1. Raki
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    Raki Contributing Member

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    What you do after self-publishing

    Discussion in 'Publishing' started by Raki, Jul 3, 2011.

    Self-publishing is something I've been considering. I know of and about a lot of the pros and cons between traditional and self-publishing, so if we can, I'd like to focus this thread on what one can and should do before and after they self-publish and keep the comparisons between the two types of publishing to a minimum (ie: no comments about if a book can be successful self-publishing, it could probably make it the traditional route please). Let's assume, for whatever reason (couldn't deal with the rejection letters, tired of waiting on others, don't play well with others, wanting to take control of my future and book, just wanted to self-publish, etc.) that I am self-publishing and not looking back.

    First, there's a lot of talk about how it's extremely difficult to be successful self-publishing. The success stories where people have made it big going this route rise to the top, but we're all warned, "don't expect it to happen to you." I came across an interesting article recently that suggested one didn't need to make it "big" in order to make a living by publishing their own books. If you can pull in about 10 to 20 thousand sales, that's enough to keep yourself fed, depending where you live and how you price your work. But also the average person who publishes this route never generates more than 2 to 3 hundred sales, mostly friends and family or close connections.

    So let's say you write a really good book. People who read it will enjoy it--though critics may slam it. Readers may enjoy it enough to recommend it to others, but not all. What are some of the things you can do that might tip the hat of success into your lap? What will make you book rise out of the slush that accumulates with the self-publishing industry? I'll list a series of questions below that may help get the gears rolling in your mind about this, but I'd also like you to state your opinions, facts, and experiences, what may have worked/not worked for you, and anything else you feel is relevant to the topic.

    Questions:
    • How do you get people to read your book?
    • How do you get it to the audience it was meant for?
    • What are some marketing strategies you might use to usher in readers?
    • What are some of the do's and don't's now that you are "published?"
    • What would be worth paying for (professional reviews, ads, etc.)?
    • What should you avoid paying for (professional reviews, ads, etc.)?
    • What types of social media outlets other than blogs, facebook, and twitter might you use (be capable to use)?
    • How can you make those outlets "work for you?"
    • What other outlets/marketing tools can you use and how will they benefit you?
    • How much time should you devote to that book now that it's gone?
    • How many sales equal success?
    • When should you give up on money and give it away for free?
    • What are the benefits of giving it away for free?
    • What are the best methods to promote your sales?
    • What's the best way to react to one or more bad reviews?
    • What's the best way to react to success or good reviews?
     
  2. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    I have to say once, quickly: I think that self-publishing a good book is a huge mistake.

    OK, that said, what would get me to pay real money for a self-published book?

    - An author blog that demonstrates a high-quality, engaging voice that I want more of. This blog can't be all about, or even mostly about, promoting the book - it has to be that author's actual writing, with no apparent profit-making agenda embedded in that writing, and with frequent posts. It has to be so darn good that I eagerly wait for the next post and I'm delighted at the idea of a _whole book full_ of that author's writing all at once.

    Edited to add: I went to your blog link and saw that the blog is mostly about your struggle to get the book published. I think that's a mistake. People, in general, don't care about your struggle; they're going to come with a "what is this blog going to give me?" attitude. Give them something to read that's complete in itself, not something about something that they could read if it were getting published or something that they can read all of only if it gets published. You don't want them to leave the blog with a sense of your frustration; it should be a blog that's a good read as a blog. If you don't want to change the character of your current blog, I'd recommend creating a second one that is satisfied with its existence as a blog.

    - Recommendations from other authors with high-quality, engaging voices. Ideally, these would be bloggers that I already read, but if a bunch of high-quality blogs point this author's blog, that would be worth something.

    - Recommendations or marketing on Twitter and Facebook would do nothing at all for me.

    - A trustworthy place to buy the thing from, so that I don't imagine someone running away with my credit card. Amazon would do nicely.

    - A pretty long sample, like that "read the first chapter FREE!" thing for Kindle books on Amazon.

    - I see that I'm assuming that this thing would be electronic. I think that's true - I'm less likely to take a risk on a self-published if it's going to be paper cluttering up my house, and if I have to wait for it to be shipped. Now, that assumes that there's essentially no way to get a self-published book stocked on bookstore shelves, and I think that's true.

