The Wisest Avoid the Pitfalls Along the Way
I’ve spent the morning and early afternoon continuing my research on and even blogging about ways to make money as a writer. The common consensus is if one wishes to make money as a writer, they’re fooling themselves.
However, I’ve discovered there are many ways and possible cash flows to pursue writing as a passion and making a nice, primary income off doing so. But, the problem is this: Most just want to write and hope someone comes across their work.
I’m a natural researcher and I started researching all the odds and ends of releasing indie-published books back in December 2017 for my September 2018 launch of Lord of Columbia. In other words, I’m doing the opposite of the consensus.
You’ve no idea how many Twitter accounts I’ve come across that have books out on the market, but in reality, no one is there to purchase them, so they create a nice, Twitter page with a redundant headline stating something like “Bestselling author of…” but with only a few hundred (if that) followers. I see it again and again.
Know what my Twitter says?
I’m just a free-thinking, pro-liberty, aspiring indie-author who makes things up and writes them down. Currently penning the trilogy, Lord of Columbia.
So, I mention I have a trilogy on the way, but I added a little bit of humor and my political perspectives, as politics are huge in my work. I did my research and found that it’s important to begin marketing a work months in advance, so for Lord of Columbia, if it has a snowball’s chance of being successful, people need to know it’s coming out.
So back in March 2018, I took my tiny Twitter page of 240 followers and started posting relevant and engaging content. The return has been substantial, as I now stand at 3,300 followers as of June 11th, 2018, an increase of almost 3,000.
But, Twitter is only a small pinprick of marketing, per my research.
So, what else did I do?
Links to my blog is on several sites, like Facebook, Flipboard, Stumbleupon, Pinterest, Tumblr, Instagram, and other social media outlets. Sure, I don’t use these other sites often apart from Facebook, but in case anyone out there comes across my blog, it’s another potential fan.
I also learned social media marketing is nominal, at best for many.
There are Better Ways to Promote
So, what have I done?
I’ve looked into both free and paid book promotions sites. I found 40 free sites that will help me with my launch and I have 2-3 paid promotions to use come September 1st, when the book is released. These sites all reach their own social media followers, promote on their sites, and send email blasts.
My goal is to reach as many people as possible, and hopefully, 1% will buy. Now, while 1% of say, 100,000 people who come across may appear small, I might see 1,000 sales. Now, think about this: Readers talk to one another. If they like your book, they’ll be talking about it.
Let’s Get Tech Savvy
But, I wanted to do even more research, so I decided to tap into SEO and metadata, which is something everyone seems to underestimate. Once I looked into it, I searched via Amazon and have already narrowed the categories AND keywords, long-tail keywords, that I’ll use come September. Instead of blindly picking and choosing categories, I was able to narrow it down so my book doesn’t get lost in a sea of books.
I’ve also looked at several outlets, like Draft2Digital, Smashwords, Amazon, and others. I also looked into Amazon’s Kindle Unlimited (KU) and KDP Select, all of which have their pros and cons, so I already know exactly which platforms I’ll publish on, and when.
Also, I’ve researched how to choose a book title. Lord of Columbia was initially called Once: The Lost Books, until I saw the redundancy, so I changed to Age of Columbia, also redundant, especially in anything fantasy. So, and again, I used Amazon’s search bar, and even Google, and saw Lord was used often in fantasy but not overused.
The title of the book was to be Lord of Columbia: Uprising, until I saw uprising isn’t something those in the fantasy genre search for. So, I took about three hours on a Sunday night in my parents’ living room, long after they went to sleep and typically long after overstaying my own welcome, and came up with Northern Knights, as Knight is used often, but not too often, so my titles are something that are searched by Amazon users but not overdone.
I think many indies just want to rush and get a book published so they can say they published a book. That’s fine, but I spent over a year getting Lord of Columbia ready, and from December until September, continue to research how to give it the greatest chance to succeed. When you spend so much time on a project, it deserves the extra tender, love, and care to put it in position to succeed.
Your books should be like your own children. If your child is gifted in sports, you’re going to do all you can to make sure they succeed (and possibly save a lot of money if they go to college), you’re going to do everything in your power to make them succeed. Your books can make you some money in the long-run, and you’re doing what you love.
Take the time and get it right.