|Photo: Miguel Ugalde|
Recently, I have been changing my focus from article writing back to my first love - novel writing. Boy, have things changed! Ten years ago I self-published two books in trade paperback format and after a year or so of self-promotion, I just let them lie as I continued on with my freelance writing. Back then there were not as many opportunities for self-promotion and advertising as there is today. Although I did get a few book review sites to review my books back then, it really wasn't enough to get the word out. I also did a big promotion campaign for each book, mailing out press releases to all the book stores I could find across the country that I thought might be interested in carrying my books and that did get a few sales here and there. Today, though, with eBooks, it looks to be a bit easier to promote and sell your work and I've been reading websites all over the Interent to garner any knowledge that will be helpful to me in the future.
Blog About Self-Publishing I Found Extremely Helpful
In my journey around the Net, I found one blog that seemed to answer almost all of my questions. Lindsay Buroker's blog is particularly helpful for people who are new to self-publishing and promoting or are looking for ways to increase their self-promotion. Lindsay is an indie fantasy author who started self-publishing and promoting her books in late 2010 and is now, only a year later, able to support herself from her book sales. Imagine that - in less than a year to be able to follow her dream and make it come true. Her blog is full of information that is helpful to the self-publisher because she has used that same information to get where she is today. In addition to her own blog, she has started another one that gives more information on self-publishing called Savvy Self-Publishing - so be sure to check them both out.
Advertising Your Self-Published Book
It was from Lindsay that I found information about the book site Good Reads where you can create an author page for free and also buy advertising for your books for an affordable price. When I went there, I found that I had created an author page back in 2008 but had never done anything with it. So I finally added my two books and all the information about them and I also purchased an ad for one of my books to see what would happen. With Good Reads' ads, you set the amount you are willing to spend per click and per day, the amount of time you want the ad to run and you are only charged if your ad is actually clicked on (which you hope will happen). It's very affordable and a good way to get your book noticed.
While visiting a writer's forum, I learned about the book advertising site BlogAds. BlogAds is affiliated with hundreds of successful blogs and you choose the size of the ad, the blogs you wish to place your ads on and how much time you wish the ads to run on the blogs. You can choose high profile blogs down to everyday blogs (they tell you the traffic, impression amounts, etc.). The cost can be anywhere from $10/week up to $400 or more per day, depending upon the blogs you choose. It's a great way to get your book (or anything else) seen by people who are actually interested in that product. For you successful bloggers out there - BlogAds may be an ideal way for you to increase your blogging income.
As for my book, I placed an ad for one of my books on a busy book review site for one month for a reasonable price. We'll see how it does - hopefully I'll get enough sales to at least pay for the ad - but that is the chance you take.
I also found as I plowed my way through the Web that book review sites are generally happy to review your book for free - even an older book like mine. Reviews are an excellent way to get people to learn about your book and help them decide if they'd like to buy it. I did find one site that is going to review my book in January and I need to spend more time to find a few more. I spent so much time yesterday creating ads and trying to describe my book in 100 characters or less - that's characters, not words - that I didn't get to finding too many review sites. But that is next on my list.
Just as in my freelance writing career, I've found so many people out there who happily share information about self-publishing and promotion to help others succeed. As I learn more, I'll also share with you so you can succeed too.