Are you tired of spending hours on social media promoting your brand, your books?
What if I told you there was a way to give you two-and-a-half years of writing time inside of your already busy schedule?
You see we all struggle with busy schedules, most importantly, finding time to write. Well, guess what?
I have found a way to give myself an extra hour of writing time each and every day. Writing time that I had previously squandered by over exerting myself marketing my brand and my writing.
Social Media has become the independent author’s best friend. It’s how we spread the word on our latest projects, it's how we find new readers, it's how we query for agents, it's the lifeblood of an author platform. This is the focus of every indie, self-published author right out the gate. It also happens to be where most of us stumble and fall hardest.
You spend countless hours crafting tweets, fabulous Facebook posts, and the best #instafire photo and only gain two "valuable" readers after putting in twenty hours into social media that week.
I know what you are thinking...
I know I’ve heard it! But the thing is, you inadvertently do. Most don’t know how much time we are spending on social media because the revolution of the internet has radically changed our world. It is the new norm. We get lost in the scroll, hunting and searching for the quick burst of dopamine that says, “Yes, I have been validated and accepted by my peers!”
For indie authors it is no different. We wait for the next follow, the next share by our friends and family that puts another stone in the stronghold of our author platform. Unfortunately some of us spend far too much time surfing the social media waves for too little return on our investment. In fact recent estimates say that the average social media user will spend over five years of their life on social media.
Check this Infographic by MediaKix
FIVE FLIPPIN' YEARS OF YOUR LIFE! Want it back now?
What is Crowdfunded-Publishing? And why you should consider it. Featuring Susan K. Hamilton author of Shadow King
You've heard of Kickstarter...
Crowdfunding isn't a new concept. The advent of the internet, social media networks, and our increasing online existence it is no surprise to see artists, authors, and creatives of all kind leveraging the power of their social networks. Platforms like Kickstarter, IndieGoGo, and GoFundMe are household names, yet Crowdfunding isn't restricted to these avenues. Along with these innovative platforms a host of publishing oriented sites have cropped up. Inkshares, Crowdbooks, and UnBound have taken the concept of Crowdfunding and provided a haven for authors to engage audiences in an exciting way. By running campaigns to attract readers, specifically pre-orders of their latest WIP, authors are able to access the power of the Crowd to publish their work.
Why should indie authors consider Crowdfunding?
There are several reasons...
Crowdfunding your novel is a rewarding experience that nets the author a number of key advantages over self-publishing. While I published my first novel via the self-publishing (Amazon KDP model), it was not my first choice. I initially attempted to crowdfund on the Inkshares platform. There were a few key factors that attracted me to the concept.
Despite those advantages...I found that the world of Crowdfunding isn't easy...
My first campaign to fund and publish Nemeton was a failure. The novel was under a different name, concept, and had poorly written drafts. I was so excited about the idea though, and I knew others would. There was one key issue, I wasn't done writing the book yet, and readers could tell. They never said as much, but the lack of interest told me all I needed to know. I wasn't ready to publish under this model.
Don't let that discourage you...
I have seen many other authors succeed where I failed and I learned a few key things from them. In fact, for this blog I pulled in one of the authors who recently succeeded in publishing through Inkshares. I interviewed her so you could better grasp the concept of crowdfunding and how to publish your book through this exciting method.
Readers Judge Books By Their Cover!
No matter the path you've chosen to pursue in publishing your manuscript, you'll need a GREAT Cover. Why? Because people do judge books by their cover. If your cover is bland, or looks like it was made by an amateur most won't even give your book a second thought. More importantly they may never look at your work again...
It seems harsh but it is the reality we face...
With nearly a million books published each year in the United States alone, your cover is the first access point for your potential readers. We went over the Pitch before and it is the core of your marketing strategy, but the book cover will be seen first, and as such it will be the first point of judgement by your potential reader. Eyes will automatically be drawn to the cover whether the reader is seeing it in a search, an ad, or a social media post. If you lose the reader because of a poorly designed cover, it won't matter how good your Pitch is, and even worse how good your story itself is.
Get ready to tear your hair out, especially if you decide to design it yourself!
There are three main roads you can take when you are crafting your book cover.
So you wrote a book...What the Hell do you do next? Issue #5 Finding Your Audience, Cont... #selfpublishing #hacks
Getting to know your Audience
Now we've talked about how to find a potential first customer and how to begin to expand the visibility of our Author Brand or Platform, but we need to take the next step. Unfortunately it is a difficult one. Not because it is hard to achieve it is easy, but because it requires an insane amount of patience. You want results and you want them RIGHT NOW! I know because I've been there, hell I am still there. I want everything I write to reach the stars and wow everyone, but I like you have only just started this quest. There are a few things you need to do in order to change your mindset. A shift in how you think about your success after your first book is crucial to furthering your success with the next book, and the book after that. In fact your entire writing career hinges on whether or not you are able to surmount the wall you've put up inside your own head.
MOST OF US WILL NOT HAVE RECORD BREAKING SALES RIGHT AWAY!
It is just a fact! If this was your first book to finish and publish you've got a tough road ahead, but it is important not to watch your sales like a hawk everyday. Why? Because if you are busy wasting time checking your AMAZON KDP REPORTS you aren't taking the next step in building your audience. Your audience isn't in that report. (Even though it can be used to target your audience eventually) Set it aside! Cast it out of your mind.
CHECK YOUR SALES REPORT ONCE A DAY! THAT'S IT!
I know what you are thinking... hang with me for a second...
So you wrote a book...What the Hell do you do next? Issue #4 Finding Your Audience, Cont... #selfpublishing #hacks
Hack #2 - Finding Your Audience, Continued...
In the last segment we examined how you can find your first customer. Sorry reader... Perhaps that is a more comfortable term, however I believe that customer is just as fitting. You are writing books because it is your BUSINESS! Businesses have customers and although this industry is different, the need we seek to fill, I.E. our wallets, requires return customers. Customers who are loyal to your brand, your Author platform.
What is an Author Platform?
This is a complex concept that will take time and patience to develop. I'm talking years, but it is worth every second to devote your time to this effort. It is a creative, organic process that has no formula. It is different for each author and depends largely on their persona and the work you as an author produce.
Let's start with what your Author Platform is NOT...
An author platform is not publicity or marketing or promoting. It is not your social media presence, or getting the attention of everyone you come across. Though many are confused by this, the author platform, or more aptly named Author Brand is much larger than simply selling your book. This is the foundation upon which you will sell all the other books, stories, and products you create in the future. Your brand is your voice, it is your visibility, and it is the place your audience will flock to.
So what is your Author Brand?
It is the entire pie of what you do online and offline. As self-published and indie authors we are responsible for all promotion, marketing, writing, editing, connections, you name it. It seems like a lot, and indeed it is a tall order, but it is not insurmountable. In fact it is possible, edifying, and thoroughly exhilarating. When I began this journey I was filled with "I can't". I can't write a book without help. I can't publish a book without help. I can't market my book without help.
I WAS WRONG!
Now my brand is centered on helping other authors, who are filled with the same doubt. I seek to dispel doubt, like a sorcerer. Indeed that is the exact purpose of this blog which will soon be a bestselling Kindle Release! Your book could be too if you follow the breadcrumbs I have...
Christopher Lee is the indie author of Nemeton, an avid history buff, mythologist, bardic poet, and keeper of the old ways.