Who here is interested in starting a discussion group for those of us caught up in promoting our books? Self-published, indie-published or traditionally published, all authors need to self-promote. Let's share our experience. Let's work together.
I wonder if any one here knows about shayaris. They are beautiful rhyming poetries in hindi or urdu. They are usually used to express ones feelings when You run out of conventional words of speech. Urdu being one of the most sweetest language can leave a long lasting impression on the listener if spoken in the form of rhymes or shayaris.
I have made a couple of hubs of shayaris with English translations. It is worth a watch. Do leave Your comments if you like them so that I can post more of them.
I am new at this, but I too have a book to promote. I need help doing this and then I found this hub thing and have no idea of what I am doing...LOL Is this sort of a blog place?
Hi and welcome to hubpages. Is it a blog thing? Sort of. It can be. But mostly people here are writing with the hope of gaining readership and make a few $. I suggest you look around, read here and there and make a few friends. Easiest way to do that is to comment on reads you liked and follow the authors.
As for help in writing and promotion of our books. Hubpages abounds with good advice. If I may toot my own horn, I just started a series called the Penurious Promoter and #2 of that series discusses what other authors are doing to promote their work. You might start there. Click on my avatar and it will take you to my page. You'll find the articles there.
Great topic...I would like to see that topic discussed thoroughly. I am currently looking to take a book I've been working on and try to get it published. By a publishing company...I don't want to go the route of self-publishing.
Hiya Lynda! How are you?
Well, obviously, I haven't been published, but thought I'd pop in for an idea or two.
I've seen book reviews in the paper, and have seen authors on the morning shows discussing their books. I've seen a program on TV that showcases writers & their books - can't think of what it's called...I usually see it in the listings but haven't actually been able to watch it yet.
Just a couple ideas to get the conversation started.
I will give them a read sensous. I'm sure they'll be very enlightening. But the subject here is meant to be promotion ideas for published or publishing authors. Not wanting to be impolite. Just getting back to our point. Is anyone interested in discussing promotion and marketing of our published book?
Don't have a published book (YET) but would be most interested in following such a discussion.
Great idea, Immartin!
I think a few of the online marketing and optimization methods we learn here at HubPages will help us promote our written work:
- Create a blog or website around your book and optimize it for the search engines.
- Create a Facebook page for your book, in which you discuss themes and current events related to the subject matter.
- Create a Twitter account main character--a fictional person's thoughts, ruminations and ramblings. Keep a separate one for yourself as a writer, and engage with other authors on Twitter.
- Write some Hubs about your book. Examples: excerpts, your thought process in writing the book, the themes which the book explores, etc.
- Go to Meetup.com and/or Craigslist and join a writer's group or book club. Better yet, start one.
- Go to a local bookstore that organizes literary readings by local writers and sign up. If they don't usually do such a thing, pitch the idea to them. Open mics are good for this also.
Those are just things I'm coming up with off the top of my head :-) I'd like to see what other people come up with.
For ideas just off the top of your head, they're excellent. I look forward to getting to know you better here, and share of your knowledge.
Benny the writer makes some good suggestions although many people are not au fait with SEO methods, or the internet as a whole.
I have placed information for my book which I self published as a Kindle e-Book on my website, facebook, G+ and other media outlets and still I have very little to show for my efforts.
Some may say that it's possibly because the book isn't that good, which is probably true, but where self publication falls down, is the ability the author has of being able to self publicise his or her work.
I know Kindle works, but I would suggest that authors who travel this route should beware not to expect too much.
Traditional publishing is a shoe in for much more widespread exposure, though even that doesn't guarantee a bestseller.
I would be. I have two (I was a ghost writer for my husband's memoirs) and one concerning culture change in nursing homes and I'm just now finishing a third book, a love story. I would love to belong to a discussion group. The first two books are on Amazon.
