So what else is there to talk about? Well, my short debut novel, The Unknown Neighbor, has been out for two weeks now and I have to say the reception so far has been amazing (at least to me.) I would have to get a view from some other authors, but for a short horror novel from an unknown author it seems to be doing very well. I've had some boosts the past week from a few days I offered it free for Kindle download and I've done some fair bits of promoting through here, my Facebook page, Goodreads and I got very lucky with the timing of a guest blog post on another more well-known author's page. I plan on throwing some actual numbers at you at the end of the month, but for now, lets just say it's doing well.
My second novel, Class 5, is coming along at a fairly brisk pace and should also see paper this year if I can maintain the current speed. I'm giving you all a heads up right here and now though. This second work is action, through and through, with a fair bit (ok, a LOT) of blood and violence. So just because you liked the first book, don't take for granted that you'll like the second unless you can appreciate a variety of horror.
Awwww....does everyone feel better now?
The rest of the time, I'm going to talk about advertising, specifically, what I've done to get my debut novel out there. There also may or may not be more cuteness to distract people, so bear with me.
1. I started way before the first draft of my book was finished, by following the guidelines set down by Robert Lee Brewer in his post "How to Improve Your Writer Platform in 30 Days". Even if I didn't have a book to sell yet. I knew one thing about my books that wasn't going to change, and that was my name. So before I even had anything to sell, I went about working on my Writer Platform and getting my name out there, letting people know I was working on my book and letting them follow along on the road to being published.
2. Once my book was available I let people know, via most of the outlets I had cultivated through my Writer Platform. That included posts on my blog, my Author's page on Facebook and through the book forum Goodreads. I also let people (mostly friends) know through direct contact. Word of mouth is extremely important to any kind of advertising and it can quickly scale. One person tells another, who tells two more, etc. etc.
3. I was lucky enough to have my finished book fall around the time Robert Brewer was having a parade of guest blog posts detailing how they had used his ideas for building a Writer Platform. I submitted an idea for my own article and he gladly accepted and posted it. Sharing not only my blog with all his readers, but also the news that my book had been printed between the writing and the appearance of my guest post.
4. I've managed to cultivate good relations with several places I used to work. (Tip: Don't burn bridges unless you know you won't be standing on the bank looking wistfully across later on.) To these places and the friends I still had working there, I ran out a few free copies. Not enough for everyone, but enough to cause conversation and for people to pass around if they so desired.
5. Publishing my book on Kindle and opting into their Select program gives me the opportunity to offer my book up for free a total of 5 days over a three month period. So far, I've used two and both days seem to have great effectiveness. Joe Konrath's blog "A Newbie's Guide to Publishing" details in several posts how offering your book for free can later boost sales and I have to admit it seems to have worked a fair bit. The main idea is that, on Amazon, you have top lists for books which your work climbs as it sees interest. When you offer your book for free, it jumps up higher on the list and catches people's eye. After the free period ends, it hovers for a bit, making people look at it and become interested, spurring purchases. Nowhere near as many purchases as there were free downloads, but keep in mind a lot of the people who downloaded it while it was free did that because it was free, and many would probably not have given your work another glance if it wasn't.
And that's pretty much it. I may redo this post later on if I try other things that work, but in the meantime, for all the budding writers out there, I hope I've given you some food for thought.
Just look at that face.
~ Shaun Horton
There will never be this much cuteness on my blog again. Promise.