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Saturday, February 4, 2012

Self Promotion and Getting Discovered

Self-Publishing translates into DO IT YOURSELF!
This is the market for the undiscovered, self-motivated, die-hard writers who are going to write their books on one arm with a quill using the blood out of their other arm for ink!
You have to not only have the tenacity to write and finish a book, but proof it, correct it, re-write, do the art work, come up with a synopses, format the book, download it, keep track of the sales, money spent on this enterprise, and SELF-PROMOTE the book, and yourself.  The biggest obstacle according to a blog post by Mark Coker, the founder of Smashwords dot com is to be discovered in the virtual ocean of computer and phone stuff which is competing for every body's attention every second of everyday.
The computer, tablet, pad and phone market is revolutionizing the way the world interacts and communicates which is faster than companies can react or change.  Computer games, Movies, and even Television are competing for our moments of free time and money.  Books have changed to compete in this new virtual environment to the dismay and possible future demise of traditional publishing.  This is allowing an unstable and unfair platform for writers the likes of which has never existed before in the history of mankind.  Anybody can publish just about anything they want to.  It still takes months to years to write and prepare a book for publication.
Once you have thrown your hat into the ring you need to promote your book and yourself in order to be noticed, read, and hopefully build a following of readers.  Let me use a different analogy though, it is more like dropping your hat out of an airplane over an ocean along with millions upon millions of other people who are also dropping theirs.  Throughout the year millions of new titles of games, BOOKS, movies, TV shows, APPS and God knows what else are vying for every body's attention alongside your newest book.
If you're independently wealthy and can throw money at half a dozen major social networking sites with highly sophisticated ad's and brilliant art work to capture people's attention this becomes much easier.  For the Indie Author with no budget, limited time for self-promotion, and doing everything by themselves, this could seem like a daunting task.  FEAR NOT!
If you have written a book and done everything else needed to throw it out into the ocean of goods competing for every one's attention you've already done the hardest part and more than most as far as aspiring authors!  There are some inexpensive if not downright free ways to self promote yourself and your book.
1.   Start a Blog online.  For a creative writer this isn't much of a stretch.  I actually use my blog to share things I've learned since skipping down this merry lane, opinions, tidbits of history, and an occasional Interview or Guest Blog Post.  Blogspot dot com is a FREE Blogging site!  I like to write blog posts as a warm-up before getting back to writing my novels.
2.  Author Interviews – This by far is the most rewarding, fun, FREE, and best way to get you and your books in front of other people.  People who write blogs Interview other people on their Blog, post a picture, some links to follow you and find your book.  Many times authors are Interviewing other Authors and helping each other promoting their respective books.  It drives traffic from one blog to another blog, increases the following of each blog concerned.  IT'S FUN!  On both sides, being interviewed and interviewing others.
3.  Author Interviews / Book Reviews – Also good, more oriented towards the book and specific questions which may draw potential readers into trying your book.  The only downside is if the reviewer didn't like your book!  This isn't pretty or fun when it happens and ugly when it does!  It does happen, so Writer BEWARE.  If done correctly in the spirit of trying to help the author out and coming from an enthusiastic supporter of the writer and the book, this can be fantastic.
4.  Book Reviews – This is Dicey at best.  Let's be honest nobody writes something that the whole world is going to love!  Not Even GOD ALMIGHTY!  Most of the most successful authors have been torn apart by critics, the public, their books banned, some burnt!  The bad review ranks up there with the query letter rejection, in that everyone you get is hopefully one step closer to getting a good response from somebody else.  Book Ratings are like tread wear expectancies in the tire business.  It is what you might expect out of the book or tire if you purchase it, but then again it all depends on what you like to read, what your back ground is, can you read a sentence that isn't perfect without developing a hemorrhage.  As with tires it depends on the maintenance of the car, how far is it driven, on what kind of surfaces it is being driven on, who is driving, do they spin their tires or power brake on a regular basis.  It all figures into how long the tires will last.
Two biggies about tire wear since I am in that business.  Tire inflation and rotation.  Check your tire inflation when you fill your car with gas, or if the temperature swings more than twenty degrees.  Rotate your tires when you get the oil changed in the car.  These two things will get you more miles for the buck out of every tire.  That's important as tires are expensive and keep rising with the price of natural rubber and gasoline.
5.  Goodreads dot com is a web site devoted to everything about books.  E-books and traditional bound books.  Professional authors and Indie authors.  Readers from around the world.  They offer a click able ad that you can sign up for that seems very attractive.  I haven't actually tried it yet, but it would put your ad in front of avid readers 24/7 around the world and you only pay when somebody clicks on your ad!  When my books get more successful and I start generating some revenue beyond paying for professional editing I plan on trying this it out first as an advertising option.
Hopefully these ideas have been insightful and helpful for the aspiring authors out there who are writing and getting closer to publishing their books.  Hopefully it has been fun for us slightly more experienced authors who are competing and helping each other to get discovered!
Get back to writing your books!!  Quit wasting time surfing the net and wasting that coffee buzz!

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