Monday, July 3, 2017

Some things I've done to publicize my coming works, and art by: Several talented Artists!

Art from Tale of the Wizard's Eye by Zack Viola
You can learn more about Zachary Viola and his art HERE.

Today I would like to share with you some of the things I've been doing to help raise awareness for the books I am writing and releasing.  Please do remember that I am new to the self-publishing business, and the things I'm mentioning are my particular actions.  Please do research your own genre and decide what, if any, of these actions may benefit you.

Art from Comet over Echo Rock by Kelsy Cowan
You can learn more about Kelsy Cowan and her art HERE

First thing I've done for promoting my books is to start a blog.  I had never blogged before, didn't really now much about it (still figuring some things out), but knew there was an audience for role-playing game themed blog, simply by the number of them I found when I started my research.

To start the blog, I first had to do some research.  This involved a LOT of google searching, reading different blogs, ignoring people who wanted to charge me money to "teach" me how to be successful at blogging.  To be fair, my view numbers aren't huge.  My most viewed blog entry has a little over 400 views to it.  Honestly, that is far more than I expected so soon after starting, and presently (as of this writing) this blog isn't six months old yet.

Advice on this:
1) Research blogging, even if you have a successful and popular blog.  Take a moment and learn what other people are doing to draw an audience.
2) Post frequently and attempt to engage your audience's interests.  
3) Involve art from the project.  Make certain you have in your agreement with your artists that you may use the art to promote the book.  Incorporate promotion of your book with the art, and tie it into your blog posts.  (Example:  the above piece is done by Zachary Viola and is found in the adventure module "Tale of the Wizard's Eye")
4) Find a synergistic site or sites to share links with.  Be careful with this, and find sites that have related material to direct people to.  By way of example, I also write children's books and I have set up links to the site of a friend of mine who manufactures high end "derby racers" which are high end rocking horses.We have shared links between his site and my children books blog.  Traffic moves between the two.
5) Look over your statistical data.  Check to see what type of headings/titles are receiving the most attention.  This is like using the calibrated eyeball technique as a variety of SOE.  Building topics that people are interested in, to keep viewer/readers and writing to your knowledge of that subject.
6) Know when to admit you aren't an expert.  No one likes a know-it-all, but more people actively dislike people who give them information while purporting to be an "expert" and then discover that the information was incorrect.  Know when to clarify what is speculation and what is hard fact.


Art from Comet over Echo Rock by Alexia Veldhuisen
You can learn about Alexia Veldhuisen and her art HERE

The second measure I've taken to promote my books was to engage others and spread the word as best as I can.  Now that seems a little vague when I write it out so let me be more precise:

1) Engage podcasters:  I've secured interviews with a small number (3 to date) podcasters to appear on their broadcasts.  This has had an immediate effect for me as it expanded the visibility of my first book to new crowds.  So look at podcasters, even those with only a few dedicated listeners/viewers as a resource.  You can help them by providing material (information about your products) while you are helping to promote your material.  Remember that you are each doing the other a favor.  Be professional, honest, and timely.  Find out when your podcast interview will be published online and listen to/view it.  Share the link to that interview around (you'll be helping to raise awareness for the podcaster), use Facebook, Twitter, etc. to let your crowd of people experience what you are doing in new ways.

2) Be open to public appearances:  I will have my very first book signing on July 29th, 2017.  I'm terrifically excited by this.  This was also a great opportunity for mutually beneficial promotion.  I was able to sell a small number of copies of my book to a nearby games/hobby store and set up the signing (free to all who come down) and they were kind enough to promote my book's KickStarter campaign on their Facebook page.  Total win/win scenario, with no real cash spent (the books the store is buying are discounted (basically just print costs and artists royalties), I'm out of pocket on shipping and my gas money to drive 30 miles (its in the nearest large city to me).  All in all I'm out about $12.  I can safely reveal that I secured about $300 in KickStarter backing from this promotion.

3) Social Media:  If this isn't a given, then you should rethink things a bit.  For a total of seven shares of a link to my KickStarter campaign for Tale of the Wizard's Eye, I had a total of 483 people see that link, and about 30 people who went to the KickStarter (tracking hits from Facebook is a nice feature).  Those 30 people who came from that particular link, resulted in 22 of them backing the project for almost $250.  This is from one share (the last one before the campaign ended) and it was fantastically great for me.  Those numbers might not seem large, but as this is my first book to be self-published my position is that every dollar counts, every reader is cherished, and every KickStarter backer is a treasure.

4) Think ahead:  Tale of the Wizard's Eye has an small "Coming Soon" bit in the back of the book with information taken from the KickStarter campaign I am preparing for the next book: "Tarot Adventures, Book One: The Draw of Glenfallow".  It includes a great image done for that book (Again, remember to include in your agreements with your artists to all for use of the art to promote the book.  This is not legal advice and is not meant to be construed as such.  This is a best practice I have chosen to adopt.  For legal advice seek advice from a practicing attorney).  This places a simple sample of the work, in this case a synopsis, as well as quality art right in the hands of a prospective reader/customer.

Art from The Draw of Glenfallow by Christian Martinez
You can learn more about Christian Martinez and his art HERE


The last thing I've done, that I'll post about here today, is that I've asked for help.

Yes, you read that correctly.  I asked for help.

I ask my readers here on the blog, I ask my social media friends, I ask people in different social media groups on Facebook and the like, as well as the artists involved in particular projects to help spread the word about the books being released.

Ask, and ask nicely.  Be polite and of good tone.  Nobody owes you anything, so don't pretend or delude yourself into thinking they have to do something for you (because they don't), but if you ask nicely and don't make a burden of things you will find that very often people are happy to help with a retweet, or a like and share, or whatnot.

What I've seen is that this generates interest outside your immediate circle (great!) and tends to grow outward (what I'm told is referred to as organic growth, but don't hold me to that as a technical term... its just what I've been told).  As more people see your work and spread the word around you will see an increase (at least I have) in the number of people who visit your sites and look for your work.  Be nice, be genuine and truthful, and people will take interest.

I want to thank you all for joining me on my adventure into publishing today.
I do hope you will share this with others, (Please).

As always I hope you will join me next time.

Foxgirl Logo for Sinopa Publishing LLC by Jennifer Fraggle Dee
You can learn more about Jennifer Fraggle Dee HERE

You can find Sinopa Publishing LLC on FACEBOOK

Thank you

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