|Fitz says HI!|
I just wanted share with you the ideas and resources I've collected over the months as I took the journey to becoming a self-published author. I wish I knew these before I published Violet Storm, but it's never too late to learn.
It's not an easy workload. The hardest part is undoubtedly writing, editing, and polishing your novel, but after that comes marketing and advertising. Many of us are fortunate to have publishers who can help in this area, but even then, a lot of the work is pushed by the author to help spread the word.
Here are a few things on my massive list that have worked well, including some that have not:
- Editorial Review services that I pursued:
- San Francisco Book Reviews: (cost $125, 8-10 weeks) - Great service, quick to respond, and the review was amazing. They gave VS 4 stars! See the review here.
- Readers' Favorite: (cost $129 for 3 reviews, 2-3 weeks) - Great service, super fast, and the review was amazing. You can choose to have 1 review for a cheaper cost. I benefited from purchasing 3 reviews because the second reviewer loved my book and gave it a phenomenal 5-star rating! The other two rated it 4 stars. See the reviews here.
- Publishers Weekly: (cost $149, 8-10 weeks) - I would not recommend PW to other indie authors because although you pay to submit your novel, it is not guaranteed that they will read and review it. Which happened in my case. I lost two novels (which the submission required plus a hefty $149). They mentioned VS online here. That was what $149 and 2 books purchased…
- Why pay for editorial reviews? I found them to be a great way to get renowned editorial magazines to give honest reviews. Plus it also included advertising. Review + advertising equalled a good investment for unknown author like me.
- Other editorial reviewers to consider: Kirkus ($425, 7-9 weeks), BlueInk Review ($395, 7-9 weeks), Self-Publishing Review ($59, $109, or $249). I did not pursue Kirkus or BlueInk because they were absurdly expensive and didn't seem worth the cost when considering my budget.
- Writer's Digest 2014 Self-published Book Awards (cost $110)
- There are a few others I'm considering for 2015 which I'll list at a later date
- These were terrifying and by far the most anxiety ridden. I've hosted two book signings with the help of my family and friends and sold close to fifty books. Plus who knows if it generated any additional leads.
- Some bookstores have programs for local indie authors. It doesn't hurt to ask, even if it feels daunting or embarrassing. I went to a renowned local children's bookstore, Hicklebee's and they agreed to put my books on the shelf. For a small fee they advertise and host a local author event that is sure to generate some buzz. I'll keep you posted on how that goes! The Author Event is slated for Aug. 23rd.
- I first learned of blog tours through my good author friend, Meradeth Houston, for her latest publication, "Surrender the Sky." After Googling top Blog Tour sites, I decided on Xpress Book Tours. Giselle is great to work with and I feel like my tour is in good hands.
I have a long list of ideas that I didn't pursue but am keeping on my radar. I'll share those on another blog.
Other creative endeavors in the area of marketing and advertising:
- Author Interview Videos: check out my Facebook Page for examples. They were quick 2-4 min. videos on various topics. They give the readers a chance to get to know the author and their creative process, as well as talk about the novel.
- Promotional material: I used Moo and worked with an artist and a graphic designer to help create polished material. This sounds expensive, and to some extent it was. But utilize your network (friends and family) who can give you a discount on their services. :) It never hurts to ask for help!
- Flyers and Promotional cards, both of which I try to keep with me at all times and hand out and post them up when the opportunity arises. I was recommended by a fellow blogger and author to mail them to libraries with a personalized note.
- Want to work with a great illustrator and/or a graphic designer? Reach out to Kyle Van Meurs (email@example.com) for great art, and Jason Rought (firstname.lastname@example.org) for graphic design. Let them know I referred you! I worked with them in individual capacities on my book cover, promo materials, flyers, and even my logo!
That's my list for now. Check out fellow blogger, Leandra Wallace, who's written a list of creative "Things She Would Do" to market and advertise her current WIP.
|Promo Card #2|
|My flyer (back and front). And of course Fitz wants to inspect them.|
Would LOVE to hear from my fellow authors and bloggers on any other avenues that benefited them. I am always on the lookout for new ideas. Thanks in advance! :)