Thursday, July 04, 2013

Promoting a self-published novel.

So, the experiment begins...

My self-published novel "Soul Seekers" is now available on Kindle for the princely sum of £2.01 in the UK and $3.10 in the USA. However, lost among a million other digital titles it's not going to get very far on its own.

When the title appeared on Kindle, I made my first steps in self-promotion by releasing details of the novel here, on my Facebook Fan Page and on Twitter. I also entered the title details on Goodreads in case fans of my Ethan Warner series wanted to take a look.

This resulted in a flurry of early sales, pushing the title up into the 3,000 position ( approx. ) for a couple of days. Then, as the early buyers dropped away, as expected the title has gradually slid far down the chart. This is normal as my reach through Twitter, Facebook etc probably only amounts to a few hundred people, of whom only a small fraction will buy the book.

What begins now is the proper promotion of the title. Things change fast in self-publishing, and I've noticed in my research that methods that once were considered useful no longer work and that there are far more people using things like forums and so on to promote their work. A more crowded market means it becomes harder to get noticed, and brand awareness is the key to higher sales.

My first steps have been to approach avid book bloggers and request reviews. This is usually done via e-mail, and I have prepared a document that presents my work in as professional a manner as possible. Being a successfully published author already may ( or may not ) give me a slight advantage over somebody starting from scratch, but a professional approach gives a blogger some confidence that the novel itself will also be professional, and that applies to all authors.

Here's an image of my document, drawn up to give potential blog reviewers a simple at-a-glance look at my novel.

I'm currently awaiting replies, and also a few reviews from fans of the Ethan Warner books who have purchased Soul Seekers.
I also managed to get an idea of just how many books you need to sell via Kindle to make it up into the top 100 and the top 10. You need to sell around 200+ copies per day to break into the top 100, and the top 10 titles can be selling as many as 3,000 per day. The general opinion is that it's very hard to break through unless you're already a well-known name or your book is available for £0.99 or less. That said, popularity does grow as books gain positive reviews and word-of-mouth, still the best advertising tool, spreads awareness of an author's work.
I'll report back here should anything interesting occur over the next few days...

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