What is ONE thing that has brought you more readers? Part 3 with Erik Atwell & Terri Giuliano Long

This is part 3 in the series where I ask indie authors two simple questions:

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

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

I truly think that we can all learn a lot from each other’s mistakes and successes. Sharing this kind of knowledge, particularly in such an infantile industry, is invaluable. Thanks for all the indie authors who took part in the survey – more interviews will be featured in the next month or so!

Today I’m welcoming the lovely Erik Atwell and Terri Giuliano Long to the blog to offer their experiences.

1. Erik Atwell, Thank You For Flying Air Zoe

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


I learned early in the game that sometimes it’s NOT in an author’s best interest to constantly beat the drum about their own novel. Yes, authors using Twitter as their own personal infomercial, I’m talking to you! ;) Kidding aside, while social media is an incredible tool for authors, it should be used judiciously. Don’t just sit back and send byte after byte about how your book is available, how we all need to buy or download it, etc. Talk about things other than yourself. The more people care about you as a person, the more they might want to get to know you as an author.

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


I’ve been on two separate blog tours over the last year, so I’m a big advocate of taking your show on the road (so to speak). Granted, I was a nervous wreck of a writer waiting for reviews to trickle in, so concerned was I that the reviewers would skewer me and ultimately crush my career. But when all was said and done, and the primarily positive reviews came in, so jumped the sales. I can’t say for certain just how many readers I gained from the tours, but I do know that the tours have helped me build a strong platform. I would say I now have about 40-50 reviews scattered across review blogs worldwide, and if someone wants to investigate whether or not my novel might be worth their time, I have a nice portfolio out there that suggests they should grab a copy and give it a spin! I suppose it’s (*80s Reference Alert*) my ‘Field Of Dreams’ Marketing Plan: If you build it, they will come…

2. Terri Giuliano Long, In Leah’s Wake

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


I wish I’d known more about the process and that I’d had business and marketing plans in place before I published. I flew by the seat of my pants, constantly trying new things. It was exciting and fun, but not a great business practice. I made a lot of novice mistakes. For instance, when sales exploded, I should have been making a concerted effort to get my books in stores. I also found myself working on peripheral things when I should have been writing my next book. A few months ago, I finally wised up and I’m working diligently on my next novel; I wish I’d done this sooner. Still, I’ve been tremendously fortunate and I’m grateful beyond measure–not only for this but for the kindness and generosity of all the people who’ve helped and supported me along the way.

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


I’m often asked this question and I find it exceedingly difficult to answer. I’ve done a lot of different things–some directly marketing-oriented, others to build my platform–making it impossible to credit any one thing for increasing my readership. If there was any one thing, it was increasing my marketing scope. I did blog tours, wrote guest posts, participated in blog hops, gave many, many books away (this was another key for me, I think), placed ads, and so on. An old marketing bromide says that a potential client has to see your message 7 times before he or she is comfortable enough to buy (read, take a chance on a new author). I did my best to increase the odds of readers seeing my book 7 times.

(Find part 1 and part 2 of the series here).

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