Self Publishing - Keeping Your Readers Happy

In breaking down the writing process even further, in the simple hopes of continuing this self publishing help blog, today I’d like to discuss the bread and butter of being an author. It’s true that you can be an author without this, but only for self-serving purposes. So look at your checklist. You’ve got:

  • An Idea
  • Pen and Paper, Computer, Typewriter, Calligraphy set, or some other form of presenting that idea
  • A Title
  • An Idea for a Book Cover
  • Social Media Access
  • Proper Formatting Procedures
  • An Editor

I know what you’re thinking. What else could I possibly need? Readers, my dear indie author friend. You need readers. And I’d like to be even more specific if I could. You need happy readers. It’s true that if you have angry readers you may get some publicity, albeit bad publicity, but that may encourage a select few people to read your work. If you have content readers, they will continue to read your work, and may even walk away satisfied with your plot and characters, but that will not help you grow as an author. What you need is happy, ecstatic, shout your praise from the mountain top, readers. Why? Because those are the readers that are going to leave you glowing reviews. Those are the readers that are going to encourage their friends and family to read your work. People want to share what makes them happy – for the most part. I suppose there are a few exceptions. But when it comes to multi media such as books, comic books, video games, tv shows, and movies, people want to be able to talk about what makes them happy. They want to share those experiences with loved ones. They can even make new friends based on comparable tastes or a love of similar multi media.

So we’ve established that you need happy readers and why you need happy readers. So now, of course, the million dollar question is, how do I attain such enthusiastic readers?

That, obviously, can be quite difficult. So let’s look at a few methods that various people use. You can:

  • Attract the attention of someone famous (Hey, if it worked for K$SHA, is she still going by that particular spelling?)
  • Spend thousands of dollars in marketing to get your synopsis into the hands of the right people
  • Spend thousands of hours submitting your book to literary agents in the hopes that one of them will fight the battle for you
  • Become a master of social media outlets
  • Have a genuinely fantastic plot with superb writing abilities, a sincere and likeable social media presence, and the supreme luck of attracting the proper attention

There are many ways, and many of them, I think, come down to luck. There are probably thousands of absolutely brilliant authors out there who will never become famous simply because they weren’t at the right place at the right time. Sad, isn’t it? I wish that I had a happier answer for you. But if I had the answer, I think my name and books would be a little more well known, don’t you?

I choose to chip away at social media, giving it the old fashioned go around of word of mouth. I prefer hard work over the quick ticket any day. Mostly because it forces me to take more pride in my work. If I were approached by a publisher at this point in time, I’m not sure if I’d be willing to deal with them or not. Would it be nice to let someone else do all this work for me? Of course. I could actually read, watch movies, spend more time writing, and become a master at whatever skills I choose, but would I appreciate the success as much? Probably. I don’t know. Who knows? I like making Goodreads and Twitter connections. I like getting to know other indie authors. I like making new writing friends. It’s a great experience, at least so far.

Now, all of the above being said, there are some great websites that publish daily/weekly/etc book recommendations/kindle deals. You can pay money for them to include your work, which will market it to hundreds or even thousands of potential readers. Some of these websites don’t charge money, you simply have to submit your book or story for their review and it has to be a good enough deal (money off, etc.) for them to recommend it to their readers.

With the wild world of ebooks gaining more and more popularity, websites such as these are springing up everywhere. Just make sure that you aren’t spending a lot of money with minimal results. There are a lot of people out there who are completely willing to take advantage of desperate indie authors. They offer you quick and easy solutions for some random amount of money, knowing that plenty of people will jump on the offer. So be careful of the options that you do choose to attempt. Do your research and due diligence and protect yourself and your work.

That’s all I’ve got for this blog. As always, I’m open to comments and other ideas. I hope all of you have a fantastic weekend!

photo credit: RealMichael via photopin cc