I have a collection of poetry I would like to publish myself. I just don't know how to go about it. I might go the e-route and follow BennyTheWriter's suggestions.
It is difficult to get poetry published. They expect something called a "chapbook" which normally consists of around 20-50 one page poems. I also wrote a book and am looking for a publisher. It's about tarot cards. If I explain in too much detail, as I did in a post last night, I got a warning that I was promoting my own work too much. I do mention it in my profile, for a few sentences. But that's all, for a book almost 200 pages long. I wrote 34 hubs and none are about the tarot. So I'm confused too as to what they consider "overpromoting." I see hubs one paragraph long posted solely to sell a specific product, and nobody seems to be bothering them, though I don't know that. I am enjoying the creative process and like Hubpages though. If you publish yourself, it will cost about between $1K and $2K, plus everything else is "extra." You are expected to do all the book promotion yourself too. The cover design, the pictures, editing, etc. I have two really good sites, Preditors and Editors, and Absolute Write that are loaded with info about which publishers you can trust and who pretends to be a real publisher, then wants to take your money. Best of luck, and I'm glad to have found this forum!
Has anyone used lulu or any other online publishers? If so, could any of you provide the costs for publishing? For example, how much a paperback or hardcover be? How much per page? Colored pages? Thanks again for the help.
The prices are available on Lulu's website. For simple publishing, you can do it for free. Check it out.
I know I may not be reaching the intended person, but I believe the information requested is relevant to anyone. I have personally used Lulu and have had no problems. As far as prices go, it is best to go to the site and enter the page numbers, book size, etc. into the Book Cost Calculator. That will give you the information you need; trying to make a list here would be futile as each person's requirements and tastes are different.
Oh, sorry guys. I started this thing and then got sidetracked. AS some of you may know, my new novel is scheduled for release on the 27th (yikes) and I've been working like mad building up the base for promotions. I've had 17,500 visits to my book's website in four months. So that's not too bad. I've done other things too,which I'll share later and will be interviewed on Blog Talk Radio soon.
I've discussed this a lot on a discussion page on Linked In, and thought, this is what we need on hubpages. A sharing of ideas to help each other.
Glad to see some good responses. Let's talk promotion.
Sorry to be jumping around like this, but I have been so busy getting ready for my book's launch, I'm reduced to being here on hubpages at 2 in the morning. If I don't sound like my lucid self, I hope you understand.
Promotion has been a steep learning curve for me, so I started writing a hub series called the Penurious Promoter to share what I learn as I learn it. By virtue of dire necessity, my promotional campaign has been entirely DIY. In other words, I'm too broke to pay for promotion, and I didn't get an advance to speak of.... This is my first publication in the US, so you can understand the publisher wasn't huge with his largesse.
I'm open to sharing all I know, and even more open to hearing what everyone else is doing. With all the brains here on hubpages, we should be able to whip up some good, new and creative ideas.
Okay, I'm going to bed now. See you tomorrow, I hope. Or maybe the next day... Lynda
When I first wrote my book "Diary of a crack addict's wife" one of my good friends sent a copy of the synopsis to some of the book clubs and they did a review we used that review and a clipping from a newspaper article and enclosed it with a copy of the book and sent it to one of the larger publishing houses. Afterwards within seven days the editor contacted me and made an offer me an offer for a book deal. I declined the offer three times until I was starving. Prior to that I made a living selling books out the truck of my car and to be honest thoroughly enjoyed, until the winter kicked in. Sometimes we would be in the streets in the snow. I had so much fun shaking hands and getting to know people, who in turns turned into avid fans. I had strong moral
support from my brother in law who used to walk the streets with me in Paterson, New Jersey and had a shameless promotion.
Thanks for the information Immartin! I'm shooting to publish my work before summer. It's about eighty percent complete!
This is such a huge issue and a great topic for discussion. You spend years of your life virtually in solitary confinement writing your book, and then, almost overnight, have to become a major extrovert to promote it!
