Exactly three weeks ago, I started us off on a month-long exploration of what I revealed to be one of my favorite subjects–the intersection of reading with writing and publishing–in light of the fact that the month of March is National Reading Awareness Month here in the United States. I continued my series two weeks ago and last week with a number of additional ways in which you, the indie or self-publishing author, can take advantages of the resources on offer to bolster both your existing writing methods and your book sales. This week, I would like to invite you to continue in joining me in making reading a focus all month long, here in our Thursday blog post slot. We may have one more week left in the month of March, but I’m holding nothing back–you get only the best of the best, my absolute top tips, here today!
TIP TWELVE : Give your blog or website a face lift
If you already have a blog or website where you have been promoting your book in advance of its release, there’s no better time than the present to refresh the look and feel or add content. And by “refresh,” I don’t just mean a couple of small tweaks or optimizations here and there–I mean a complete overhaul. As in all things, the self-publishing author must demonstrate full willingness to meet readers where they live, rather than expecting them to stumble across one’s book by happenstance. There are no (or at least, very very few) happenstances in the publishing industry, since everyone and their lawyer is out to make a profit off of gaming the system. You don’t want to play your readers–in fact, you want to be wholly honest and authentic at all times–but you do want to show them that you care enough about them to design a website or a blog that meets their needs and outperforms their expectations. Think big, not small, and make sure your site is inviting and reflects who you are as a writer.
TIP THIRTEEN : Play well with others
It should come as no surprise that I’m an advocate for sharing. After all, I didn’t ignore every single admonition to play well with others when I was a child–some of that well-intentioned parental advice rubbed off. But in the world of self-publishing, there’s nothing more powerful than sharing! It’s not just a “good idea”–it’s a vital and impactful way of reaching new readers. The first step to sharing promotions with other indie authors is one of logistics and networking: I recommend getting started by connecting with other independent authors whose work compliments yours or who live nearby. Local writers’ groups are a fantastic resource for this! From there, you can discuss how best to share advertising in your local media to promote your books and events. Sharing an event with another writer is an excellent way to generate more interest among venues and readers.
TIP FOURTEEN : Take the Grand Tour
In years gone by–that is, from the mid 1600s to the mid 1800s–it was the custom of the European and American elite to send their children on the Grand Tour of the European continent and parts of Asia Minor and Northern Africa. The point of the Tour was to expose people of taste to the primary object of their taste–the cultural legacy of the West. But there’s a far better Grand Tour which you can partake in as an indie author! There are dozens upon dozens of prime opportunities for promoting your book throughout the year outside of your homeland, including the London Book Fair, BookExpo America, Beijing Book Fair and the Frankfurt Book Fair. But who, you may ask, has the time or money to do that? Self-publishing may be a recourse for those of humble budgets, but it is also a haven for ingenuity and creative thinking. You don’t need to stress if you don’t have the time (or money) to travel the world this year: a number of self-publishing companies, including the one I work for (Outskirts Press) offer the opportunity to represent your book at any (or all) of these events throughout the year. There is usually still some sort of cost associated with this project, of course, but it is a dramatic reduction on what you might pay individually to travel to these places, register for display space and lodging, and for marketing materials. Just a thought: you can be a world travel vicariously through your book!
That’s it for this week, but I’ll be back next Wednesday with some final tips and ways forward! And …
… always remember: you are not alone. ♣︎
|ABOUT ELIZABETH JAVOR: With over 18 years of experience in sales and management, Elizabeth Javor works as the Manager of Author Services for Outskirts Press. The Author Services Department is composed of knowledgeable publishing consultants, pre-production specialists, customer service reps and book marketing specialists; together, they all focus on educating authors on the self-publishing process to help them publish the book of their dreams. Whether you are a professional looking to take your career to the next level with platform-driven non-fiction or a novelist seeking fame, fortune, and/or personal fulfillment, Elizabeth Javor can put you on the right path.|