blog How I Published and Promoted My Book

Discussion in 'Publishing' started by Black Dragon, Mar 4, 2018.

  1. Svrtnsse

    Svrtnsse Staff Article Team

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    Svrtnsse submitted a new blog post:

    How I Published and Promoted My Book
    by Nils Ödlund

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    A few weeks back I wrote about how I went from a vague idea to a finished story (here), and this week I'll talk about how I turned that story into a published book. It was at the same time both rather complicated, and very easy.

    If you just want to publish, you can upload your book to Amazon, select a cover image, and click Publish. That's it. It'll take longer for them process your request than it did for you to submit it.

    Except, that's kind of like saying that to write a book you just have to type down some words. It's technically true, but there's a little bit more to it than that.

    Before we get into all that though, I'd like to point out that this isn't a guide on how to publish a book. It's my story of how I did it and what I learned along the way.

    Most of all, I learned that I have a lot left to learn.

    Doing it Myself

    I don't want to dwell too much on the topic of self-publishing as compared to traditional publishing, but I figured I should at least mention it. One way or another, someone's bound to ask why I decided to self-publish.

    I have a few different reasons, but most of all: because I felt like it.

    It seemed like the right thing to do, and I figured it'd be a good way to learn about the business if I did it all myself. So I did. My book is published through Amazon's KDP...
    Continue reading the Original Blog Post.
     
  2. Black Dragon

    Black Dragon Staff Administrator

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    What are your thoughts on KDP Select? Have you given it any consideration?
     
  3. Svrtnsse

    Svrtnsse Staff Article Team

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    I did think about it, and in the end I decided to go with it. They provide some nice promotional tools (free days, and countdown deals), but it also makes it easier for me to get started. With the exclusivity requirement I'm not allowed to provide a digital version of the book anywhere else - which also means I don't have to worry about selling it in more than one place.
    Once I have a better grip on what I'm doing I might go wide and make my books available in different places, but for now I'm sticking with select.
     
    Black Dragon likes this.
  4. Svrtnsse

    Svrtnsse Staff Article Team

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    You're very welcome. I'm glad you liked it. :)
     
  5. Svrtnsse

    Svrtnsse Staff Article Team

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    Advance warning. I wrote in the article that the paperback version will be kept at 4.99, but I'v changed my mind about that. I got a comment about how the low price of the paperback may indicate there's something wrong with the story, and how that might deter readers. Obviously, I don't want that, so I'll be hiking up the price to 6.99 in about a week or so.
     
  6. Svrtnsse

    Svrtnsse Staff Article Team

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    I did not try facebook ads - yet. I have a hunch they're probably more effective than Instagram ads though. The first IG ad I did was through the app on the phone and it was very easy to set up. Just a few taps and it was done. The second one I tried I used the facebook ad manager, which had a lot more options. It took a bit more tweaking and I felt like it did better than the first.
    What it also did was give me a better grasp of just how much I have left to learn when it comes to setting up ads. I've ordered a book (Help! My Facebook Ads Suck, by Michael Cooper, which is supposed to be good), and I decided to hold off on advertising more until I've read it.
     
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  7. Black Dragon

    Black Dragon Staff Administrator

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    Once you've read the book and tested out some ads, you may want to consider writing up a follow-up post specifically on advertising.
     
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  8. Svrtnsse

    Svrtnsse Staff Article Team

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    That's not a bad point. :)
     
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  9. L. Blades

    L. Blades Apprentice

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    Thanks for sharing your experience.

    I myself have tried to generate awareness of my first book by first setting up a basic social media presence for it (something I'm no expert at whatsoever); the book's namesake Facebook, Twitter, and Blog, where I post a lot of supporting materials. I've got 55 likes/follows on the Facebook page, and 23 Twitter followers (I topped out at 25, but apparently people prefer to un-like in case it costs too much, pun intended). This is free advertising, so why not? I haven't chosen to do Facebook ads, mostly because I don't trust the platform (with valid reason).

    In terms of paid advertising, here is what I have experimented with:

    Ads on Amazon; I found them to be a mixture of glitchy, and close to 0% effective. The stats even showed half the ads had Zero displays even,and those that were were clicked on close to zero times.

    Ads on Goodreads; The stats are a little complicated; the only positive way of knowing if they have had an effect is by looking at the daily report sent via email, telling you how many people have 'added' your book on Goodreads. Most days it's zero for me, But there are days where 1, sometimes 2, and rarely 3 people add it, so at least I know Goodread's ads are functional, which is weird considering it is owned by Amazon.

    Besides that, I have ordered stickers and posters. The tricky thing here is, as I've discussed in my introductory post on the forum, is that the U.K. government will hunt you down and charge you under various criminal offences in 99.999% of places you would normally consider for placing a sticker or poster. Needless to say, I have only managed to place 2 stickers out of 50; one on my car, and the other my girlfriend has put on her car. As for the posters I intend to put them on public noticeboards in various venues I find.
     
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  10. Svrtnsse

    Svrtnsse Staff Article Team

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    Thanks for the comment. It gave me some good ideas. I hadn't even thought about advertising on Goodreads yet, but I'll look into it and see if I can get anything out of it. It stands to reason goodreads would be a good place to reach people who enjoy reading, but I hear a lot of authors have bad experiences with it.

    Stickers seems like a good idea, but I'd probably try and focus on giving them to people rather than putting them up as advertising. Then again, I'm not sure if that's a valid option if you can get in trouble for someone else putting up one of your sticker in the "wrong" spot. I've also heard spoken of bookmarks to give out as promotional gifts and that's something I'd like to try out as well.
     
    Black Dragon likes this.
  11. L. Blades

    L. Blades Apprentice

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    Yes you're right; ideally I'd like to give the stickers away / leave them in an appropriate place, but I haven't quite figured out exactly where yet. An update on my efforts though; I've recently put artistic posters up in several venues, with permission. Ranging from art places, to libraries, student unions, and cafes. Woop-Woop!
     
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  12. Ademal

    Ademal Acolyte

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    Very helpful! You've given me a lot to think about and given me some insight into the finer points of Amazon publishing. Thank you!
     
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  13. Svrtnsse

    Svrtnsse Staff Article Team

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    Thank you, glad you liked it. :)
     
  14. Svrtnsse

    Svrtnsse Staff Article Team

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    I got the book, and I've read it now. One of the things that was made very clear was that if you don't have a series it's very likely you're going to lose money through advertising. The principle seems to be that the profit from selling just one book doesn't cover the cost of the ads required to sell it. If you have a series though, then the first book will sell the second, and the second will sell the third, and so on. In that way the cost for the ads gets spread out over several sales.
    I don't have a series yet, so I haven't been able to try this in practice, but once I do (later this year), I'll share my experiences.
     
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