Nancy C. Johnson is the author of Her Last Letter
which is doing excellent right now on Amazon. It's currently #79 in the Kindle Store, #2 in Women Sleuths and #3 in Romantic Suspense.
Nancy originally published in 2007 (which she will explain more about below) and then at the end of last year, her book really took off. I asked her to share some insight about the process and the tips she has for her fellow writers about how to promote yourself and what she did to achieve success. Author Interview
1. How long did it take you to achieve the success you are having with your books right now?
I originally published my paperback in 2007 and was selling books on Amazon consistently, but nothing too major. I also created an ebook that could be downloaded from my website. I offered free ebook copies to publicize it, and was surprised by how far reaching some of the downloads were, from Brazil to India to England. But it wasn’t until I read Joe Konrath’s, A Newbie’s Guide to Publishing, blog that I decided to sell the ebook through Amazon. I published it in late April of 2010 and sales trickled in at first, then picked up about a month later. I started out selling the ebook for $1.99, and then later for $.99, but it wasn’t until the holidays in November of 2010 that sales really took off. 2. What was the best thing you did marketing wise that you believe helped you get where you are today?
I kept the price of Her Last Letter very low on Amazon, at first at $1.99, and then I reduced it to $.99 in September. That helped a lot. Readers found no problem trying my book at that price. I also posted in the Amazon forums on threads which advertised cheap ebooks, and I participated a lot on Amazon’s Kindle Boards forum, not just mentioning my book, but asking questions and getting to know everyone. My book cover was my signature, so each time I posted others could see my book. My website was also a part of my signature. 3. What do you do to market yourself? What works, what doesn't?
I advertised my paperback on Craigslist.com in the beginning, and did all the free ads I could find on the Internet. This helped to sell the paperback, I believe, as the free ads would show up on Google. I also did book signings with independent bookstores in my area, and sold a few books, and their advertising probably helped a bit. They would invite several authors at a time for each signing. This seemed to help pull people into the store. It took all the courage I could muster to call and ask about doing a signing, but I had a good experience, and that helped a lot. Most owners were very gracious. Blogging is also a good idea, and I was very consistent with it until recently. I do love blogging. 4. What tips/advice do you have for other writers?
Most of the writers I’ve met are hard working and really love the craft. I’d say write what you love, enjoy the process, and your enthusiasm will rub off on the reader. Of course, write the very best book you can. Though each book you write may not get any easier, I do believe they get better. Make sure your copy editing is first rate. Ask friends to help, or spend extra time doing it yourself. I did my own copy editing. Of course, if you can afford it, hire someone. The cover is very important also. It must look professional and accurately convey the story you have to tell.
Thanks so much, Cheryl, for inviting me here today!