|An Author's work is never done!|
Honestly, my head hurts from thinking about what authors have to do now-a-days in this new publishing paradigm. I’ve written posts before about this topic and all the tasks writers are up against. Write, rinse, repeat has become an author’s slogan. The world wide web is crammed full of blogs, publishing services, publicists, and anything a writer needs to get their books into the hands of readers. This whole industry has changed so much in the last ten years, and I’ll wager it will keep changing. What won’t change are those who try to pass themselves off as ‘authors’ and continue to write bad books thinking they’ll get rich quick, and those who are in for the long haul, invest in themselves and write good, even great books. The proof is truly in the pages.
Apparently there are five ways authors can succeed in publishing. Bet you’re biting at the bit to know what they are, right? Okay, I’ll share, but just to let you know, I found this same information on numerous blog posts I read (when I should be writing my next book). That said, I added my own two cents based on my own experiences as an author. I believe most of this advice is just common sense, but you be the judge:
Have a strong, savvy social media presence. When I first burst into the publishing world with my debut book, The Last Timekeepers and the Arch of Atlantis, I had a year under my belt with my blog, and a Facebook account. That’s it. My then publisher (now defunct) gave their authors a basic idea on what we had to do to promote and market our books, but it truly felt like once my book was published, I was put out to sea in a life raft with one paddle and a megaphone. Since then, I’ve gotten more of a presence (Twitter, Google +, LinkedIn), and made so many social and business connections for which I’m eternally grateful. It takes a village to raise an author!
The Power is in the Pricing ($2 to $3.99). Readers love to fill their ereaders up, and giving them a great price for hours of entertainment or education is your best bet to building your audience. This is a no-brainer. Although, if a reader wants to spend $10 or more on an ebook by his or her favorite author, then they don’t break a sweat when hitting the buy button.
Pre-Orders. Again, you’re creating buzz with this sales tactic. Add a cover reveal, a Goodreads giveaway, or raving book reviews into the mix, and you may just have a bestseller on your hands. When I was first published, we never had this option, so I’m looking forward to seeing how it works with the next installment of my YA time travel series, The Last Timekeepers and the Dark Secret due out October 17th, 2016. (Yes, that's me creating buzz! Wink.)
Write a Series. I’m on that gravy train! Or at least I’ve left the station. So far I’ve got two books in The Last Timekeepers time travel series out: Book #1, The Last Timekeepers and the Arch of Atlantis, and the prequel, Legend of the Timekeepers. Now with Book #2 contracted and scheduled for release, I feel I’m on my way. I’ve already started to research and outline Book #3. The master plan is to have a total of ten books with the prequel making eleven. Guess I’m in for the long haul for sure!
Hook Readers with a Free Installment. Part of me has a problem with this. Authors work hard, damn hard, at their craft. Somehow, a free book seems to cheapen an author’s work (but that’s for another blog post!). I do get the idea, and technically FREE is a good thing. Hell, I like free stuff. Who doesn’t? I’ve even have a free short story on my website for readers to download. Still, many authors give away their first book for free in the hopes that readers will like it enough to invest in more books written by the same author. Again, a great strategy, but I somehow think it’s akin to selling a piece of your soul. That’s just my opinion.
For another book sales strategy, here’s a comical, great post that helps authors to understand how finding readers is comparable to shopping at warehouse stores like Sam’s or Costco:
So there you have it. Five ways to try to find success as Author 2.0. Hate it or love it, publishing has become a game of misdirection and manipulation – the trick is to find a Houdini instead of a charlatan. Authors, have you found success using any or all of these strategies? Readers, do you buy books based on price point, pre-orders, an ongoing series, or do you just download free books? Would love to read your comments! Cheers and thank you for reading my blog!