    > • What are some of the do's and don't's now that you are "published?"

    Be professional. Be incredibly professional.

    > • What would be worth paying for (professional reviews, ads, etc.)?
    > • What should you avoid paying for (professional reviews, ads, etc.)?

    Real reviewers don't take pay for doing reviews, do they? Or do you mean editors? I would do more than disregard a reviewer that was paid; I'd take that fact as a negative.

    I think that ads are unlikely to do you any good; unless you can find an incredibly specific market that's already interested in you, I think they'll be lost in the shuffle and cost far more than you'll ever make.

    > • How many sales equal success?

    If you sell more than a dozen copies or so, I think you've done better than the average self-published book.

    > • What's the best way to react to one or more bad reviews?

    Be polite. Be _very_ polite and professional. Thank the reviewer for his time. Promise to think about his feedback. Do not lash out to the smallest, tiniest, most hidden-passive-aggressive degree.

    > • What's the best way to react to success or good reviews?

    Be bright and cheerful and grateful, but don't strut or brag or make too much of it. But, hey, link to those reviews from your blog.

    ChickenFreak
     
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  3. VM80
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    VM80 Contributing Member Contributor

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    I think you'd need to lay a lot of groundwork beforehand.

    I've watched my cousin's journey from the side lines (she is traditionally published, but has also self published two children's books now). She is very involved in the local community anyway, and that has been a base from which to get contacts, network, find opportunities and events to display in order to sell her books. It may not sound like much, but word of mouth is something that's incredibly powerful. Again she is only in the starting phases now, so I can't really judge long-term 'success' yet.

    Next steps will be to approach libraries and schools (some of which have already verbally agreed to her holding some 'event'), local newspaper/s and independent bookstores. Her books are already on Amazon in the meantime and that's a reliable 'source' to lead potentially interested people to.

    I can see it takes a lot of effort, and I've only seen a small percentage of what needs to be done in terms of self promotion.

    I think if I were to publish something, I would make use of some of the things you mention, such as blogs and other social media, as well as seeking out 'real life' networking opportunities, to cover a wide base.
     
  4. lilix morgan
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    lilix morgan Contributing Member

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    While I am not a published author yet, I have been looking deep into the route of self-publishing, so I think I can thouroughly answer a few of these questions to the best of my ability.

    [*]How do you get people to read your book?

    - This one is basic; promote it. Sounds easier said than done, right? I know, I thought so, too. One of the ways I've learned is this; utilize social networking sites and your friends as much as you can. Get a Twitter, start a following. Get a Facebook Fan Page and share the link everywhere (without being a spammer, that'll get you no where). Join writing forum websites and search for BETA readers (this is a big step that many people will appreciate you for. Why? Because people will be pre-reading your book, offering suggestions and corrections you may have missed AND they'll be able to promote the book for you once they're done!). Hunt (and I mean HUNT) for book blogging sites that will take on your book, an author interview, a giveaway, anything to get your name out there. Even if it's only a few small sites, that's a few small sites you didn't have a few weeks or months ago promoting your book to their following for you. As for your friends? Give them the book, literally. Have them read it, and then ask them kindly to post a review on Amazon or Goodreads or through Facebook or their Twitter. Chances are, they'll do it for you because you gave them a free book in exchange. Oh! And of course, post on the Nook forums, Amazon/Kindle forums and whatnot! Word of mouth in those senses are HUGE. Way more powerful than most people realize.

    [*]How do you get it to the audience it was meant for?

    - Again, I'm going to mention book blogs here. Most book blogging sites are genre specific, meaning they'll only review YA lit, or Historical stuff, etc etc. You need to hone in on those places and pray to the almighty gods that they'll take you on.

    [*]What are some marketing strategies you might use to usher in readers?

