Thursday, April 28, 2011

Backwards as Usual

As I stumble my way through self publishing, I find myself going about it all backwards.
I researched self publishing as any normal person would do before taking a step this big. It really is a big step and research is essential.

I found a e-publishing site which was most recommended by fellow authors...www.smashwords.com. I saw what I liked and flew through the publishing process. Yay! I'm published. I watched one copy, and then another fly off the virtual shelves. I decided to actually get physical trade paperbacks of my novels through CreateSpace/Amazon.  Their distribution is awesome.  Now comes the reality of self-publishing and I find myself playing catch-up.

Then came the issue of letting everyone know where the book was. Ah, all the "experts" from all the book marketing books said "Social Media!" Do you have a blog? Yep, here it is.  Do you twitter? You mean like a bird? Oh, you mean the online kind. Are you LinkedIn? To what, I asked myself. Do you Facebook? Uh, no!  Are you myspaced? Actually, I just played games there until recently. What forums and associations do you have? Two, well now three...Compuserve's Books and Writers Community for almost 20 years, Southeastern Writers Association for 12 years, and newly added SheWrites.  I now spend more time on the internet than I've ever spent in my life! All this promoting two books and it should have been done six months prior to publication. DOH!

Does it matter that I'm mentioned in Acknowledgements of two dozen different author's books. Nope. Nobody reads the acknowledgement.

I had this brilliant idea of holding a book launch/book signing.  I went to my local Books-a-Million and asked about it.  They are the biggest store in town and I spend on average of three hours every Saturday there.  You can't write books and not love to read. Books-a-Million only handles books from three warehouses.  My publisher isn't one of them so it won't be there, but that wasn't my first choice. This would have been a huge splash, but then I wasn't sure about all the ins and outs of book signings when I have control over them. High traffic was a plus.

My first choice is a small independent book dealer downtown.. I'm back pedaling, like mad..  It's a wonderful little shop with wall to wall books...a reader's dream shop.What better way to sell a southern fiction set in a small town than a downtown bookstore? Well, it may not be available. Shucks! Back to square one...sort of.

I hear you now, so what have you been doing? Well, I designed two bookmarks, one for each novel, for promotional giveaways, designed invitations leaving the location blank to send out. I've been buzzing like mad through the social media circuits, but most importantly...I've started a new southern fiction...more on that next week.

As always keep loving the Lord and keep writing.

2 comments:

Zan Marie said...

Jo,
I feel your pain! I have two small devotionals that I self-published. I'm considering going the Smashwords route, too. Who knows if my networking is enough to sell many. So far, it's only face-to-face and in the local small bookstore. Good luck!

Zan Marie said...

Jo,
My blogfest kicked off today! Come check it out. ; )