You are Your Brand: How to Market Yourself

When asked why she turned to traditional publishing after finding phenomenal success in self-publishing, Amanda Hocking explained ‘Right now, being me is a full time corporation. I am spending so much time on things that are not writing.’

This author of the paranormal romance Trylle Trilogy learned the hard way that when you self-publish, you are not just an author, editor, publisher, and marketer, you are a brand. You are not just selling your books, you are selling yourself. You basically become a corporation of 1.

It is, therefore, vital to your potential success that you develop the confidence in not only your work but yourself as well.

This is why you have a blog or website

It’s not just to promote your books; people want to know who is behind the words they love. They want to see epic photos of the author they are buying into. They want information about you. (That’s where your About page comes in.)

Sharing takes on a whole new meaning. You share your life with your visitors. You promote your life in the tingling hope that it will be ‘liked’ and result in sales of your books.

This is called your conversion rate, by the way. It sounds slimy to me. You lure people to your site under the guise of providing them with useful content, and then, once they’re hooked, once they’ve taken the bait, you reel them in and deliver the pitch to convert them into customers.

I never liked the sound of it. Who would, besides psychopaths?

Thankfully I reveived a very useful email from one of the writing sites I subscribe to. (I can’t recall which one.) He taught that marketing was not about employing slimy used-car-salesman tactics, but about performing three simple, honest procedures:

  • Providing genuinely useful and FREE content for visitors that they can interact with
  • Creating lasting and meaningful relationships with customers
  • Continuing to communicate with and provide content for your ‘friends’

Before, during, and after you’ve got these three steps down pat, you’ll need to do some SEO work. Promote your site, offer to write guest posts on other, similar sites, email established authors for endorsements or testimonials for your books; basically do the work of ten people, all while keeping a positive spin on things and establishing your voice and niche.

For all of this you’re going to need bucketloads of confidence. Read on to discover the keys to building this confidence. Continue reading “You are Your Brand: How to Market Yourself”

The No. 1 Reason Your Kindle E-Books are not Selling

You follow all the expert advice you can find. You perform every last task, from editing to book description polishing to Goodreads promotions. You’ve even gone through the effort of setting up a writing blog and started blogging about writing. But despite all your hard work, you only have a trickle of e-book sales coming in. What gives?

Great Kindle E-Books

You’ve been writing long enough that your Kindle e-books are of high-quality, from three-dimensional characterizations to solid plot to consistent descriptions to fluid viewpoint transitions. Your work may not be quite up to snuff with the big dogs like Martin, Maas, Taylor, and Sanderson, but it is clearly superior to most of the self-published dreck out there.

And yet those best-selling novelists and your inferior quality classmates are all selling more books than you. It’s infuriating!

Ninety percent of the time, the reason this happens is because of lack of exposure. Continue reading “The No. 1 Reason Your Kindle E-Books are not Selling”

How to Write a Young Adult Fantasy Novel Like a Boss

There comes a time in every writer’s career when he/she must throw caution to the wind and offer the world a peek into his/her deepest imaginings.

This is where W.A.N.D. comes in. I had a blast writing this fantasy. Some of its pages and scenes are products of the dark haunted corners of my psyche, places where I would not normally venture. But I believe these ventures have resulted in some riveting scenes, and I wish to use my experience in writing this particular book (my eleventh or maybe twelfth) to help other, slightly less-experienced writers along their journey.

With some 50,000 books published each year (that’s only the traditionally published ones, mind), it is incredibly difficult to produce a novel novel. To do so means being bold, fearless in your endeavor.

You can’t just write another tale about a poor orphan farm boy who realizes he is heir to a great legacy stretching far beyond his humble origins (Star Wars, Harry Potter, Eragon, Lord of the Rings, Eye of the World, Sword of Shanarra, The Dragonbone Chair, to name but a few examples). You need to come up with something new.

Something new.

That’s a daunting task, when you consider the millions of books that have gone before. So how does a writer (in this case a fantasist) accomplish this task? Continue reading “How to Write a Young Adult Fantasy Novel Like a Boss”