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For those with limited budget

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message 1: by J.S. (new)

J.S. Riddle (jsriddle) | 30 comments How did you go about doing things? I used Createspace because of the price, business cards I used with a promotion. I created the cover myself, I formatted the crap out of the book. A million times did I edit. I did everything myself.
What are other author's experience. I kept getting told I had to pay X amount of $ to get anything done. I had been sitting on this series for far too long to see it gather dust so I did something about it. Problem was.....$. So marketing, any interesting methods? I blog, I try to tweet, I have a somewhat of a FB page. Other than that, I'm curious how other proceeded.

message 2: by Steven (last edited Mar 11, 2013 06:38AM) (new)

Steven Malone | 102 comments Your story is very similar to mine. I know that after you get 50 likes on FB they give you a $50 coupon for advertising. I haven't used mine yet for I don't know how much more it takes. I got lots of attention and encouragement, like I get here at GR, over at G+. I'm trying to find the time to take some of my CS books to the areas that factor in my historical fiction book for book signings. That's the price of a Motel 6 and getting some help from the small town contacts I've made.

Did you contact your local bookstores for readings and signings?

Like some zen monk's 'koan' indie publishing teaches patience.

message 3: by Nicolas (new)

Nicolas Wilson | 6 comments It sounds like all of your online presence is through your own accounts. Try poking around GR communities for threads by bloggers helping indie authors. Sign up for a few interviews, or guest posts. Get to know other authors in your genre, who may also be willing to host guest content.

#1. You might get your book in front of new readers, even if the blog has only a small following. You can also get early feedback from possible readers.

#2. It's something to promote from your own accounts. I usually cross post the link to any outside interviews on Twitter, blog, and fb. For writing the content once, you get to post it multiple places.

message 4: by Gordon (new)

Gordon Vivace | 14 comments It can be a full time job, JS! I have 2 books this year and in addition to what you see above, which is repeated often here on GR and is good advice, I've joined a number of groups on FB relevant to my books. For example, for my cookbook, I joined 4 foodie groups with high membership, totaling exposure to a potential 20,000 members of those groups. I post pictures of what I'm doing daily there so I'm not just using them for sales and am trusted as a contributing member, so nobody minds when I plug the book once in a while or put up a special discount offer for people in the group. It's not going to sell thousands of books per month, but it's free and not very time consuming; and there are groups for just about everything on FB. Finally (for FB), I have full FB fan pages for each of my books and encourage my 579 friends regularly to like or follow those pages. Whatever I post on those pages I also post directly in my status. If you have a lot of FB friends, 15 or 20 minutes per day posting in groups and on your own feed can be a help. Since you say you're already Tweeting, I would also recommend connecting your FB pages to your Twitter account through your Twitter settings. When I post something to Twitter, it automatically posts to my personal FB page and the book's FB page, which saves some time.

I have just started with GR's new advertising program and can let you know how that works out for me. While it looks expensive on first read, you can tailor your budget. I'm starting out with a $30, 15 day campaign for each of my books to see what the numbers tell me.

You can also set up a free profile on They promote their $49 per month service, which basically sends out 25,000 emails to their members, but the free profile will still give you some access to their users and if it's set up right can work without paying anything. I consider anything I get from this a "gimme" and don't really maintain it, but as it only takes 10 minutes to set up and then walk away, it's worth the potential help.

message 5: by Lia (new)

Lia Black (liablack) | 4 comments Really valuable advice, Gordon! Thanks for sharing-- it actually inspired me to check my Facebook page that I've ignored for about a year. Yeah...I had a few "friend requests" waiting who probably don't want to be my friend anymore! :-p

message 6: by J.S. (new)

