I hope you had a chance to read my newest short story that I posted yesterday. I am pretty proud of it. It is based on the challenge that went out from the Rough Writers, our student Creative Writing club on campus here. We have been building a fantasy world during this school year, and have come to the point of challenging each other to write stories based on that world. In addition to mine, another view of that world, Cartref, can be found on Tiffany Collier’s website.
There will be other stories, some written by me, others written by the half dozen regulars in the Rough Writers. I am suggesting that we compile them all in a book sometime this summer and make it available for a nominal cost on Amazon and Smashwords (Amazon won’t let you give books away on a regular basis; you have to charge at least $.99 for an ebook).
The other thing I have coming up is an opportunity for some marketing feedback. Self serving as I am, I am taking advantage of a class that I teach–Applied Advertising and PR–to have my students brainstorm how I can sell more books. Presently I am active (or at least semi-active) on this blog, Twitter, Facebook (sort of) and Goodreads. I have tried doing giveaways on Goodreads, contests on this blog, and book signings at the local bookstore. I have gotten relatively good reviews for my books on Amazon. But sales are not picking up as much as I would like to see. Part of that is getting more reviews, but a lot of the problem, I suspect, is that I (and my books) am still an unknown commodity. That’s the biggest challenge of being and indie author. Traditional publishers have the connections with bookstores and media outlets, which is what I need. But even with that, there are no guarantees of sales even if you go with a traditional publisher.
And so I am going to take advantage of the grey matter between the ears of my students. I did it two years ago when I last taught the class, and ended up with the great idea of going to DeviantArts.com to recruit an artist for my Tom Horn steampunk novel. It made a world of difference with the cover. I hope to get good results this time as well.
I will keep you posted, both on what I learn from my class, and our world building project in Rough Writers. Ciao.
One thought on “Getting the Word Out”
Finding your audience, that is the tricky part of indie publishing. Even with high numbers of followers and likes, it’s no guarantee you will sell. I am working on a vampire novel, and I have started connecting with other vampire novelists and joined a few vampire themed groups on facebook. I’m still looking for a way to crack into the vampire circle on twitter, but social media is the key to familiarity. Maybe you can find a few groups that write or read the type of stories you’ll be writing (you can ask your students to search social media to find these groups). it may not lead to anything significant, but asking your ‘friends’ for reviews and to spread the word works better than asking strangers, IMO. Good luck!
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