News, commentary, and fiction by Barb Hendee, co-author of the Noble Dead saga (www.NobleDead.org); author of the Mist-Torn Witches series, the Vampire Memories series, and more.

Marketing a Self-Published Novel

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I've meant to chat more about my foray into becoming a hybrid writer--meaning working as both a traditionally published and self-published author.

But life hit us in the face a bit over the summer, and I haven't blogged as much as anticipated.

For those of you considering self-publishing, the main school of thought for success is to follow these steps:

1) Choose a genre like romance, urban fantasy, SF suspense, etc, and create a very entertaining/commercial series.
2) Have professional-looking covers (with continuity in the series) that look like a typical best-selling novels in that same genre.
3) Hire a professional copy-editor/proofreader
4) Put out a new book in the series (even if they are only 50,000 words in length) at least every three months. This last one is critical.

One of my writer friends recently said, "#4 is where the rubber hits the road."

This is true--and it's tough. But you cannot expect success with one or two books in a series. You need to keep writing. I'm about halfway through the first draft for book two, Alone with a Thief, and we should have it up by November 1st.  J.C. is working on cover art now. 

However . . . I'm also trying to promote book one in the series. I do think we need to promote from "Day One"--to a point.

In addition to promoting in the usual places like Facebook and Twitter, I also ran a BookSends ad. If you want to try this, here a link to their page:


BookSends

The ad cost me $60 for a romance novel (other genres are less expensive). Since I've published the book with Kindle Unlimited, I can use what's called the "Kindle Countdown" option and drop the price of the book below $2.99 for one week at a time and still keep 70% of the profits.

So, I dropped the price of the e-book to .99 cents for a week, and at the beginning of this week, BookSends ran the add. I sold about 400 copies of the book that week, so I more than paid for my ad, and hopefully gained new readers.

I also signed up an author on BookBub. Here's the page to do that:

BookBub Partner

Running an actual "ad" with BookBub is more complicated (and expensive), but you can sign up for free and get "followers" and BookBub will announce a new release for free, that will be shown to your followers.

This is a new world for me, but I think it's good to share ideas for what works and what doesn't.

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