    - Typically, what I have planned, is teasers and giveaways. I'm obviously not going to give away my entire stock for nothing, otherwise there's no living to be made, but a copy or ten won't kill me, or you for that matter. Teaser-wise, have them become interactive with you. Hold Q&A's through Twitter or InkPop, ask questions (example; what color sharpie should I use for the signed copies I'll be giving away over the next month?). Becoming friends with other authors-to-be and authors also works well, because if they're in the same genre as you, their fanbase will most likely be curious enough to check you out, too.

    [*]What are some of the do's and don't's now that you are "published?"

    - "Don't" throw fits over negative reviews, or instigate anyone. You're a public figure now, and image, unless you're trying to pull a Charlie Sheen, is eyeballed CONSTANTLY. Like Mad-Eye Moody said, "CONSTANT VIGILANCE!"
    - "Don't" whine that you're not selling! Posting on boards that you've 'only sold ten copies...' will make people roll their eyes and move on. You might get a pity buy or two, tops, but most will be turned off by your negative nancy attitude.
    - "Don't" harass book bloggers who have taken on your book and didn't post a review around the time you thought they would come out. If they took on your book, be thankful they did! Obviously if they haven't posted about yours in any way, shape, or form in over six months you should send them a friendly little email asking them how things are going, but remember, public image. Keep it polished.
    - "Don't" ever, ever, EVER create a positive review for your book by yourself. Not only does it look desperate, but most people can figure it out instantly, and it peeves them off, too.
    - "Do" post snipets of the positive reviews you've recieved on your blog! Let your readers know people are liking what they're reading! Gather all of the big quotes you love the most and link them to your blog.
    - "Do" continue to interact with your fanbase! Just because your book is out doesn't mean you can go back into a cave somewhere to 'work on your next project'. Your fans fell in love with YOU, too. Don't cold shoulder them!
    - "Do" support other authors! Everyone loves when they see another author helping another through chats, re-tweets, or just casual messages. It shows you're human, approachable, somewhat normal. We strive to look 'normal'.

    [*]What would be worth paying for (professional reviews, ads, etc.)?

    - Ads would be my only thing I would EVER pay for, and even that's if I had the funds for it. Book bloggers do all the reviewing for you you'll ever need. Something that is worth paying for, though, is a book cover. If you lack any digital editing period, find someone (local or indie is the best way to go!) who will make a cover for you within the budget you're looking to stick to.

    [*]What should you avoid paying for (professional reviews, ads, etc.)?

    - Avoid paying for, well, really, anything except for the basics. If you want to make a book trailer, let's say you lack any program to make one. If you have an Apple item, you probably have or can buy iMovie for 4.99. Bam. That's okay. Paying over a thousand dollars for Photoshop Deluxe? No.

    [*]What types of social media outlets other than blogs, facebook, and twitter might you use (be capable to use)?

    - Goodreads, Amazon/Kindle forums, Nook forums, Writing Forums and Inkpop! Through Apple there is also WattPad if you're looking to post teasers.

    [*]How can you make those outlets "work for you?"

    - Simple; be human. Schedule time. Pick Tuesdays and Thursdays to blog/tweet excessively/update Facebook/network, and Monday, Wednesday, and Fridays for writing/editing/formatting.

    [*]What other outlets/marketing tools can you use and how will they benefit you?

    - You could technically hire a professional editor/reviewer. The benefit is that they'll probably catch what you or your friends didn't. The not-so-cool benefit is how much they can cost.

    [*]How much time should you devote to that book now that it's gone?

    - All of your time, honestly. You want it to sell? You need to constantly market it. Tons of people blog about how authors are the worst marketers ever, and most of them are right. We think differently, all artsy and colorful, not analytically like we should when marketing is involved. If you can't devote most of your time into pushing your book, find someone who can help you do it, or consider not doing it, but don't whine when your sales aren't the best they could have been.

    [*]How many sales equal success?

    - This, I don't have an answer to. It all really depends on how you view it, I guess. To me, success is people telling me they loved it, and maybe making a little off of it. We can't all be Amanda Hocking and end up signing a million dollar contract after self-publishing over nine titles, but hey, a girl can dream, right?

    [*]When should you give up on money and give it away for free?

