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BrainPick Required - Self Publishing know how

#1
Going on from the 'Agents' thread, can anyone recommend a good site for clarity in how to self publish on Amazon, and get noticed? I have found Kindlepreneur, which seems to have some useful ideas, but I'm finding the whole area a bit daunting, not to mention confusing.
 
#2
I had hoped that having 2000 followers on Quora would produce a better turnaround when I self-published, but the followers are a diverse bunch from all over the world and only a fraction of them turned out to be in my target demographic. Tens of thousands of eyes have read my book promotions on Quora, but I still only have 20 purchases in 2 weeks. In retrospect, I should've sent out pre-prints to the reviewers from sci-fi magazines before I hit the publish button. I should've tried to get some of the chapters into some sci fi magazine before I hit the publish button. Having ready-made blurbs to link to would've converted a lot more of the visibility I got from Quora into purchases. I got a lot of facebook upvotes from some mom groups and snooty academic circles, but not very many purchases and the moms who agreed to write reviews in exchange for a free copy are, well, typical. They don't follow through.
Two weeks after self-publishing, I'm still searching for my audience. It might be that the product is too weird. People like familiar stuff. I know that men are drawn to the title, the cover, and they like it when I list off the sci fi tropes which are part of the story. I haven't tried to reach groups of younger people because I don't know any, but maybe I can get one with a lot of followers to read it and review it for their peers. Altogether, it is rough going, but I'm following through by making an audio book to reach the people who like to multitask. Audiobooks are a lot more popular nowadays than they were when I was a kid. I've lowered the paperback price as far as it can go and I'm waiting to lower the Kindle price until I have some reviews. What I don't want are reviews from a bunch of jerks who buy it for 99 cents just so that they can trash it.
While recording the audiobook, I'm realizing the importance of crystal clear prose. It makes me realize that these things need to be structured as simply as a children's book, even if they are written for adults. In the future, I think I'll use audio recordings to finalize a story. Ulysses is a pain in the ass to read, but it is a pleasure to read aloud. What I've written so far is sometimes the reverse of this.
 
#5
The Alliance of Independent Authors has a whole bunch of info on marketing. Last June they did an online conference focused on marketing for indie authors, and the videos should still be up on their website (on the blog, I think). You might check some of those out. They were quite informative (though I've been bad about making effective use of the advice, and am still floundering in the marketing arena. But then, I only have 4 novels out there, so it's really not enough to make headway...)
 
#6
I'm learning that I have to use videos of my face to get people to react. Text messages are weak. A face asking for a review is much better. I now need to figure out how to make more use of it. How can I get interviewed in by a science fiction video blogger? Time to do some research!
 

Carol Rose

Guardian
Staff member
Ambassador
#7
If you're on Facebook, this group is free and is run by several people who are self-published and making a boatload of money.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/976086735798716/

They offer courses that cost money as well for more in-depth and detailed marketing techniques (I've taken a few and they are worth every penny). But the free info in this group is more than enough to get anyone started in self-publishing with an actual marketing and publishing plan, to maximize your efforts and advertising dollars across all vendors.

It's okay to say I referred you when you request to join the group. https://www.facebook.com/RavennaTate

And this is not only for romance writers. In fact, most of the people in there write in other genres, and almost all of them are self-published.
 
#8
Haunt Kindleboards. Watch what works and what doesn't. Write series, preferably in New Adult/Urban Fantasy. Turn them around quickly. Spend money to promote and build a mailing list. Or, if you can, find a successful author looking for a "writing partner".

(A writing partner actually does all the writing and idea-work for half the money, or less, while the successful author sells the book, publishing it as by Successful Author and Your Name Here)
 

Amber

Benefactor
#9
I had hoped that having 2000 followers on Quora would produce a better turnaround when I self-published, but the followers are a diverse bunch from all over the world and only a fraction of them turned out to be in my target demographic. Tens of thousands of eyes have read my book promotions on Quora, but I still only have 20 purchases in 2 weeks. In retrospect, I should've sent out pre-prints to the reviewers from sci-fi magazines before I hit the publish button. I should've tried to get some of the chapters into some sci fi magazine before I hit the publish button. Having ready-made blurbs to link to would've converted a lot more of the visibility I got from Quora into purchases. I got a lot of facebook upvotes from some mom groups and snooty academic circles, but not very many purchases and the moms who agreed to write reviews in exchange for a free copy are, well, typical. They don't follow through.
Two weeks after self-publishing, I'm still searching for my audience. It might be that the product is too weird. People like familiar stuff. I know that men are drawn to the title, the cover, and they like it when I list off the sci fi tropes which are part of the story. I haven't tried to reach groups of younger people because I don't know any, but maybe I can get one with a lot of followers to read it and review it for their peers. Altogether, it is rough going, but I'm following through by making an audio book to reach the people who like to multitask. Audiobooks are a lot more popular nowadays than they were when I was a kid. I've lowered the paperback price as far as it can go and I'm waiting to lower the Kindle price until I have some reviews. What I don't want are reviews from a bunch of jerks who buy it for 99 cents just so that they can trash it.
While recording the audiobook, I'm realizing the importance of crystal clear prose. It makes me realize that these things need to be structured as simply as a children's book, even if they are written for adults. In the future, I think I'll use audio recordings to finalize a story. Ulysses is a pain in the ass to read, but it is a pleasure to read aloud. What I've written so far is sometimes the reverse of this.
Something to consider -- has there been enough time? If the answer is yes -- what needs more time? The writing... the marketing... the presentation?
 

