Marketing Action Plan

Marketing my books has never been a strength of mine, but the great thing about e-books is that it’s never too late to improve. Today I’ve decided to take some tips I’ve found across the Internet and combine them with some advice of my own to create an action plan to get my books in the hands of more than a dozen people. So, in no particular order, here they are.

Review Keywords – It’s definitely worth the effort to go back and look at the keywords you’ve chosen for your books every now and again. When I published my first book I thought I had chosen a few good keywords. When I went back half a year later, I discovered they were beyond awful. What I had done was just broken up the title of the book and the names of characters and used them as my keywords. Now I have keywords that actually describe key parts of my book. Examples include: fantasy, magic, survival, adventure, knights. While I’m sure I’ll continue to optimize these keywords in the future, at least now I actually have them in place which means more people are likely to stumble upon my books.

Site Updates – Now that I have several series available it’s important that information about them is easily accessible. I’ve always had a page for each of my series, but as more books have been released the amount of clutter on those pages has increased. What I’ve done recently is drastically reduce the amount of text on each page and simplified everything. Having a series description is a great idea, but having paragraphs of description for each book is unnecessary when you’re linking to a place where someone can read the description on their own. Keeping the first book’s link at the top of the page is also important. Now if someone visits one of my series pages they will see the logo, a description, and then have a convenient link to one of the platforms it is available on where they can find out even more.

Non-Exclusivity – For a long time my books were only available on Amazon in exchange for free promotions. I assumed this would help me increase sales, but I simply didn’t have a platform big enough where it would provide a meaningful increase in sales. Going from 0 to 10 meant a lot to me when I first started out, but now I don’t find that to be as exciting as I once did. It’s better to have my books available on Nook and Kobo as well so readers have more of a choice.

Community – Twitter and Facebook accounts are personal, just like a blog, but I treated those platforms too much like a blog. Instead of interacting with other authors and building connections I posted things relevant to myself and did nothing else. These days I follow others on Twitter who follow me and actively seek out people to follow in order to increase my networking potential. As I increase my presence on social networking sites, more potential readers will take notice of me.

If you have any thoughts on these ideas feel free to let me know in the comments!

Writing Update: Perseverance and Confidence Edition

The sixth volume of The Orin Chronicles was released today after a one month delay due to injury. The Library Complex got a rejection from Compulsion Reads. I don’t have the money to continue to attend my University. And I’ve been publishing for 11 months and I don’t have steady sales.

So I’m going to do something about this. All of it. I’m not going to stop writing and editing and publishing. I’m not going to give up on furthering my education because I can’t go back to the University I want to go to. I’m going to persevere and I’m going to succeed because I have confidence in myself and that’s what today’s post is all about. I may not have the most experience when it comes to these issues, but there are certain key things I know that we all forget sometimes that are important to remember.

My writing has never been praised as being fantastic, in fact I’ve only ever gotten 2 reviews. One of them I disagree with, but the other is a 3 star review for The Library Complex. When I saw that… I was incredibly happy. Because it showed me that someone got some enjoyment out of my book even if they didn’t understand it. I’ve always been afraid of my books being off-putting because of the plot or the style they are written in, but at the same time I have confidence that there are many people who can enjoy them.

So where does that confidence come from? If I have these doubts it’s a little strange that I can type with such confidence right now and say that those doubts aren’t major concerns. It’s because I’ve read my own works. After they’ve finished I’ve read them and enjoyed them no matter how much I doubted it. And if I can enjoy them, then why can’t someone else? I don’t like them because they’re mine. Often times I forget about the really special moments that I’ve written; the moments that are purely emotional and not necessarily related to character or plot development. I’m surprised by the beauty of some of the things I’ve written and the concepts I’ve explored so I don’t enjoy my books because it’s what I’ve written. I enjoy them because they can be enjoyed.

Sales will come. I’ll continue to work on that and marketing and all those other things, but sales and reviews will come. I’m certain of it because I don’t release bad products. I’m sure I won’t reach an audience of millions, but I’m not asking for that right now. I know there are flaws in my books right now, but one day when I feel I’ve fixed every potential flaw… then I will demand that type of an audience because that’s what my book deserves. But right now, even though there aren’t many sales, I know my books still have the potential to sell a realistic amount of thousands and I’m happy with that.

This is what allows me to persevere: the knowledge that I’m not trying to do something impossible. So I’ll continue to market and sell and write and edit and publish and commission really awesome logos. And everything will be alright because I’m not sitting back. I’m being active in the life I want, I have realistic confidence in what I do, and I will continue to be an author so long as it is what I want and not for any other reason.