    - If it's a novella, or a short story, you really shouldn't charge for it. If you really want to charge for it, compile multiple short stories or novellas and put them into a mass book and market it cheap. If that fails, then publish the novella and short stories for free. Market those with pressure, too. Free is music to a lot of people's ears, and if they like what they got for free, they'll come back and buy more nine times out of ten.

    [*]What are the benefits of giving it away for free?

    - Mentioned above. It gains you attention. Always a plus.

    [*]What are the best methods to promote your sales?

    - Mentioned above in my cluster explanation.

    [*]What's the best way to react to one or more bad reviews?

    - As far as I know, don't react. No one wants to see an author go off on a tangent because a few people gave them a one star review.

    [*]What's the best way to react to success or good reviews?

    - Scream. Cry. Take your Mom out to dinner. Say thank you to every follower you have on Facebook, Twitter, Blogger, Tumblr, and anywhere else you have a base. It's because of them you get those good reviews. Cherish each and every one.
     
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  5. Mallory
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    Mallory Mallegory. Contributor

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    Everyone else here has given really excellent answers.

    As far as giving it away, you can give it away to someone who'd be guaranteed to do a significant deal of word-of-mouth: someone like a sister, close friend, neice or cousin who looks up to you, etc. If one person who gets it for free can get 5-10 people to buy it (and also spread the word), it's a worthy investment.

    Also, I know a bit about marketing (I'm in a PR field) and you've GOT to know your target audience. Make some ads with colors/images that will appeal to them, and a slogan that they'll relate to that relates to your book in a way that will grab interest. Put these ads in places where your target audience will see them: this could be a school, church, store, a hangout spot like Mochi, etc, even if it's on the doors of restroom stalls in those places (With a private business/building, ask permission before plastering ads everywhere.)

    Also, you can use Facebook a lot. Find groups that are likely to have lots of members of your target audience, and post ads there. Or use simple Facebook updates (status updates, wall posts etc) to promote yourself. With the huge traffic of facebook, you're bound to get something.
     
  6. Corbyn
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    Corbyn Lost in my own head Contributor

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    One of my favorite Authors is a self published "indie" Author. I actually got into the series as a reader from the barnes and noble website for my nook. I've downloaded some cheap crap from there and gotten exactly that. When I ran into her books though I was pleasantly surprised. She started out with smash word. I actually joined a group she sponsors, and a number of the authors there use blogs, twitter, and facebook to promote their work. I realize the hesitation behind self publishing, and specifically e-publishing. This particular author though did it and did it well. She's just been picked up by Bantam books for a paranormal romance series. One of actually two that had started as e-publishing ventures. I would say just do what your doing. Ask lots of questions and make sure you're comfortable before you put yourself on the line. In the end that is exactly what your doing. Putting yourself and your work out there. I'm not gonna say you should discount e-publishing but asking all these questions is a great start.
     
  7. VM80
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    VM80 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Some good suggestions here. I'd be cautious about the 'giving away' of books. Of course there's people who you may want to give free copies to, but... I'd do it 'strategically' and keep an eye on that. In the end, you're paying for the books, right?

    The good news is there's usually some level of interest when you mention that you write. Last year I very casually mentioned at work that I was writing a book, and the amount of people who have remembered that, and keep showing an interest has been surprising.

    Similarly I've had encouragement from the Alumni Society at my University, for both my music and writing. If I were to publish (or self publish) in the future, that is definitely one place I would be in touch with (not that I'm not anyway).
     
  8. Raki
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    Raki Contributing Member

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    Great suggestions all around. Sorry I haven't appeared more in this thread, I've been incredibly busy.

    To clarify the "give it away for free" question, I was referring to e-books. Many self-published authors have opted to give away their books (e-books) for free. What are the benefits of doing this?

    Also, can or should you use avenues of short story/article publications to promote your book (even if the target audience between the two may be different)? For example, say you wrote a short story about a romantic sea venture that turned disastrous and managed to get it published in something as prominent as Glimmer Train. Then you wrote a 400-page memoir about your experiences surviving in the Sahara alone for three months and self-published it. Could you use one to promote the other? What may be some of the benefits of doing this, as well as the drawbacks?

