Hello dear readers!
I thought I would interrupt my weekly writing posts with a glimpse inside of what it was like publishing on Amazon for the release of my first novella, The Blood of Altlock. I initially decided to release it as a serial novel, putting it out in three parts. I’ve heard that serial novels are dead and not worth doing in the current market. Stubborn me had to try it anyway.
As you will see, this did not work out too well, and the novella went to a single volume pretty quickly. The experience, however, gave me some invaluable insight into self-publishing as a whole. So read on and see what its like from one writer’s perspective.
I had been eyeball deep in finalizing, formatting, and marketing my new book release those last few weeks of May. Of course I wanted it to be perfect, so I was meticulous about everything and getting it edited by a great editor. So, as the release date closes in (June 13) I wanted to share a few things I have learned over the course of this process. Anyone looking to publish on Kindle, or even the others such as B&N and KOBO should pay attention. What I have to say about the publishing aspect is strictly Amazon specific but the writing and marketing aspects can be applied to many platforms.
The first thing should seem pretty obvious. Whether you are doing a standalone novel, a series, or even a serial, you need to write a good book. It doesn’t matter how much marketing you do or how many free downloads you may get on a free promo, if your book is lacking in grammar or spelling your done. I have learned that there is no manner of polish you can put on a story yourself that a good editor can’t polish. Sometimes you need to step away from your own work and let someone else who has no emotional ties to your work have a go at it. They will often find issues that you may have not seen on any of your passes. I recommend someone who is not your spouse, unless they do that sort of thing for a living. The cost incurred for a good editor will make itself up in sales.
Something else I have learned, although have not been able to practice yet, is that you really want to have a funnel of some sort with your work. This means first, that you want as much content as you can produce on Amazon, or wherever you are publishing. I know that my Altlock story is the work I want out there most of all. But if what I have learned holds true, on its own it won’t be selling gangbusters. I need more content. So, instead of worrying about a single book, I should be planning out and working on several stories. This gives me more content to promote and maybe put on free promo, which then will funnel readers back to my Altlock story. But I can’t stop there.
The funnel isn’t just Amazon content though. It has to start with a platform. A platform can be anything from a website, to a blog, or even a Facebook page. I have been weaving a combination of Facebook, Twitter, blog, and website for the past four years. I have some great followers, like you fine readers, and made contacts that I would never have met otherwise.
Along the way, I tweaked my branding from EmeraldDragun to EmeraldDragun Studios. I got a new logo, made a Facebook page, and relaunched my website. I’ve expanded my reach to writing on multiple sites (such as deckapemedia.com) and I have expanded into publishing more than just my books, with two other authors under my publishing “umbrella”. As I continue to build my funnel of fiction, I will be helping them do the same and to promote all of our works. What I thought could be a quick road to where I wanted to be, turned out to be a detour on the long, hard road to becoming a successful fiction writer.
Join me for the next post, where I will go into my marketing strategy and fill you in on what works for promoting your book, and what totally failed. I encourage you to check out my portfolio link up in the menu, where you will be able to continue reading my work and tagging along on this writing journey.
Until next time…