J.S. Riddle (jsriddle) | 30 comments I do like some of the comments you guys are saying, it is extremely helpful.
My FB is a page, separate from my personal one the pen name different from name. My twitter is set up the same as is my official author page. I have a blog that feeds to here, twitter, and the page. It just seems I'm behind the curve.
My genre is dark fantasy of sorts, supernatural, vampire in nature. BUT IT IS NOT YOUNG ADULT OR EROTICA. These two seem to be what is taking over the genre so finding a group that isn't involved in Twlilight addicted young adults and people wanting....well the other stuff is hard to find. I am sure it is out there, I just haven't felt comfortable in speaking up.
My book is dark, multi-layered, and is truly about vampires. No sparkles involved. I have had a few good reviews on my e-book, some sales. Just the CS paperback is just about to come out and I am now worried what I am doing to do, especially after reading that big stores don't like to buy from CS because of the return policy or something so the extended doesn't seem worth it.
I would LOVE Indie bookstores near me. Maybe 1, and the people that frequent that are nothing that would read what I write.
I'm not self promoting by any means, but maybe it will help to let me know where I might find better areas if you look at my Goodreads book site.

message 7: by Jamie (new)

Jamie Marchant (jamiemarchant) | 36 comments World Literary Cafe is another good source for finding free review, interview, etc. opportunities. But I haven't found the secret. I've been getting on every free blog I can find, and it's resulted in some sales, but not a whole lot. I'm starting to think that if you want your book to succeed, you have to invest some money. I'm just not sure of the best way to invest it. I tried a goodreads ad, but with very little success. I'm thinking of a paid blog tour. If anyone has advise on the best way to spend limited money, I'd love to hear it.

message 8: by Darlene (new)

Darlene Deluca (darlenedeluca) | 42 comments I keep hearing about World Literary Cafe, but it seems like most of their promotion opportunities are for pay. I've done the Twitter following, but the author and character spotlight that they advertise as free services are "closed to submission." So basically, they want your money!

message 9: by Gordon (new)

Gordon Vivace | 14 comments Well, I marked it as "to read". There are no good vampire books out there I haven't read, and I've never even picked up a Twilight book, so :)

Don't be too put off by the big stores not buying through CS just yet. Keep in mind that your royalties on store bought books are usually half or less what they are through personal promotion. That's great if you're an established author, but thinking you're going to sell tens of thousands of copies on CVS book carousels or through the airport book store isn't really realistic without a ton of promotion and marketing money, which is why "those guys" are with big publishers. As an example, Barnes and Noble really isn't interested in carrying any book that it expects to sell less than 10,000 copies of. For a self-publisher to convince B&N they're going to sell 10,000 copies with no track record, that's a stretch. A publisher B&N has worked with before and will provide a return policy, no problem. Getting a publisher interested in your first book is a full time job for a year usually. Point being, you're not that far behind the 8 ball as you might think. You're just an indie :)

message 10: by Jenelle (new)

Jenelle Steven wrote: "Your story is very similar to mine. I know that after you get 50 likes on FB they give you a $50 coupon for advertising. I haven't used mine yet for I don't know how much more it takes. I got lots ..."

Facebook gives you a $50 coupon for advertising after you get 50 likes?!? Where do I find this? (I have 209 likes)

message 11: by Steven (new)

Steven Malone | 102 comments Mine showed up in my email about 2 days after I passed 50 likes. That was about a month ago. Maybe it wasn't given to everyone. Here's a quote from the offer I didn't even notice when I first read it:

'For a select group of Page owners,
we are giving a chance to try Facebook Advertising for the first time
with this $50 coupon.*'

message 12: by Tanya (new)

Tanya Peterson (tanyajpeterson) After giving all options careful consideration (I've read books, articles, blogs, talked to authors both traditionally and independently published, attended conferences and have even spoken with agents), I came to the decision to be an Indie author. I congratulate others who have chosen the same path! I will say that I published my first novel with CreateSpace as a way into the industry and to learn the ropes. While I didn't have a negative experience with them, I learned that I needed to change my approach. Now I use more of a hybrid publisher, a cross of sorts between Indie and traditional publishing. The cost is a bit higher, but it's well worth it (I hope, anyway -- I won't know this with certainty for awhile because the release date of my novel is in early April.). I have someone representing me, someone with local contacts and the knowledge of how to approach non-local entities. I'm still watching my budget, of course, and engaging in the all-important online relationship building. It's a slow but steady process that I hope will pay off. I guess what I'm trying to say with all of this babbling is that personally, for the reasons that have been mentioned in this thread, I found the need to hire a marketer/publicist. It's too early for me to tell you if I'll get a good return on my investment (ROI), but I hope that by viewing this as a business with start-up costs, I will be successful.

