Tag Archives: release

Visibility

Now that Tempt the Ocean is a published book, who will to read it?

For an author whose superpower is invisibility, marketing a new book that no one has heard about proves a serious challenge. I could panic, but all solid wisdom suggests that building a following takes time. There is no shortcut (short of pre-established fame). Hence, the only answer is to find a way to enjoy the building process, and embrace the adage of journey over destination.

Branding and social media are huge concepts that can’t be conquered overnight. However, I thought I would present a short whirlwind tour of where I have set foot on the information superhighway—aka the tubular express—as a map to others, and talk a little about how I am using those sites to spread the word. Some of the sites are still works in progress, so bear with me. All of the sites either come up frequently in marketing discussions or have been recommended by other authors. All of them offer some variation of cross-pollination.

WordPress

If you are reading this post you are probably familiar with WordPress. There are other great blogging sites as well, but WordPress is where I started and where I’m comfortable. I use my WordPress Blog as my official site. My biggest challenge is to post regularly and consistently, at which I am not always successful. I am now adding two dedicated author pages to my site, one for each of my writing identities. Since publishing, I have added visibility by including a direct link at the top of the sidebar to Tempt the Ocean (remember: PROMOTE YOUR BOOK wherever possible), and every new blog post shows up on both my Amazon author page (see below) and my Facebook author page (see below).

Facebook

Before publishing, I created an author page for Agnès de Savigny on Facebook.  I can post directly to the Facebook page, as with my personal Facebook page, while followers (readers!) and other guests can post to a visitor’s tab. I can pin any post to the top of the feed, which I have done with the announcement of Tempt the Ocean‘s release (remember: make your book as EASY TO FIND as possible). The site includes a bio, and a link back to my WordPress blog as my “official” site. Through Facebook I created and shared my Tempt the Ocean launch event. All of my WordPress posts and Twitter tweets (see below) show up in my feed as well. Facebook has now added a Goodreads tab for those who have a Goodreads account (see below).

Twitter

I swore the attraction of the 140 character post would fizzle out. In a sense I was right, but my own determination to not be a party to it fizzled out, too. As Agnès de Savigny, I posted my first tweet this year, and unlike my nasty blogging habits, I continue to tweet almost daily. Twitter is a perfect avenue for following and conversing with other authors on the fly, as well as publicizing little moments to readers. My Twitter page features a mini bio and a link to my home page (for now, my author page on Amazon, where my book is listed). To boost my visibility, my Twitter feed appears on both my Facebook author page and my Amazon author page (see below).

Goodreads

Goodreads, a popular site built for and fuelled by readers, has become an essential site for independent authors. The site provides a great place for authors to connect directly with readers, and to share ideas with other writers (via forums and groups). Only published authors are eligible to create an author page on Goodreads—and now that Tempt the Ocean has published, Agnès de Savigny is a Goodreads author. The Agnès de Savigny Goodreads author page includes a forum to respond to reader questions, a blog, a link to all editions of all my published book(s), and a link back to my WordPress site. My author photo remains a white silhouette for now. The unstifled howls of laughter from the boyfriend at seeing the photo I used on Amazon have inspired me to hold off until I acquire a better image of myself as Agnès. Goodreads also hosts a dedicated page for Tempt the Ocean, inviting Goodreads users to post their own ratings and reviews.

Amazon

Amazon, through which I chose to publish, offers a home page to each of its authors on each of its mothership sites (i.e. UK, US, Japan, Germany, etc). The author pages are not linked to each other, making it necessary to build a new page for each host site. I built an author page for Agnès de Savigny on both Amazon.com and Amazon UK. (The Canadian branch of Amazon does not host author pages.) Besides a bio, a link to Tempt the Ocean, and a forum for reader discussions, the American site includes the feed from my WordPress blog, plus my Twitter feed.

Whew! That encompasses a lot of internet and social media flow, with the goal of picking up traffic at each site like a lumbering stage coach. Time will tell as to its success as a strategy.

Sticking to online publicity alone is ill-advised all over. Authors, especially new ones, have to get out and meet people and do book signings and speaking engagements and book talks, etc to really build a following—a frightening prospect for those of us who suffer from stage fright and/or anxiety and/or depression. Ultimately any means of spreading the word is useful. Jane Friedman recently re-posted an interview with literary agent April Eberhardt that concludes with the above advice, noting that “authors carry copies of their books and show them to people.” What a novel idea.

Next week: An excerpt from my current work-in-progress, the sweeping 18th century melodramatic epic Servitude.

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Finally! A Book!

FivePromos

Well, I did it myself but I finally have a book published. The release date is tomorrow, Tuesday November 24. The eBook is available on Amazon for pre-order any time, and a paperback version is available through Amazon or CreateSpace. Seeing my book guts show up on the “Look Inside” function for the paperback gives me shivers.

