I just published a  collection of flash fiction via Smashwords (no big deal, more of a test, really), and now I wonder if anyone else has advice to offer for people who self-publish e-books.

 

I mean, there is quite a lot we can´t do - such as signing books or asking friends to borrow them via the library. So if you have done something similar, what is your best publishing advice?

 

[Let me begin with my own discovery: I sent a short e-mail to a local journalist. He wrote an article which the local radio and TV stations saw so they also mentioned my collection afterwards. In some places this may be impossible, but the least you can do is try]

 

Dorte.

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You will have more luck with local, as you've experienced. A newspaper on the other side of the state will not likely be interested.

 

You MIGHT get some results from specialty/trade/association/membership outlets. Sometimes, they have sections where they post news about members, etc.

 

You can write a press release and distribute through PR Web. This will cost you a few bucks, but will generally help tremendously with SEO.

 

Don't forget to tell EVERYONE you know. Friends, family, colleagues, people you know. You can also engage your social media to help spread the word. Post on Blogs, be sure your e-mail and all other signatures have ordering info about your book, etc.

 

At the end, a successful promotion effort will involve one of two things - time or money (sometimes both). It can be done, but really will take some digging and leg work.

Thank you for the tips.

 

I DO tell my friends, but in Scandinavia it is not that easy to persuade people to read in English - and if I publish an e-book in Danish, there is no market. Kindle has not really hit us yet.

Ah! That is certainly a unique challenge! I wish I was better versed in Scandinavian markets, but that is outside my realm of expertise.
Clay, I can see that followers of my blog who REALLY want to read "Candied Crime" see my publication as the final push that makes them buy an e-reader. So I can only hope I can transform Scandinavia ;)

I'm not self-published but I can tell you that Facebook is your friend. LOL! Seriously, Dorte, Facebook has connected me with tons of new readers. It is a great way to connect with people who not only read but read the type of books you write. People even say sites like Goodreads are great too and I'm on there but to me FB covers more ground. I use to hate FB but then I started interacting there and meeting with people who read the kind of stuff I wrote and they became interested in me as a friend, not just a writer.

 

The trick is not to spam or solely promote there. You should make friends, contacts and when people get to know you, they will wanna read your book out of interest and support. There's so much on FB you can do to build an audience no matter if you're self-published or with a publisher. My publisher is always on FB promoting. Publishers are now using Twitter and FB as much as authors to get the word out.


Also do guest blogs! Cross promotion is wonderful promotion! Get with other writers who write what you do, network and promote each other!

 

One thing, I'm a print author but my books are released also as ebooks. I am also a BIG ebook fan and read only ebooks. I have tons of friends who are epubbed authors. Don't think just because you can't sign a book that you're doomed. I did book signings and they are NOT the best way to sell books. I found signings the least effective for me. Online promo is what's worked.


Best Wishes!

http://www.stacy-deanne.net

Also it takes time to build an audience so don't expect huge results right away. Just have patience and be steady with promotion.

Good luck!

Stacy:

 

Thank you for your input. I do use Facebook, my blog and Goodreads. I´ll have to learn much more about how to use Twitter.

 

The fine thing about Goodreads and blogs is that I have some very loyal friends who do all they can to promote my book. And don´t worry; I know this is not the world´s best get-rich-quick scheme. If I had such ideas, I´d probably rob a bank (do you know about any that is not bankrupt yet?)

 

Cheers,

Dorte

Hello Dorte. My first book was published by a publisher that went out of business. The the next book in the series was finished, so I elected to self-publish it through Alabaster Book Publishing - the only publisher who gives you a number of free books when they're published. I got 50 which was enough to get back my investment. (I was lucky that Harlequin's Worldwide Mysteries picked up both books and put them out in mass paperback.) In the meantime, I did signings at unusual places: Restaurants, churches, women's groups, a jewelry store, independent book stores, book clubs, festivals, etc. Also I pulled out a book I had written years earlier. Self-published it, and besides promoting it in all the ways mentioned, I've been fortunate to sign books at Harley Davidson Mototcycle shops. When I sign with them, I give most of the profits to a children's hospital that they support.The book came out this year as a re-print from an epublisher. I feel I had luck with promoting in this way because I was the only writer in the area to try these things. Good luck. Lynette

Hello Lynette.

 

Thank you for your advice and good luck with your career.

Dorte.

Three little words. Visibility, visibility, VISIBILITY! 

Yes, anyone can publish, but who's going to find you and your book among all the other millions. Figure out a hook, something in your life or your book that will KNOCK THEIR SOCKS OFF.

I do the Music & Mayhem thing. But it's not that simple ... you've still got to write it and make it interesting.

My latest guest blog is here

http://klsyed.com/2011/03/15/music-and-mayhem/


 

Really cool guest post, Susan!

 

And I think a blog tour will be a great tool for me in the future so I am determined to plan the next volume of stories properly & launching them at a time when it is possible for me to spend more time on following it up.

Do always try your local media outlets directly. These days, they tend to be sceptical of self-pub work, but it's always worth a try - these guys NEED content. Good luck!

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