Yesterday, our guest blogger, Jayde Scott, spoke of what led her to publish her novels on Smashwords. Today she describes all the work behind her growing success, (in addition to writing novels). She cautions that: Independent publishing isn’t an easy route to go and it’s certainly not a ‘get rich quickly’ scheme. Be prepared to invest more time than in a nine to five job.
She includes a link to her blog, Fiction and More, and I’ve added it to my blogroll, since her stated intent is to help writers promote and market their work.
Also, If you have not already done so, please visit her Smashwords homepage to look at the full range of her books: http://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/JScott
My sincere thanks to Ms. Scott for sharing all she has done to champion her own work. This is vital information to anyone thinking of following her path into print.
So how did I do it? With lots and lots of marketing such as contacting blog hosts for reviews, giveaways, interviews and book spotlights. I don’t just copy and paste the information about my book into my emails to possible reviewers; I take the time to get to know their blogs and preferences and try to send them all information as requested in their review policies. Since they invest so much of their time and effort into reading my books, it’s only respectful that I at least try to make it easier for them to decide whether my book is something they might enjoy or not.
Independent publishing isn’t an easy route to go and it’s certainly not a ‘get rich quickly’ scheme. Be prepared to invest more time than in a nine to five job. Establishing a presence with all the fierce competition is tough work. Several times I changed the covers of my books, which involved days of searching sites like istockphoto.com and fotolia.com for the right digital art; once I changed the title, after which sales picked up. I also spend days on designing my print books and book trailers, and promoting those on various sites. As a very active Goodreads member, I devote a great amount of time to answering messages and updating my blog, http://jayde-scott.blogspot.com/, in case readers stop by to find out more about me and my books. And finally, I try to keep in touch with many author friends because, like in every job, connections matter. One of the most important tasks for any indie author, however, is writing and publishing a constant flow of well-edited quality work to keep up with fast moving trends. Even though I can’t afford paying a professional editor, I have two editor friends who proofread my work. My critique group helps with brainstorming and provides feedback on character development, story elements and pace. Even though my books are cheap, I try my best to give readers good quality for their money.
Writing has gifted me with a purpose in life, and nothing gives me more pleasure than hearing how much readers enjoyed my books. I’m a full time writer now who’s still sending out application forms to get a job, but the job market in the UK is shaky and doesn’t seem to want to recover any time soon. Independent publishing has at least helped ease my financial struggles and I know it’s helped many of my fellow authors, too.
Great advice! Thanks for sharing. 🙂
I want to add a footnote based on an article Monday in the local paper. Several regional independent bookstores are starting to offer ebooks through Google, which works with all existing readers *except* Amazon’s kindle. Are we going to see a format war analogous to VHS vs. Beta? Who knows, but it’s clear that anyone who wants to put their book in digital format, *must* use a service like Smashwords that covers them all.