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Author Zone - Readers Welcome! > New strategies - what do people think?

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message 1: by Andrew (new)

Andrew Lawston (andrewlawston) | 1789 comments I'm now three books into my self-publishing "career" and I've sold just over 200 copies. Considering the first two books were a collection of short stories and an obscure film studies thesis... well, I've no real regrets.

But my third book, the first full English translation of a Casanova book, seems to me to be a bit different. It should be selling more. It is selling more quickly than the other two did, but I think that's mostly due to me offering a paperback option for the first time.

So I've got a plan.

1) The cover. My sister-in-law is beefing up the design. I thought the original cover was pretty cool, and it was put together by a professional artist, but then she showed me what she could do with it and I was blown away.

2) Promotion. It's Casanova. Even though it hasn't got any romance in it, he's got a certain image. I need to go and post on Romance/Erotica forums about this, right? "Spiritual father of modern erotic writing" and all that...

3) Marketing. The 60,000 word book is in three distinct sections. 1) A lengthy foreword. 2) Part 1, in which our hero is imprisoned. 3) Part 2, in which, well, no spoilers, but the book is called Story of My Escape, right? Now, Part 1 ends on a brilliant cliffhanger. Seriously awesome. So what I'm thinking is, would it be worth publishing Part 1 (without the foreword) as a standalone perma-free e-book, to draw readers into buying the complete book?

If I was publishing the book for the first time, I'd definitely do number 3, it's a no-brainer, but given that the book's been out for 3 months now... is it worth the effort?

Any thoughts/advice/experience appreciated.


Michael Cargill Cargill (michaelcargill) | 2994 comments It's certainly worth a go but, as ever, the biggest hurdle is the fact that you'll struggle to get any kind of exposure.


message 3: by David (last edited Apr 30, 2014 03:29AM) (new)

David Staniforth (davidstaniforth) | 7939 comments I wrote my fantasy trilogy with the idea of it being three books from the start, and with three distinct divisions: primarily one world in the first book, primarily the other world in the second, and the third... well that would be a spoiler. Despite this, and it clearly being sold as a trilogy, some have claimed (as is their right as reviewers) that the first book isn't a complete book. Now I have more experience as a writer, I would have made that book longer. My point is, part of the reason for such a comment is that the first book finishes on a real cliff-hanger, as you suggest, and you might want to make it clear that it is not a complete book should you go ahead, rather than risk complaint. Bear in mind to that the first book of my trilogy is 53,000 words in length. It is also perma free, and it has worked, so far, as a marketing strategy.

Hope that's helpful in some way.


message 4: by Andrew (new)

Andrew Lawston (andrewlawston) | 1789 comments Cheers David, that is really helpful. I'll certainly make it clear that the Part One book is very much a tease for the complete work. If reviewers have a problem with that, well, if I'm offering a book for free and will never make any money from it directly... they can give it as few stars as they want, really ;)


message 5: by Darren (new)

Darren Humphries (darrenhf) | 6980 comments Authors often give away bits of books or first books in series to gain sales.

I don't see how it can hurt.


message 6: by Daniel (new)

Daniel Benshana | 5 comments Do giveaways here and target reviewers. The first sales of my books have come in the past year with my reviews here. If you are redoing the cover you my as well consider starting again and planning a full campaign.


message 7: by Will (new)

Will Once (willonce) | 4053 comments Watching this one with interest as I'm in a similar position!

I figure that it can't hurt to publicise a book. If folk don't know about it they won't buy it.

What is there to lose?


message 8: by Andrew (new)

Andrew Lawston (andrewlawston) | 1789 comments Cheers Darren, I think I'll give it a shot!

Daniel, good idea. I had considered doing a giveaway when the new paperback is out, but it sort of slipped down the to-do list.

Will, exactly! Nothing to lose, and potentially, well, a few dozen sales a month would do me, to be honest.


message 9: by David (new)

David Hadley | 4873 comments Take a listen to a few episodes of the Self-publishing podcast:

https://selfpublishingpodcast.com/

Joanna Penn's self-publishing podcast:

http://www.thecreativepenn.com/podcasts/

The Rocking self-publishing Podcast

http://rockingselfpublishing.com/

and anything alse similar you can find.

I've been listening to these for a while now and they have completely changed my mind, attitude and approach to the whole business from what and how I write to how I am going to approach marketing once I have my 'new style' books finished and ready.


message 10: by Andrew (new)

Andrew Lawston (andrewlawston) | 1789 comments Interesting - I've not checked out many podcasts, though I've read just about everything I could find over the last couple of years!


message 11: by David (new)

David Hadley | 4873 comments Andrew wrote: "Interesting - I've not checked out many podcasts, though I've read just about everything I could find over the last couple of years!"

I came to them through reading Write. Publish. Repeat. (The No-Luck-Required Guide to Self-Publishing Success) by Sean Platt , which is by the chaps who do the Self-publishing podcast, which was recommended on this very forum by... erm... I forget who, sorry.
It is a good book for the self-publishing scene.

I usually listen to their podcasts when out walking the dog - getting odd looks when I double over laughing in the middle of the nature reserve for no readily discernible reason.


message 12: by Andrew (new)

Andrew Lawston (andrewlawston) | 1789 comments I've heard of this book, I definitely need to get hold of it.


message 13: by David (new)

David Hadley | 4873 comments Andrew wrote: "I've heard of this book, I definitely need to get hold of it."

