I am a self published author and my sales in the little under two years (edit 2013 now 3 years) since my first books came out whilst in the hundreds are not in the league of JK Rowling or Amanda Hocking alas. But I do have an approach that I feel is working for me. I am also a planner and an organiser kind of guy (I run the UK’s largest hobby game convention for example and juggle the rota of 15 doctors over 4 sites in the day job) so the way I find I function best is to have a plan.
The plan does not always work and I do tinker, bolt on extra bits and drop sections at will. But once I have my plan I feel a lot saner! In a week or so I will sit down to work out my 2012 master plan and these thoughts will go through my mind:
My plan comes in three parts
A) Writing/publishing plan. I like to have an idea what I am aiming to achieve in the next 12 months. Without this I tend to find projects flit and float around. With deadlines in mind I can make it all happen. That’s the idea at least;-) This was part of my plan in 2012:
- Jan/Feb: Finish the editing of Child of Loki (sequel to The Amber Treasure) and pass to JO (my editor) for her magic.
- Jan/Feb: New cover design for The Last Seal being worked on by Cathy Helms of Avalon Graphics and Gilian Pearce of Hellion’s Art. (two very excellent people BTW and very talented).
- March: Cover for Child of Loki to be finalised by Cathy.
- April Child of Loki Published.
- etc etc
b)Marketing Plan. This will be a complex look at all the areas of activities online and in the real world I will focus on this year. Not all areas will actually happen but I will identify activities to focus on.
• What sort of book do I have :
Be clear what category you book falls in. Have some idea of comparable books. Think: Why would a reader like your book?
• Think about Target Readers
Who are you aiming to sell the book to
Via Websites; Identify suitable online sales points
local books shops, ? any special shops eg a museum shop.
Audience at book fairs and literary events./ special visits
Consider where you might go to to make contact with potential buyers
• Reaching target readers: /Awareness Raising:
- Complete following profiles and author pages. Add videos etc. be as active as possible:
- Author Page on Amazon
- Kindle Boards:
- Niche market forums – eg Sci Fi and Fantasy ones
- Virtual Book Tour.
Consider organising a blog tour
Use the blog to post interesting and useful articles and content that readers might want to look at.
- Be active on Social Media eg
- Maintain E-book samples online
Freado, Scribd, Smashwords etc.
- Maintain an active website
Try and keep fresh with content/ sneak previews, articles on aspects of the book and associated subjects.
- Be active online
Research other forums and sites that focus on your genre and get involved. Try to get involved in chats, comments and not just advertise.
- Audio and Video samples
Podiobooks.com ; U-tube reading of book
Contact Libraries and schools
Consider Hobby groups who might have an interest in your books.
Think about having a stall at Literary festivals, craft fairs, conventions etc if appropriate for your subject
- Local radio and TV, local newspaper
Send out press releases and stories.
- Try and obtain more Reviews
From book blog sites etc
These areas might need a budget:
Editor – do you need the book editing?
Blog/Website: Design and maintenance, annual costs.
Graphics: Design of book covers, flyers, posters, bookmarks etc
Audio and Video: Do you need to buy a camera, earphones, microphone, editing software etc,
Printing: Consider printing bookmarks, postcards, flyers etc ,
Review Copies: Will you send out copies. If so they each cost a few quid including postage etc.
Travel costs, postage and other Expenses The list can go on but having an idea about planned costs for the year is sensible.
Anyway I am sure you all have your own ideas – many better than mine no doubt. Can you suggest any other areas to consider?