    Also, say you've accumulated several awards with short story and article publications. What are the benefits and drawbacks of promoting your self-published book with these? Apply the target audience portion from above. Say you won a prominent award for an article you wrote on the mass manipulation of media laws. Could you use that award to promote a fantasy book? Pros and cons of doing so?

    Again, great feedback everybody. Keep the responses coming!
     
  9. e(g)
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    e(g) Member

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    I honestly believe that since November 2007, when Kindle first came out, the question of how to promote an e-book has been on every publisher's mind. It's not the same as print. A print book can sit on a shelf or a display in a bookstore and show itself. An e-book cannot.

    Amanda Hocking has gone on to wealth and fame, but before that, she put out a lot of books (She was prolific.) and sold them cheap. Most of them were in the form of a series.
     
  10. psychotick
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    psychotick Contributing Member Contributor

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    Hi,

    I've written before on this topic, but I'll add a few new thoughts here, specifically relating to the kindle epublishing system, most of them I just picked up from reading other blogs.

    First I agree with almost everything everyone here has said so far. But I think the first thing you need to do before anything else, is get your book in front of potential readers. Think of kindle as a normal bookstore, and imagine yourself browsing. How do you do that?

    Well the first thing I do is head for the sections I know. For me that's Sci Fi and Fantasy, and I go straight to those sections by-passing everything (99%) else. With kindle, that means tagging and it means putting your book in the exact right category, because the way that a customer is going to find your book is by searching keywords and categories, rather then physically walking the bookstore floor.

    So for Maverick for example, a fantasy, I gave it the categories of fantasy, epic, and fantasy, adventure, and then I used every one of my fifteen keyword tags that I could think of that was directly related to it. So I chucked in wizards, magic, and elves, because some people would search those words out. Wizards in particular has become a huge tag since Harry Potter.

    Next when I browse a bookstore I look at all the shiny covers (yes I'm shallow - but so are many other readers.) So I put a lot of work into the cover, designing one that I hoped would draw the eye. Sadly I have no artistic ability, so it took me a long time, and I consulted about the cover here and on a couple of other fora. And while what has resulted is not perfect, I think it stands out enough.

    Next in a bookstore, I look for authors I know. I had a previous book out, Thief, which sales had been malingering for a year, so I knew that I wasn't going to get a lot of sales from those readers.There were just too few of them. But it did key me up to moving into more publishing, because I knew that the more books I put out, the more potential customers I would find. So currently I have four novels and a short story out, and when I look at my sales I see they are all moving together. The kindle will tell me for example that the customers that bought Thief, also bought Dragon and Maverick. (Which is why Thiefs sales per month have leapt from maybe one a month to ten or twenty since Maverick has come out.

    Another thing I will look for is recomendations. I have friends and family who read, and they will tell me, I read this book, its great. So I'll take a look at it.

    Amazon has provided their own version of this, and it comes up automatically, once your book hits so many sales. At first it is a recommendation that customers who liked this book also liked etc. Later when sales increase again, it becomes customers who bought this book also bought etc. Now this is vital. Not because its listed on your books page, but because your book now becomes listed on other pages for other people's books. So when someone goes to Joe Blog's book and checks it out, there may also be a recommendation that customers who liked his book also bought mine etc. The lesson here is that early sales, at least the first ten or twenty are critical.

    Next, social networking. Get a blog going and an author site. Amazon will give you a place to set up your author page, where you can stick a photo or two and put down a little bit about yourself, and you can link it to all your books. Readers want to know a little about their authors, so a good page may well help to sell your book, and also, if they go to your page they'll see all the books you've written. If they like but don't buy one, maybe they'll check out another. The author page doesn't allow you to set up a blog there, but it does allow you to link a blog from elsewhere. So I set up a blog on Goodreads, and linked it through to my writer's page.

    With author blurbs and blogs, probably the most important thing you need to be is likeable. Arrogance, distance, false modesty etc, will all be punished. The best example I can give for outstanding author blogs, would be Piers Anthony's excerpts at the end of many of his books. Do read them.

    Get on the Amazon kindle boards as a writer. Get your name out there, because more then just writer browse those fora, and many writers are also readers. Join the fora, speak, get your name known, and where you can start 'Liking', 'Yessing' and 'Tagging' books.

