Book Marketing & PR, Self Publishing Your Book

What is the ONE thing that has brought you more readers?

Today’s interviewees have been online friends of mine for a while, and I respect both of them so much for their writing, marketing, but most of all for not taking themselves too seriously! Their personalities shine in their online presence and that fact alone no doubts draws readers to them. I’ve had the pleasure of grabbing coffee with Ingrid a couple of times (fellow Seattlite) and I can’t wait to meet Wendy in person one day. Perhaps we’ll grab ramen one day since we’re both huge Japan-o-philes!

Ingrid Ricks, Hippie Boy: A Girl’s Story; A Little Book of Mormon & Not So Mormon Stories. and FOCUS (October 2012)

1. What do you wish you had known when you first started self-publishing?

That it is never to early to start building an author platform and reader base for your work. Before deciding to go the indie author route, I landed an agent and thought my job was over — until that agent told me that without a strong author platform, I could kiss my publishing chances goodbye. I started using Open Submission platforms such as Open Salon and Scribd to share my writing and connect with readers – and wish I would have known to do it earlier.

I’ve also discovered that the early bird gets the worm. Example – by being one of the first authors to jump on Amazon’s KDP Select program when it was unveiled last December, I was able to generate a lot of sales through the program…friends who waited a couple of months to jump in missed the boat.

2. What is ONE thing that you have done that brought you more readers?

Fostering relationships with the people who run the top blogs and Web sites focused on quality indie books — and continually reaching out to book reviewers. I recommend doing Google searches on indie publishing and book review blogs and then making at least one pitch or outreach effort a day. But make sure it’s not one-sided. These blogs and web sites also needed to be promoted and it’s important to just pay it forward sometimes. My biggest piece of advice? Do at least ONE thing every day to move your book forward –whether reaching out to bloggers, developing a story angle and pitching it to media, offering to write a guest blog — or even promoting other authors and blogs.

Wendy Nelson Tokunaga, The Girl in the Tapestry, His Wife and Daughters, Falling Uphill:

1. What do you wish you had known when you first started self-publishing?


This refers to self-publishing e-books on Amazon…I found out that just throwing your e-book up on Amazon won’t lead to sales. People have to know and find out about your book and I don’t think people “browse” on their e-readers except for maybe the top-seller charts.

2. What is ONE thing that you have done that brought you more readers?

Again, this refers to e-books on Amazon…Joining Amazon’s KDP program, which allows you to offer your title for free for up to five days. Then publicizing the “free period” on the many sites that promote free e-books. (Sorry, that’s 2 things but they go hand in hand!)