read the free book you are trying so hard to promote.
Enter Smashwords and now Draft2digital.
Amazon and KDP had you over a barrel. You could only offer free downloads if you were exclusive with them. As royalties slipped I had to try something new.
I've taken my three stand alone titles, Blood Orange, Honey Tree Farm and Bottle Alley out of Kindle select. I'm no longer exclusive with KDP.
Taking a leap of faith, I've taken those titles to Draft2Digital. The royalties are better and you can still promote your eBooks just not for free. Free wasn't getting me anywhere anyways. I also like the set up in Draft2Digital. You upload the word manuscript and they do the converting. Even creating a table of contents for your chapters along with several other options. I trolled around on their webpages and really like the way it's laid out and what you can do there. They even supply codes for readers to click on that will take you directly to the sell page for your eBook. What surprised me was I misspelled a word in the description and before they would publish I received an email to correct it. KDP prints everything, errors and all.
Like I said this is a test. I'll give it six months and see what happens to my royalties.
I'm not necessarily in this for the money and getting awards is great but I would like to break even at some point. My husband would be ecstatic.
So you can play around with giving your books away to readers who don't read them or cross your fingers and hope they buy your eBooks.
I've charged authors to teach them how to use KDP and promote their eBooks. Some were very successful. Some not so much. Let's see if I'm still recommending KDP in six months.
I suffer from writers block the same as any other author. It drives me nuts. I know I have to finish up a novel and just can't make myself sit in the chair and do it.
I'm working on the Spell Box, book #4 in the Green Lady Inn series, and have been since last Fall.
My daughter left my grandson, Hayden, with me just now. She's gone shopping. I love my little bug but he talks my ear off. He's eight and want to know everything.
So back to my problem. Time is my enemy. There is just not enough of it. I get up in the morning with all the best of intentions. I sit down at the computer and my day just gets away from me. I answer emails, work with clients, update my webpage occasionally. do some marketing and always plan to work on my book before my husband comes home. Once he is home all the best laid plans go out the window.
I promised myself I would write on my book everyday this week. I was good yesterday and put down 1200 words, today not so good.
I think I need to move to a cabin in the woods or better yet a swanky hotel with room service.
If you have any suggestions on how to avoid writers block, please let me know.
I did get my new children's book started. It's being illustrated now and should be ready by my first event for the season. Labor day weekend I'll be at the Pioneer Days Festival in Englewood Florida. It's going to be in Festival Park. I've never done this one before so fingers crossed.
Please ask questions or leave comments. I'd love to hear from you.
I love reading books by Self-published independent authors. Some are ok and some are really very good, even great. One author I found recently and enjoyed very much is Leslie S. Talley.
I met Leslie at the Authors For Authors Conference in Melbourne FL. last April.
Sometimes I feel bad for authors that are trying so hard to find an audience for their book that I will buy one, not expecting much.
Was I ever surprised when I started reading the first book in her amazing series. The first book, Make Old Bones. It's written in the first person, which I don't usually like but this book drew me in and I couldn't get over how well written it was. The humor is contagious . Exactly what a person would say or think. The ending was such a surprise. A really OMG moment. Set in the Daytona area of Florida, learning some history was fun too.
I simply had to read the next book, Bred in the Bone. this one moved to the St. Augustine area. I've never visited there but I know so much about the area now I just have to go. Again this book kept me turning pages well past the time I should have turned the lights out. Family secrets hidden for 150 years are exposed when Otis, Clarice and Miss Letty swap B & B's with another innkeeper and his wife. I'm ordering the next book, The closer the Bone, today. I encourage you to try this series. And always post a review and help an Indi author out.
comments and questions are welcome.
I entered the Reader's Favorite writers contest because they offer a review of the books entered.
From the active mind of Brenda M. Spalding