    Liking refers to the little box at the top right of the page by your books cover, which says basically, tick if you like this book. You don't actually have to buy the book to like it, though you do have to be an Amazon customer. Yessing, refers to the question at the bottom of each review, saying - did you find this review helpful. Click yes for the four and five star ones. And Tagging is going down to the bottom of the page and ticking the boxes of customers tags for the books, and ticking them. This is critical, because the more times a book tag such as wizards is tagged, the higher up the list of books returned in a keyword search that book will be. Higher up the list means that with say sixty tags under fantasy, when a customer searches out 'fantasy' Maverick will be more likely to be seen, since readers usually only scan a few pages of searches.

    Now here's where indie authors sometimes get a little devious. Many of us have been involved in things called tagging parties, where on a fora everyone puts up their books to be liked, yessed and tagged, and everyone spends maybe an hour or two doing it. Amazon got a little annoyed with the practice, and removed tags for about a month, but ended up cutting off their own nose to spite their face as they say, since total sales dropped. So tags are back and parties are legit.

    Next reviews. A good review is an awesome thing. And people seldom do write reviews. So you might want to get some reviews done by gifting copies to others on the basis that they will give you a review. There are also respected bloggers who do them when asked, though for the most part they are swamped. There are many many books out there and not enough of them.

    But also you want an honest review, strengths and weaknesses, so before you go for one, make sure your book is as good as it can be. Grammar, typos, plot holes etc, all removed. I'd seriously recommend at least for the first one, get it editted. The cost may be high, but the last thing any aspiring author can afford is for his first book to get a reputation as being unprofessional or poorly written. (I wish I'd done that for Thief a year and a bit ago.)

    Then finally, don't sit back and wait for the millions to roll in. It almost never happens. Go back to writing. Finish off other books. Publish them, put them up and think of a succesfull writing career not as a one smash hit wonder thing, but rather a long and sustained career. To be able to make a living at this you may need to publish twenty books.

    Pricing. I stick to 2.99 for my novels, because its the lowest price at which I can get my 70% royalty. Others try lower prices, especially for initial books. All I can suggest here is read I think its Jo Konrath's blog about prices and sales.

    Lastly always remember that an e-published book has one incredible advantage over a traditionally published one. Its always going to be available. Go to an agent, have him take his cut, get it published, they do one run of say twenty thousand, and if it doesn't sell its over. No more sales period. But with an ebook, say it sells a hundred a month, that's probably going to be a hundred, every month for the rest of your life, unless there's some reason for it to become dated. The main reason why books fall down in sales is, as far as I can be sure, that they've peaked. So take that first heady rush of sales when it finally happens, with a dose of salts. It may not last. But it will not go back to zero again (usually).

    The real trick is of course as the book goes up in sales and sales rank, to work out if its still rising, or whether its peaked, or found its plateau.

    Hope that helps. (And I may change my thoughts as time goes by - life is change).

    Cheers, Greg.
     
  11. e(g)
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    Thank you, Greg, that was very insightful. I read the whole thing, and I think I will print out all these comments and hold on to them. Lilix and Chicken Freak had some really good input, too.
     
  12. Jefferson27
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  13. psychotick
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    psychotick Contributing Member Contributor

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    Hi,

    There's two lots of keywordsto think about on the kindle. The first is the category.

    So when you put up a book for publishing your asked to give two categories to place it in. These relate to the side bar selections in Amazon when you look for a product. So for Maverick I used Fiction - Fantasy - Epic and Fiction - Fantasy - Adventure. The importance of them is that when a reader goes to a product, lets say its a dvd, they go down through the menues, and say look up DVD, then go from there to Tv and Movies, then to say recent releases, science fiction and fantasy etc etc. This is the first way people access products, simply running through the category menus.

    The second is by searching. So say I wanted a dvd about monsters. I'd simply go to the top bar in Amazon, select the DVD store, and then type in monsters into the search bar. The search engine then hunts for every dvd it can find with monsters listed as a tag. Those which come up first in a search, i.e. on the first or second page of results, are the ones with the greatest numbers of people agreeing about the tags, the greatest number of people having 'liked' the item, and the best recent sales etc.