Of course, it all depends on what kind of book you've written, but some initial thoughts:
Social networking is obviously a good way to go - if each of your Facebook friends shares it with their FB friends then hopefully you can get some good interest going. Otherwise there are still the 'traditional' routes of local newspapers, if your book's got some local angle, say, and maybe trying to write a feature in a mainstream paper/magazine if you can find a good angle to link it in with. Local bookshops should be open to doing some kind of promotional event, as it's in their interests to get customers in, after all. (Author supplies wine and nibbles and the shop supplies the venue and advertising?)
Depending on what your book is, it might also be worth thinking about contacting clubs and associations - they're often on the lookout for guest speakers; in the UK we have things like the Women's Institute or NADFAS which is a cultural association. How about contacting book clubs to see if they'd like to read and discuss it?
It strikes me that writing a book is only half the story (if you'll excuse the pun). It's putting on the extrovert hat and getting it out there that's the tough part!
And it is the hardest part. In fact, writing the book is easy in comparison. I've set up a fan page on Facebook; made a website for the book (which has had 18,500 visitors in five months;) set up a page on Goodreads, Shelfari, Redroom, all of which I'm waiting for the book's release to complete; I blog; I Twitter; I did press releases; I entered the book in the 2011 Indies competition; won honorable mention in another competition (Peter Hixton Memorial;) I have business cards made up and have even stooped to inserting them in books of a similar genre at Books A Million and everything else I can think of. In fact, I haven't had much time to write... Which begs the question: What am I, writer or promoter?
I'm told it's a numbers game. To keep getting the word out there.
Oh -- I forgot to mention I'm to be interviewed on Blog Talk Radio, Authors Articulating with Jo-Anne Vandermeulen on Jan 17 at 7 PM PST.
See, I'm so into promoting, I can't stop.
So yes, you're so right. Once the book is finished and published one way or another, the real work begins. Which is what we're here to discuss. Right?
Lots of hubbers (myself included) have their own blogs about writing. Have you thought about offering an interview or guest post to any of them about the process of writing your book or things you learned along the way? If you take a look at some of the writing blogs out there and find a few that might be a good fit, it could be another way to promote your book.
Hi, Lynda. I published two children's books on CreateSpace at the end of 2010 and am working toward the publication of a third one "Ping and the Snirkelly People" about a six year old Chinese girl learning English in a situation of total immersion.
I'm still not sure how to sell this to the reviewers. Also, can you recommend some accessible but well-publicized reviewers for children's books. I'm thinking that if I send a press release to the New York Times reviewers, it's not going to be considered. But I'm not sure if I can rely only on Amazon reviewers.
Definitely don't waste your time trying to get the attention of the NYT. Or Oprah. Start small and local. Find something newsworthy about your book, aside from the fact you wrote it. Does it address some special need for children. Does it help the parents? There's bound to be something. For my book -- well why re-invent the wheel -- I wrote about press releases on a hub in the Penurious Promoter series #1. Maybe it can help.
About reviewers, I've joined a few reading clubs and when the book is released, they will review it. I've had one review for The New Author -- a good one, too. I'm hoping to attract more. When I figure out how, I'll write about it.
Nice to see you here, Aya.
Not sure how to make something like FaceBook work as a promotioal vehicle, I set up an account but the few friends I have on there are not readers and most of their friends seemed to be more interested in playing something called Farmville so I gave up.
I found Twitter even worse.
My route has been a lot slower, press releases to local papers, interviews on local radio and good old word of mouth.
A good Web Site is essential but like the books without promotion it remains a secret. Google me Merlin Fraser and I take up the first two pages, Google the name of the book has a lesser response, however either approach requires the researcher to be aware of both the existence of me and my books.
It's a ficious frustrating circle.
Book promotion, PR and marketing are things the Self Publishing sharks out there don't tell you about, it's something you work out for yourself after you have handed over a lot of money.
