Within the Indie Author Hub, you can learn about other authors, their thoughts and opinions, what makes them tick and how their writing process works for them.
All this week I will be releasing segments of an interview I conducted with fellow author, Karin Cox, Australian author of Paranormal fiction. Have a look at her profile and books here.
Part 2 : Promotion and the Publishing Industry
What ways do you promote yourself online? I have a Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Goodreads account and I interact with a lot of other indie authors and forums, including author and reader boards. I blog (admittedly infrequently) and I try to share news about my writing process and interests on my Facebook author page. I also book paid advertising, do Select free runs and do giveaways. I spend at least two hours a day, I’d estimate. Some of that is creating visuals to post to Facebook and Pinterest, some is interacting on twitter or FB or scheduling in tweets and some is contacting reviewers, managing my page, and doing guest interviews or booking advertising.
How do you target your audience effectively? I think the cover, blurb and sample do a lot of that filtering for me, but aside from that, I advertise, I contact bloggers who have large followings of readers who enjoy paranormal romance and ask them to review. I am also embarking on the project of writing more about mythology, which is one of my passion, over on my author page. As always, it is finding the time to blog that is the problem.
What’s been your most effective way of promoting yourself? Bookbub has definitely been the most effective paid promotion (advertising) I have taken out, and KDP’s Select program has also been good to me. Aside from that, I think having a platform really helps. Running Indie Review Tracker, I have met a lot of authors who are willing to help me out and promote my work if they enjoy it, and that is a big help.
What’s your history in publishing? I was first published for creative non-fiction (biography) in 2004 with New Holland Publishing Australia, and I then went on to publish non-fiction, social history and children’s fiction for Steve Parish Publishing. I was also doing quite a bit of ghostwriting in creative nonfiction, helping authors who struggled to tell their life stories themselves get their books into print. When the digital book revolution started, I was finally finding time to write my own adult fiction seriously (I have a lot of half-finished manuscripts in a drawer!) as I was on maternity leave. I made the decision to self-publish for expedience and, initially, as an experiment into this new market and testing how well ebooks sold. That was in 2011, and I haven’t looked back. I still publish trade social history with New Holland Publishers, but I will likely continue to publish my fiction myself via KPD, Apple, Kobo and B&N. Having been on the other side of the desk, I know how long it takes to get a book into publication. I love the industry I work in, but I was baffled by the way publishers were refusing to embrace change and seize the opportunities presented by digital publishing, preferring to work with an out-dated distribution model that saw many thousands of returns or pulped books instead of print on demand or ebook only titles. When my employers didn’t offer the kind of training or experimentation into digitalised works that I wanted, I decided to explore it myself and to teach myself how to do create and market ebooks effectively, and I have.
What do you think the future of publishing will be? I think the future of publishing is already here. Ebooks and paperbacks, and even hardcovers, will exist side by side, but the paper copies will be more for hardcore fans. I do believe that ereader ownership and tablet ownership will continue to grow and that print books will price themselves out of the market.I don’t see big chain bookstores like B&N maintaining any kind of stranglehold on the print book market because I believe a sale or return distribution model is unsustainable. People are already ordering books online and will do so even more in the future. Traditional publishers need to stop treating authors like a side effect of the process and start to see that the author, not the publisher, is the brand. They need to shift their thinking so that they treat authors as assets not commodities to be exploited, produce ebooks first, and then go to a PoD print model for print books, and they need to understand that their primary value is in marketing and publicity or in print deals. If they’re not putting the dollars in there, then authors will walk away for better royalties and more editorial freedom elsewhere.
How do you deal with rejection? I diagnose wine and whine. Large quantities of both. And I swear at the screen. A friend of mine uses the curse “May you one day write a book of your own” when it comes to particularly nasty reviewers, so I like to borrow it from time to time.
What’s your top tip for aspiring authors? Just Sit Down And Write It!
Read about Karin’s inspiration and motivation.