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Some really useful advice
on 15 January 2016
Connecting with people is the key message of this book, writing guest blogs, reviews and getting your name in front of a new audience all takes time.
In common with many non-fiction writers he talks about writing a book that will sell and not one that you want to write. However writing in the same genre or style as someone else often gets you negative comparisons in fiction. Wolf Hall, Twilight, The Hunger Games and Interview with a Vampire all broke new ground by coming from a different perspective.
He talks about the importance of presentation both in your cover, formatting, editing, your blurb, biography and your website. There are lots of suggestions on how you may be able to tweak things to make a greater impact. Obviously if you can afford to pay a professional that will help, but everyone recognises indie authors often can’t afford to do this and it is about doing the best with what you have.
Books reviews are a constant problem as bloggers are often overwhelmed with requests. He has set up his own website for review requests, http://www.blurbtrade.com/ and this is worth a look. There is also the Review Group and Taming Amazon on Goodreads. He does recommend you read and comment on the top bloggers work, in order to form relationships that may lead to future reviews. I find the idea of finding out personal things and the suggestion that it is like stalking amusing, but I can see where he is coming from. You don’t want to be perceived as just another author who wants you to promote their book.
In terms of social media the book recommends Twitter, Facebook and Linkedin and I would agree. He dislikes automated services for Twitter, but his is where I part company as I love SocialOomph (its free) t schedule my posts. I don’t have a smart phone and my computer time is restricted so if I want to post everyday it is ideal. Facebook is the difficult one as if you advertise your book they may close your account. The book suggests using your own personal account, but I prefer to keep my business and personal account separate. I’m still learning Linkedin and I don’t feel this book gave me enough to get to grips with this professional network. I need an idiots guide.
There is quite a bit at the end of the book about paid adverts and if you can afford it they will help. He suggests you monitor your conversion rate, so how many people who look at your add actually go on to buy the book. This will help you determine if you are advertising in the right place.
Even if you don’t have money to spend, there are lots of suggestions in this book that you can do for free.