Tips from a writer who tried, failed,
keeps trying and sometimes succeeds
A historical fantasy cover.
Which one grabs your attention?
Blurb, the description of your book
I haven't mastered this yet, but my best advice is to read as many book descriptions in your genre to find the common structure and what kind of plot points are highlighted.
if you can learn the details of formatting and do it right, it's great!
But if you need help, shop around and find a service you're comfortable with. You might want to try Golden Box Books
When to publish?
Promotion and marketing
I'm no expert in marketing and since the books sales plummeted due to thousands of books flooding the market every day, it's getting harder and harder to find readers.
What I do:
I send out a newsletter every 2-3 months when I have at least 30-40 new subscribers. I always get a few sales the days after the newsletter goes out.
I post regularly on the OAG blog with my fellow Author Gang Members. The blog has a lot of viewers and followers, we have posted over 600 articles so far.
I try to keep my website updated and make my books available for purchase in my Bookstore.
I post on my Facebook page, Twitter profile and LinkedIn with less success than I would like.
I don't have the financial freedom to pay for pricey advertisements but I'm researching some options such as Amazon, FB, and Google ads.
Putting your eggs in one basket
When the price is right
Research what other books in your genre and at your page count are selling for. One thing to remember, while promotional discounts can be a valuable bump in your sales, customers are savvy enough to wait until the price drops on your other books as well.
Consider the advice
A few examples:
The author wanted to publish the novel as romance but as I formatted the book, I read parts of the story here and there. I advised the author to either tone down the sex parts that sounded more like nauseating porn or publish it as an erotica book but rewrite the parts so it would sound a bit less trashy. Advice ignored, the book was published as romance and reported as pornographic and banned from the publishing site as a misleading genre.
Another author wanted the novelette size manuscript to look like a full novel in print and asked me to pump up the book with a large font. wide margins and added empty pages. Let me tell you it looked ridiculous with only 5-6 words per line, but that's what she wanted so I excluded my name as a formatter of the book.
A first-time writer published a children's book for kids 4-8 with language and word use meant for college students. I warned her about it and the editor gave her advice, but the author ignored it and changed the words back as she initially wrote them. Needless to say, the book was reported by readers as highly inappropriate word use for children and taken off the market by the selling site.
About four years ago an aspiring author posted in my writers’ group about his upcoming horror novel and said he quit his job to become a full-time writer. Everyone advised him to keep his job until his book makes money, but he said his book will be a bestseller.
We haven’t heard from him for about a year, and then he posted that his wife left him, so he had to take a part-time job and put his writing on hold.
Two years ago, he announced that he published his book a week before and is calling Amazon because his profile doesn’t show any sales. They told him that it’s because nobody purchased it.
Authors in the group gave him advice how to start promoting his book but he said it takes too much time out of his writing his next book.
Then he posted that he had 17 sales and his book rank rose to the top hundred in the genre. He gave us “advice” how to make it happen. He joined a “buy my book and I’ll buy yours” author group and they’re boosting each other’s book ranks.
Later he started ranting about “stupid readers” who don’t buy his book and when he gave away his book for free to get reviews, the one- and two-star reviews began piling up. He started using profane language, so I banned him from the group.
I don’t see his book on selling sites and in search of his name only his FB profile comes up, so I’m guessing he either gave up writing or published under a different name.