Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Marketing an E-book

For many years, I imagined myself as an author, and I stumbled through the forest of traditional publishing for more than a decade, hoping an agent or publisher would punch my lottery ticket and make me a success with one or more of the novels I'd written.  Alas, it was never to be, though I had many great stops and starts along the way, getting interest and feedback from some top literary agents.  It was roughly a year ago, however, that I concluded I am not a novelist or screenwriter.  After speaking with a friend who had finally - and justifiably - secured an agency contract for his fiction, I realized that non-fiction writing is actually where I am successful.  Thus, I am refocusing my writing career by seeking to develop my blogging and newspaper commentary.

With that in mind I began to explore the possibilities of e-book publishing that have developed via the rise of Amazon Kindle Publishing, as well as all associated markets from direct e-book publishers like Smashwords to Apple iBooks and Barnes and Noble Nook Publishing.  As an experiment, I went ahead and self-published the one novel that I actually felt good enough about to present to the public.  The thought of vanity publishing always bothered me, but the rise of internet publishing - and the moderate interest my book always generated among agents - convinced me that I could move forward with the publishing of my novel with a modicum of my integrity intact.

Since publishing my novel I Don't Know on Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing and Smashwords, I have generated very little in sales or interest.  However, that may be a result of the minimal effort I put into marketing the book.  That's a lesson for aspiring e-book authors - You have to do the marketing that would normally have been handled by your agent and publisher.  All I've done so far is post a link to Kindle Direct Publishing on my blog, and that has generated a few sales among my most loyal readers or curious blog wanderers.  How to Market an E-book from the website is a pretty effective explanations of how to market ebooks, and it's certainly worth checking out.  As I learn more about the process and potentially publish more of my work, I will revisit the idea of e-book marketing and what are the best and most successful approaches.

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