Sunday, March 01, 2015

Tips to Evolve as Author and to Find More Readers


The game has changed, and so must you.

Author Tip
We’re well into 2015 and the year is booming with new authors and books. Already my schedule is filled with authors pushing out manuscripts and setting publication dates with cover design briefs. I can honestly say I am overjoyed to experience this level of professionalism among authors!

So imagine my surprise recently when I heard that there are still readers out there who do not know HOW to find or choose indie books. This was very concerning as by now indie publishing should be a norm. Right?

I was having a chat with copywriters who work for big marketing companies when the topic of eBooks came up. One of the copywriters is an avid reader, and had just made the big leap from her beloved printed books to a Kindle she’d received for Christmas. I of course asked her if she’d read any indie books lately. And she said – no.

Why not?

Turns out, she really wants to support Indies – but didn’t know how to find an indie author she’d like in a sea of hundreds of thousands. Then, she asked me how to find indie authors she’d like.

And that’s when I realized something: HOW do you reach that new eBook reader, who wants to find your book? It is clear that just Tweeting and Facebooking is not enough anymore. These are excellent tools, but, Indies need to branch out.

Being an indie in 2015 and going onward is fantastic. We have access to potentially 1 billion readers out there thanks to smartphones, tablets and e-readers. Social media has made marketing so much easier and we literally have a global market at our finger tips.

Authors should not shrivel away from ‘statistics’ but rather embrace this new phase in the indie publishing industry. This is how business works. Trends come and go. Stats rise and fall. Right now authors need to switch-on their business idea lamps.

The vital part of navigating towards successful marketing – starts with the author’s own evolution and idea expansion:

1. Release your book on more than one platform
Avoid limiting your own audience! There is a whole world out there with space for your book. If you’re sticking to just (for example) Kindle, you’re missing out on Kobo, B&N, iBooks, Smashwords, audiobooks, Oyster and a whole bunch of libraries that want to offer indie books on their shelves. Remember that even if you have a handful of sales per e-reader – the numbers still add up!

2. Quality book = word of mouth
This is a marketing tip you will find everywhere – because it is truly powerful. It is up to YOU as author to make sure you write a book that appeals to people’s emotional experience. This includes presenting a book with a fantastic cover, clean edited manuscript and a great ending befitting the story. Your reader, having been moved by your creation, will tell every other reader he or she knows about your book on every possible social media platform, and even at the dinner table.

3. Be patient as a creator. Be a storyteller

Literally. Become patient as a writer. Hone your craft. Polish that book. Reread and rewrite until that book is great. Learn from mistakes, embrace the criticism and enjoy the feedback. Then write the next book and make that one excellent. EMBRACE the essence of being a writer. Writing is an exploratory journey. If an author chases the buck instead of the story, unfortunately, it will show in the book. After all, that’s what you are – a storyteller. Always be aware of ‘how’ you want your reader to feel while they’re experiencing your story. If you give them an awesome experience, they will come back for every book you write.

4. 30 second sale? Nope. You’ve got 5 seconds now!
A few years ago, sales and marketing presenters all believed in the holy 30 Second Sale. These days, you barely have 10 seconds to sell anything to anyone. We’re in an iBrowseFast #hashtag #youmissedit society where people hastily flick their screens, pausing ONLY when something exceptionally appealing catches their eye. YOUR book cover has to be exceptional. Among a sea of covers, yours must capture the browser’s eye in 5 seconds and less. The cover is your voice saying “Hey! Look at me! I’m more intriguing than the book next to me!” And after that – your story premise must be so well written and polished that the author won’t hesitate another second to CLICK and buy.

5. Mingle with other authors – partner up with box-sets
This is such a fun collaborative option. Quite a few Indies, and even indie publishers, box-set a series of individual authors’ books, offering the reader 5 to 10 different authors in one set. This whole process offers so much cross-marketing, fan-base exposure and diversity, not only to the author partners, but also the readers. Plus, it is FUN. As an indie author it is your privilege to have FUN while getting your hard work out there!

Conclusion

It is just a question of HOW you position your book and yourself.. The industry WILL change all the time as we go forward. It’s up to you to keep up, and remain adaptable to navigate very exciting times ahead.

So how will all these tips get your book to the reader? By being exceptional, polished, professionally packaged and consistently marketed by you. Evolve, grow, never give up, keep learning and ENJOY this next phase in indie publishing!



About the Author of this Article: Jeanine Henning 
(Twitter: @JenVinci)
Jeanine Henning
Jeanine Henning
Jeanine’s extensive professional background includes 17 years’ experience in cover design, children’s book illustration and publication, comic book publishing and editing, console game design, and writing. She has worked with editors, authors and artists on many continents over the span of her career, adding to her diversity and flexibility as artist and designer. Jeanine still works closely with traditional publishers on cover and book art.

For more information on Jeanine’s background and testimonials, visit her site at: www.jeaninehenning.com and author testimonials
at: https://jhillustration.wordpress.com/author-testimonials/

Click here to visit JH Illustration website now to learn more and find lots of amazing sample book covers.


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