Indie Author Do’s and Don’t’s, by Susan Stielow, Author of the newly released YA/Paranormal book – Bloodborn.
You will have to bear with me due to the fact that this is my first guest blog post. So I’ll try my best not to bore you to death and keep it interesting.
Well, I’m sure you know by now that being an Indie Author can really blow sometimes. Especially if you’re self-published on top of being new to the literary world. A lot of people don’t want to give your book the time of day, and completely over look it for reasons such as: Because you’re self-published, and don’t have the backing of a well known publisher, your book must be crap. Right? Take my advice and ignore these people. They will do nothing but bring you down and make you second guess all the hard work that went into creating your masterpiece. I mean, the truth is, we all know our books are written with a little awesome sauce in the ink, right? And somewhere in each one of us we hope that our book will be the next bestseller, don’t we? So, in short, we as new Authors have to work extra hard to get our names out there, and prove that we are just as good at writing the next bestseller, as a well established Author.
So all this leads me into my first ‘Do’.
DO READ ALL OF YOUR BOOK REVIEWS!
Your readers can turn into lifelong fans, give you lots of sales by spreading the word of how much they liked your book, and best of all, they give honest opinions about your writing.
So far, my book Bloodborn has received nothing below a 4 star rating. But that doesn’t mean my book is perfect, or without flaws. Trust me when I say that my readers are not shy about letting me know when they have found a grammatical error, or a misused word. (no matter how much editing is done, your book will still have an error somewhere. So accept it and move on.) Take it all as positive criticism. Because in the end you made a sale, gained a fan, and received a glowing 4 star review that listed a couple of flaws.
This is a win, win!
And that leads into my biggest ‘DON’T’.
DON’T RESPOND HARSHLY TO A BAD REVIEW!
It only makes you, the Author, look bad. I’ll admit, a bad review sucks. I’ll also be the first to admit that it stings a little, and the first thing you want to do is find out why this person left you such a bad review. DON’T! Especially if it’s a nasty one. Contacting a bad reviewer never go’s well. I have found that most of the 1 & 2 star reviews are left by people who have never even cracked the cover of your book. Or they only read the first few pages and instantly made the assumption, that if they didn’t like the first few pages, that the whole book must suck. Don’t let these people get to you. Keep your chin up and be the better person. If the review is obscenely bad, contact the company the review is posted through and ask that it be removed.
My next ‘DO’, has to do with promoting your masterpiece.
DO PROMOTE OTHER AUTHORS BOOKS!
In turn, you will most likely gain a sale, a friend, a fan, and someone who will also promote your book in exchange. I have to be honest. Facebook has been my greatest ally when it comes to promoting. I have become good friends with other Authors who are also bloggers, and who graciously advertise my book on their FB pages, Twitter pages, their blogs, etc… All for free!! This is huge! Just one person can introduce your book to hundreds of new readers. But in saying this, you also NEED to do a lot of the promoting yourself.
Here is a list of current FB pages that I visit on a daily bases, that allow you to freely promote your book.
PROMOTE, FEEDBACK AND REVIEW
Authors and Book Lovers Discussion Group
Writers who believe in supporting Writers
Red River Writers – Works of Writers & Artists Worldwide
Authors, Agents, and Aspiring Writers
Promote Your Book!
Books, Books and more Books!!!
Online Book Publicity Group
AMAZON BOOKS, LIKES AND RANKINGS
Writers and Readers Unite
Passion for Books
Book Junkie Promotions
Books Gone Viral
Authors Promoting Authors
So now that I have thoroughly talked your ears off, I will leave you with one more ‘DON’T’.
This ‘DON’T’ is one I just learned myself within the last month.
DON’T SEND FREE COPIES OF YOUR BOOK THROUGH THE MAIL TO A BLOGGER OR REVIEWER WHO HAVE REQUESTED THEM!
In September I received quite a few emails requesting copies of my book, Bloodborn, in exchange for an honest review. Well, excited and giddy me! That the word is spreading and bloggers are now requesting my book, I said, “Sure! That would be great!” Wrong. Its not so great when you spend money on shipping and supplies and still almost two and a half months later don’t have reviews from any of the reviewers I sent copies to. I have spoken with other Authors and publishers about this. Apparently requesting a free copy or an ARC of a book from an Author is a BIG NO-NO! Being a new Author I did not know this. And it has been suggested to me that if these bloggers and reviewers do not post reviews by the end of December, that I should ‘Blacklist’ them and fore-go anymore business with them.
So I have chalked it up to lesson learned. And leave the reviews up to the readers. After all, it is their hard earned money that helps us Authors pay the bills.
Thanks for listening!
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