Writers in the Storm

A blog about writing

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May 2, 2011

Get Your E-Book Noticed: Presentation, Promotion & Patience

By Lyn Horner

A new Kindle author recently visited my home page http://texasdruids.com and asked me for tips on what to do next. I’m flattered by his request and more than happy to share what I’ve learned since publishing my first Kindle book. After blogging about the topic, I thought it might make a good follow-up to my earlier posts here on WITS. I hope some of you will find it helpful.

Tips For All eBook Authors:

  •  Presentation is important. Properly format your manuscript!
    This is the most important tip for any aspiring ebook author. A professional, polished, easily read book is vital on all digital devices. Check and recheck, page by page, before uploading. Then check it again! I went through my book, Darlin’ Druid, at least a half dozen times before publishing it on Amazon, and I still caught a few small glitches when I downloaded it to my Kindle. I immediately corrected these problems and re-uploaded – without ever having to delete DD from my product page.
  • Consider using smashwords for publishing with multiple outlets.
    They offer strict formatting guidelines and will convert your book to suit several different e-publishing retailers, including Barnes & Noble. Amazon is the exception. Kindle authors need to format and upload their own books via KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing) or employ a service to do it for them. Amazon affiliate CreateSpace is one such service. They also offer print-on-demand service, making it possible to purchase Kindle books in paperback form.
  • Self promotion is a must. E-publishing is no place for the meek and timid. It’s your book against thousands of others and no one is going to do it for you! Here are a few avenues you should explore.

Tips For Self Promotion, Specific for Amazon:

  • Set up your author page on Amazon Author Central, including a brief biography and photo of yourself. I chose the same photo I use on all my own sites. This helps make me quickly recognizable. Should I decide to change the photo later, it’s very easy to do.
  • Start a blog and link it to your author page. Amazon also lets you link to your Twitter page.
  • Check out Amazon forums, but be careful.
    Don’t promote your book on readers' forums.  Readers feel they’re being pushed. Instead, seek forum threads inviting authors to promote their own books. Amazon recently created a forum titled “self promoting authors” – where I’m hosting a thread called “Books Unmolded: crossing genres, breaking cookie-cutters.” I hope you’ll come visit this forum.
  • Some of these suggestions also apply to Barnes & Noble, but I’m less familiar with their site. Explore their options.
  • Join Tag My Book On Amazon!
    This site allows authors to post book blurbs and tag each other’s books on Amazon. To join, you must agree to tag the other members’ books. It takes time to plow through the site archives and tag all the books, but you don’t have to complete the task all at once. And it’s well worth the time.
  • Tags make a book pop up sooner when customers search book categories on Amazon. For instance, if a customer types “western romance” in the search bar, Darlin’ Druid pops up on the first page in that category because it has 59 votes for that tag.

Note: To see how tagging is done, go to the product page for Darlin Druid. Scroll way down, and you'll see my book tags. Notice the little check box by each tag. If you click it, that adds another vote.

Tips For Self Promotion, General

  •  Book reviews are valuable selling tools.
    A collection of good reviews on your product page attracts new customers. Inviting a few friends who have read your book to write customer reviews is fine, but don't overdo it. Unbiased reviews are more valuable.
  • There are lots of book review sites on the internet. Try requesting a review from sites that fit your genre.

Some reviewers you might consider are:

          Todd Fonseca -- Tag My Book On Amazon (for members)
Paranormal Romance Guild (several reviewers available)
Big Al’s Books and Pals (there’s a long queue for reviews)
Romantic Times Magazine – Contact this review magazine well before publishing
your book. (Up to 4 months in advance.)

  •  Online Interviews are yet another way to promote.
    I had my first interview with Laurie at Lauries Interviews and Blog Spot.  I suggest you read several of her interviews to get a feel for how online interviews are conducted.
  • Catie Vargas at Forbidden Passion Interviews is another interviewer I’m familiar with. As the name suggests, her site is best for romance, erotica and paranormal authors. There are many other interview sites. Look for ones that suit your writing genre.
  • Utilize social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter to advertise your books.
  • Set up a home page or blog site. Blog regularly and be sure to reply to readers’ comments. This is a fun way to gain followers. Don’t hit readers over the head with promotional posts. Instead, talk about humorous, entertaining or informational subjects. Then readers will be more apt to pay attention when you do post about your current book. They might even decide to buy it.

Final Tip of the Day: Be patient!

Self-publishing and promoting a digital book requires patience. Very few authors become famous overnight. It takes time and effort to build a following, but you can do it.

That’s all I can think of just now. I invite other authors to jump in and share their promo tips. The more the better!


