Author seeks readers

CofusedAsk any indie author what their least favourite part of the job is and they are likely to say “marketing” or “getting people to read my bloody books”.

There seem to be an infinite number of tried and tested marketing strategies, which include (but are not limited to):

  • Joining social networking sites, acquiring a huge following of fellow authors and touting your wares at them on a daily basis.  This method seems to work best for the self-publishing how-to books that expound the virtues of it.
  • KDP Select Kindle promotion days when you give your work away for free. The disadvantages of this method are that you cannot sell your books in digital form anywhere other than Amazon for three months and, perhaps more frustrating, that the free promotion days themselves have to be promoted!
  • Having a large portfolio of work for sale and keeping one title permanently free so as to attract new readers who will, hopefully, like your writing so much that they will buy all your other work. It works particularly well with the first in a series of books and is a great way for talented writers to demonstrate their skill and build a fan base. Alas, even this is not without its problems. Firstly, there is the difficulty in getting the books free on Amazon (a significant player in the game whether we like it or not) as it can take weeks to get them to price match. The downside is that the author really does need a significant portfolio to make it worthwhile. Nevertheless, still probably the best option if you can do it.
  • Getting all your friends and family to write glowing reviews and generally doing all kinds of other things to skewer the ratings of your book. Do I even need to say that this is the least likely to succeed in the long term? Readers are becoming very good at spotting desperate marketing tactics and are likely to be put off no matter how good your writing is.

There are any number of articles that analyse the relative success of the various methods and so many of them conflict that I have come to the conclusion that doing nothing might be just as effective as anything. I wonder if I have the nerve to give it a try.

Guest Post by Jay Wilburn

Today, I am very happy to introduce author Jay Wilburn to talk about his current Indiegogo project.

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My name is Jay Wilburn. I am a teacher and a writer. I am not new at either pursuit. I’ve spent about sixteen years in the classroom between grades fourth through eighth in each of the academic subjects. I was also a stay at home dad for the first year of my first son’s life. I worked nights busing tables to pay for that adventure. A lot has happened in education from when I was a first year started teaching some seventeen years ago.

I started writing when I was a kid. I started publishing a few years ago. I have a few stories under my belt in various anthologies and with various publishers. I write columns for a couple different groups too.

I want to accomplish something different from I have created in the past.

I am attempting my first indiegogo campaign. I’ve set the bar high on the goal because I want to make the most out of my current work. I want to begin to create a community of readers and fellow writers around the work and its promotion.

The novel connected to the project is The Great Interruption. It follows the life of a young girl through different time periods in her life as she grows up through a significant world event. Everyone she knows seems to mysteriously vanish leaving her alone in the world to fend for herself for half of her life. Then, she has to deal with jarring return of all these people into the world they abandoned just as mysteriously and destructively as they left. The main character must try to unravel the mystery of what happened even as she struggles with her own place and identity in a world she does not understand.

I want the supernatural adventures of the girl’s growing up in The Great Interruption to parallel the jarring act of growing up in the natural world. As we all separate physically and symbolically from our families, we must decide what of them we want to carry with us and what we feel we must abandon on our own journeys. As we return to the places and people we left behind so long ago, we face new challenges. As the world seems to have become shockingly different during our own interrupted lives, the people and places we abandoned or that abandoned us seem to have in some ways stayed unnaturally preserved in a state that no longer serves us. We are left again to decide what to keep and what we feel we must abandon from our pasts sitting right in front of us again.

At the moment, I’m also researching disappearances in our real world. The numbers are shocking. The increases over the last few decades are shocking. I’m also researching the history of solitary confinement and the effects on the human mind and body. Even though our heroine in The Great Interruption seems to have the whole world at her disposal, she is experiencing a great solitary confinement as a result of the great interruption and its strange rapture.

In the future, I’m looking at a much larger project related to the Dark and Bookish initiative I’m setting up now. The success of this current indiegogo project will give me the skills I need to set up a future event that will serve struggling authors, small presses, and independent bookstores. This future project will involve a tour and a documentary.

For now, consider supporting and sharing the project The Great Interruption. For small donations, you can be connected with this novel, its promotion, and its author. The perks include sneak peeks, a copy of the finished work, and possibly ongoing copies of my future works as an author. Take a moment to look and to contribute. Take a moment to pass this on to others as well.

Your support is greatly appreciated.

http://www.indiegogo.com/JayWilburn