Archive for May, 2011

I was browsing the forums at AgentQuery Connect, an online community for writers, and someone posted how they have self e-pubbed their fantasy novel using the same venues I did (Amazon, Nook, etc.).  They actually wanted to post the book for free, and they did that everywhere except Amazon which won’t let you offer your books for free.  Her (or should that be his, I forget now) idea was to generate a buzz since the book she posted is the first of a trilogy.  She figures if they like the first book they will be eager to buy the next two.

Naturally, in places where the book was available for free, many people downloaded it.  But there was a surprising number that paid .99 to download it from Amazon US.  Over 300 if I remember correctly.  And that all seems to have happened without the author doing much marketing.

I know it’s a bit like apples to oranges if I compare the lackadaisical sales of my short stories to this novel, but it does make me feel like I need to do more to get the word out.  I will be patient.  I will work hard.  I will believe.

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The Writer’s Guide to E-Publishing

When I was researching blogs on self e-publishing, I missed this one, but someone on AgentQuery Connect kindly posted a link to it in the forum on epublishing.  This site puts my puny little efforts here to shame and shows me that all I really am doing is journaling my personal experience through this e-pubbing maze.  A journal that may serve no other purpose than as a creative outlet for me to listen to myself.

Deb Borys – Viewing Profile – AgentQuery Connect.

One piece of advice that makes sense to follow is to join discussion groups of people who are interested in topics related to your book or your blog.  Since this blog is about self-publishing, one type of group that might be interested in reading my posts are other writers.  Luckily, I already have access to a number of discussion groups that are writing-related.  It’s been a while since I’ve been able to spend much time on them, but with my new part-time status, I will be able to renew my acquaintance with these sites.

One thing I worry about, though, is that people will think my participation is insincere–that I am there only to toot my own horn.  That’s something I struggle with even when I update Facebook and Twitter with my blog posts.  It’s a dichotomy:  I want to toot my own horn, but because of what people might think I don’t want to toot my own horn.

Blatant Self Promotion has never been a concept I’m comfortable with, but how will I be seen or heard if I don’t engage in it to some degree?  I can only hope that the sincerity of my interest in what I am blogging about and what the discussion forums are about can serve as proof that I am not just an advertisement for myself.

So the first group I have reactivated in my daily routine is to update my profile on Agent Query Connect which is a community associated with Agent Query, an excellent source if you are looking for Agents to represent your novel.  I look forward to renewed discussion with people in the writing community.  Inspiration, I am ready and waiting.

Painted Black

Posted: May 27, 2011 in Marketing
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www.PaintedBlacknovel.com

I changed the look of my novel website. What do you guys think, do you like this better than the old one, or should I change it back?

Marketing is all about image after all. I want to make sure I’m putting the right look up front.

My First Sale!

Posted: May 25, 2011 in Self Publishing
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Thanks to whoever you are–I earned a whole 35 cents!  And that is not sarcasm talking.  I hope you like it.

Peeling the Onion and Red Light, Green Light are both short stories for sale for Amazon Kindle and the Nook.

The Old Fashioned Way

Posted: May 22, 2011 in Marketing
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“As every author knows, writing a book is the easy part these days. It’s when the publication date looms that we have to roll up our sleeves and tackle the real literary labor: rabid self-promotion. For weeks beforehand, we are compelled to bombard every friend, relative and vague acquaintance with creative e-mails and Facebook alerts, polish up our Web sites with suspiciously youthful author photos, and, in an orgy of blogs, tweets and YouTube trailers, attempt to inform an already inundated world of our every reading, signing, review, interview and (well, one can dream!) TV ­appearance.”

via How Writers Build the Brand – NYTimes.com.

For a historical perspective on marketing and self promotion, check out the article above.

Publish Your Own Ebooks

Posted: May 22, 2011 in Self Publishing
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Publish Your Own Ebooks | How To Write, Publish & Sell Ebooks Online.

For those of you interested in finding out more about self publishing e-books (like I am) I found this site has a lot of information at your fingertips (or mouse pointer rather).  I got an annoying pop up ad when I got to the site, but what website doesn’t these days?

