Self Publishing isn’t all that difficult, especially for a professional writer who has also been a professional editor and graphic designer. I can produce a bookstore quality book, yep, yep. It’s marketing that baffles me. This isn’t baseball, Ray. If I build it, they won’t necessarily come.
Well, Self Publishing to the rescue!
These three books just arrived, and they are all self-published.
Indie Author Survival Guide, by S.K. Quinn, Your Book, Your Brand, by Dana Kaye, and Navigating Indieworld, by Julie A. Gerber and Carole P. Roman.
When I ordered them, I looked for chapters on marketing. All three have them, with Your Book, Your Brand being principally about marketing. I also looked for recent publication dates, figuring anything older than 2014 is going to be out-of-date. Indie Author was published in 2015, and Indieworld dates from earlier this year. Your Book, Your Brand is so fresh that my order was delayed by three days so the book could be released, on September 20.
Indie Author and Indieworld cover the whole gamut of Self Publishing, including much that I already know, but also things I don’t. In this game, one cannot know too much. I can’t really speak for them yet, as I’ve only flipped through them.
Your Book, Your Brand, however! Whoowee! Ms. Kaye is a professional book publicist, so we can presume that she knows her stuff. And in chapter one alone, she threw so much at me that I had to put the book down for three days to absorb it all.
I’m not fond of the term “brand.” I live in Texas, where brands are associated with cattle ranches. I have books, not longhorns. But I understand the concept, and can easily substitute “my name.”
Ms. Kaye says that the day the first book is published is the day I become a public figure. From that day forward, everything I say and do in public must benefit my name. Well, that makes sense. Certainly, I’m entitled to have opinions, at home, and to work for causes, quietly. Writing blog posts about the environment won’t help sell books. In fact, it may drive readers away. It is much better for me to post solely about books, keep more readers, make more money, and give larger donations to groups dedicated to cleaning up the Earth. In the event I’m pushed too far, I can say something. Because it will be so rare, it will have much more impact.
So, no more rants about politics and religion. My wife hears enough of them from my mouth as it is.
With that in mind, I purged 50 entries from this blog. I also purged my Facebook author’s page, and totally wiped by Facebook personal profile. Time to get serious.
By the same token, Ms. Kaye says that it is important to present myself as likeable and approachable. I’m selling me, and if I sell me, then people will buy my books. Readers are more likely to buy the books of an author that they connect with and like, than someone that they don’t. So, I have to get in shape. At 220 pounds, and flabby, I really don’t make a good impression. My ten year old wardrobe could use an overhaul. My notoriously coffee-stained teeth could use a cleaning. That’s just the appearance. As for the persona, it’s easy to remember to be the gregarious jokester, and put the loud-mouthed curmudgeon back in the trunk. It isn’t a case of wearing a mask. It’s a case of choosing which side of my personality to present.
That was all from chapter one, too.
And, apparently, it’s time for me to get a Twitter account. Now, how the heck do I use the thing?