You Just Published Your First Book~What’s Next?

Written By: Jackie Weger - Jan• 21•18

What you need to know…

I shortened the title of this blog but usually the question we see in Forums and Facebook pages is: “I just published my first book. What do I do now? How do I sell it?” eNovel Authors at Work often gets emails:  “I love your site, how can I join?”

The first thing I do is look at that writer’s Amazon Author page. No, I’m not an expert. I look at the cover, I look inside the book, I read the bio and the book description.  With few exceptions all need work. The Amazon bio reads at best like job’s resume and at worst, like an obit.  Holy smokes! The book description is all over the place, reads like an 8th grade book report.

I’m not shy about telling the writer what needs to be done if the author wants to be a member–or not.  Author Choice to do the work or not. Most get ego-annoyed and wander off.  Telling you up front: You can’t sell your ego to a reader. Six months later that same author is making the rounds…“My book’s not selling. What can I do?”  Guess what? For a start, you can read all of the tips Amazon provides for bios and book descriptions. Here’s an oddity I’ve discovered: Most authors have never scrolled to the bottom of their book page on Amazon.  Go do it and you’ll find a new way to market your book.

A good book for new authors to learn the ropes.

Here’s why I don’t beat around the bush: In eNovel we support one another. We have NYT and USA Today and Amazon best selling authors. [I’m not one of them]. We have editors and ghost writers, Virtual Assistants and cover designers.  We have authors who have launched businesses to help indie authors. And they ain’t gonna get behind a book that is sloppy. Plus, I’m not going to ask them to do so. Not fair to those authors who work hard to improve their craft, covers, descriptions, bios and nurture their subscribers.

The single most important thing I learned from Martin Crosbie who recently launched BookDoggy and is a good friend of eNovel is this: Newbies will come to you and want to be spoon fed. You can point them in the right direction and they will circle right back to you with a dozen questions, the answers of which can often be gleaned from a simple Google search.  Next the authors ask: “But how do I sell my book?”  

The ebook is FREE with K/U but just buy it. You’ll refer to it time and again.

My best answer is promote the thing. That’s what we do in eNovel. We tweet our books. We submit to paid and free sites. We engage in coordinated promotions and Rafflecopters. In any given month we have twenty or so authors in promotion, launching a new release, taking a book on tour, scheduling tweets in Hootsuite,  Plugg.io or  ask.David.   Adding this caveat: We first produce the best book we can.

Here’s another book I recommend highlyThe BadRedhead Media 30-Day Book Marketing Challenge by Rachel Thompson.  It’s a #must read for both newbies and established indies. Rachel says nicely what I get testy about: “…a poorly written book packaged and marketed beautifully is still a poorly written book. Readers are discriminating and will crucify you in reviews.”  Go here to read snark about reviews. A top 1000+ Amazon and Goodreads reviewer tells it like it is.

Here’s a great thing about being an indie author: We’re not up against a time line. We can market our books a little or a lot at a time.  We don’t have to be best selling authors to enjoy what we do and earn a bit of cash along the way. Plus, you don’t have to reinvent the wheel. What will help you are blogs like this and books I’ve mentioned.

@Jackie Weger, Founder of eNovel Authors at Work.  When time permits, do browse our blogs, check out Useful links if you need an editor, formatter or cover artist. Comments and questions welcome. Be nice. If you can’t be nice, be articulate.

 

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16 Comments

  1. Alexa Dare says:

    This! I contacted you about your eNovel group, and you got back with me about improving my bio. No wasted words. Just this works, and this is why! I so appreciate being part of the group! I am reading Rachel Thompson’s book and just updated my twitter profile per her suggestions. As I recommend 30-day Book Marketing Challenge, I highly recommend enovelauthors.com. Thank you, Jackie, for sharing your expertise!

    • Jackie Weger says:

      I just updated my Twitter via Rachel’s book, too. Now~next challenge! I am so about a mile out of my comfort zone.

  2. I think a lot of new authors have information overload. LOTS AND LOTS of information overload. They read that this will work and that will work, they spin their tires so many times, the rubber has disappeared and they are running on the wheel frame thingy (you can tell I know nothing about cars, good thing I don’t write about them). New authors just have no clue. What most of them DO NOT do is sit down, have a good long think about how they are now a small business owner and should operate their marketing plan as a business. They have no plan. Speaking from experience, it drove me INSANE and I’m pretty savvy when it comes to finding info (it’s how I found this site – did some homework, followed the links) and I even found it daunting. SO MUCH info and so much to think about. Made some pretty awful (and expensive) mistakes.

    New authors: sit down. take a breath. sort the wheat from the chaff and then dive right in. You’re going to make mistakes. EVERYONE makes those mistakes. Learn from them. Don’t do them again. Seek advice from other authors. I have yet to meet an author that says ‘nope not gonna help you’.

    Great blog post, Jackie, as usual.

    • Jackie Weger says:

      Mary D. You are so right about information overload. I really didn’t get anywhere until I started studying and checking out my Amazon author page. I clicked on everything. And lo! I didn’t kill a dang thing. I was recently in a forum in which an author accused me of being arrogant. Knowing what I’m doing and sharing it is NOT arrogance. It’s confidence. It’s self-taught knowledge. Then networking with savvy authors to fill in the gaps. I love this business.

    • I so agree, Mary. It’s easy to be startled in the headlights of so much info. I like Rachel Thompson’s approach to improving marketing, by delivering the info in bite-sized chunks.

      And Jackie’s blogs on here provide info in the same way, topic by relevant topic.

      Thanks, all.

  3. flaxroots says:

    Regretfully, I have to endorse all said above. I never wanted to be a business owner, and never wanted to have to sell my books myself. I have had, and still have, books handled by traditional publishers – and I can tell you that’s not always the solution to avoiding marketing. I’ve found they’re not active enough in pursuing sales, and much still falls upon the author.

    eNovel Authors at Work is well named – it is work, hard work, to market books. Being a member has taught me a lot about marketing. My thanks to Jackie and others.

  4. AJ Lape says:

    Great post Jackie!

  5. Yes – book marketing takes work.

  6. Jackie, I can attest that you “pull no punches.” “Beating around the bush?”

    Heck no! You beat “them bushes” into the ground. No obstacles too big to overcome if we do the work after writing a great book.

    What I appreciate–and can see on Amazon from your books there–that you practice what you preach. I’m still working on my Amazon Author page. (Had no idea how important it was until you sent me a personal note with a list of places to begin paid & free promos). It may not show, but I feel as if I’ve learned–and put into practice–so much since joining this group. Inclusion in your latest cross-author promo + Rafflecopter has me wired. Thanks for being tough.

    Both Crosbie’s and Thompson’s books are on their way.

  7. Great post as always, Jackie Weger! I’ve read both of the books you suggested and found them to be priceless. Thank you so much for all the wonderful help you offer authors on this awesome blog

  8. Roxana Nastase says:

    A very interesting post – and thank you for pointing to this specific book. I have already taken it and I will read it. You are always helpful – thanks again.

  9. Great post and what is so valuable about you and eNovel is how you stay on top of trends in an ever-evolving market. Thanks for sharing your wisdom and hard-earned knowledge.

  10. Another fab post, Jackie. Newbies will do well to heed your excellent advice here.

  11. Great post as always, Jackie. It;s hard to keep up with everything. Like Piper says, the market is changing all the time.

  12. dalefurse says:

    Thanks, Jackie, and yeah, marketing is something we all have to do whether we like it or not. If we want readers, we have to take the time to find them. 🙂

  13. […] nice, be articulate. If you need tips on how to best master Amazon or book marketing, do check out eNovel Authors at Work […]

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