Just a note, I found resources provided by John Kremer, Brian Judd, and Peter Bowerman (all separately) to be helpful. Look them up online. They each have websites and of course books and/or courses for sale. Your local library might carry their books, too.

message 13: by Jamie (new)

Jamie Marchant (jamiemarchant) | 36 comments Jamie wrote: "World Literary Cafe is another good source for finding free review, interview, etc. opportunities. But I haven't found the secret. I've been getting on every free blog I can find, and it's resulted..."

They have a discussion board where free opportunities can be found.

message 14: by Jamie (new)

Jamie Marchant (jamiemarchant) | 36 comments Tanya wrote: "After giving all options careful consideration (I've read books, articles, blogs, talked to authors both traditionally and independently published, attended conferences and have even spoken with ag..."

What company did you use?

message 15: by Tanya (new)

Tanya Peterson (tanyajpeterson) I'm working with Inkwater press, and I couldn't be more pleased. They do have a submissions process, and while they're selective, they're also very helpful and friendly. I work with them for both publishing and marketing, but you don't have to use all of their services. They'll help you with marketing even if you published on your own with a company you created or CreateSpace, etc. They have a website:

message 16: by J.S. (new)

J.S. Riddle (jsriddle) | 30 comments I looked at that inkwater and or price is steep for the original topic

message 17: by Jenelle (new)

Jenelle J.S. wrote: "I do like some of the comments you guys are saying, it is extremely helpful.
My FB is a page, separate from my personal one the pen name different from name. My twitter is set up the same as is my ..."

I have heard from many different people that indie authors don't start to "take off" until they have 3 books out. So one piece of advice would be to Keep Writing.

You can also do book signings at libraries... most are very open to having authors come in/do booksignings/q and a session things/etc.

I use CreateSpace primarily, but also have printed through Lightning Source Ingram (they have a few fees... $40 to set up an account, $75 to upload your title, plus you have to provide your own ISBN) BUT... if you print through them, Barnes and Noble and other big-box stores will let you come do booksignings in their stores... we did the entire LSI thing specifically so we could hold a booksigning at B&N this past November. It was really cool.

I wrote up a blog post about Lightning Source after going with them... pros/cons to Createspace... you can read it here if you're interested:

(this is NOT me pushing my blog... I just don't want to copy/paste or retype the entire blog post here)

message 18: by Gordon (new)

Gordon Vivace | 14 comments JS, I told you I'd get back to you on my experiment with the ad program. I have to say, with only one day behind me, it looks like it's affordable. I'm running two books. I've had about 170 views/displays of my ads on Goodreads. I have had zero clicks, so I have spent zero dollars. However, in that one day about 50 people have added the books to their "to read" lists. Some of those are likely to be from a giveaway for one of the books, but looking through, I would say at least 40 of these people came from the Goodreads ads. I had the ads linked to Amazon, but seeing how many people add the books to a watch list instead of going out and buying them right away, I'm changing the link to the Goodreads display for each book. Looks like that $30 per book is going to go further than I thought.

message 19: by Tanya (new)

Tanya Peterson (tanyajpeterson) JS wrote, "I looked at that inkwater and or price is steep for the original topic."

Please accept my apologies for the fact that I can't get the above comment to italicize and for posting something that wasn't helpful. I honestly thought it was a good price and that it would be helpful to share the information. Sorry about my post.

message 20: by Lia (new)

Lia Black (liablack) | 4 comments Don't apologize, Tanya! You're trying to be helpful! :-)

In other groups I keep being told that the only way to get ahead is to find a publisher…if you google "author self-promotion" you'll find links to a myriad of sources all claiming to have found just what it takes…unfortunately, if everyone is taking that advice, then it no longer works. I've even been seeing some authors who advertise the fact that they have been banned from Amazon (etc…) in the hopes that it will generate a buzz (as I used to say, if you can’t be famous, go for "infamous" instead).

