EruditeFool

Official Blatant but Honest Self Promotion Thread

329 posts in this topic

I'm sure some of you have already seen me advertise my book elsewhere, so I'm going to do it here.



If you like a "decentralized" fantasy setting with several main characters and a unique world, you might be interested in my first book.



Paperback:


http://www.amazon.com/The-Shattered-Prophecy-David-Standeven/dp/1502987570/ref=tmm_pap_title_0



EBook:


http://www.amazon.com/Shattered-Prophecy-David-Standeven-ebook/dp/B00OWA37JK/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&sr=&qid=



http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/487681



Any other authors who want to self-promote as themselves, feel free to do so here.


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Not an author myself, but I'm currently doing work experience for Julia Suzuki, a children's fantasy author. Any sales will make me look good, and may help me get an actual paid job (!), and she's a really nice woman, so she deserves your hard-earned cash.

Her first book, The Land of Dragor Book 1: The Gift of Charms, is recommended for children aged 8+. It's got great reviews already, and is a lovely story for young readers.

Available in paperback & ebook:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/aw/d/1782199241/ref=mp_s_a_1_1?qid=1417120676&sr=8-1&pi=AC_SY200_QL40

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I'm sure some of you have already seen me advertise my book elsewhere, so I'm going to do it here.

If you like a "decentralized" fantasy setting with several main characters and a unique world, you might be interested in my first book.

Paperback:

http://www.amazon.com/The-Shattered-Prophecy-David-Standeven/dp/1502987570/ref=tmm_pap_title_0

EBook:

http://www.amazon.com/Shattered-Prophecy-David-Standeven-ebook/dp/B00OWA37JK/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&sr=&qid=

http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/487681

Any other authors who want to self-promote as themselves, feel free to do so here.

Thanks for creating the thread. I've looked at your sample at amazon because of it. Hopefully more of our board authors will pitch in.

I've been working on a series / stand-alones for a long, long time, about a million and a half words in. Might make the jump to the agent query next year, and if that doesn't pan out, self publishing. If you don't mind, what are some of the pitfalls and promising marketing strategies you've encountered on the way?

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Thanks for creating the thread. I've looked at your sample at amazon because of it. Hopefully more of our board authors will pitch in.

I've been working on a series / stand-alones for a long, long time, about a million and a half words in. Might make the jump to the agent query next year, and if that doesn't pan out, self publishing. If you don't mind, what are some of the pitfalls and promising marketing strategies you've encountered on the way?

Pitfalls: Here are a few things I'd suggest right out the gate.

1. HIRE AN EDITOR.

2. HAVE GOOD BETA-READERS

3. Be prepared to rewrite things. A LOT.

4. Bend, but don't break: Feedback will help you make adjustments, but don't let it convince you your story needs to be entirely changed. Never lose focus.

Marketing strategies: I have none. but would actually open to any ideas. I really didn't think it through all that much. I'm going to have to work on that while I continue my writing (two books simultaneously) and my full-time job. I think it's the main reason I don't have many sales... yet.

I was fortunate enough to be acquainted with another self-pub author. She did the cover art and the final edits.

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I'm sure some of you have already seen me advertise my book elsewhere, so I'm going to do it here.

If you like a "decentralized" fantasy setting with several main characters and a unique world, you might be interested in my first book.

Paperback:

http://www.amazon.com/The-Shattered-Prophecy-David-Standeven/dp/1502987570/ref=tmm_pap_title_0

EBook:

http://www.amazon.com/Shattered-Prophecy-David-Standeven-ebook/dp/B00OWA37JK/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&sr=&qid=

http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/487681

Any other authors who want to self-promote as themselves, feel free to do so here.

Hey EruditeFool,

Nice cover...! Can you elaborate a bit on what is meant with "...The prelude novella to a brand new epic fantasy series..."? How many more books in this series? Oh and no map? Why not?

Care to tell us a bit about the books and the world it is set in?

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Hey EruditeFool,

Nice cover...! Can you elaborate a bit on what is meant with "...The prelude novella to a brand new epic fantasy series..."? How many more books in this series? Oh and no map? Why not?

Care to tell us a bit about the books and the world it is set in?

Absolutely.

