Saturday, December 20, 2014

Quest for an Audience: Promotion devotion.

The default response to the question I have found is: WRITE ANOTHER BOOK. Written in all caps and 36 point. Write books until you've authored a library.


And they're right, of course. The best way to promote a book is to write another, and by so doing, establish a presence in the field.

But I believe they are also wrong.

Writing a hundred thousand words, or even fifty thousand, takes time. And then it needs a thorough edit. So we're looking at a year or more before the next book comes out.

While that's in progress, there are many little things you can do to promote your work.

And I believe you should.

Kboards has more about publishing and promoting than you can shake a stick at, and the more I learn, the more I realize how difficult the road ahead is.

For what it's worth, here's what I have done:

I established a page on Goodreads. You just create an account, indicate you are an author, link to your book on Amazon for proof, and voila. I also created a blog, a Facebook page, and an Amazon Author page, and I've linked them all in to the blog.

I've joined several forums and began to participate in the online writing community. This not only helps you improve your work by presenting it for constructive criticism, but gives you exposure to people who are interested in reading. Most authors, after all, are avid readers as well.

I work a day job (yay), and I have set aside a small budget to fund my writing hobby. Most of it will go into purchasing artwork, which I am happy to do. The recession in 2008 hit the art community quite hard, and there are plenty of artists out there in need of work and support. I am all for helping people pursue their dreams, even live them if they can.

For my first book, I hired a wonderful and talented artist by the name of Nimit Malavia, who has done fantastic covers for Fables. He frequently works for Marvel and DC. He did a smashing job and I'm tremendously happy with his work.

I consider it money very well spent.

I also intend to set aside a small amount of cash for promotion, likely in the form of banner ads which I will run for a couple months. I plan on spending about $100 to $150 on this. This is fire and, mostly, forget. I will run the campaign using Google AdWords, which will keep statistics on how well the ads do. I am not expecting much, and I'm good with that.

I also intend to approach local publications that do book reviews, as well as review sites online. This will likely be difficult, as they are no doubt inundated by submissions, so I intend to tread carefully. This thread on kboards has some really useful information about reviews and how to get them.

I've also written a couple of short stories set in the same world as the book, which I'm submitting them to sci-fi magazines. There is little chance of getting in for a novice like me, but you never know. One must try. If they are rejected, I will then put them up for sale on KDP Amazon, and in so doing, build the collection of titles I have written. Who knows? An editor may like my writing and the submission may draw their attention to my novel.

I also intend to shorten the length of my books. The key seems to be having a LOT of published work, rather than a few epics.

Welcome to the new normal.

I think these are reasonable steps, and they won't break the bank or soak up all my time. I suspect I will be further ahead having done them than not, and they will not significantly slow the progress of my next book, which I am also working on. It will be my central effort.

The blog, this blog, will be focused on three topics:

1) Science fiction.
2) My promotional efforts.
3) My books, short stories, skits.

Blogs do better when they are focused like a laser on one narrow, niche topic. I've decided to focus for the moment on world building. Several of my crack crew of readers noted that I seem to like it. And I do, although I've tried to keep it to a minimum. I cut over 10,000 words of background material and 'world building' from an early edit, to help improve the flow.

But it's something I find interesting and have enthusiasm to write about, so that will be the subject of a series of posts.

Quest for an Audience will be the second topic.

I hope to write an article once or twice a month, on top of smaller, less involved posts. Every one of them is an opportunity to refine my writing skills.

Finally I will also post excerpts from new novels, short stories, and skits.

I'm not if any of it will be relevant, considering that just about anything I decide to write about will already be extensively covered by others. All I can offer is a strong POV and colourful opinions.

So far, my promotion efforts have not amounted to anything, but the book only went up a week ago.

I'm still digesting the author tips and tricks page on kboards.

I'll let you know how it goes, and in the meantime, I wish you all the success.

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