I’m a new author myself – but by Jupiter it was hard work. I find I’m getting a number of enquiries about how to negotiate the minefield of getting books published and marketing them. I’m ready to help anyone so I will post my advice on this page.
Someone I know keeps telling me they have a story in their head. They know the beginning, middle and end and have a clear view of the main characters, even their names.
So I say to my friend: “Why don’t you write it?”
“Oh no,” he replies. “I couldn’t do it justice. I can’t write well enough.”
I wonder if Oscar Wilde ever said that. Or Mark Twain.
There are probably many people in this world who would be excellent story-tellers if only they had the confidence to take fingers to keyboard.
If you’re one of them, please pluck up the gumption to get writing. You may be denying to the reading public a great piece of literature.
Just try it. The worst you can do is prove yourself right – that you haven’t got the talent. Then you would have lost nothing. On the other hand, you may surprise yourself and produce a high seller.
I can guarantee one thing: If you don’t write that story, it will forever haunt you. If you do set it down on paper, it may lead to the biggest thrill of your life.
If anyone wants to discuss this further, please contact me.
Now – just to encourage you before we start:
“If you hear a voice within you say you cannot paint, then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced.” – Vincent Van Gogh
Substitute the word “write” for “paint”.
Finding a publisher
If you want your book in print as well as an ebook, I would recommend googling “publishers who accept submissions”.
Twitter (and a bit of Facebook)
I was very skeptical about Twitter and I don’t think I’d ever have got involved with it if I wasn’t trying to sell a book. But it is a cost-free means of reaching people and among them, who knows, might be a customer. The technique is the same: Chat about anything, build followers and slip in some marketing. You are restricted to 140 characters but you can do things with that. For example, one of my tweets was #TreadCarefullyontheSea=#adventure #romance #Jamaica #Caribbean #Savannah #books @JanuaryGrays www.davidkbryant.com
That tweet goes to my own 2,371 followers. But by those # and @ marks, I add to that. The hash marks before certain words means it goes to anybody in the whole Twitter world who is following #TreadCarefullyontheSea (my book), anyone who follows “adventure”, “romance”, “Jamaica”, “Caribbean”, “Savannah”, or “books”. The “@JanuaryGrays” takes it to a friend of mine called January Grays. She will re-tweet it to her own 2,955 followers. Some of them may re-tweet it again. I have also included my website address in the tweet so I may drive some traffic there where there is a much more comprehensive promotion of my book. Apart from all that, I was able to include a picture of the book cover with the tweet.
A warning about Twitter: If you follow people and they don’t follow back (after a reasonable time), then unfollow them. They can’t see your posts if they’re not following and they’re no good to you. This is especially the case if you have less than 2,000 followers. At that point you definitely need more following you than you follow or Twitter might shut you down.
Each day, take a few minutes to see who followed you. Then, tweet out a simple message like: Welcome @abc, @nextwriter, @jellybean75 TY for the follow
Half the time, that’s ALL I tweet in a day. But, by publicly appreciating those who followed me and giving them the mention, I get more followers. Why? Because I’m seen as someone who appreciates those that follow me.
On a Twitter account (or Facebook for that matter), post a good picture of yourself (or maybe something relevant like a book cover). The pages come with avatars but you don’t want those. Make sure you show you’re a real person because there are lots of Twitter and Facebook “ghost” accounts – there only for the sake of offering large numbers of useless followers. You don’t want to look like that’s you!
- Look for the image like a wheel with spokes on the top right, click on that
- From the drop down, click on Settings
- Look on the left of the screen for “profile”
- Now you’ll see a photo box
- Upload a pic of you from your computer
On Twitter, Thursday is Throw Back Thursday. Every Thursday use the hastag # TBT and post something from the past. It can be anything, an old song, old book, old movie. Doesn’t matter. But you will most likely get a favorite, a comment, or a retweet for it. — Friday. Everyone does Follow Friday. The hashtag is # FF you use the hashtag and then put a list of your followers. You will get RTs for it, maybe a thanks from one of the people you mentioned. Be sure to use their @ID so other people can follow them.
FACEBOOK AUTHOR PAGE
This is the place for your product promotion, but you need to build up “likes” and followers and it takes time. If someone “likes” your page, “like” theirs back and send a pleasant message to them.
You can post news about your books, reviews, excerpts, all sorts of stuff. Remember to cross-refer – put in a link to your website if you have one, and put in links to Amazon or other sales outlets. Don’t forget the power of pictures, like book covers or relevant atmosphere shots.
You can “boost” the hits your posts get by paying a small fee. I only do this when I really, really, want a post to reach a wider audience and I’ve found that FB’s estimates of the extra “reach” tend to be exaggerated.
You can show that you’re a generous soul – let other authors guest on your page.
#3 Amazon reviews
A review will only show up automatically on the amazon site where the reviewer posts it. That might be amazon.com, amazon.co.uk or any of about a dozen others. So, for example, if your sales are mostly in the UK, you might have a fistful of good reviews on that amazon site but they won’t show up on the important amazon.com unless you work at it.
#4 Linked In
I started mine simply to promote my book. It’s ideal to have a place on the internet where you can say whatever you please. The trick is make people visit it. I try to make FB and Twitter do that by always mentioning the website. I also use the web address in my sign-off from emails. I’ve had some successes with that. For example, I was in touch with a travel agent about booking a vacation. Because my web address was at the bottom of the email, she visited my site. Who knows, she could have been a fan of adventure/romance/pirate books and bought a copy (or told a friend). I know for sure of one sale I’ve made that way.
I would recommend not waiting to start your website. Get going with it. The world expects people who are selling something to have a site.
February 2011 – Present (4 years 4 months)Washington D.C. Metro Area
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Nice to know
“Experience is the name everyone gives to their mistakes.” – Oscar Wilde
I came across this interesting and useful chart on the Internet and wanted to share it with my fellow solstice authors.
What I am learning quickly is the power of blogging. The item I put out about “no such thing as fiction” went to about 20 groups and I’ve got quite a lot of responses, including author Tom Bryson. It gets people to my website (the numbers have gone up considerably) and puts my book in front of them. It also makes friends.