The name of the game with independent (or self) publishing is getting potential readers to even see your books. They can’t read it if they don’t even know it exists. For me–for a lot of authors, really–this is the hardest part. And I was determined to do better at it this time, with THE SHAMAN’S CURSE.
- When I released BLOOD WILL TELL, I basically set it loose and expected it to fly on its own. It fluttered some, but it certainly didn’t soar.
- With FIRE AND EARTH, I attempted to contact book bloggers for review. I spent way too much time at it and still only got a few reviews. It takes a lot of time to find book bloggers, determine if they even like books like the one you’ve written, and contact them. Many are too backlogged to take on anything new. Even those who aren’t may take months to get to your book. It’s not that it’s not worthwhile to try to find book bloggers to review your book. Just maybe a little at a time.
- BLOOD IS THICKER got a paid blog tour. Not an expensive one, since that wasn’t in the budget. I also put out an omnibus edition, combining both BLOOD WILL TELL and BLOOD IS THICKER and made it the same price as either book alone for awhile. It did help.
- I didn’t put a lot of thought into the launch of THE BARD’S GIFT. It went up only a week or so after Christmas. But I have tried a few things after the launch. Some writer friends put together an impromptu blog tour. I tried Story Cartel to get reviews. (I got one.) I published the short story that was the starting point for THE BARD’S GIFT, with a long excerpt of TBG, and priced it free. (Everywhere but Amazon. I still haven’t succeeded in making “Wyreth’s Flame” free on Amazon.) But, to be fair, an historical fantasy set in 14th Century Greenland, Iceland, and Markland is probably just a hard sell.
- Taking all of this into account, plus the advice in David Gaughran’s LET’S GET VISIBLE, THE SHAMAN’S CURSE strategy has been as follows:
- Use a free short story (“Becoming Lioness”) set in the same world as TSC, with an excerpt of TSC, to try to generate interest IN ADVANCE OF THE LAUNCH.
- Set the initial price low ($0.99) for a limited time.
- A few spotlights on blogs to help spread the word–Donna K. Weaver, Allison Miller Woods, and Cindy C. Bennett. And possibly a couple of interviews to come.
- Also, Clean Indie Reads.
- Try to get it into some of the e-book deal websites/newsletters, like Pixel of Ink. (Still undetermined at this time if any of them will take it. Fingers crossed.)
- I’ll probably start trying to find some reviewers, too. I’ve also added a request for reviews right in the back matter of the ebook.
So far, I’ve been reasonably pleased with the result. We’re still not talking best-seller, here, but it’s better than I’ve done with any launch so far. In fact, I’ve already gotten my first review. That, after all, is the point. To get at least a little better at this with every book.