0 comments on “Get Your E-Book Noticed: Presentation, Promotion & Patience”

  1. Thanks, Lyn. I've just put my historical western romances up on Kindle and now have to start promoting. Self-publishing is so much fun! However, just figuring out what to do is time consuming and (for me) a bit overwhelming. I appreciate having a guide. I'll head over to Kindle and buy your book!

    1. Hi Lyn,
      Wonderful post and interesting points. I'm just dipping my toe in the self publishing pond so I can use any and all advice that I can get. Thanks for posting this, I've marked it as a favorite, hit the tag your it site and plan to go through these one at a time to make sure I get it right. Thanks again,
      Suzie Grant
      author of The Devil's Daughter availible on Amazon and B&N

      1. Suzie,
        Thanks so much for your kind words! Tag My Book On Amazon is a good place to start. One site I forgot to mention is GoodReads. I'm not very familiar with it yet, but plan to get better acquainted. Hope to see you there!

  2. [...] Writers In The Storm: Get Your E-Book Noticed Posted on May 2, 2011 by texasdruids My new post for Writers In The Storm just went up. This is a follow-up to a series I wrote for my friends over there several months back, titled Publishing With Amazon. The topic is “Get Your E-Book Noticed: Presentation, Promotion & Patience.” If you’d care to read this post, here’s the link: http://writersinthestorm.wordpress.com/2011/05/02/get-your-e-book-noticed/ [...]

  3. Thanks for posting this link on your Books Unmolded thread...Networking, in general, is critical in this business, and I think you nailed this fact in your blog post. Great advice for new authors!

    1. Hey Gale,
      Great to find you here. Networking, now why didn't I think to use that word? Goes to show two heads (or more) are better than one! See you over on the threads. 🙂

  4. Thank you for this great post. I just signed a contract for my first book with an e-book publisher and I know I have to do a lot of the promotion myself. I'm grateful for all your helpful information which I will put into my "promotion" folder! Thanks again.

    1. Patti,
      I'm glad to be of help. When your book comes out, if it's available on Amazon, be sure to announce it on some of the "safe" forum threads. good luck!

  5. Wonderful information, Lyn. I've been on Amazon a good while but didn't know about many of the places you mentioned. Thanks for sharing your knowledge.

    1. Linda,
      It's my pleasure! I think we authors need to support one another as much as possible. I will look you up on Amazon. Please give my books a look-see!

  6. This is great information and very concise. I'm trying to decide whether to go the self-publishing route just to get some work out there. This is helpful. Thank you.

    1. Hey, Lynda.
      Glad to hear you're thinking of taking the plunge. If you decide to go for it, I wish you great good luck. Thank you for your gracious comment!

  7. Hi Lyn, A very informative article. Thanks so much for the helpful tips. Incidentally, you might want to double check your "product page for Darlin Druid. " I clicked it and the link seems to be bad. You might have put 2 letter "o" instead of 2 zeros in your id number.
    C.J. Good

    1. Thanks for the heads up, C.J. I will check the link immediately. You're no doubt right about the zeros. Aside from this glitch, I'm glad you found my article helpful. Please visit again!

    1. Lynn,
      Glad to hear from you. It's good to know you found some of my suggestions helpful. Most of these tips come from lessons I've learned, often the hard way. LOL! Come to think of it, those are the only kind of lessons that sink in. At least for me.

  8. I would love to be added to your list of reviewers for Amazon books. I have been in freelance for many years. I currently have been paid to write more than 40 reviews on Amazon for ebooks, books, and various products through fiver.com. All reviews have a 100 percent ratings from the buyers that have purchased them. You can contact me if interested.

    Layla Lair

  9. Very good article. As others have said, I have used many of your points but some, such as the threads at Amazon I did not know about. Thanks for sharing.
    I have two novels at Kdp and three along with a few short stories at Smashwords. I find that both of these distributors are great and helpful when needed.

  10. Hi Carol,
    It sounds like you're off to a great start with your novels. I'm glad you found my suggestions helpful. Since I posted this article, Amazon has set up a new forum where authors can promote their books and chat with each other about writing subjects. It's also a place for readers to discover new authors. The forum is titled "Meet Our authors." By visiting some of the threads you can pick up tips from other authors, ask questions and post blurbs about your books. You might even decide to start a thread of your own. 🙂

  11. HI Carol
    It's wonderful to find out that in the ocean of e-books, there are some ways to promote your work.
    I did it with my spy novel recently

    1. You're welcome, Jade. One thing has changed: the "Tag My Book on Amazon" site is no longer in operation. More's the pity! But there are other tagging groups around. Check FaceBook and online to find these tagging sites.

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