I see that my current free promotion is not going as well as my last. This maybe due to a problem with the promotion starting many hours late, maybe not.
I have followed advice for new authors that I found on the net, "put a picture of yourself and some information about yourself and your book on sites like Goodreads", and this one.
So I did, the results for this promotion are far worse than my previous promotion when I hadn't put my picture up or posted any promotional information anywhere.
Is it "just one of those things", or does following this advice and doing this sort of thing put readers off?
If it does I'll take it all off and leave these sites alone.
1. Author's website. This is the most indispensable portion of your promotion plan. It is the link you put on all of your email and business cards. Your site has to look slick and professional. If you can afford it, get your own domain name and avoid riding in on someone else's coat tails. Your job is to promote yourself, not your hosting outfit.
2. Conventions. Go to them. Get a table. Print out books and have a nice banner. Promotion costs, so don't expect to sell your stuff at more than above cost.
3. Contests and such. Bleh. I've rarely seen them pay off for published authors, let alone self-pubbers. People place little value on "free".
4. Blogs. Contribute to them. Get guest spots. Same with writing loops - although there you want to just help others and avoid self-promotion. If what you say holds value, folks will sniff at you.
5. Reviews. If you can get them, by all means.
That's the short list. I've been told that it can take up to seven years on average for any author to gain a following, so set your expectations for the long term.
All points noted, many thanks.
With regard point 2:
I have done a limited print run, only 150 paperbacks. I put a cover price of $19.95 on them, this is about 65% of what they cost to print. I'm led to believe this is a fairly normal procedure for someone new, put a few out there and get some feedback, so I didn't expect to make any money initially, if at all. I only really got interested in promoting it after I got mostly positive feedback from people that bought a copy from me personally. A couple of them said I should put it on Amazon, so I thought maybe this really is a passable novel, I'll give it a go. Some bookshops around Perth have some on consignment and I had made some enquiries about a table at a local shopping centre, but to be honest after putting it on Amazon as an ebook I lost interest in the printed version. If I sell all of the 150 I would have to get more printed just to sell at a loss, this would be pointless. I have thought about Amazons 'print on demand' service for paperback's but I would like to get some more feedback first.
With regard point 5:
I did send a copy in to the 'West australian' newspapers book editor last year to see if I could get a review from a professional. I sent him an email recently to ask if it looked ok or if it had been 'round filed'. He told me that he had sent it out for review but he couldn't remember who he'd sent it to and that he would make some enquiries and get back to me. I haven't heard anything since. I should probably take a hint there I think. maybe I'll try one more email but I don't want to be a pain in the backside of course.
Seven years, blimey, I have heard these things take time but I thought more like a year than seven, still, it's good to know.
IMHO, you can't give up, or you'll get no notice whatsoever. Keep getting link exchanges and reviews. The competition is getting fierce, but the number of ebook readers (especially) is increasing as well. If the book is good, you just need to help people find you. If you can build your following in the ebook world, the sales of paper-'n-ink ought to be easier.
Originally Posted by pragmatist
Many thanks for your feedback, being very new to this I'm still feeling my way around. The last thing I want to do is put info about the book and myself onto these sort of sites if all it's going to do is put people off.
By the look of the feedback to this question so far, the advice I followed from the net is good advice, so I won't give up, I'll keep at it.
I'll put the poorer response to my recent free promotion down to 'just one of those things'.
Click on your username and go to your public profile. You can put all kinds of info, links etc about your work there. It's not spamming and if someone is interested, they'll look.
Many thanks, I'll give it a go.