Publishing my debut novel has been quite an adventure. Here is what I learned so far:
- I’ve tested Kindle Unlimited for 90 days and had just one borrow. Subsequently, I signed up with a distributor to service other channels.
- Price promotions: Giving away an e-book for free only makes sense if you have more than one book to sell, e.g. the first in a series. Otherwise, a price point of $.99 yielded much better results for me than a price of $1.99.
- Paperbacks: Readers are still buying paperbacks and I am glad that I decided to offer them. I sell paperbacks at speaking and networking events, author talks, shows, and online.
- Relationships sell books. Hard as it is for many authors to talk about ourselves and our book, it is the only way to get the word out. Just don’t be the author who keeps writing “Buy my book” on all her social media posts. That only turns off readers.
- Early reviews benefit authors and readers. I found several early reviewers on Goodreads who also posted on Amazon.
- Never stop learning: Read blogs by successful self-publishers and marketing experts, join Facebook groups where authors exchange experiences, and be willing to share your knowledge with others. Marketing strategies that worked years ago don’t necessarily work anymore today because the market is much more crowded nowadays and readers have a lot more titles to choose from. You need to decide what makes your book different from others.
- Public speaking: As an experienced Toastmaster, that part comes easy for me. Many authors, however, struggle when asked to speak in public, which I find baffling. They are storytellers and are also able to write a coherent story with a beginning, a middle, and an ending. What could be easier than telling stories about their life, their work, and the theme of their book?