Yes there's Lulu, and a couple more where you can set up for free, yes FREE. You only spend money when you go for printing and even then you only need print off what you need so the costs can be controlled.
However, getting into print is still only part of the overall equation... Which is why Lynda set up this forum to see if there is some important fact we are missing in the DIY stakes.
I'm sure both Lynda and I, and any other published author on here will be only too happy to help answer any questions from anyone just starting out.
Having said that if you are looking for that kind of help seek and Ye shall find HubPages is full of helpful advice on writing but overall we are here looking to explore the next options. Such as how do we reach a bigger audience and bigger potential markets without selling the Farm ?
If we cannot find someone to help us how can we help ourselves ?
I like the idea of being interviewed but I'd like to know who will see the interview and are they potential readers (paying customers).
Perhaps there's a way forward there, Interview with Sales opportunities, Special offers and money off Voucher or something.
Who knows, as I said what we are looking for are new thoughts and ideas, something we have missed but is blindingly obvious to you !!
We're all ears !
Good to see you here. I know you have lots to offer those just starting out, and who knows? Often when we search for answers for others we find answers for ourselves.
You said you found Facebook not too helpful, but I've made lots of contacts there and quite a few have begun following my blog, Sincerely Yours, Lynda. Which helps. (I don't play the games and ignore those requests.) Also, I've met a lot of other writers there, and who is more supportive than another writer?
I also set up a fan page for my book on Facebook, and that's got some traffic going too. I now have a small cheering section which helps the attitude if not the sales.
Twitter has been helpful in directing traffic to my website. I only started twittering a few weeks ago and found my traffic increased considerably. I'm up to about 1,500 followers, many of whom retweet my messages. I'd guess at least 2 -3,000 website views came from Twitter.
Like everything else, you get back what you put into it.
I've done some press releases, but though I'd wait until the book is launched -- the 27th -- before going full tilt on that. Not much point in grabbing a lot of attention if they can't buy the book.
I'm sure if we all work together, we can come up with some good plans.
I've often seen new authors for Childrens books read at story hour at the library or B&N.
I'm just starting to work on mine and I'll need all the help I can get! I've read a lot about self publishing and it sounds good, but you have to be careful. I've also read trying to publish with a major publishing house is not worth your time unless you know someone in high places.
Yes, I think that would be fun. Set up times to do readings, story telling at the library would be good, except I wonder if they would want you to donate books to check our...actually what I have done is story telling. Then friends are transcribing my storytelling. I am telling Absentee Shawnee Tribe sacred stories...where we were before we came to this place and where we will go when we leave to go on our journey. I am dying of liver cancer and wanted to pass them down.
My experience from a few decades back with the local library in a town where I lived in Texas was that I willingly donated a copy of my book to the library, and they thanked me very much, but then they never cataloged or shelved it. After that, I became much more wary of libraries. They consider their shelf space as a valuable resource, and they throw away books that they even paid for, much less got for free.
I have written two hubs about the book I published with a photographer friend. We had previously worked together freelancing for local and regional newspapers. She had taken a series of photos of a tiny Saw-Whet Owl-- (see my avatar) and I wrote the story.
I knew that trying to catch the attention of an agent or publisher can be a long frustrating process (been there, done that). So,after doing a lot of work, we decided to make the investment in having 2600 of them printed at our own expense.
Some of the things we did to promote:
We got a booth at a local street fair and sold a few.
A local elementary school principal came to the street fair and invited us to present the book at her school-- which we did in a three part program for different age levels.
The principal had arranged to have notices sent home announcing our appearance-- a lot of the kids came with checks and money to buy the book.
We got an Amazon Advantage account which has a rather low return, but it gives the book credibility. I contacted a few top Amazon reviewers of children's books by e-mail offering a review copy. Some of them accepted and gave us a nice blurb.
We did a library story hour, offered a copy-- and the librarian bought two more.
