I have recently indie-published my first book, an anthology of short stories and essays Just for Fun.
Now the hard work begins—promotion and sales. The conventional wisdom is using Twitter, Facebook and other Social Media, not forgetting that an author MUST HAVE A WEBSITE!
I have had website for several years, www.henrytobias.com, because with the help of free website creator sites, I use Weebly, it is an easy thing to do. Many authors and others who decide to have their own websites prefer Wordpress, but I am happy with what I’ve got and it is apparently cheaper and doesn’t have any catches—so they tell me.
Although I have had a website for some time, I only recently started blogging, initially during Israel’s war with the Hamas and other terror organizations in Gaza, then to promote my book. Blogging is a different experience from creative writing because I can be more relaxed about the no no’s of creative writing, like repetition and using clichés.
I have been watching You Tube videos teaching indie-publishers what to do and how to do it. Some are, of course, better than others, some are incomprehensible in that the presenter may know their stuff, but are hopeless at presentation.
Then there are the books, downloads and webinars. Usually the FREE stuff is not worth reading or listening to, except for one or two. Here I mention David A.Cox of PC Classes Online.com and Netmark University—both are free, although David Cox does ask for donations, but I think he gets some funding from Apple because he promotes their products. I do not have a financial or other interest in either of these sites or any other product mentioned in this blog—except my book--Just for Fun.
I recently signed up for a free webinar. The useful content was minimal, but now I am being flooded with emails telling me of a course on how to help me find readers for my book. The course costs $497, but I have been offered a ‘generous’ discount of $100. You can work out how many books I have to sell at $3.99 – the price of my e-book – just to break even, for yourselves. Now 100 books may not sound like much, but how many authors, indie or traditional, sell 100 books? It is true that I have spent very little so far, $50 for a permission, (use of an Andy Capp cartoon), $1.00 on cover design (Canva.com) and $65 for a series of portrait photos (Andrea Brownstein of Maale Adumim – Israel) for the back cover of my book, website and social media pages. I am also using Createspace for a print book and ordered 5 books to proofread at $2.15 each + postage—and I still need to approve the print book and order more proof copies. I will need to order at least 10 books, if not more, to give to friends and relatives for FREE. So the expenses mount.
Hence, I’ve come to the conclusion that if the purveyors of these webinars, books, etc., etc., etc., can get the hang of Social Media and promotion I can too. A plus to doing it myself, is that I will learn more by my own efforts and interaction with other like-minded authors and if medical science is to be believed, I will also prevent or at least delay the onset of Senile Dementia or Alzheimer’s Disease.
As I see the situation of doing-it-myself (D-I-M) it is a win-win situation.