There are going to be 3 (and only 3 because I planned it out) more books for a total of 4. The first one was a bit on the short side but the other 3 will be a bit bigger. In other words, no 14 book series that takes 20 years to complete. Honestly, I suggested "The prelude novella to a new fantasy series", but my editor suggested "epic".

I'm approximately 1/3 done with the second book.

No map.... The problem is that - while I do have a basic layout of the world - if I were to try a map it would look extremely basic and unimpressive. I'd rather go the Joe Abercrombie route and not have a map than have a bad one like this:

http://s44.radikal.ru/i106/1104/84/027d20cd9816.jpg

(Note: the other book I'm working on that is not part of this series - an 18th century style pirate adventure - will have a map)

The world in a nutshell:

There are these people with magic swords of mystical power who left "somewhere" 500 years ago (to be revealed later) and settled in the Vale of Fristad. Most of them are Greco-Roman and Japanese.

200 years ago another group with magic-swords showed up and started attacking the first group, These are the necromancers who practice dark magic, worship the gods who are the devils of the Fristad peoples' religion, and subjugate those around them. There is a lot about them the reader doesn't know and will be revealed as the series continues.

Finally, there are the Tribes who are basically Native Americans, and the Waste-dwellers who live in Old West like towns.

I decided to twist a given fantasy convention, so guns actually exist in this world but don't do much against someone who is using a mystical sword correctly.

There are a few influences taken from LOTR/Star Wars and even more from Conan. My goal was to blend some familiar things with some new ideas. Ultimately, it's up to the readers whether or not I succeeded.

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Thanks, EruditeFool.



And, imo and ymmv, i prefer having a map like shown above instead of no map at all (even if that example is pretty...basic. But in our present internet-age, it is trivially easy to get a well-done map. Sure, if you can't do it yourself, you have to hand over some cash but there are a lot of talented mappers out there at your disposal. For example here: www.cartographersguild.com). But then i'm a visual person and i just love maps of fictional places ;)



The setting sounds fun (who doesn't love magic swords, eh ;) ). I'm not a big fan of guns in my fantasy but i think i will download your free sample and see where it takes me. Thanks again for the info. And all the best with your books!


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Pitfalls: Here are a few things I'd suggest right out the gate.

1. HIRE AN EDITOR.

2. HAVE GOOD BETA-READERS

3. Be prepared to rewrite things. A LOT.

4. Bend, but don't break: Feedback will help you make adjustments, but don't let it convince you your story needs to be entirely changed. Never lose focus.

Marketing strategies: I have none. but would actually open to any ideas. I really didn't think it through all that much. I'm going to have to work on that while I continue my writing (two books simultaneously) and my full-time job. I think it's the main reason I don't have many sales... yet.

I was fortunate enough to be acquainted with another self-pub author. She did the cover art and the final edits.

I've learnt a lot about marketing over the past few months. If anyone's interested, here's my advice.

The most obvious thing is to go with a decent publisher who will push the hell out of your book. If you're going down the self-published route, the best advice is to start early, and be prepared to work damn hard.

- Build a fanbase and mailing list, preferably before the book comes out. I've spent time contacting the top book reviewers, which is a good place to start imo, plus the press and other authors.

- Do interviews. Lots and lots of interviews. Papers, magazines, TV, radio, blog tours... I interview authors regularly, and my offer to interview anyone here is an open one. I don't charge - be wary of anyone who does.

- Attend events. If your publisher or an agent can set up a book tour, fabulous. There are companies that do it for you, but again, be wary of costs. You can set them up yourself, really, but it can be time-consuming. Also book fairs, school events, etc, are great.

- Offer preview copies, rather than the whole book. Proper reviewers should get a full version of course, but people you connect with on social media or whatever can make do with a teaser copy. You don't want to give it away for free too much.

- If you're doing self-promotion, social media is your best friend. Become acquainted with it. I had to learn how to utilise Twitter lately, and it is a brilliant tool.

Most of the above may be common knowledge, so sorry if I've insulted anyone's intelligence. :)

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I've learnt a lot about marketing over the past few months. If anyone's interested, here's my advice.

The most obvious thing is to go with a decent publisher who will push the hell out of your book. If you're going down the self-published route, the best advice is to start early, and be prepared to work damn hard.