We took them to our local art council, museum, galleries and gift shops in town--even a restaurant . (Sold them at a wholesale price, six or ten at a time.)
A teacher from a nearby town saw our book at the museum and invited us to her school (we even charged a fee at this one.)
Checked out some websites for self-publishers and children's books and got some mentions there, too.
We sent flyers and brochures to nature centers , wild animal rescue centers, natural history centers and gift shops in areas ,where this owl is a resident, and made sales in states all across the country. Several of these still give repeat orders. We were lucky that this little owl is wide-ranging.
It is still selling, even though we don't have our website up now-- It's still on Amazon. More details in my hubs.
Then there's another hub about how I got a different book "Almost" published. I still have a nice hand-written note from a major publisher which wishes me luck and explains why they could not take it on.
Rochelle, those are all good ideas, but my situation wouldn't allow me to use many of them. I am stuck in a cage with a chimpanzee most days, so there is not much chance of the street fair idea or anything similar working for me. (In order to leave Bow, I have to pay an hourly babysitting fee.)
Also, because I published with CreateSpace and there was no minimal print run, I try to avoid shelling anything out on copies of my own book in advance of sale. So I'm looking to increase my online sales while keeping zero inventory.
I am wondering if it might be possible to recruit volunteers to write and then email press releases about the books to the local book reviewer of their choice. I don't read any print newspapers, watch TV or listen to radio myself, so I am kind of dependent on somebody else to tell me who would be interested in my type of books.
Anyway, it seems to me that in order to make it snowball, the marketing effort, however "grass roots" should involve more than one person, and if possible it should grow into a movement!
Seems to me you're ignoring the biggest of all market places -- the Internet. You can write a press release and post it free on any number of release services, you can promote you book on various blogs, join discussion groups, use social sites, contact children's agencies, join parenting forums, Twitter... And while still sitting in your cage???? (Here's a story that needs expansion.)
But I do like the idea of forming a promotion group and working together, each of using our strengths to benefit everyone. What a great idea. Who'd be interested?
Lynda, Aya, and all, A promotion group is an excellent idea, I've been exploring that too. (Thank you for starting this topic, by the way!) Count me in, and let's decide where we want to make the "home" of the group. I find interacting here to be a bit cumbersome.
I started Kindle Chat on Twitter, and here on HubPages, to get more people working together on getting their writing onto Kindle (in many creative ways) as well as getting their published books selling on Kindle. Kindle is a rich area to delve into right now as many more people are starting to use the reader - you no longer have to buy a Kindle to read books published in that format.
If we bring our different "planets" together and come up with an action plan for reviewing, announcing, and sharing our published works, I think we will really start to see a big difference.
You know you can count me in, anything I can do to help just holler !
I'm trying an experiment along those lines. I've published a hub announcing a contest for press release writing for my two published books. I've included a link to Lynda's hub about how to write a press release. I think we can all run such contests and also participate in each other's contests and get mutual benefit.
Wow, there is so much great info here. Thanks so much for starting this topic!
I completed a novella a few weeks ago and am considering publishing online, maybe even starting here on hubpages.
But just like many of you the world of sel-promoting just seemed like a colourful blurr. To top it off I have a hard time sitting at my computer to long cause of health stuff. But I love the idea of a promotion group. I guess I don't understand how that would work either.
How much easier would it be if writers could just stick to what they were best at
For my novella I created a website for it. I made promotional videos, created character bio's, story synopisis the works. It has a little following now. I also put it up breifly on this website called text novel. It did this to see if my book has a market. Would people want to read it? If I submit to agent or publisher they are going to want to know if the book has a market will it sell. So that is what I have done to help promote my book.
I am still in a debate of going traditional or self publish. The book is a little daring I think so not sure traditional publisher will want to touch it will a 10 foot pole, BUT people do want to read it and those that have like it so still a debate on which direction I want to go.
