For book/ebook authors, publishers, & self-publishers
We have worked with a variety of authors from those just getting started to best selling authors at publishing houses. This has included a wide variety of genres. It has led to a huge number of challenges.
So we wrote this post to summarise what we have learnt from over 200+ book marketing campaigns.
Hope it helps! :)
You might ask what hasn't been a challenge. It'd be a shorter list.
But seriously, for me the first challenge was connecting with a publisher. Not writing the book (I already knew what message I needed to deliver and how to deliver it), but finding a publisher. A real publisher, not a self-publish, pray that someone notices your book online publisher. Yes, we've all heard rumors of someone who made it big starting out online, but for most of us, we need a real publisher if we want to put our book into hardcover and connect with the audience that we know is out there.
For me, finding that publisher was a lengthy effort. My first round of query letters fell flat (only one publisher wanted to see the manuscript and no contract came out of that one connection). So I retooled, continued to expand on and polish my work (a non-fiction historical manuscript), and eventually resubmitted to a string of publishers with a more polished proposal package. I also published a number of magazine articles in the meantime to add to my resume. Second time around (ten years after the first), I connected with a publisher and will be in print this January. So first hurdle was finding the right publisher.
The next hurdle then became editing. As a historical manuscript that I had been piecing together for over two decades, my book was little more lengthy than what the publisher had in mind, so I had to trim it back - from 170,000 words to 120,000. When you've spent so long researching your topic it's painful to have to let some material go, so editing it down to fit their guidelines was not an easy process. But I did it, and the essential flow of the manuscript remained intact.
Now I'm on to the next hurdle: marketing. How to get my book noticed. How to boost sales. Sure I have a reputable publisher producing the book (which looks beautiful by the way), but now I have to convince my market to take notice and buy my book. Not a trivial challenge.
So yeah, there is going to be one hurdle right after another. Have to stick it out, however, constantly improve on and polish your craft, and never loose sight of your goal. I didn't start writing because I thought I'd be giving up my day job. I wrote because I had something to say. Now I have to make sure that people hear it.
In completing my latest book, the biggest challenge has been deciding on the title! It's a self-development book about personal success and self-fulfillment. I narrowed my possible titles down to a shortlist of six. After inviting feedback from various source, I narrowed it down to three. Now I am trying to decide on which of the three to use. There is no clear winner. Perhaps I will invite opinions from this forum.
Titling can be hard! I have a horrible time trying to come up with mine most of the time. My first book went through about seven before I settled on one - I went with Shades of Gray because at the time (this was in 2007 - 2009) there was only one other book on Amazon named that, and it was a Civil War story. Fast forward to when Fifty Shades of Gray came out and now everyone has it! *sigh* it just shows that what is unique today isn't tomorrow.
I can relate to that, Joleene! I took a peek at your book titles. You have some great titles and cover designs there! You've obviously given them careful consideration and have a good eye for artwork. Hey, if you could spare a couple of minutes to help me choose the cover and title for my latest book, perhaps you could view my shortlist at the link below (you can transmit your choices to me there too). You can do it anonymously if you wish to:
The biggest challenge I face with my books are successfully marketing valuable benefits to potential consumers, instead of just "features" that the book contains. There are millions of books for sale out there, and the trick is finding that small niche of people who will believe it was written just for them.
My biggest challenge is publicity. I've read the marketing books, watched the webinars, trawled the forums and I've walked the walk now with four novels and a series of novellas published but I still struggle to find that magic bullet that will rocket my work to the top of the list. I make no claims that my work is so good that it deserves to be at the top because honestly, it isn't, but then I see what is at the top and think well maybe. . . just maybe I do stand a chance. I've been at this game of novel writing for five years now. Perhaps in another twenty I'll get there. Problem is I'm 68! http://www.amazon.com/Fran-Connor/e/B00EIIEUE2/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_...
Currently, my biggest challenge is attracting more people to post a review on Amazon Kindle. I have been posting reviews for other indie authors for quite awhile.
Please stop by my latest blog:
I can't seem to get sales after self-publishing on the popular amazon website as well as its subsidiary createspace. I know it takes a marketing thrust but I don't have the first clue except I know it takes alot of money to market officially. I have only one social media account and that's twitter. Tried to post there only receiving sales ion single digits. Thankful but doesn't go very far in generating much needed income.
I too struggle to get sales. The Kindle marketing tools work, but be prepared to have to pay per click-and not all of those equal sales.
Doing review exchanges helps a lot. It takes time to read and post reviews for others. Most indie authors will do this quid pro quo, though.
You can post ads for free on this site. Also, if you have ebooks available for 99 cents, Indies Unlimited allows you to post ads on their site for free every Thursday.
I have accounts on several social network sites such as twitter, linkedin, facebook and google+. They are great exposure sites. I have over 700 followers on linkedin