As independent authors, we need to realize that we do not have a fan base. Therefore, we are non-existent to the world. In order to gain recognition, we will need to give away our writing for free. I know, as some of you recite that sentence you are probably thinking “Is this writer crazy?” No, I am not. We will have to give away two-five chapters for free. This will allow the public to get a sense of your writing style and determine if they like it or not. Readers are reluctant to purchase a book from an author that they know nothing about.
After you have decided on how many chapters you want to give away, you can publish it on sites like Figment or Wattpad. Wattpad is my personal favorite as I have published two books on the site and have given away two free chapters. At the end of the free chapters, you may amplify it with informing the readers when it will be publish. A link may be included as well. Moreover, I contrive to give away an aggregate of four chapters per eBook. If the readers are quite fond of your book, they will purchase the eBook once it is published.
Once you have completed your book, the only thing left is to promote it. Although writing a book takes time and dedication, I consider that the easy part. Getting your book noticed and making sales is the hard part. Trust me, I have been promoting my eBook for nine months now and making sales can be difficult, but it is very possible. The first thing you need is patience as it will take some time for you to see your sales increase. Keep in mind that people will need to know of the existence of your book in order for them to make a purchase.
Social networking sites should be your best friend as it will assist with getting your book recognized by the public. Here is a list of sites that you may want to consider joining to help promote your book:
• Stumble Upon
• Book in a Week
• We Like to Write
• Writers Café
• Story Link
Other Ways to Promote Your eBook
Other than joining an array of social networks, you could also start a blog. Not only can you discuss your published and upcoming books, but you can review other books as well. This will allow you to increase traffic to your blog — the more traffic the better. Also, writing articles about your book will help tons because it will then be able to reach all audiences. Join sites that will allow you to write articles that will pertain to the promotion of your eBooks. Here is a list of places you may want to sign up for:
• Meet our Authors Forum
Joining forums is another great way to promote your book. A few of the top forums to register with is Tim Greaton Forum and Bibliophil. There are many others but you would need to conduct a research to discover them. There isn’t a limit on how many forums and sites that you should promote your book, just be sure to write down every site that you create an account with; you will want to log in regularly.
Here are a few other ways you can promote your eBook:
• Book Talk
• Library Thing
• Book Browse
• Filed By
• Savvy Book Writers Blog
My Mistakes and What I’ve Done to Improve my eBook
On January 13, 2013, I wrote and published an eBook called 360 on sites such as Barnes and Noble, Amazon, and Smashwords. I was so excited because I had read numerous articles about how writing eBooks can ultimately led to a lucrative career. So without any knowledge of promotion, I announced the publication on my Twitter and Facebook page. From that I made 10 sales. After a few months went by, I noticed that I would only make one sale per month, so I got discouraged and gave — something you should never do as a writer.
I didn’t log back into my Barnes and Nobles, Smashwords, or Amazon accounts for the next few months and completely put my book on the back burner. I even stopped writing books and just focused on writing articles. From time to time I would make a post about my eBook on Twitter, Facebook, and have tried new sites like Reddit, Stumble Upon, Squidoo, Triond, Instagram, and other sites mentioned above to promote my book. Just recently, I logged into my accounts and noticed that my sales had increased.
The more I promoted, the more I made. I even had people ask me on other social networks — where I didn’t mention my book at all — if I was the author of 360. I was shocked and elated that people were recognizing me and stumbling upon my articles and posts about my book. I was definitely not used to that.
Since the publication of my eBook, I decided to pull it from the market and make some changes. One of my mistakes that I feel prevented me from making more sales was the lack of effort into the cover of my eBook. It is unfortunate, but people do judge a book by its cover. I also wanted to put more effort into my synopsis and make it more detailed. I changed the title to Murder at the Houston’s Residence and made it a horror book. Another mistake I made was giving up. I should have kept writing books as well as promoted my current book. Since then, I have discovered many ways to improve my eBook sales.
With my upcoming books, I have written articles about them, given away free chapters, and promoted them on countless of sites. Hopefully when they are published, I will make a lot sales.
How Much I’ve Made
It’s been nine months since I published my book, but it has only been a few months since I actually promoted it. So thus far I have made $42.50 on various sites from the publication of my eBook. That is not a lot, but it is something better than nothing. I feel that if I do a better job at promoting and marketing my books, I will make a decent amount of money.