Merch Girl is now 1 week old, yay! As I was gearing up to self publish my novel, I scoured the blogosphere for real-life accounts and experiences from other indie authors, so I’d like to return the favor. I’ll probably update this “Lessons Learned” feature once a month or so with any new information I can share. But, from my one week of being in the self published domain, here are some of my observations:
1. You will be glued to the computer 24/7
I’m usually glued to my computer anyway, but I think I’ve recently been hitting the refresh button on my Kindle Direct Publishing reports page way too often! But, I still get excited for every.single.sale. Like…who is buying my book in the UK? How is it possible I sold 2 ebooks in Canada? What? I love watching the numbers, and I get so curious about who the people are that are buying it! I’m also obsessed with checking my Goodreads page which sucks so much time out of my life right now hahaha. I just can’t stop checking out all the people that add my book to their lists and I love seeing the reviews.
2. You must (must!) market yourself
Luckily, I am a publicist by day and even have a degree in Public Relations, so I knew going into self-publishing just how important being my own best supporter would be. Here are a few things I’ve done to get the word out there:
- Twitter: Create a Twitter account and don’t just follow other authors…follow your readers! Before you publish your book, you must establish your target audience. It’s pretty easy to find your audience on twitter using the search feature. Since my book is about music and a boyband in particular, I followed a bunch of music loving girls, especially fans of bands that I enjoy. (shout out to the fansons and directioners!) But, don’t just follow a bunch of users…you need to interact! Tweet a few times a day, and don’t promote your book. I HATE when authors ONLY Tweet about their book. Get into actual, normal conversations with your fans. I also have a lot of indie bands following me, and I try to promote their music on my Twitter and this blog.
- Facebook: You should create an author page. Don’t use your personal page, it doesn’t look professional. Plus, do you want all your readers looking at your family photo album? I think on Facebook you can be a little more promotional than you can on Twitter. Post links to blogs that feature your book or other reviews online. Post photos that inspired your book. Ask questions to your fans, etc.
- Book Bloggers: Speaking of blogs, book bloggers will become your best friends! They hold the power of getting the word about your book out to hundreds, if not thousands of other readers! It’s easy to find book bloggers in your genre, just Google it! Make sure to read each blog’s review policy because they can be a little bit different, and some blogs do not accept indie author books.
- Amazon Author Central: If you’re selling your book on Amazon, don’t forget to fill this page out! You can add your bio, editorial reviews, and link to your Twitter and blog as well.
- Goodreads: Goodreads is an amazing tool for indie authors, and if you’re not using it, you must sign up right now! It’s free to join and you can browse virtual book groups to join. Some of these groups welcome indie authors and will hold group reviews.
I don’t want to make this post too long, and I want to save more for next time. So that’s it for now. Do you have any tips/lessons learned you’d like to share?