Writing the book is the first hurdle. Getting it properly edited and a cover created that will attract and hold a potential reader, is the next. But
perhaps the biggest (and highest) hurdle of them all, is finding your audience.
With traditional publishing, they already have their platforms in place and an ad campaign to get their new work to an already established fan base.
With Indie authors...well, good luck wading in the pool of literally hundreds of thousands of other self-published work.
Amazon is the giant now, and likely the best way to go. (CreateSpace and KDP are subsidiaries) How do Amazons patrons find their books to purchase?
They look in the best seller lists for the genre of their choice. How does a book make it there? Sales. How does that book get sales?
Advertising/reviews and an established fan base. How does a self-published author get their work even looked at?
Your initial rush of friends and family purchases will QUICKLY run out. How many of them will actually write a review? VERY FEW. (Most, because they
don't know how to, are afraid to give you anything other than 5 stars are just don't want to take the five minutes to do it) Then what? Well...you
will watch your Amazon rank quickly plummet until it surpasses the 1,000,000 standing and then keep clicking on that darn sales chart to see if
someone....anyone...bought a copy. PLEASE!!!!
So. The initial thrill passes, your roller coaster of emotions levels out and you finally begin to realize that you are missing a HUGE piece of the
puzzle: social media. It is a MUST. You WILL NOT SUCCEED in self-publishing unless you find your audience and you have to do this by taking your book
TO them. This is what you need:
Facebook page. Both for the book and for the author.
Website for the books
Blog for the author
GOODREADS account. (this is a must and an amazing resource)
REVIEWS, REVIEWS, REVIEWS. It's all about the reviews. Want someone to even LOOK at your book on Amazon? First, you must get reviews. You will do
this by giving away more books than you sell, for a very long time. which is what you also need.
Patience. It takes time. lots of time, to build an audience.
Author interviews on other blogs.
Reviews on blog site. You achieve this by doing a whole lot of soliciting.
Message boards....lots of message boards.
If and when you get the chance, make an audiobook
HONEST reviews. Don't pay someone. If your book has issues, than deal with them. Avoiding any bad feedback will only hurt you in the end.
Now...having said all of this, I am still not selling many books. I have my Forgotten Origins Trilogy
Amazon link to my books
, the first book in my Middle Grade mystery
series and a photography book. I have two audiobooks (the one for Bloodline
just came out
My body of work has not been out for long, however. Bloodline (book #1 in the trilogy) came out less than two years ago and I just finished the third
book a couple of months ago. I was slow to learn what I really needed to do. I thought that If I just put them out there...people would buy them.
I didn't start in with the social media until this summer and it has slowly been building. I finally have 29 reviews on Bloodline on Amazon and over
60 for the trilogy on Goodreads. I've managed to keep a 4.5/5 star on Amazon (4.8 for the trilogy). The positive feedback has been extremely
encouraging and kept me going.
I happen to know two self published authors that have made it. One of them is a NYT best selling author (My photograph of her will appear on her books
coming out this next year. The one in February likely debuting as #1. I am also a photographer and won't it be ironic if I can say I made it onto the
NYT best selling list...for my picture?!
Anyways, the other author makes more in a month than most people do working one or two full-time jobs. These are exceptions to the rule, but they DO
So, while all of this might sound depressing, I just want to be honest. I also want to be encouraging.
NEVER GIVE UP