Sunday, September 18, 2011

Why The Hardest Part Is AFTER Your Publish

My #ROW80 Round 3 goals was to publish. I did that!

I heard in a couple of places that writing is the easy part, it's after you publish where things get tough. I secretly laughed. HA! I have marketing experience. HA! I love talking and networking with people. That's going to be the best part!

I was incorrect.

I won't say wrong, because I AM enjoying marketing. But I'm also starting to look forward to writing over marketing. Here's why:

  1. I make mistakes out of my control to fix quickly. Even when I wrote non-fiction, the first few times you are using an uploading interface, you're going to mess up. It's inherent. Either the form instructions aren't worded correctly, or your browser makes a funky refresh half-way through, or you just have so many fields the chance of error is very high. I uploaded the wrong file to Amazon and Barnes and Noble at first, and didn't realize it takes 48-72 hours to fix that! Read that again, if you upload the wrong file, it takes 48-72 hours to fix it. You have to wait 24 hours for the wrong file to populate just to get access to change it, then you upload the right one and must wait another 24 hours to upload the new file. No big deal right? Except that the book is available for sale BEFORE the KDP or PubIt interface gives you access to fix it! Smashwords is MUCH quicker, and once I realized my mistake, I fixed it there and then made sales on the other sites and I didn't have access to fix it. 
  2. Every interaction counts. I was still a little too high off my publication and stopped by Konrath's blog because he was getting down on himself and I wanted him to know his blog educated me, and now I was self-published. I didn't include a link to my book, I wasn't there to flog my book (that would be very bad manners). He gets a bunch of flak from people entrenched in their ideals, and I figured a thank you, even from a small author, would help. I explained that 6 people bought my book. He responded back "Make that 7, I just bought it for my wife." CRINGE. The file was wrong! Yep. Even worse, there were typos in my comment! Now, even just a comment can be a big deal. Part of me is hoping his wife never reads it, but the other part of me hopes she does and likes it. All of me hopes she doesn't read it and hate it. Dislike, okay. I dislike many books that aren't poorly written, they just don't appeal to me. 
  3. Cliques are everywhere. I am working on a new paradigm in indie marketing: inclusive. There are so many books of the day, book of the month, today's review, today's deal promotions, increasingly more that you must pay for. Remember in school when we got the Scholastic book fair sheet? There were dozens of books. It was fun to read about all of them and circle the ones I wanted. If the teacher passed out a sheet with only one book on it? One book on it? Most of the class wouldn't be interested and Scholastic wouldn't make any money. Even B&N and Amazon when they email to me include numerous books in the newsletter. So I'm working on building for ALL authors of ALL genres to run monthly promotions that have traction because of the sheer number of authors participating. As a reader, which circular are you going to read? These 5 products are on sale...or...Over 50 products, now on sale! I know which one I'm going to spend my valuable time on because there is a greater chance there is something I will want. October we're putting together virtual Trick or Treating for Ebooks and every author is invited to join.
  4. It's no longer the me show, but the us show. Marketing as an indie requires help. You have to get over asking for help pretty quickly. Then, once it's offered, you sure as heck better pull through on your end of the bargain. I asked for help and received 4 offers to guest blog. I have two entries due tomorrow for this week. I had to put two more on my calendar so I do not forget that I promised to contribute. 
So that's just the tip of the iceberg I'm sure. I'm also thinking about my next novel, wondering when/if I can let CANCELLED run on auto-pilot. Probably never. But things sure do seem a great deal simpler when I only had one book I was working on writing...

A robotics engineer asks his business partner to marry him, but a previous one-night stand is having his baby. CANCELLED is available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Smashwords
WIP: SERVED A single father learns moving on with his life bring out the worst in his daughter's mother. (Sequel to CANCELLED)

My A ROUND OF WORDS IN 80 DAYS Friends: Visit their blogs and leave some writer love. This is our last week!


  1. Congratulations on the book and best of luck with the new blog.

  2. Congrats on the book. Interesting ideas on marketing and promotion. Some parts of the indie world do seem to be "circling the wagons" while others are building villages. In the long term, villages have a better chance (never been to a town that was made up of only wagons).

