April 28, 2017
As it turns out, one of the benefits of ePublishing is also one of the drawbacks. In our blog Lessons Learned we reported on a panel discussion about scholarly self-publishing that had taken place at the London Book Fair. During the discussion, panelist Rebecca Evans pointed out that the one-man-band approach of ePublishing leaves authors unsupported. Authors may have limited knowledge and/or experience in the publishing business so may not be well placed to make the best decisions about their work.
And there’s the rub, complete control of your work through all of the publishing stages but not sure how to promote it in order to maximize its potential once it’s finished. So here are three simple steps that every self-publisher should consider.
Firstly, scout out forums or online social media communities that have an interest in your subject matter – join them and get chatting. Look at the threads that are enjoying the most traction, offer some opinions, experiences and insights, be friendly, funny and interesting – let the community members get to know you. Don’t, at any point, mention your book.
Secondly, don’t, at any point, mention your book. This is so important it is worth reiterating. It will undo all your good work, as community members will think you are simply trying to sell something and disregard everything you have said and the relationship that they have begun to build with you.
Finally, once community members become interested in you and like you, ask them if they would be interested in joining a mailing list or in giving you feedback on something you are working on. Perhaps even set up a separate thread. After all, this is a subject that interests them (and you) so why not ask them to talk about it? You may even find that the conversations you have had on the forums have helped to shape your work. Community members will enjoy the compliment and enjoy the feeling of being part of something.
Unlike traditional publishing, eBooks don’t rely on book launches, tours, advertising and associated publicity – by virtue of being in digital format, they have to generate an online buzz and to do this, they have to be more subtle, more genuine. And in much the same way as traditional advertising, the marketing campaign takes time, patience, commitment and careful preparation.
The good news is that it brings you, the author, closer to the audience than ever before – as mentioned, the forum conversations can even help to shape your work. It also puts the success of the marketing campaign directly in your hands. How you present yourself, how you interact and the relationships you build online all have the power to make or break your eBook. So it is wise to approach the marketing with the same level of care as you approached your writing.
If you would like advice and support from Amnet’s publishing, creative and/or advertising services then get in touch today.