One of the well known montras for savvy authors in the Indie publishing world is to avoid shouting out “Buy my book! Please, buy my book!” Just ask Jonathan Gunson at Best Seller Labs. Yet, the goal of course is to sell as many books as you can. Learning the tricks of the marketing trade isn’t easy. As egotistical as many writers are, sometimes their biggest failure is in promotion. Here’s a great post on that exact subject from Martin Crosbie, a contributor to Indies Unlimited. Gone are the days when the big six publishers market you. Not to mention small Indie press.
You might sign with a publisher, have them order ten thousand copies of your book only to have those books returned to you at cost because they did not sell. Your ten thousand dollar book advance, now in arrears. It happens. Everyday. Why do you think shops like Books a Million and Half Priced Books exist? It is called returns.
One of the advantages of being Indie pub’d and print on demand, POD is that your books aren’t returned en masse. In the next week, AgeView Press will host a guest blogger, author and publisher Amanda Thrasher who is an expert in navigating the slippery slope of Indie Press. What exactly is the relationship between CreateSpace, Amazon, Lightning Source and Ingram. Who is in bed with whom? How does it all work?
There is a new game in town. Small press cooperatives. Within these cooperatives are authors just like you. Looking to get that edge. Sure, it is an ego booster to say that you have your own Indie press: i.e. you self pubbed your books and now are owner of “xyz books.” But just take a look on Goodreads and Amazon. There are over one million books Indie pressed each year. Each year! The competition is daunting.
Not everyone is going to be an EL James or Amanda Hocking. There is strength in numbers. Don’t contribute to watering down the industry with onesy and twosy “Indie” Presses that you own yourself. Shop around. Find a small press that offers you what you want. Better yet, form a cooperative with several authors yourself. But buyer beware, the latest rip off are the fees that some of these small presses charge you to participate. There have been scalpings for sure.
Do your homework. Check them out. Find out what is required on your part. Explore what bang you get for your buck. Ultimately, you will find that with faithful social media, blogging, and a small budget for advertising the sky is the limit. So tell us, what is your biggest struggle with shameless self promotion? Do you have a marketing secret? Please share it below. We won’t tell.