For the last two evenings, I've been exploring the world of book blogs, and I've learned something not only valuable, but very empowering for an INDIE author like myself. We really don't need the big publishing houses. I mean, it would be nice to just sit back and collect that advance, fly around the world on book tours and stuff, but really, not everyone gets that big advance - maybe 6 people a year receive that. (I read that on someone else's blog somewhere).
So, why don't we need a major publisher or an agent, for that matter. It's simple, if you want promotion, just go on the web and hang out in some blogs. There are so many opportunities out there for Indie writers to get the word out about their books. I generally read the books that I've heard about again and again. I'll also try books that are 99 cents on Kindle or in some cases, free for a limited time. If I really like that author, I will find a way to buy their next book if they have one, even if it is $10 or more. However, in order for authors to be discovered, you have to be very visible on the web.
This visibility, at first I thought, needed to come from having a Facebook page and Twittering as well as blogging at least once a week. However, that's not enough! Next, I signed up for Goodreads and joined a bunch of groups there and started to get to know people through these groups as we talked about books. I now have a small following of people who read my reviews on there. Maybe they'll buy my book as well. I also use their book GIVEAWAY program and their small ad program. It's garnered some sales, but still it's not enough.
So, I started looking at other INDIE author's blogs. What did they look like? What features did they have? Who did they connect to? Then, I found out about things like Virtual Book Tours and how to promote yourself to the top of Amazon's best seller list. I just wish I had a little more cash to put up for the prizes, but I think that will come. I just have to be a little more patient. I've decided that when I launch my second book, I will definitely learn how to promote it a lot better than I have been promoting the first one. I'll need to create BUZZ amongst the reading blog community. At least, now I know which market to target.
Also, I've been worried about not being in book stores when I haven't even talked to bookstore managers yet about doing book signings. I always sell my books if I get the chance to actually talk to the person I'm selling it to. I've discovered that I'm a really good sales person. Maybe because for the last sixteen years, I've had to "sell" my lesson to students, who are the most particular of "buyers."
I've thought about doing a video where I talk about my book and putting it out there in Cyberia, but I just don't always look my best when I'm working on anything that has to do with writing. (End of the day, usually late at night, wearing jeans and a t-shirt with my eyes all droopy and my hair all stringy - not a pretty site, at all.) I envy those people who can do a daily vlog and look good at their computers. I always look like some old lady. Plus my built in camera on my computer has about the worst clarity in the world. But then again, that could be a good thing. See what I mean??? I actually flipped my hair around a little bit to get it to look like it has some life to it!
ANYWAY, my point with this blog post is to say that although I have a lot of work to do and some money to spend (not as much as I originally thought), I can actually get some buzz going and finally sell this book!