So if you’ve looked at the blog at all you should have an idea that I want to self publish. The idea just seems so cool to me, complete control over my own art, sharing my art, possibly even making money off my art.
But there are a few things that scare me about it, and most of them can be tied back to the fact that I lack experience. Easy enough fix, there are plenty of blogs and books out there on the subject. I’ve slowly been building my knowledge base, learning a bit about ISBNs, reading about writing techniques to improve my writing, compiling lists of things I must do before I publish, and many other things.
The one subject I’ve come across multiple times though that gives me the shivers is marketing. It seems like such a daunting and challenging thing for a self published author. When I think of marketing I think of television commercials, magazine ads, billboards, and radio commercials. While none of these (maybe aside from specific magazines) are used with incredible frequency to advertise books, they all have a largeness to them that makes me feel intimidated.
Marketing is so important because its exposure, if no one knows your book is out there, the only person to buy is likely to be your mother. There’s a huge slush pile out there, and its only getting bigger and bigger as more people discover self publishing. So what can we do to get out of it?
Well there are two tips I’ve read a few times, and they both resonate with me.
1. Social Media. Get on it.
Facebook, twitter and linkedin are all incredibly powerful tools for getting your face and book out there. They all can connect an author with their audience, allowing you to interact with them and receive their feedback. Start doing it as soon as you can, cause the larger a following you establish the easier it will be to spread word about your book. So get on twitter, start tweeting at and following other authors, independents and traditional ones.
2. You can judge a book by its cover.
We’ve all heard it before, either from a teacher or parent or some other authority figure in our youth. “You can’t judge a book by its cover”. Well, I’ve got something to tell you, they lied to you. People often, can and do judge a book by its cover, especially eBooks. The cover of a book is the first thing a reader sees. You need a cover that is both eye catching and relevant to your genre / book. You also need to consider how your book cover looks as a thumbnail. Is it still eye catching? Good because most people browsing eBooks will see it in thumbnail format before viewing the larger picture. For some tips on what makes a great cover check out this article by Keith Ogorek.