Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Indie Life: Self-publisher's housekeeping

Welcome to Indie Life -- the second Wednesday of the month! Time to talk about the realities of self-publishing in the middle of the ongoing sea change that ebooks have wrought.

So I did it. I self-published my novellas -- three of them and counting. There might have been a few bugs in the formatting, but I've fixed those and uploaded clean copies. They'll be available forever on Amazon's virtual bookshelves. I'm starting to prep for my next publication, number four.

Thank goodness I don't have to worry about those first three anymore. Right? Well...

My "Other Books By..." page
As I publish more books, it's in my best interests to update this. It's the cheapest form of advertising I can get! Besides that, the number one reason that a reader buys a book (any book) is because they liked the author's other work.

Next book link
Disciple is a series, so when readers get to the end of one part, the first thing I want them to know is that the next part is on sale. The cover's right after the last paragraph, with a link to my sales page.

Where does the link go? To my sales page, because online retailers don't want books to contain links to their competitors. That's fair enough, but I don't want to create a separate ebook for every single retailer. So let the readers choose.

At the end of Part III is a note about when Part IV will be published. I'll have to update that with a cover and link when that's available. There's also a link to sign up for my newsletter.

FREE at Amazon
& Smashwords
Promoting previous books
Even though I'll be promoting Disciple, Part IV soon, it's in my best interests to keep promoting Part I. It's the gateway into the series, after all. But even if all my books were one-shots, promoting one can lead to carry-over sales when new readers like one book and want to buy more that I've written.

Updating links to my blog/webpage
I do, of course, have a link to my book blog in the back of all my books. There are reader goodies and nice, big maps (I write fantasy) there. If any of that should change, I'll need to update it in all my ebooks.

These updates take a little time and then I have to re-upload them to all my sales channels... but anything that makes it a little easier for readers to find me is worth it.

What sorts of maintenance have you been doing on your self-pubbed titles?


Kate N said...

Ok, so this isnt really a comment but a question and that is, I don't write in any one genre, so how do you think its best to represent this on a blog or author page?

L. Blankenship said...

Well, a couple of thoughts...

In the future when I've published some science fiction too, I was planning to separate them out by genre. My author profile will say something like:

L writes both fantasy (Disciple, Part I - VI) and science fiction (Title).

You can always expand that to include more genres. Some people may think it makes you look... scattered? That's a possibility, but it's not as if readers only read one genre.

You may want to focus on just one or two genres depending on what you're promoting, or what you think best represents you.

Anybody else have suggestions for Kate?

Kate N said...

Thanks :)
I will definitely be thinking about this and appreciate the suggestions.

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