There has been a bit of a gap in progress between the last post where I awaited my ISBN numbers, and I will fill in a little here. The publisher registration came in late, but did happen, allowing me to assign my own books their ISBN numbers. I added them to the front matter of my manuscripts (on the copyright pages), re-uploaded the text files to Amazon, and set the release date!

Things have been crazy through all of it. I kept my promise to myself to participate in NaNoWriMo this month, so I have been writing a new novel while promoting the previous one at the same time. My film contract meanwhile extended right up to the end of October. Then last week the attacks on Paris threw me sideways and for a while I haven’t felt right about promoting a smutty romance in the face of things. Then again, a nice escape might be just the thing for some.

I also chose to celebrate the publishing with a small launch party at my local pub—the one with the best Scotch, of course. The place has also always been very supportive of local artists and welcomed my thought of hosting a celebration. I’m nervous, and will be glad for the good Scotch. I ordered an extra five proofs of the paperback version (from CreateSpace) to sign and give away during the launch, and made sure that the pub would avail my guests of wireless access so they are able to buy the book on-line if they choose to. I’m not planning on doing a reading. I might be too drunk anyhow.

Lining up the timing of the electronic release with the paperback versions did prove tricky. While Amazon owns both Kindle and CreateSpace, and they are both thick with cross-promotion, the release of a book on one platform does not automatically coincide with the release on the other. An author/publisher sets the release date on Amazon when uploading the manuscript. On CreateSpace, the book becomes available for publishing as soon as the author approves the proof. Then there is a short waiting period (3 – 5 business days) before the printed version of the book shows up on the Amazon page. I counted backwards from my release date and approved my proof last week, just in case, and technically it’s available now for order on the CreateSpace eStore.

Amazon will promote authors as well, and have an entire online community set up to help their authors self-promote through Amazon. Only authors with a book available on Amazon can register for their own page, so I had to wait until the book was online before I could make that happen. There is now an author page for Agnès de Savigny on Amazon US. I still have to configure the author page for the UK.

I should be marketing the book like crazy now – especially with the big Christmas sales coming up and gift shopping climaxing for the season. I am doing my best with the time I have and the scope of my abilities, in between writing bursts of November’s novel. I have so much to learn.

I did get a nice plug (pun absolutely not intended) from a romance/couples website through a colleague. Sexpert.com reviewed Tempt the Ocean and the review includes a nice little excerpt.

In the meantime, I have my blog as a platform to shout out my book. Here are the links to check it out. If a contemporary romance with a few deliciously smutty parts and some thrilling adventure get you excited, have a look and please, please, consider reviewing the book on Amazon.

Tempt the Ocean on Amazon.com

Tempt the Ocean on Amazon UK

Tempt the Ocean on CreateSpace eStore

Agnès de Savigny on Amazon

 

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Ready for Release, Except …

I made a last minute decision two weeks ago to offer my first Romance in print (on-demand) as well as e-Book. I may be old-fashioned and attached to the tangible or I just couldn’t get past wanting to share a copy with those who haven’t embraced an e-Reader.

Either way this set me down the path of the bureaucratic waiting game. I already knew that the Canadian Library Archives distributes ISBN blocks to publishers within Canada at no charge, but until I did my research I wasn’t aware that the first step to a block of ISBN’s was creating an account as a publisher (with a Canadian address). The writer of one of the blog posts I read in researching the steps mentioned that after applying they had received approval on their account the next day. However, at day 6 I now believe that next-day approval was a fluke. The Archives site says the wait can be up to 10 days, so I am still within the stated period. Should everything proceed by the end of next week then my publishing deadline of November 7 will not be effected. Another blog I found helpful revealed that a single person ran the entire ISBN registration process at the time of application. That blogger did not admire Canadian bureaucracy. Ironically, I have an entire chapter of my novel dedicated to it.

A self-publishing individual is counted as a publisher, so while self-publishing authors are eligible to acquire their own blocks of ISBNs, they must be aware that the information they submit as a publisher becomes public record. The first blog mentioned above advised getting a PO box to maintain privacy. I thought that excellent advice and spent the first money so far towards publishing. The private address became further useful when I registered with CreateSpace and Amazon as a publisher.

While I waited for a response, I added the electronic table of contents in my eBook manuscript and then uploaded it to my account at Amazon. I added my electronic book cover. My manuscript is saved as a draft until I get the ISBN number (the number has to go on the copyright page), at which point I will upload the revision. Amazon allows the draft upload for preview with a pre-release, but also requires an expected publishing date. My final draft must be up by November 7 in order to meet an anticipated November 14 release. The pressure is on.

And while I waited further, I revised my e-manuscript back to print format, and added a back cover and spine to my cover artwork. I created an account with CreateSpace and uploaded both the print manuscript and new cover art for preview. The print manuscript needed several changes but with some revisions is now ready for release. But I can’t proceed further without the ISBN.

Until then… I’ll be writing the next novel during November’s NaNoWriMo!

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