Publishing your debut novel ~ What a new author needs to know

Out of tiny acorns!

Introduction

On reading debut author Ian K Pulham’s post ‘Three Months on’ last week, many key thoughts a new author ‘on the block’ needs to be prepared for leapt from the print.

Reviews on Amazon

Reviews on Amazon, Goodreads, Waterstones and elsewhere are vital for the success of a book, whether self published, main stream or hybrid such as ourselves at Eventispress. The advantage with Goodreads is that folks can review your book, whatever platform they bought it from, whether they borrowed it from the library, found it in a charity shop or were given it by a friend who loved the book.

‘Such an effort to’ market the book

No-one can prepare you for the highs and lows of marketing your book, however your book is published. And yes, don’t kid yourself that you won’t be self marketing if you get a deal from one of the big publishing companies. You will.

As highly successful indie author Adam Croft says,

‘If you’re in front of their eyes (that’s the reader) less than other authors, you’re going to be forgotten about, no matter how much they enjoyed your book(s).’

Celebrate each victory

Author Ian K Pulham writes:

So grateful to those people for taking time out to support me in that way. It is a real confidence boost.

Each time you are aware of a new review of a reader who makes a positive comment, or there’s been a spike in your sales, celebrate! If people you know are going to read your novel on holiday, ask them to take a photo of themselves reading it; the idea might take off on Facebook with other readers posting similar selfies! Who knows. Use good reviews in your promotional posts. Marketing is too big a subject to cover effectively here, but try to create a buzz of positivity.

Know your target audience

For Ian this was a bit of an eye opener. He has found that his main target audience is women, which was a surprise to him. (women, allegedly, account for 80% of fiction sales)

Know your genre

In Ian’s case this has been baffling for him too, since many women who have read and reviewed, or given him good feedback on his novel, have said they don’t usually read Sci-fi or Dystopian novels, even though they really enjoyed his. Why did they buy it then? The novel was recommended by someone.

A question here: Should Ian be finding ways of reaching out to more readers of Dystopian or Sci’fi novels? If yes, how?

More about this and categories in another post.

Ian writes of characterization being important. Now that is a topic close to the heart of all Eventispress fiction writers so far and will also be a future topic to explore here.

In it for the log haul

This will be a post on its own too, but a debut author needs to remember that the best audience is one they grow gradually, reader by reader, step by step, because those are the readers who will be loyal and remain with them.

Very few novels, if any, gain immediate success overnight. Fifty Shades of Grey is one which comes to mind, (within one year of being self published on Amazon it was snapped up by a main stream publisher) and we’ll leave you with that thought … or maybe not!

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