So you wrote the book you always wanted to write and got it self-published.
After all the excitement has died down and the flurry of sales that followed with your new release seem to dwindle, you may reach a moment and wonder “Is that it?”
- Momentum. The answer is that your dreams don’t have to die after you publish. In truth things are just starting but it is all down to MOMENTUM.
When all is said and done, it really is down to you to keep the momentum going with promoting your book, to keep writing and learning how to do things better.
- Keep writing. Many authors who were turned down by traditional publishers and who went on to self-publish found success. It isn’t easy but it can be done. Once your books find their way to the desired target audience and they like what you write, they will look for more of your books. So even if earlier books don’t initially grab attention, they will be of interest when you build up a readership.
- Dealing with self-doubt. If you find yourself doubting the decisions you made, consider other well-known authors who self-published at some stage in their career. Walt Whitman, Virginia Woolf, Gertrude Stein, Rudyard Kipling, Beatrix Potter, Lord Byron, Mark Twain, W.H. Davies, D.H.Laurence, Alexander Pope, James Joyce to name a few.
- Keep reading in the genre you want to master. Look at hooks, plots, character development, cliffhangers, capturing a moment without saying too much. All these are art forms which need to be mastered if writing fiction. Nonfiction is easier in some respect as you are writing about something you should be an expert in or have a great interest in and it is more about conveying facts and sharing and educating readers.
- Be open to new experiences. When you write, it is just you and your words but sharing it with others isn’t as simple as putting your book online or having copies printed hoping they will be discovered. You do need to actively get word out there that your book is available in print, print on demand (POD) or as a digital book. Be your own ambassador.
- Use your blog or social media. Ask for a 3-D cover of your book as a jpg or png from the graphic artist or publisher and upload it as an image on your blog or on social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram. Even doing this before your book has gone live showing a sneak preview of your new book helps generate interest. When your book is live, include the book links where the books can be bought online and paste them into your social media sites. For Twitter, shorten the link with a simple tool such as the Google URL Shortener or Tiny Url. Write short teasers about what your book is about. Ask and encourage others to share.
- Feedback. Any feedback you receive, whether positive or negative, see it as an opportunity to learn and evolve as a writer. I have heard from many writers who got more positive feedback from their follow-up book as all the mistakes they learned from the first were rectified by the second. Know where you can and can’t cut corners. Editing and cover design are definitely two that can make or break your book.
- Take a breather. Take some time to acknowledge everything you have accomplished. Remember, no one knows your book like you. You know what went into it, how much it took out of you. Not many people can write a book and you did. Even those who wrote a book-how many went on to publish? This is a huge achievement and no-one can ever take this from you. Never give up on your dreams, it is what keeps the magic alive in us all.
Author-Orla Kelly Publishing