What? I’m Publishing Already?

The time is fast approaching! In just a couple of days, my book will be out! I’ve invested everything in my baby, money in hiring people to do the cover art, the cover itself, to edit it, and on this blog, and obviously myself. I have done so much research I thought my eyes were going to fall out. I laugh now to think that I thought marketing a book before it’s published was a silly idea. I thought, ‘How can I market something that people can’t even buy yet?’

Luckily, I did not listen to that tiny voice in my head, and I immediately got myself a twitter account. I started about 8 months ago, and I started with 10 followers. I have to admit I thought that was never going to help me. But then I saw just how many other authors are out there! I was amazed. There was a whole world that I never knew existed.

I want to list some things that I think are CRUCIAL if you want ANYONE to see that your book even exists. Follow all of these steps unless you want to become overshadowed by the storm cloud in my picture! With these things you can chase that thing away.

  • Blog!
    • Blogging is such a loose term. How do we narrow it down to what authors should and shouldn’t write? Well, I’ll tell you what I’ve found helpful. Basically, your goal is to get your potential readers to your blog. So think about what sorts of things you would want authors to write about. Their writing process, adventures during said process, self-learned writing tips, tips in general. If you are really adventurous you can start book blogging. I must warn, though. If you think you don’t have the time for it – don’t do it. If you are half-assing it, you aren’t doing yourself or any readers out there any favors. So blog, blog blog!
  • Tweet!
    • When I first signed up for Twitter I did not even get what it was supposed to be about. I sat there, staring at my screen and the grayed out, ‘What’s happening?’ in the tweet box. What am I even supposed to be tweeting? Obviously you can’t just tweet, ‘Hey! I’m writing a book! You should buy it when its done!’ No. Far better to build relationships with the kind of people who will be interested in checking your work out. Authors of similar genres, book bloggers, and readers. Find these people. Follow them. See what they are tweeting. If you do have a blog that actually has helpful contents, share those! Share tips, share ridiculous things that have happened to you, share pictures of your freaking adorable cats! Like this:
  • Goodrerads!
    • I cannot express how important Goodreads is for authors! Seriously, people, that is where ALL of your readers are hanging out! I always cringe when I hear that an author doesn’t even know what Goodreads is. If you don’t have an account, get on the bandwagon. NOW. Goodreads is great for authors because readers can post reviews and ratings, and you can find all of the other authors out there. They also let you host giveaways! That means people are looking at your book! In my experience, about a third of the people who enter a giveaway will add the book to their shelves as well (that means they are interested in reading it!)! A small tip: Goodreads suggests running a giveaway for a month with 10 copies. DON’T. Run it for a week (that’s the minimum) with 1-3 copies. You can do this several times. That way, your book gets more views and reaches a wider audience, as the most entries come from the lists ‘Recently Listed’ and ‘Ending Soon’. Another thing you can’t forget is to market the giveaway! You can do this shamelessly, since you are giving something away for FREE. You are not asking anyone to buy anything. If your book is only out there as an eBook, make a CreateSpace account and make giveaway copies. Also, open your giveaway to ALL countries! The extra $10 of shipping is not going to hurt you (you can do shipping through CreateSpace, which is a lot cheaper and a lot smarter than ordering the books to you and then shipping them).
  • Editing!
    • This is something a lot of indie authors skimp on, which is a BIG no-no! Self edit until you can’t stand to even look at your book anymore. Then, get someone you know that likes books to read your book for you. They will point out any typos or misspelled words, and tell you what they liked and disliked. Use spell check! That’s what it’s there for. Find a professional editor that doesn’t have too much experience, if it’s about the money. When I contacted a few, I asked if we could set up a payment plan. Each one of them was totally open to the idea! A professional editor will not only catch grammatical mistakes, but also plot holes, when you are telling and not showing, tell you how and where to tighten up your writing, and give you tips based on a reader’s perspective. This has so much value, because no matter how often you self edit, sometimes it is simply impossible for you to look at your book in such a fundamentally different way to help yourself. I am so glad that I invested in my editor. Otherwise, I would have published a book that I thought was good, because I knew the story by heart, but in the actual book there were plot holes and withheld information that would have made for a confusing read and frustrated readers. You don’t want to have frustrated readers because they don’t know what’s going on. That would be a very bad thing. So get an editor!
  • Try New Things!
    • There are so many things out there for you to try. Try a new genre if you find that you’re stuck. Try writing forums (like NaNoWriMo!). Try new social media outlets. Connect with authors. Read their books. Give them honest feedback.

Honestly, if you do all of these things, there is no way your book is going to go unnoticed. I had to write this post, because I was trolling the giveaways on Goodreads. I wanted to see how long most people were running their giveaways for, and how many people entered. I saw one author that was hosting a giveaway for a whole month and only had 34 people requesting. I’m a nobody author, my giveaway has been running for a week, and I have over 820 people requesting. That shows me that that author is someone who wasn’t on social media, who probably doesn’t have a blog, and doesn’t promote herself at all. I just felt sorry for her. I went and looked, then, and saw that the book was the third book of a series, and only one of the three even has a rating. So authors, get out there, or you risk being doomed! Chase away that storm cloud 🙂

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