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The Publishing Business


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There are probably as many ways to promote indie books as there are indie authors. Here is what worked and didn’t work for me.

What Didn’t Work?

Many Different things I have done to promote my books didn’t work
I did a lot of things that many people suggested. First, I tried to give away my books on KDP select. It really didn’t work for me. The KDP count down was even more disappointing.

I had read that if I would just write my books and just keep putting out books I would gradually build up book sales. This didn’t work either. Instead of having one book that no one read, I had eleven.

I was also told to do book signings. They told me to do all that I could to promote those events. I did. Book signings at bookstores were totally unfruitful. I was told to get out on the radio and do podcasts. Isolated practice, those didn’t produce sales either.

I put one of my books out on click bank. That didn’t work either.

Advertising on Facebook or Twitter Ads doesn’t work either. Nor does adding my books to static online websites that take money for having my books on their sites. All that did was lighten my already near-empty pockets.

Book Promotion Tactics that Worked

Using memes on social media. Creating memes is fun. I am glad that Tierney James showed me this little trick for getting attention on Facebook and Twitter.

Write a Review Sunday (see next week’s post)

Social Media

My connections on twitter and LinkedIn seem far more fruitful than my connections on Facebook. My Facebook connections are more friends and family whereas LinkedIn and Twitter are more business associations.

On LinkedIn, I would say that my connections are relationships from the publishing arena whereas twitter are authors who help (and who I help back) with motivation and inspiration.

LinkedIn connected me with another author who I helped edit the first book in his series.

Press Releases to Local Markets

I write my own press releases for my local markets. I write them for where I live now, but I also write them for places where I used to live. I slant my press releases to the locals.
I learned to blitz my book launches with posters, press releases, radio talk shows, podcasts, in succession. Each one individually seemed to do little, but using several different approaches seemed to help get the word out better.

I recently started making a concerted effort to reach out to help other authors do their work. For instance, I recently completely edited another author’s book.

My Dream for the Future

Soon, I would like to include video training and do more podcasting with other writers. I would like to do more work for other authors as well. I have a lot of experience in editing and formatting books and I can see how I could develop a publishing business based on these specific talents. Plus, as I dig deeper into the marketing aspects of book publicity, I should be able to help authors in this capacity as well.

Finally, I would like to create a series of online courses that show wannabes how to become successful authors and entrepreneurs. The online courses would be from teaching how to structure a novel to hiring talented help where you need it to setting up an author business tools, to structuring your online platform, to planning out your day among other things.


newsstandSince having written and self-published When God Turned His Head in 2010, I realized that the book was one of those self-published books that the big publishing companies warn you about. It was a good story, but poorly proofed, poorly formatted and poorly marketed.

Over the next few years I was able to take care of the proofing and formatting problems which enabled me to write eleven books in eight years. I even did most of my own cover designs. People complemented me on the quality of my paperbacks and the final product in digital format.

I can create a book from scratch without additional costs. (At least until recently when the cover design site that I had been using became a paid site.) If I can do it for myself, why not do editing and formatting for others as well?

I can write my own books and publish them, but after several years of writing books I realized that my bottleneck was now in marketing those books. The books weren’t selling, and it wasn’t because they weren’t any good. Rather it was because I just had not had enough publicity and I couldn’t afford to get it in the traditional manner.

During the past several months, I have been working on creating a marketing system to help me promote my books. I have been reading a lot of different books related to marketing and selling. This is not a subject that most authors, particularly fiction authors are adept.

Not long after I published When God Turned His Head, I knew I wanted to start my own publishing company. This company would do like most publishing companies do and publish the books and distribute them to (Independent) bookstores, but in addition, we would also go beyond what most publishing companies do and assist authors in the marketing process. I would include a public relations department in the publishing company.

The Birth of a Publishing Business

About a year ago, I named this future business Jerjoboch Publishing, and I have been thinking about services that Jerjoboch will offer authors. These services will be offered in such a way that all authors can afford to use these services. The business will offer a low monthly service where authors will have the ability to have access to several author services that the authors provide for one another.

The self-publishing projects will be divided into three different sections.

One: Writing and Editing

• Educational Courses offered for writing fiction and nonfiction books-authors themselves can produce these videos and written documents to share with others who would like to be authors.
• Editing services exchanged between authors so they don’t need out of pocket financing for this service.

Two: Publication• Formatting manuscript for print

  •  Formatting manuscript for digital formats
  •  Designing book covers for print and digital books
  • Print on Demand

Three: Marketing and Sales

• Platform formation (created before publication)
• Marketing During Launch-including bookstores, libraries, guest posts, reviews, interviews (online and in person) events (online and off)
• Marketing Post-launch-continue marketing types as during launch and trade shows.

Other Ideas for this type of Publishing Business

• Create a fund for authors just starting out.
• Teach authors about crowd-sharing, do campaigns where authors help one another out.
• Work as a team to get crowd funding for the collective group to use for tradeshows and other events.
• Sell stuff online and off that promotes our business to other authors and those who support authors.
• Have creative writing groups in schools and in child organizations around the country to help create more imaginative authors.
• Work with radio stations and podcasters to get authors onto programs.
• Have a list of low-cost resources available at a low cost per month and have a list of items that have some revolving cost every month.
• Create and promote our own online (and brick and mortar?) store to sell books in print and digitally.

So what do you think? What are some other ideas that authors and soon-to-be authors need to become more successful at earning an income writing?

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