It is only three and a half quid for the Kindle version. Well worth it in my opinion.


message 14: by Andrew (new)

Andrew Lawston (andrewlawston) | 1789 comments I shall seek it out, forthwith.


message 15: by David (new)

David Hadley | 4873 comments Andrew wrote: "I shall seek it out, forthwith."

This time next year, we'll be millionaires.


message 16: by Will (new)

Will Once (willonce) | 4053 comments Forthwith, ditto, book ordered, done.

Millionaire next year, ditto#2.

Let me know when Casanova is out there and I'll give you a review. I just might have to hide my kindle from my 13 year old son, mind.


Patti (baconater) (goldengreene) | 61757 comments Sounds like you lot need to be writing a 'how to make it big as an indie' book. ;)


message 18: by David (new)

David Staniforth (davidstaniforth) | 7939 comments Like jim said: it wasn't the gold prospectors that made the money, it was the man selling them the shovels.


message 19: by Will (new)

Will Once (willonce) | 4053 comments Not to mention the blue jeans and the burgers.


message 20: by Jim (new)

Jim | 21703 comments this way for shovels and burgers.

Oh yes and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=karGBX...


Gingerlily - The Full Wild | 36808 comments Jim wrote: "this way for shovels and burgers.

Oh yes and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=karGBX..."


Ah, the good old Reverend Blue Jeans!


message 22: by Andrew (new)

Andrew Lawston (andrewlawston) | 1789 comments Will wrote: "Forthwith, ditto, book ordered, done.

Millionaire next year, ditto#2.

Let me know when Casanova is out there and I'll give you a review. I just might have to hide my kindle from my 13 year old so..."


Thanks, Will, I'll give you a shout! But don't worry too much about your 13 year old son, Mr C spends the book locked up in solitary, so it's pretty family friendly!


message 23: by Andrew (new)

Andrew Lawston (andrewlawston) | 1789 comments Patti (baconater) wrote: "Sounds like you lot need to be writing a 'how to make it big as an indie' book. ;)"

I'd need to actually make it big as an indie first...

But 200 sales isn't bad, right? Across 3 books (one of which only sold 10, ahem)?


message 24: by Jim (new)

Jim | 21703 comments 200 sales isn't bad


message 25: by Andrew (new)

Andrew Lawston (andrewlawston) | 1789 comments Yay! I do think it's a decent platform on which to build.


message 26: by David (new)

David Hadley | 4873 comments Patti (baconater) wrote: "Sounds like you lot need to be writing a 'how to make it big as an indie' book. ;)"

I already know how to make it big.


Patti (baconater) (goldengreene) | 61757 comments You're rude, David.

I like that about you.


message 28: by A.L. (new)

A.L. Butcher (alb2012) | 1674 comments What about a blog tour/interview? There are a ton of facebook groups with romance/erotica themes.

I'm not sure I'd split it to be honest, but that is your choice. I suppose something you could do is split it and then do a 'box set' with all 3 books together. If you do split it make it clear it isn't complete.



I'd read it, I have some of his books on my Kindle but there are lots and I haven't read them yet.


message 29: by Andrew (new)

Andrew Lawston (andrewlawston) | 1789 comments I wouldn't split the book exactly, so much as release a 'teaser' of Part One, to promote the complete book with Foreword, Part One and Part Two.

I've done a fair few blog interviews, and they do always lead to a bit of interest in the books, which is handy. And that's a good point about the Facebook groups, I'll investigate those!


message 30: by Tim (new)

Tim | 9478 comments I'm a big Indie!

well, wide anyway.


message 31: by David (new)

David Hadley | 4873 comments Patti (baconater) wrote: "You're rude, David.

I like that about you."


It's nice to be appreciated.


message 32: by A.L. (new)

A.L. Butcher (alb2012) | 1674 comments There are several erotica based groups on here too. If you want an interview I am happy to oblige.


message 33: by Andrew (new)

Andrew Lawston (andrewlawston) | 1789 comments I'd love an interview please, AL!


message 34: by Lynda (new)

Lynda Wilcox (lyndawrites) | 1142 comments Warning!

I bought and read Write, Publish, Repeat several months ago - and I'm still not a millionaire. ;(


message 35: by Andrew (new)

Andrew Lawston (andrewlawston) | 1789 comments I bought and read How Not to Self Publish last week, and discovered I've made just about every mistake in the book somewhere along the line!

Ah well, we live and learn...


message 36: by Rosen (new)

Rosen Trevithick (rosentrevithick) | 2273 comments Me too (except the ones forums taught me to avoid!),


message 37: by Andrew (new)

Andrew Lawston (andrewlawston) | 1789 comments My brother has a bunch of short stories he wants to put out, I've pointed him at your book (on the grounds that absolutely no one ever listens to my own advice) as well.


message 38: by Rosen (new)

Rosen Trevithick (rosentrevithick) | 2273 comments Thank you.


Patti (baconater) (goldengreene) | 61757 comments Andrew wrote: "My brother has a bunch of short stories he wants to put out, I've pointed him at your book (on the grounds that absolutely no one ever listens to my own advice) as well."

Let's hope he takes your advice to buy it!


message 40: by Andrew (new)

Andrew Lawston (andrewlawston) | 1789 comments That would be nice, yes!


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