Dana Michelle Burnett's Books on Amazon.com

Monday, April 18, 2011

When to Start Marketing Your Book

How about an information overload?  One quick search on the internet for tips on when to start marketing your book and you'll get hundreds of different answers.  The more answers you get, the more questions that come up.  Launch week?  Hard launch?  Soft launch?

I prefer to stick with the easy answer when it comes to marketing my books.  I start immediately.  It doesn't matter if I have written one word or a complete novel.  It is never too early to start marketing yourself as an author and your work.

When writing, I keep two notebooks handy.  One for notes regarding the story itself, and another just for marketing ideas that pop into my head.  I try to market during every stage of creation, but it really gets easier once I have my cover art designed.  There is just something about having a visual that makes it easier.

So, what sort of marketing can you do before your book is finished?  Well, let's see.  You can build your followers on Twitter and Facebook, you can blog about the current progress of your work, you can update your website to show you have a new project underway, and you can tell everyone you know about your new book.

What about after the book is published?  All of the above, plus more.

See why it's a good idea to get started early?  What are some of your favorite marketing methods?

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

A New Twist on Marketing

JA Konrath has discovered a wonderful way to reach the elusive top 100 at Amazon.  He offered to donate $500 to the charity First Book if his novel Origin made it into the Amazon top 100.  Guess what?  It worked and now he has a top 100 book and that lucky charity is $500 richer.

He's doing it again, this time with his Jack Kilborn novel Trapped.  If it reaches the top 100, he'll donate $500.  A new twist is that if his book hits the top 20, he'll donate another $500.  This could mean $1000 for the First Book charity.

So, while some may say that this is self promotion that takes advantage of our desire to help others, others will say that since both sides are benefiting, who does it hurt?  What's your opinion?

Check out JA Konrath's blog Newbie's Guide to Publishing.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

How Not to React to a Review

As an Indie author, reviews are the key to your success.  Since none of us have the marketing budget of the large publishing firms (neither do they anymore), we rely on book bloggers to help spread the word about our books.  What we have to remember is that these bloggers are not obligated to give us glowing reviews.

We slave for months, sometimes years, crafting the perfect story into the perfect novel.  We want the world to fall in love with the characters that we have spent so much time creating.  This novel is an expression in some way of how we see the world.  This makes it art.

The hard part for some of us to remember is that while we see our novel as art, the truth is, our novel is a product.  It is a product to be sold and we ourselves are a brand to represent that product.  Nothing will destroy a career faster than you, the brand, behaving unprofessional to those that have done you the kindness of reviewing your work.

For an example of how not to react, check out Big Al's Books and Pals.  The reviewer was fair and professional in his review, but the author....Well judge for yourself....

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

An Interesting Note About NYT

I was just reading one of my favorite publishing blogs, A Newbie's Guide to Publishing.  This is a great blog from author JA Konrath and it should be required reading for every writer.  Anyway, he notes that one of his books is outselling the New York Times, but yet he never hits the New York Bestseller List.  You won't find Amanda Hocking on there either.  Why?  The New York Times doesn't list Indie authors on their bestseller list.

Now if that is their policy, fine, but it is still amusing that Indie authors are outselling the paper itself.  Take a few moments to read the blog.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Kindle Success? Take Advantage of Your Backlist

I think anyone that is self-publishing their books on Kindle, Nook, and Smashwords is 1)Very wise considering the atmosphere in publishing today, and 2)Looking for the success denied us by traditional publishers.  So we, in our optimistic states, upload our books and wait for success.  Then it happens....Nothing.

Our first thought is that there must be something wrong and start the crazy process of checking our sales every hour.  Then we go into the crazy state of telling ourselves what bad writers we are.  Then we go even more crazy by coming up with crazy promotional ideas that rarely sustain long tern results (i.e. Amazon Bestseller Campaigns).

So what is the problem?  Who knows!  Some can break in and find their audience with one novel while others are not so lucky.  One thing to consider is virtual shelf space and how to make your backlist work for you.

Now, you may be thinking, if my first novel isn't selling, why would I add more?  Well, because you can use your unpublished back list to promote other books.  How hard is it to add an excert of another of your books at the end?  Then you are not only taking up more virtual shelf space, but also using your books to advertise your other books.

So what are the keys to success on Kindle?

1.  Write a great book
2.  Have a great cover
3.  Write a great description
4.  Price it right
5.  Promote it on your blog or website
6.  Promote it using social media
7.  Promote it using excerpts in your other books

Just remember that by taking advantage of your backlist, not only are your spreading your work out across Amazon and other outlets, but you can use your work to introduce people to your work.  So not only should you get to writing, but also get to uploading!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

10 Reasons It's Great To Be An Indie Author

Being an author is great, but being an indie author is a whole different ball game.  Here are 10 reasons why it's great to be an indie author.

10.  You can tap into hot markets while they are still hot!  Being an indie author means that you can release your book faster and take advantages of the ever changing popularity of different genres.

9.  Indie authors have more creative control over cover design.  As an indie author, your book can be presented exactly as you pictured it.  Do yourself a favor and study other covers in your selected category.

8.  Indie authors have control over the pricing of their novels.  As e-readers and POD books become the industry standard, indie authors are ahead of the game by pricing their work competitively against traditionally published books.

7.  You can make money from unpublished novels wasting away in your desk drawer.  Put those stories to work for you by uploading them to your favorite e-reader distributer!

6.  There are no deadlines!  You can work as fast or as slow as you want!

5.  You can be as creative as you want with marketing!  As an indie author, you can host your own contests and giveaways to promote your work!

4.  Indie authors are being recognized with the same artistic admiration that in the past was saved for indie film makers.  Enjoy the artistic title and show your unique personality no and then to keep people on their toes.

3.  As an indie author, you don't have to wait for a good book to come out, you can write one yourself.

2.  If you weren't a writer, then those characters making all that noise in your head would just be voices.  How creepy would that be?

1.  Being an indie author gives you the ability to enjoy creative freedom at its best.  Be proud of your indie status!

I'd love to hear your ideas on your favorite part of being an indie author!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Indie Author Amanda Hocking Makes News

My favorite fellow indie author Amanda Hocking has made her local news.  Hocking's books are an excellent read and her story should be an inspiration to all indie authors out there!  Check it out....

Amanda Hocking on KTTC- eBook eVolution
Amanda Hocking discusses her success.