The best way I found for selling books is getting booked (excuse pun!) as a guest speaker at an event where I can talk about my book and sell copies. I have sold lots of my book Herbs of the Northern Shaman (first edition) that way at pagan festivals and conferences and at Glastonbury Festival.
I am currently working on a book trailer -- a three minute video -- to promote my upcoming book, Ping & the Snirkelly People. I think it's a very nice device for dramatizing the conflicts of a story without actually telling the story, and it may be a more effective promotional tool than a mere press release. In fact, I'm thinking of embedding the trailer in the press release.
What do you think? If you are one of my friends on FB, you can take a look at a first draft of the video on my wall.
The only real question I have is: how do I give proper credit to the composer of the soundtrack and the contributor of the sound effects, without taking away from the dramatic presentation of the the trailer? (It's under a creative commons license.)
I have recently joined HubPages and am currently looking for a publisher. I would LOVE to join this forum. I placed my first chapter on my site and now want to get involved in the promotioning! Thank you.
I would like to share my experience of book promotion. I'm a member of a local writers' group of 9 members. I have already published several short stories and articles and a children book by a traditional publisher, before publishing a novel.
I took a very long time (several years) to finish my first novel, a women's fiction, got reviewed by my friends,(writers group) and then didn't want to waste further time by approaching the well known publishers. So I approached a small publisher who, after reading the story, immediately agreed to publish my book, on the condition that I will have to do the promotion work.(By then I had come to know that even for traditional publishers one has to do marketing one's work,for more sales.) We (my publisher and myself) together decided to go for POD publishing to avoid the huge printing cost. We approached pothi.com in our country and they took up the work. I got a good forward for my book and once the books were ready I planned for a book release function and a press release in our local papers, and pothi was also invited. They announced it in their newsletter and FB page. Some copies were sold in the book release function, and were also sent to our local book sellers. Since the news was already in the paper they were aware of my book and accepted to keep the copies with them.In some shops they were sold fast and even asked for more copies, and in some other shops the sale was slow.
I am running a website for writers and it was announced there too. Many of my writers also bought the book from me directly. In addition the books are sold in few online stores, and people started buying. The online purchase is increasing in our country. I have an FB page. Though I don't promote myself there those who read the book write their reviews there on my wall, that became a publicity to me. Seeing those reviews, few of the writers on my website, followed my method and got self-published.
Since it was a small publisher I was allowed to make an ebook version also. Through smashwords I got my ebook version published. Seeing the reviews and my website on my profile, people from outside my country, buy ebook version of the novel. In addition, I was interviewed by some newspapers and an esteemed ejournal. Few bloggers also have approached me for reviewing my book. I have created a blog exclusively for my book which is linked to my website. I'm also a member of goodreads.com and bookchum.com, but not an active member due to lack of time. I'm planning to take part actively there.
We had a family meeting of our extended family, where my book was displayed. The organizer announced about my book and many of them were happy to buy my book.
One of the writers has written a detailed review of my book and recommended it 100%, on a a very popular website, which has already viewed by more than 10,000. I hope this will also generate more sales.
I've recovered my expenditure and now whatever comes is my profit. I don't regret for not choosing the traditional way.
The sale is going on
Woooow! There are billions of info in here...i love this discussion. I first published my e-book on lulu for free, and i got few sales because i never did any promo...so it was only my hub readers and fans that bought. Now, i am considering publishing my first novel...still pondering on which way to go: traditional or self...that decision will be made next year, cos the year is over already. I will come back with nice info that i had learnt from people, but for now, i would suggest those of us from commonwealth nations to enrol for the commonwealth first novel competition on now. there are also some vital international competitions to start with, they gave a friend a good start with her first novel which she first published by herself as an e-book...try the man booker prize, caine prize, first crime novel, civil war novel comp...etc etc...competitons are good for a start. i wish you guys all the best...i would love to join the promo group and more...please dont leave me behind. cheers and good luck guys!
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