- Build a fanbase and mailing list, preferably before the book comes out. I've spent time contacting the top book reviewers, which is a good place to start imo, plus the press and other authors.

- Do interviews. Lots and lots of interviews. Papers, magazines, TV, radio, blog tours... I interview authors regularly, and my offer to interview anyone here is an open one. I don't charge - be wary of anyone who does.

- Attend events. If your publisher or an agent can set up a book tour, fabulous. There are companies that do it for you, but again, be wary of costs. You can set them up yourself, really, but it can be time-consuming. Also book fairs, school events, etc, are great.

- Offer preview copies, rather than the whole book. Proper reviewers should get a full version of course, but people you connect with on social media or whatever can make do with a teaser copy. You don't want to give it away for free too much.

- If you're doing self-promotion, social media is your best friend. Become acquainted with it. I had to learn how to utilise Twitter lately, and it is a brilliant tool.

Most of the above may be common knowledge, so sorry if I've insulted anyone's intelligence. :)

Pretty spot-on list, thanks.

I plan to try the traditional route first (mine for an agent) and if that proves unsuccessful, self-publish.

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Pretty spot-on list, thanks.

I plan to try the traditional route first (mine for an agent) and if that proves unsuccessful, self-publish.

Ah, agents, they can be a blessing or a curse. Best of luck. If I can help further, feel free to give me a shout.

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Pitfalls: Here are a few things I'd suggest right out the gate.

1. HIRE AN EDITOR.

2. HAVE GOOD BETA-READERS

3. Be prepared to rewrite things. A LOT.

4. Bend, but don't break: Feedback will help you make adjustments, but don't let it convince you your story needs to be entirely changed. Never lose focus.

Marketing strategies: I have none. but would actually open to any ideas. I really didn't think it through all that much. I'm going to have to work on that while I continue my writing (two books simultaneously) and my full-time job. I think it's the main reason I don't have many sales... yet.

I was fortunate enough to be acquainted with another self-pub author. She did the cover art and the final edits.

Hey, congrats! I have added this to my (relatively short) to-read list.

Those are pretty good tips. As to marketing strategies, I'm happy to offer my own advice, which is that I have no goddamned idea what sells books. Reviews, I find, can spur sales, but in my experience they don't always. I tried paid advertisements, but that IMO was a waste of time and money from the start; how often does anyone read a book by an unknown author just because of an ad? I would be very unlikely to buy any more ads anywhere, without proof that they work.

Not to seem discouraging, but as a indie author the deck is stacked against you. No professional reviewer will touch your work, and most of the indie reviewers will be equally unmoved by your pleas. (There are a few sites that will pay you attention, and if you like you can PM me for some names.) Hell, there are some sites that won't allow indie authors to advertise with them -- they literally won't even take your money. It's insane.

Still, it's satisfying to have finished your work, isn't it? Yay you! And wait until you get your first email from a fan. :)

Edited by TrackerNeil

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- Do interviews. Lots and lots of interviews. Papers, magazines, TV, radio, blog tours... I interview authors regularly, and my offer to interview anyone here is an open one. I don't charge - be wary of anyone who does.

How can we take you up on that, please?

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Hey, congrats! I have added this to my (relatively short) to-read list.

Those are pretty good tips. As to marketing strategies, I'm happy to offer my own advice, which is that I have no goddamned idea what sells books. Reviews, I find, can spur sales, but in my experience they don't always. I tried paid advertisements, but that IMO was a waste of time and money from the start; how often does anyone read a book by an unknown author just because of an ad? I would be very unlikely to buy any more ads anywhere, without proof that they work.

Not to seem discouraging, but as a indie author the deck is stacked against you. No professional reviewer will touch your work, and most of the indie reviewers will be equally unmoved by your pleas. (There are a few sites that will pay you attention, and if you like you can PM me for some names.) Hell, there are some sites that won't allow indie authors to advertise with them -- they literally won't even take your money. It's insane.

Still, it's satisfying to have finished your work, isn't it? Yay you! And wait until you get your first email from a fan. :)

Thanks! I figured a good way to start would be setting up a website and doing a limited book giveaway on GoodReads. There should also be a local con or two coming up eventually where I can rent a table. After that, maybe publishing more books will generate more interest. I have two in the pipeline simultaneously.