    All the best for the coming days :)

  3. Katy Bennett, thanks! It's hopefully not going to be MY blog for very long, but OUR blog :)

    Genelempp, feel free to visit our village! I wasn't saying that all of the single title promotion is bad, there is definitely a place for it when you're dealing with targeted audiences. Even with the trick or treating, I could EASILY have put my book first, but instead I randomized the list each time it refreshes. That way everyone gets a chance to be #1.

  4. well done on publication - in a way I' interested to hear others have problems moving work from one place to another - I have had moments of really doubting my inteligence - best of luck for your new blog - will you be coming back for round 4? hope so

  5. Thanks Alberta :)

    Will I be coming back fro Round 4? You betcha! Already working on goal ideas (now I need to include marketing time) and great way to stay on target through the holidays.

  6. Congratulations on making your goals and publishing! That's a huge success. I thought writing would be the hardest part too, but now that you mention all these things, it makes me think again. Wishing you the best of luck!

  7. It's great to meet you! I just published, too, and I had a very easy time with Amazon Kindle & Smashwords. I am not, however, having a good time with CreateSpace... The template is making me crazy!
    Your marketing ideas about indies pulling together and forging 'groups' is absolutely terrific. I look forward to reading more here! The 'trick-or-treating for e-books' is a cute idea! ~ Nadja

  8. I've said it before and I'll say if fifty gazillion times again, but I really, desperately, terribly need to get an ereader already! Urg.

    Congratulations on the publishing, and the best of luck with the marketing whirlwind that follows! You seem to have a great grasp on what needs to be done, and I love your idea of a newsletter to promote multiple publications. It's so simple and obvious and brilliant and that's probably why not many people are doing it. :)

    The WIP sounds really good too! Keep it up!

  9. I am one of the seven :) or more at this point! I got mine off Smashwords

  10. Congratulations on publishing! Thanks for the information about marketing. Best wishes in gaining a HUGE readership! The plot description is intriguing.

  11. Congrats on the publication! Thanks for sharing all those mistakes; it's good to learn from each other. I published on Smashwords and love their formatting guide. That thing is fabulous. I worry about my interactions too, and having typos in my comments. I read a blog post recently about the pressure writers feel to be perfect in every word they type when really we're just normal people who use spell check and proofread 700 times.

    Good luck with the marketing. =)

  12. C.M. Cipriani!!! Hugs, smooches on the cheek, jumping up and down!!!! Thank you very much for your purchase! It really touches me. And guess what? You are in growing company my friend, I'm now up to 14 sales, 10 of them on Amazon. I get to update my graph today! Make sure you check out the extra content on the Reader site. :)

  13. Julie Glover,, thanks for the encouragement!

    Nadja, join us! Trick or treating is open to every author with a book they want to give as a bargain (your choice on what to discount)

    Thanks for the vote of confidence. If you want to participate with Trick or Treat, even just to advertise it on your blog, you are always more than welcome. I agree, it is a little obvious, but I don't see many mass, accessible lists of a cornucopia of titles. Many, many, book of the day, week, moment. As a reader, I rarely want more than the one sentence blurb.

  14. Congratulations again on publishing! (It's on my "to do" list to pick up a copy.) I'm terrified of the marketing end of things, myself, and the cliques are sometimes discouraging. I love your idea to change that!

  15. We can only change the paradigm together, Cricket! :)

  16. You have some really great ideas! I published my first novella during this round of ROW80, too. What a learning curve! I'm trying to focus on editing the second novella, and the book I'm currently writing. Congrats on your book!

  17. Wow, how did you see into my thoughts? I thought writing it was the hardest part, too. I have a business major, I could handle the other stuff. Unfortunately, I don't have a social media degree or formatting degree. I haven't put my book on Smashwords yet, because quite frankly I'm terrified. But I want the control over pricing it affords authors.

    Looking forward to following you more in Round 4.

  18. That's J.R. and Tia! Tia, look into Jutoh. OMG was is a simple snap to format with it!

  19. Congratulations! I love reading about indie author experiences, and this was a really great read. I haven't published yet, but I can only imagine the work that goes into it afterwards (hey, no one said being a writer was easy).

    I wish you the best of luck! I'll be keeping an eye out to see how this progresses. :)