The Shadow Of All Things has been in the Kindle Scout competition for a little over a week now and has managed to stay in the “Hot and Trending” section for that entire period.
That said if you haven’t nominated my new book for a possible publishing contract with Amazon go do it, I’ll wait here until you get back.
When I entered the first novel in my unpublished urban fantasy/sci-fi series into Kindle Scout I thought that it would be a great way to build on the success of my Nightfall Gardens series and gain exposure to new readers. What I didn’t know was how many old friends and acquaintances I would reconnect with along the way and how complete strangers would reach out with words of encouragement and to show support. I’ve been humbled by the number of people who have shared the link to my book, tweeted, sent emails to relatives and rounded up co-workers to nominate my novel.
So what have I learned from the process.
You need to hustle your book your like a New York City street hawker if you want to keep the momentum going. If you think you can post the link to your book and cool your heels while rocketing into “hot and trending” forget about it. New books are added to Kindle Scout all the time and each of those authors is contacting everyone and their Grandmother Gertie to nominate them.
When I get home from my full time gig I spend at least an hour reaching out to people, jumping on social media, posting notes to carrier pigeons and sending up smoke signals. I’m a former journalist so this is nothing unusual, but it might be a shock to those entering the shark-infested social media waters for the first time.
This isn’t for every writer. You have to let go of any hang-ups that you have about marketing yourself. As long as you approach people respectfully and don’t pester them with requests you’ll be fine. I’ve found people respect what I’m doing and are happy to help if they can. You also have to let go of any preconceptions that you may have about what a writer should or shouldn’t be.
Again, this is not for everyone.
I was chatting with a friend who is a published author and doesn’t have a Facebook page, Instagram or Twitter feed. He said that he couldn’t imagine self-publishing because he loathes self-promotion and believes that once a book is completed the publishing company should be the one to do any marketing.
In my opinion, the idea that a book will sink or swim without help from its author is ludicrous given how squeezed publishing companies are, the volume of work being
produced now and the fact that so many authors are technologically savvy. In order for your book to perform its best, you have to do all that you can to help it and even that may not be enough.
More importantly you need to have the best cover, back jacket copy, and most well edited book that you can before you go live, otherwise no one except your friends will vote for your novel and that won’t be enough to cut it.
I’m proud that more than half of the people voting on my book come from strangers shopping on Amazon. To me that’s incredibly hearting and further proof that there is a market for the book I’ve written.
I’ll be writing a post once a week for the next three weeks about how the rest of my Kindle Scout Odyssey goes.
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Thanks for the support!