As an indie author there are many “hats” you need to wear to get your “book babies” out into the world.
Over the past four years I’ve been through a steep learning curve in relation to getting my books babies written, typed, edited, formatted, cover designs created (Photoshop is evil), published, launched and subsequently marketed on a shoestring budget.
The marketing aspect is probably the toughest challenge an indie author faces.
Actually writing the book in the first place is the fun part!
Since KDP and other self-publishing platforms made books so relatively simple to self-publish the market has been flooded. There were circa 2 000 000 books published in 2017 alone. Competition is tough, VERY tough!
A quote from a Forbes.com article from 2013 sums up the challenges succinctly: “Here’s the problem with self-publishing: no one cares about your book. That’s it in a nutshell. There are somewhere between 600 000 and 1 000 000 books published every year in the US alone, depending on which stats you believe. Many of those – perhaps as many as half or even more- are self-published. On average they sell less than 250 copies each. Your book won’t stand out. Hillary Clinton’s will. Yours won’t.”
Harsh but honest words.
I’ve said many times if you’re writing a book to make money then you’re in for a hell of a shock!
To date, I’ve been extremely fortunate that no one has said my book babies are ugly, they’ve each earned 5* reviews and I’ve received a Royalties payment every month, even if it is only for pennies.
The majority that have been sold have been e-books but each of my book babies is also available as a “real” book too.
E-book marketing can be done through social media. “Real” book marketing, actually gaining shelf space, is far tougher. I’d love to see my books on the shelves in bookstores but getting shelf space as an indie author is nigh on impossible. I managed it once with Stronger Within for a whole six copies. A major accomplishment that I remain very proud of.
For me personally though I’d love to see my Silver Lake series on sale in the book stores in and around the town where the stories are set. That small town is somewhere I am passionate about. A lot of the feedback that I’ve received has been that folk want to visit Rehoboth Beach, De. (It’s not a big place but in my own quiet way from over 3000 miles away I’ve introduced my readers to this jewel on the Delaware Riviera.)
On more than one occasion, I’ve approached a “local” bookstore in an effort to open discussions about the possibility of them putting a few copies on their shelves. My polite approaches have been met with silence.
So I reverted to advertising on social media and added pages and groups linked to the locale to my list. I don’t over advertise on these- one post every few weeks on these “local” pages at most. To an “outsider” looking in on the group/page descriptions they look to be about promoting things linked to the area, including books, events, places etc about the area so the Silver Lake books meet the criteria….. or so I thought until recently. One well- meant post met with a brief but sharp barrage of complaints that I was routing shoppers to Amazon instead of local stores and was detracting from the town. I quickly deleted the post as that most definitely was not my intent. The comments stung. If local businesses supported indie authors, regardless of where they reside, who are writing about their town then local folks wouldn’t have to shop online….. marketing lesson #700….. I won’t be engaging with that group again.
Maybe Forbes.com was right “no one cares about your book.”
However, authors, including indie-authors, are storytellers at heart and, for as long as they have a story to share, they will find a way to publish or self-publish their work. I know I will.
As for marketing, well despite having been kicked back down that learning curve, I’ve picked myself up, dusted myself off and will start all over again.
Can I interest you in a book?……..
Amazon.com links –
Stronger Within – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00VXDSC1M
Impossible Depths – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01C0GS30K
Bonded Souls – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B06XSQHG71
Amazon.co.uk links –
Stronger Within – https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00VXDSC1M
Impossible Depths – https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01C0GS30K
Bonded Souls – https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B06XSQHG71