Thursday, February 8, 2018

Ways It's Gotten Harder to Self-Publish

When I first got into self-publishing in 2011/2012 it was hard work to put out a quality book and get sales, but I did it, and I was able to do it without spending an arm and a leg. My first novel, Into the Deep, quickly made me back the money I'd spent to publish it. The self-publishing world is a lot harder today, not only in terms of making sales but also when it comes to getting free downloads or even just getting reviews. Below are a number of reasons why I think it's harder to publish a book today.


1. Amazon has gotten stricter: From deleting reviews to changing their algorithms, getting attention on Amazon is harder than ever.

2. KDP Select free promotions don't hit numbers like they used to: Like I mentioned above Amazon has changed a number of things, one of them being how they count downloads.

3. It's harder to get Book Reviews: Books bloggers are overwhelmed with review requests and the average reader isn't as enticed by a free book in exchange for a review as they used to be because there are a lot more books out there.

4. Goodreads doesn't let you add your own books to lists anymore: I love Goodreads Lists and getting your book in a few relevant lists can help you get discovered by more readers, but Authors can no longer add their own books to lists.

5. Facebook just doesn't work anymore: Facebook has changed how your posts appear in your follower's feeds meaning they don't get the views they used to. Facebook also used to be the go-to place for book promotion but buying ad space there seems to yield few results now.

6. It's harder to grow your following on Twitter:  Twitter is paying more attention to the number of users you follow and unfollow and free services like Crowdfire are now implementing smaller caps, making it harder to grow your following.


So what still works?

Having readers stumble across your book and take a chance on it is a thing of the past. The only way that seems to still work for being successful self-publishing is to gain loyal fans.

Tips to gaining loyal fans.

1. Write GREAT content: With more competition, it's more important than ever to produce a quality product with professional editing and an eye-catching cover.

2. Take care of your mailing list: Use sites like Instafreebie to grow your list and have a sign up for your mailing list on your website. (You can find mine at www.laurynapril.com)

3. Connect with your readers: Respond to comments and discuss relevant content on social media.

4. Support other Indie Authors: Don't forget writers are readers too and we're all in this together!


What things have you noticed have changed in the self/indie publishing world? Have any publishing tips? Share in the comments below.

Sunday, February 4, 2018

Reading and Writing Wrap-Up January

January was a crazy month. I posted the 2018 Indie Book List and plan to keep adding to it over the year. I've already picked out my first few reads from the list to meet my pledge of reading 10 indie books this year. I also started a new monthly post called Made-up Word of the Month that will post on the last Monday of every month.




READING:

Books Reviewed in January:

I finished Mind Hunter by John Douglas and Mark Olshaker. It took me a little longer to get through this book than I planned as parts drag. Overall it's just a really long book, but it is really interesting.

Books Read in January:

I'm working my way through Veiled by Stacey Rourke and liking it so far. The writing is witty and entertaining.

Books to read in February:

I plan to read Where Worlds Meet by Lucinda Elliot this month. It's one of my #IndieBookGoal2018 books and a sequel to a book I read a few years back, so I have high hopes that I'm going to like it.



WRITING:

I did some major big-picture editing of Unraveling in the Night (Book 2 in the Cereus Vampire Chronicles) last month. I have one more major scene to do edits on then I plan to start posting it on Scribophile for line edits. I've also been poking at my fantasy WIP a bit. If I could just figure out how to stay focused on one project at a time I might actually get something done.



BLOGGING:

I've put together the list for the #IndieBookGoal2018. If you're looking for an indie book to read this year, check it out. I'm also still accepting suggestions and will update the list throughout the year. I've also decided to add a new monthly post to my blog schedule that I'm calling Made-Up Word of the Month. January's word was Prebookupied. Check back on the last Monday of the month to see the next word.


My Favorite Blog Posts in November:

Favorite Post Written: Made-up Word of the Month: Prebookupied: As I mentioned before, this is a new monthly post I'm going to be doing and it's been a lot of fun creating these words.

Favorite Post Read: 6 Paths to Diversity in 2018 on Book Riot: I'm always interested in reading books from different viewpoints. This post gives some suggestions to diversity your TBR pile in 2018.



PERSONAL:

I worked A LOT in January, and not like writing-work -- work-work. My "real" job has been really stressful lately and I've been working some crazy hours. I barely had time to read all month. Here's to hoping February finds me with more free time to read and write.


How was your January?

Monday, January 29, 2018

Made-Up Word of the Month: Prebookupied

I realized the other day that there are certain feelings and experiences that only book lovers can understand, but the words to explain these things simply don't exist in the English language. So, I've taken it upon myself to invent some new words for book-lovers. Each month, on the last Monday of the month, I'll post a new word.


Prebookupied
[pree-book-yuh-pahyd]
adjective.
1. To be completely engrossed in a book or story to the effect of being unable to focus on regular activities.

“I was so prebookupied this weekend that I didn’t get any of my chores done around the house.”


This is a word I find myself needing all the time. "I was prebookupied," is basically my excuse for why I didn't finish pretty much everything else that I'm responsible for in my life. Didn't do the dishes - I was prebookupied. Didn't go grocery shopping - I was prebookupied. Didn't hear a word that my husband just said to me - I was prebookupied. Anyone who's ever been sucked into a good book knows how easy it can be to put off all the other things they're supposed to be doing for the sake of "one more chapter."

So, what do you think? Is prebookupied a useful term? Have a good story of a time when you did't get something done because you were prebookupied? Comment below!


Indie Book Goal 2018