Thursday, May 17, 2012

A Helping Hand

It's hard out there for an indie...

I think most of us know well how frustrating it can be to get a jump on selling books to the general public. It's a matter of making connections, and that can be difficult when you don't know what you are doing or what you are looking or even where to start. Well, here at Fictitious Chronicles we would like to lend a helping hand by telling you what we do.

Let's begin with the common search for a reviewer...or twenty. Much research needs to go into this, and it can be a very time consuming process. First, you have to locate bloggers who are willing to accept reviews. Then you have to ensure that they take your genre. If all checks out, like a school girl/boy hoping to be picked in gym class so you aren't left twiddling your thumbs like a reject, you then have to create a lovely letter to the blogger asking if they will accept you. Then you wait....and wait...and wait for them to respond, or not, as many cases turn out. Assuming all has gone according to planned and you do get that review, pat yourself on the back for a job well done. But wait! Don't get too cozy just yet. There is more work to be done. You must send out more requests. To ease your pain, here are a couple blogs to get you started: The Kindle Book Review and The Book Lover's Realm.  And don't forget to offer yourself for author interviews and giveaways!

Now, it's time to advertize! 

A good place to begin is with Goodkindles who will advertize your book for free. Next, we like Technorati because it is a good place to advertize your blog, which brings us to the next thing:

Create and maintain a personal blog!

You may be saying, "But, Brandi, I don't have time for a blog." Nonsense. I am just as busy as the next person trying to maintain a home, raise children, further my education, all while trying to write great novels for my public to read and enjoy. If you want it, you have to do it. A blog can be as simple as a once a month commitment that takes you ten minutes to complete. It can be anything, but hopefully it is about you and your books or something else creative that you can come up with. It's not hard, just try it.

Next, join Goodreads. It is a great place to feature your books and create a following of like-minded individuals. You can schedule events surrounding your books and even join other events to get noticed. A few other things you can do: join groups, ask for reviews, and promote, promote, promote.

When you list your book on Amazon, be sure to sign up on Author Central so people who read your books can learn more about you. It has great features to offer, including a  feature that links to Shelfari where you can add your books and nifty little details, like who your characters are and what they are like so your readers can get a feel for what they are getting into before they crack open that book.

Finally, never stop writing. No matter your level of success, remember, it doesn't happen overnight. You will have highs and lows throughout this process, but you started it for a reason and you can't quite now. Do as much as you can, as often as you can. It's not a race, you'll get there. Just be patient. Do your research. Pay it Forward - Share with friends. And most importantly, have a good time.

If you have any tips or suggestions to share to help your fellow indie, post them in the comment section below.

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