Amber

Benefactor
#10
Going on from the 'Agents' thread, can anyone recommend a good site for clarity in how to self publish on Amazon, and get noticed? I have found Kindlepreneur, which seems to have some useful ideas, but I'm finding the whole area a bit daunting, not to mention confusing.
The 2nd part of your question is really the most difficult I imagine. Being noticeable is difficult.
 
#11
I had hoped that having 2000 followers on Quora would produce a better turnaround when I self-published, but the followers are a diverse bunch from all over the world and only a fraction of them turned out to be in my target demographic. Tens of thousands of eyes have read my book promotions on Quora, but I still only have 20 purchases in 2 weeks. In retrospect, I should've sent out pre-prints to the reviewers from sci-fi magazines before I hit the publish button. I should've tried to get some of the chapters into some sci fi magazine before I hit the publish button. Having ready-made blurbs to link to would've converted a lot more of the visibility I got from Quora into purchases. I got a lot of facebook upvotes from some mom groups and snooty academic circles, but not very many purchases and the moms who agreed to write reviews in exchange for a free copy are, well, typical. They don't follow through.
Two weeks after self-publishing, I'm still searching for my audience. It might be that the product is too weird. People like familiar stuff. I know that men are drawn to the title, the cover, and they like it when I list off the sci fi tropes which are part of the story. I haven't tried to reach groups of younger people because I don't know any, but maybe I can get one with a lot of followers to read it and review it for their peers. Altogether, it is rough going, but I'm following through by making an audio book to reach the people who like to multitask. Audiobooks are a lot more popular nowadays than they were when I was a kid. I've lowered the paperback price as far as it can go and I'm waiting to lower the Kindle price until I have some reviews. What I don't want are reviews from a bunch of jerks who buy it for 99 cents just so that they can trash it.
While recording the audiobook, I'm realizing the importance of crystal clear prose. It makes me realize that these things need to be structured as simply as a children's book, even if they are written for adults. In the future, I think I'll use audio recordings to finalize a story. Ulysses is a pain in the ass to read, but it is a pleasure to read aloud. What I've written so far is sometimes the reverse of this.
I came across this article about narrating audiobooks, which might be of interest:

How to Narrate Audiobooks on ACX
 
#12
I came across this article about narrating audiobooks, which might be of interest:

How to Narrate Audiobooks on ACX
Thanks for the link! I got a USB mic and made it to chapter 8, but then felt stage fright about having to come up with more silly voices for the characters. The first few voices weren't too hard to do (Dr. Scarlett, Dr. Babbit, Dr. White, ARIEIL, ARIK, but how do symbiotic, identical twins sound? How does a woman do a man's voice without sounding stupid?
 
#13
" How does a woman do a man's voice without sounding stupid?" Don't ask me—I am a man—and I sound stupid all of the time! And, what about accents? I used to ham up the Hugh Grant delivery when I lived in the U.S.A.—at least with some women, who found it adorable—as opposed to men, who thought it gay or intimidating (or both!).

I suppose you could try a Lee Marvin growl for a really butch male...gruff, gruff!

 
#15
Thanks for the link! I got a USB mic and made it to chapter 8, but then felt stage fright about having to come up with more silly voices for the characters. The first few voices weren't too hard to do (Dr. Scarlett, Dr. Babbit, Dr. White, ARIEIL, ARIK, but how do symbiotic, identical twins sound? How does a woman do a man's voice without sounding stupid?
When I was having an op a couple of years back my son gave me some audio books to listen to.. The Martian, a marathon of a listen (it takes a lot longer to listen to a book than read one). The voice was perfect for the occasion, and I enjoyed it muchly despite it mostly being a voice in the wilderness for most of the book. Probably why it was never picked for mainstream publication (that will never sell, I hear them say). But he wasn't being boring and musing of the wrongs of his life, it was mostly action.

Then I tried to listen to the next one, a Sabatini book from my childhood, the Seahawk. Aside from the sanctimonious lead woman, who the hero should have dropped overboard and the writing being dreadful (I hadn't realised that at the time), it was one of the free ones being read by volunteers. Now these readers might have been very good at appropriate works, but the chapters alternated between a female American and a male Englishman. What idiot decided that was a good idea? And why did the readers carry on and do it? The disparity between male and female voices, the changing accents, and the somewhat awful dialogue (it sounded worse spoken), actually made a joke of the whole thing. I was unable to get through more than a few chapters. So, it's not so much about being able to 'do' an accent, male or female, I don't think I'd even try, so much as being able to read the work with the right emphasis. As Pete would say, it's all in the Voice not the voice.
 
#16
I remember loving an audio play (not an audio book) of Buddenbrooks. They had great voice actors for every role and it was just fun, I listened to it several times in order to improve my German. I then tried an audio book (not an audio play) of Death in Venice and it wasn't nearly as much fun. Production value is more important than I usually like to admit to myself. My impulse is to race to the finish line and be done with it so that I can start something new! In the book I'm recording now, the symbiotic identical twins' voices turned out to be easy, but I dread coming up with something for Dr. Beret.
 
#17
Two entirely separate issues here as others have noted. How to self publish - loads of advice out there, loads of people willing to take your money! Joanna Penn has some great stuff, Kindlepreneur is pretty good as well. You don’t need to spend a cent though - just work your way through it. Publishing a short is a good way to get to grips with the process - you can always publish under a pen name and take it down later.

Getting noticed? Much harder, and what I’m struggling with at the moment!
 
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