For now I'm just going to carry on and keep writing as usual. Good thing I have a day job!

I'll second the interview question.

Edited by EruditeFool

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How can we take you up on that, please?

Of course. The PM system seems to be down for me atm, but feel free to add me on Facebook (Vikki Patis) and message me there.

I write for ReadWave, and Lovereading.co.uk also feature my articles at their discretion. For new or not-so-well-known authors who don't yet have a page on their website, I can gather the necessary information for them to create the page, then they'll feature the article. For reference, links are in my signature.

I'm a book reviewer too, so if anyone needs a kickstart in reviews, I'm keen to help in any way I can. What's surprised me the most is just how many authors struggle to promote their book successfully, even ones with decent publishers behind them.

BooksGoSocial is actually a decent promotion website. There is a small cost, but the author I'm currently working with has just signed up with them, and they do a good job. If anyone wants further info let me know.

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Thanks! I figured a good way to start would be setting up a website and doing a limited book giveaway on GoodReads. There should also be a local con or two coming up eventually where I can rent a table. After that, maybe publishing more books will generate more interest. I have two in the pipeline simultaneously.

For now I'm just going to carry on and keep writing as usual. Good thing I have a day job!

I'll second the interview question.

As above - Facebook if you have it, or send me a PM if it will let you. I keep getting error 503.

I recently rented a market stall to sell Julia's books, and it was a bloody disaster. I didn't have enough time to generate interest, and I'm not the author, so nobody cares about me being there :p Lesson learnt.

Eta: Goodreads is a great place to start. I love it. It might also be worth chatting to established authors who do a lot of their own promotion - Mark Lawrence is one that springs to mind. Despite being with a pretty big publisher, he communicates with fans on Facebook and Goodreads a lot, as well as promoting his books.

Edited by Dracarya

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Eta: Goodreads is a great place to start. I love it. It might also be worth chatting to established authors who do a lot of their own promotion - Mark Lawrence is one that springs to mind. Despite being with a pretty big publisher, he communicates with fans on Facebook and Goodreads a lot, as well as promoting his books.

One thing for us all to keep in mind is that indie authors are in a different galaxy when it comes to self-promotion. Having that magical publisher's logo on the spine of a book opens doors that for indie authors are closed, barred, and sealed...for now, anyway. I wish it were different, but I don't know how to make it so.

Edited by TrackerNeil

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One thing for us all to keep in mind is that indie authors are in a different galaxy when it comes to self-promotion. Having that magical publisher's logo on the spine of a book opens doors that for indie authors are closed, barred, and sealed...for now, anyway. I wish it were different, but I don't know how to make it so.

It's definitely a "who you know" thing. Having contacts in the publishing world and within the press, and knowing book reviewers and other authors, can be a fantastic way of opening doors.

Since doing this PR work, I've noticed that, while having a publisher can be a great thing, it certainly isn't always. Some publishers (no names, no pack-drill) are utterly useless, and do sod all to promote their books or authors. So establishing your own contacts can be the way to go.

I was invited to the PPC (Publisher's Publicity Circle) Christmas party tonight, simply because I interviewed Patrick Rothfuss in August, and am now acquainted with the publicity manager at Gollancz. (Unfortunately I couldn't make it to the party, but you win some, you lose some.) Anyway, sometimes it's a case of putting yourself out there. I'm by no means successful, in that I'm still bloody unpaid for everything, but I've found that through talking to one person, you can meet another and another that can drastically change things.

Lovereading.co.uk is a fantastic website, I have to say. Prior to publication, they send out a copy of a book to their panel of reviewers, of which I'm a member. I already have it set up so Julia's second book is on the list, as she missed out with the first. I'm not sure if they take self-published books - I'll have to check. If they do, they're a fantastic first step.

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How can we take you up on that, please?

I know this thread has momentarily died, but here's my interview with TrackerNeil. Buy his books, you ruffians!

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I know this thread has momentarily died, but here's my interview with TrackerNeil. Buy his books, you ruffians!

Already done so. They are rather good, peeps.

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Re: marketing, I've heard sock puppeting fantasy forums is the way to go!

Added TN and EFs stuff to the to read list.

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