    So obviously you want to have as many different key words (tags) as you can for each book, so it can come up on multiple searches, and you want as many people to have clicked those tags as possible.

    Cheers, Greg.
     
  14. Jefferson27
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  15. psychotick
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    psychotick Contributing Member Contributor

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    Hi Jefferson,

    Ah yes I did. So I have epic fantasy as a keyword as well as a product category.

    I don't know if the order of key words matters or not, but I would doubt it, except for the fact that the keywords appear on the book page in that order and some people tend to just tick the first one as they tag. Laziness?

    Cheers, Greg.
     
  16. Jefferson27
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    Jefferson27 Member

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    So it is reasonable that once in the category of Fiction-Fantasy-Epic people would then enter a search with either "epic" or "fantasy"? Why would they?
    To me it would seem redundant. I hate to belabor an issue so much but it sure seems important to have the right keywords, so a mistake that would cost you a few is not minor.
     
  17. psychotick
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    psychotick Contributing Member Contributor

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    Hi Jefferson,

    Its the way that people access / find your book that matters. They can either go through the categories, i.e. the menu system,and look for all ebooks, fantasy epic etc, (that's like simply working your way through the shelves in the bookstore), or they can go to the kindle store and simple search for a word or several words (which is like googling.) Fantasy may well be one of those words, as well as say - wizard or magic etc.

    As I say you get fifteen keywords you can put in (and readers can add a few more as well), so use them all is my advice, and do put in the book categories as key words. Otherwise you'd hate it if people didn't find your book because it was low on the list when they typed wizard and fantasy, because, fantasy wasn't one of your key words, while they found the other similar books that had used both words.

    Cheers, Greg.
     
  18. Islander
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    Doesn't anyone else think it's kind of dishonest to click Like on your own books and click Yes on the positive reviews (or get other people to do it)?

    Are we supposed to tag our books with "wizards" just because lots of people use that search term, even if the book has no wizards?
     
  19. foxanthony
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    I'm writing a fantasy series and planning to give the first book away in exchange for the email address of the people who download it.

    From there I have plans to get monthly subscriptions from them for a newsletter, podcast, forum, various credits in the books, the opportunity to watch me write (through Google Docs), discounts (or free, depending on subscription level) on the purchase of the future books, and other premiums.

    And, of course sell them the books. How about this, asking people to prepay for a novel? I know not many will but some probably will if the pitch is good enough.

    There will be a lot of marketing stuff in the freebie book also (come to my website, if you liked this make a donation, etc). Hell, I might even have an ad in the book saying that if they would like a copy of the book without the ads they can buy it at my website.

    I'm hoping to finish the series, selling all books by email, before I even put them on Amazon.

    One big upside to this plan is data collection. I will be able to track every one who downloads the free first novel. I think the marketing departments of publishers would drool over this kind of data. It would cost a million dollars to do this kind of research and take a couple of years. They'll get it with a publishing contract for my series. Say a million dollars?
     
  20. teacherayala
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    Someone mentioned something about author blogs that are successful, and I thought you might want to peruse these "Top Author Blogs" listings. Maybe if you check out the websites of others that are generating a lot of traffic and hits, you'll figure out what needs changing with yours.
     
  21. what the dickens
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    One of the reasons i have said before that tags are of minimal use today for finding things on the internet.

    The more people that use the same tags = The bigger the traffic jam of results and the harder it is to find "one" particular item.

    Using non-related popular tags to get found as in your example "wizards" = Disgruntled searchers who will end up not using a tag system for searches anymore and also may not bother with your books again?
     
  22. what the dickens
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    Whether it be a blog or an Author's website, it has to be initially found by new readers/visitors otherwise it is of no use.


    "Hits" on a website/blog dont really mean a thing, what really counts is "visitors" and "pages indexed". This means the actual people who visited the website and then the amount of pages they looked at. So the more pages indexed means the longer they stuck around, so the more they were interested in what was on your website/blog. If you have your own website then this information is avaliable to you.
     

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