Promoting Your Ebook

Posted: May 19, 2011 in Marketing, Self Publishing
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Promoting Your Ebook For Maximum Distribution | E-Book Marketing Secrets

Found a great article on e-bookmarketingsecrets.com.

Click the link at the top to see the whole article but the summary is:

  1. Visit forums for people who would be interested in your book, and include a link to your books page in your signature. Be an active contributor to the board.
  2. Write a number of articles for article indexes and include your website in your author bio.
  3. Use Pay-Per-Click advertising online to send people to your page.
  4. Send out Press Releases.
  5. Use Squidoo.com to get your website easily found by Search engines.
  6. Create a promotional video and release it online.
  7. Pay for online classified ads.

FROM PUBLISHERS WEEKLY

After announcing it would publish romance novels through a new imprint called Montlake, Amazon has unveiled its next genre imprint, Thomas & Mercer, which is focused on mysteries and thrillers. Thomas & Mercer will release its first four titles in Fall 2011: D.M. Annechino’s Resuscitation, J.A. Konrath and Blake Crouch’s Stirred, Kyle Mills’ The Immortals and John Rector’s Already Gone. As with Montlake, Amazon will be releasing the titles as Kindle editions but also promises to place the books in stores by distributing them on its own

Marketing 101: Web Domains

Posted: May 9, 2011 in Marketing
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I haven’t had a lot of time to research marketing yet.  I did get started, however.  One of the first and most basic things is to start a web page for the book(s) I am marketing.  So I decided to register a web domain for Painted Black even though I won’t have anything to add to the page for a while yet.

Since I already have a blog with Word Press and am getting pretty familiar with how Word Press works, I think for right now I want my book page to be with them.  I also thought that would make it easier to cross reference the book page with this blog on self publishing, and vice versa.

So my first step was registering a domain for the Self Publishing blog you are currently reading.  Maybe I didn’t need to spend money on that.  After all, debbiedowrite.wordpress.com isn’t that long of a web address.  But I thought debbiedowrite is perhaps not professional sounding enough (But definitely fun, don’t you think?)

Assigning a domain to a Word Press blog when you buy the domain through them is really easy.  I did it all through Word Press.  In account Settings, you click on Domains and it walks you through the steps, from searching for a name that isn’t taken through paying for it.

I ended up having to settle for debra-r-borys.com since the first few options I tried were already taken.  I’m not entirely convinced this is better than the one that I got free when I first set up the blog.  What do you think?  Should I go back to the debbiedowrite one instead?

Next, I created a new blog for the book–or started one at any rate.  There’s nothing on it and it’s private so you can’t go to it yet.  I found that the most logical choice of paintedblack was already taken, so I had to settle for paintedblacknovel.wordpress.com.  However, when I went to buy a domain through Word Press for it, for some reason, it took the “l” off of novel.  When I went to GoDaddy.com and searched for paintedblacknovel.com, it worked just fine, so I ended up buying through them.

Then I went back to Word Press and tried to point the blog at paintedblacknovel.com.  Word Press told me that address was already assigned to a DNS server (at GoDaddy–you can set up a web page directly through them) and advised me to go to my account with GoDaddy and change the DNS servers to the server names for Word Press.

This was a little more complicated and involved clicking around GoDaddy.com quite a bit before I figured out where to go to choose those settings.  I’m sure if you asked me to show you how I got there, I would not be able to tell you.  It wasn’t too extraordinarily difficult, but it was a little intimidating.  Luckily I’m a computer user who doesn’t freeze up thinking she’s going to totally screw things up by clicking the wrong link.

So now you can find my blog by going to www.debra-r-borys.com and soon you will be able to find a web page about my book at www.paintedblacknovel.com.  Cool, huh?

I would think the lesson learned from my first step in marketing is “Have No Fear.”  It’s an adventure, after all.  If you’re too frightened of being devoured by the lion, you shouldn’t be on the safari in the first place.  Just enjoy the trek.