Although I have very little time to do any self-promoting (full time job, full time single mom, and 400 miles away from family!), I am just going to keep writing and maybe do a combination of self-pub and small press…and I'll definitely be keeping my day job for a while! :-/

I might look into the Author ads on Goodreads now that I know it's so reasonable (thanks again, Gordon!). I've actually purchased a few books thanks to those ads! Do you know if they try to show your titles to people reading your genre or are they completely random (in which case, it might not work for my books)?

message 21: by Gordon (new)

Gordon Vivace | 14 comments Yes, you can target the ads for age groups, male/female and genre/categories.

message 22: by J.S. (new)

J.S. Riddle (jsriddle) | 30 comments Please accept my apologies for the fact that I can't get the above comment to italicize and for posting somethin..."

oh no it was okay that you gave another option and the fact that it was a suggestion was wonderful and I want to hear experiences.

message 23: by Jamie (new)

Jamie Marchant (jamiemarchant) | 36 comments Tanya wrote: "JS wrote, "I looked at that inkwater and or price is steep for the original topic."

Please accept my apologies for the fact that I can't get the above comment to italicize and for posting somethin..."

No apology. I was interested. I've decided I probably need to invest some money, and I'm wondering the best way to do that.

message 24: by Tanya (new)

Tanya Peterson (tanyajpeterson) Glad to know I didn't offend you all with my post. I'm fairly new to online interaction and don't always do things right. My intentions are good, though! Starting up as an author is indeed a challenge. I'm finding that it's hard to take off without investing some money, but until I take off, I really don't have a lot of money to invest! A true catch 22. I appreciate reading everyone's thoughts and suggestions, and I wish you all success!

message 25: by Mirta (new)

Mirta Trupp Submit a "Sneak Peek" article to Indies Unlimited, like I did. Great exposure, I think. They also have Guest Posts and other options: FREE :-)

Here is my "Sneak Peek:

message 26: by September (new)

September Lynn (SeptemberLynnGray) | 22 comments I've been promoting my kindle book the hard way, but I have seen some small results, lately. I learned that mass emailing people with a gifted copy doesn't work very well, so I decided to move the book one copy at a time. I check out my twitter followers and bloggers until I find someone who might actually be interested in reading a copy of my book in exchange for a review. This takes a quite a lot of effort, but I'm getting more results by targeting my offers. My ranking on Amazon jumped up by four hundred thousand in two days. Still don't have a bestseller, but it's something.

message 27: by J.S. (new)

J.S. Riddle (jsriddle) | 30 comments Thank you guys for some experiences,
The Goodreads author program (ads) is interesting, and i would have to see what the best way to approach this is. I do like the Independence of publishing my own book, but the marketing....oh that dreaded marketing. As much as you try, with the technology, people's brains have to see something constantly in their face or they easily forget.
Any ideas on setting up book signings? Right now I have a few reviewers checking over my book one hopefully in April/May the other maybe by June, idk. It's traditional novel size (around 108k words) and I am having to pause writing my second as I try to market this first one. Pain in the tookis.
I contemplated Lightningsource, again it came down to money. As I am using my pen name here instead of real (to keep family safe) I can say at least that one budget doesn't leave room for anything extra. Finding someone to help that is here in the deep south USA was far and few to begin with.
*sigh* ramblings, I am good at that and I'm sorry. I am grateful for all the responses and am taking each one and weighing them all. Lets keep up the ideas and see what works for each of us. Getting the links to work right from here would be quite helpful.

message 28: by Janis (new)

Janis Meredith (jbmthinks) | 3 comments I've just published an ebook for softball moms and now I am learning about the marketing aspect of it. I've found a resource called Author Marketing Club that offers you a ton of training and helpful info on marketing your ebook. And I've concluded that writing the book was the easy part! But they offer a lot of great resources.

message 29: by Gordon (new)

Gordon Vivace | 14 comments JS and others interested in cross-promotion, please see my post in the Idie Collective,

message 30: by Florence (new)

Florence Osmund | 61 comments Janis - Author Marketing Club is a good source. I offer some others on my website if that helps.

message 31: by J.S. (new)

J.S. Riddle (jsriddle) | 30 comments I applied to the group :) Last name gives a clue

message 32: by Rinelle (new)

Rinelle Grey (rinellegrey) My first book came out last month, and I've been working hard on marketing (to the detriment of writing the next book, which I have to work on!)

