One thing I love about blogging is have guest posters. I love showing off the knowledge other authors and helping fellow writers with thier journey. This post from the lovely Catherine does both. It'll give you lots of knowledge and aid you with your journey to authorship.
The job of the indie author is not an easy one. Not only are we expected to produce high-quality, well-written novels and short stories with excellent cover art on very tight budgets, but we also have to promote and sell our books independently. Not for us the luxury of a ‘big 6’ publishing company with the industry connections and the money to spend on marketing and PR. Oh no, we have to be creative and ingenious in our approach.
Many independent authors I speak to are struggling with the concept of writing a book and promoting it effectively. Indeed, I myself spend at least half of my working week doing Internet promotions and learning new ways of marketing in my local area. The work is tedious and tiresome, and very often I come away feeling very disconnected from myself as a writer. It is a necessary evil in today’s business world, that along with the advent of the Internet, which was supposed to make it easier to be seen, so we have become a culture where everyone is fighting for airspace, and everyone needs to shout louder than the next person or else risk being swallowed up in the World Wide Web.
Several authors that I have spoken to recently say that they struggle to draw a line between the time they spend promoting their existing published books, and the time they spend writing new ones. It is a classic catch 22 situation. On the one hand, we must have new books to share with our audience in order to keep their interest and support. On the other, we want to sell our books to as many new readers as possible, in order to grow and expand that audience. Therefore, where do we concentrate the bulk of our time and energy?
I think the answer to this question is about personal expectations. I initially published my first novel with the intention of marketing it and selling to as many people as possible, in order to establish myself as a familiar name in the genre. I quickly learned that this technique wasn’t good enough for a paranormal romance series. Readers want more of the same. They finish a series of books by one author, and then they want another series to try, whether it is by the same author or someone new. As long as the genre and the formula match their expectations, the reader is happy.
So for me, writing a paranormal romance series, I would have done better to publish at least my first three books in quick succession. Of course, those books need readers that are waiting. I must somehow find time to write my books, have them edited and proofread, produce high quality professional covers, format the interior of the books to suit the publishing platform, and then market the things. Phew!
My advice for building your author platform? Find an author who has done it, preferably in your genre or as close as you can get. Study their books, their methods of advertising, the way they interact with readers and other authors. Then emulate their success to the best of your ability. And never stop writing!
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