Tuesday, August 6, 2013
The Process: Week One
Just over a week ago I submitted the files to Amazon to publish my first novel: Seven Crows. [links are to the right, go buy it. ;) ] This is the first week so far...
I don't know what happens if you do this the other way around, but I started with Creatspace, which is Amazon's print on demand publishing site. This is where I submit all the details and files for a physical copy of my novel to be created. One thing to note: the print on demand option is available only on the amazon.COM site. At the end of the process there is a link to upload the same info to KDP, which is Amazon's kindle publishing site. However, it wants to transfer the PDF files used in the POD process and PDF files DO NOT transfer to Kindle's MOBI format well. So immediately that fails and I have to start the process all over again of uploading a Word DOC and filling out all the product info again. Whew... at first both published separately. What I mean by that is, if you load up a book on Amazon it will have all formats available on the one page, so you can click between paperback / kindle and easily compare prices, etc. So I was worried that my paperback and kindle versions were not going to link, but after a couple of days they did indeed link up. So that was cool! Both processes were easy to work through, and I had to re-upload a couple times after reviewing the files and realizing I had missed a couple of mistakes. Easy process! The time length between submitting and the novel showing up on Amazon was a few days, and since then I have updated the book's description, which took less than 24 hours to update on Amazon. So far, I am pleased.
So the very first thing that hit me once the submission button was hit was a paradoxical wave of excitement [after all that work I am finally published!] and discouragement [why isn't everyone in the world buying my masterpiece?] I think, to be honest, this came about because of the traditional idea of being published and suddenly your novel is on every shelf and ads are everywhere and it all happens at once and "BAM" your a success. If you publish independently, this will NOT happen. At least not until you have a following of loyal fans and have made a name for yourself, which takes time and lots of work. Once your first novel is published, your work has just begun.
First Rule: do NOT let yourself get discouraged and just sit and expect it to happen, get to work and MAKE it happen.
Now I have to promote the hell out of my masterpiece. I have published before [RPG Material] but this is my first novel, so promoting it is going to be a new experience. Luckily for me, there are a lot of indi-writer/publishers who have blogged about how they have promoted themselves. I have been reading, taking advice and info from:
Matthew Mather: http://www.matthewmather.com/
Imran Siddiq: http://www.imranwrites.com/
Like the IMDB for books, Goodreads is the place to start. So I sat around waiting for my novel to appear in Goodreads. Then, the other day, I found a button that says "manually add book" and I nearly slammed my head into the desk I felt so foolish for just sitting around and waiting. So now Seven Crows is added to Goodreads for all to see, and 24 hours later my Goodreads profile updates to an Author Profile. Today, one of the things I have on my to do list, I plan on updating my author profile page in Goodreads. Soon I will promote Seven Crows via Goodreads with a book giveaway and some Ads.
Oh yeah, I am just getting started. I have an author page on Facebook, a Facebook group for the Yarmouth Release Party I am planning in a couple of weeks (should hear back from the town library today about them approving me to use their location), and contacting some large book review / blog sites about sending them copies of my book to review. IMPORTANT: Tell everyone about your book, avoid mass e-mails (cause those are just annoying), don't be afraid to ask for help, remind anyone who might buy your book to post a review in Goodreads and/or Amazon. Reviews boost your book recommendations to other readers, etc.
That is all I have for now, but for the first week that is a lot.