There are a few places here on goodreads where you can list your book, and send a free copy to anyone who is interested for review. This helped me get a few reviews, though I'm still waiting on some of them. I've also done a free giveaway swap with a writer in the same genre (who I met through twitter).

I haven't found posts on twitter/facebook to be particularly useful yet, so I'm sticking to making connections there, not really promoting as such.

About the only thing that I've found really helpful was to list my book for a free promotion for one day. Before that, about the only downloads I had were from family and friends, since then I've had a slow but steady number of downloads. It was promising enough that I think I'll try it again in a month or two.

Other than that, I'm finding everywhere I can to list my book, trying to arrange blog swaps, reviews, update my blog regularly, and keep writing!

message 33: by Florence (new)

Florence Osmund | 61 comments Rinelle - if it helps, I offer some book promotion and marketing tips on my website. Good luck to you!

message 34: by Kimberly (new)

Kimberly Brockman (kimbrockman) | 5 comments Spring is here! *SALE* on my recently released Young Adult Paranormal Romance, Raven.
Only .99 now thru April 1st Raven (Raven Series #1) by Kimberly Brockman

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Happy Reading!

message 35: by Heidi (new)

Heidi Peltier | 8 comments Thank you all so much for all of these ideas. I'm a little over a week into trying to market my first book and I'm already getting frustrated. I just didn't know where else to try. You've given me some ideas so I'll give it a shot. I'm not trying to be the next JK Rowling. I know I'm not that good! But as all of you know, writing a book takes a lot of time and effort and heart, and after putting all that in, I want it to go somewhere - for SOMEONE to see it! Thanks again!

message 36: by Jeni (new)

Jeni (CyberStalked) | 5 comments Thanks to all from a "N00B"! Many helpful comments here. Marketing would be far better outsourced if one could afford Best to all.

message 37: by [deleted user] (new)

I've been blogging about my experience as an Indie Author and I too tried to do it without spending lots of money. I kept getting frustrated with all the insiders who said I need to spend $$$ to get my book out there. The whole thing has led me to start a series on my blog on how to self-publish (without spending $$)

Check it out. I hope it helps :)
Leti Del Mar

message 38: by [deleted user] (new)

Hi everyone. My first post here and I find this topic very interesting and have read some wonderful, positive and inexpensive ideas.

I am in the process of editing my book, which has had it's fourth revision. I've begun to send chapters to members of my writers group, as well as others, for editing/reading/comments/suggestions etc. The responses I've gotten back are great and very helpful. It's a two way street and I look forward to reciprocating when the time comes. I think that this is the beauty of belonging to such a group. By the time a manuscript goes around five or so people I think a lot of 'bugs' are found.

My Avitar is the beginnings of my cover art for my book and you can visit my profile to see others that are in the works. Once I figure it out then I'll buy the artwork from the photographer or designer through a site like Bigstock (where most of my samples have come from). I'm going to start playing around with photoshop as well to see what I can do there. It's a long process.

I, too, read many blogs, posts etc about how you can spend zero to thousands of dollars to get a self-published books out there. There is a lot of information to absorb and sometimes it almost overload on the poor brain.

I look forward to visiting all the websites and blogs on here of people with like-minded concerns. It's nice to see that there are others out there with the same frustrations (makes me feel normal) ;)

message 39: by Darlene (new)

Darlene Deluca (darlenedeluca) | 42 comments I've had my book featured on a couple of Indie sites for free. Not sure how many readers they're reaching, but it's free exposure. IndieAuthorLand, and Indies Unlimited. Today, I'm on Indies Unlimited.

Unexpected Legacy by Darlene Deluca

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