FAQ- How do I promote my book?

Okay, you have a book. It’s up on Amazon, Kobo, and everywhere else… Now what?

Well, the best answer is… Go write another book!

No, seriously!

Here’s the deal, if you have one book and go promote it, great, people can buy that book. But, a lot of people won’t buy a book if you only have one up there. They like to sink their metaphorical teeth into their favorite authors and read LOTS of stuff from them, so if you have only one book out, and they love you, then they aren’t going to be as willing to take a chance.

Also, what if you do well with your book? Where do the readers go from their? And what if you put the first book up for free, they read it, but have no second book to buy?

It just makes sense to have more books out. The more you have, the more you can share with your readers. The more you share the more they can share.

The concept of visibility dictates that the more surface area you have, the greater the chance someone will spot you… so give yourself lots of books, and lots of feelers out there for maximum chance to be seen.

Okay… got your second, third, etc, book done? Great!

Now… go play on social networks. Meet people, comment on their threads, share your stories. DON’T PROMOTE!

Seems counter intuitive, doesn’t it? Yes, well, we are living in a counter intuitive world. How many of us skip cable, TiVo, use Netflix or anything else, just to avoid advertisement? Why would you think anyone would want to see and advert about your book if they don’t want to see a commercial in the middle of their TV show?

No, they want you to interact with them. Be funny, be interesting, join the conversation. Or produce something worth talking about. if you can do both then you are GOLDEN! People will go looking for you to see what you say if you are interesting enough. People will search out your commercials on youtube if you’re funny. They will Google your story if you’re exciting. They will post tributes, make fan fic, and generally make a joyful noise as long as you making something they care about, or you are someone they care about.

My best success hasn’t been screaming “BUY MY BOOKS!” It’s been making friends. Sharing stories. Interacting with fans. That has brought more people into my little corner of the web then anything else out there. And I am so grateful to all the friends that have made this possible.

Fan Fiction, and Amazon

A few days ago Amazon announced their intentions to start a new line. Fan fiction… for pay.

This is unusual because fan fiction is usually skirting copyright by avoiding pay.

Basically, if you write fan fiction for “Vampire Diaries” or “Pretty Little Liars”, and it isn’t porn, then you have a chance of earning some money from the sale of that fan fiction. However, in exchange Amazon, and the original IP owners (in this case the studio producing that franchise) get to use your stories in whatever way shape or form they want to, and they don’t have to cut you in on the deal.

This is good, in the way that it allows some people who like writing fan fiction to write it, and sell it. To earn money they would not have been able to earn otherwise.

This is bad because if you do write the fan fiction, then the producers decide your fic is good and they want to make that into an episode… well they already have it. You aren’t getting paid anymore for it, no matter what you say or do. You don’t even get the regular writers fees for people who work on these shows.

If you write it anyway, maybe it is okay for you. But in all honesty I like Hugh Howey’s idea of fan-fic better. He encourages it, and lets you sell. He doesn’t care. He doesn’t even care what kind of fan-fic it is because it’s your work. He even advertises it on his website!

Fan fiction is an interesting beast all it’s own. I wrote it when I was younger. E.L. James wrote it then changed it up and made millions off “50 Shades of Grey”. Fan fiction isn’t going anywhere.

But I don’t agree with giving Amazon, or “Pretty Little Liars” the ability to use your work unchecked. If they want to hire you as a writer… great. If they want to use your work, license it. But don’t just claim it for a few bucks while they make millions.

John Skulzi had something to say about Amazon’s new world, and Neil Gaiman agreed with him. Here is Neil Gaiman’s opinion on fan fiction itself.

If you want to write it, and publish it, just know what you’re getting into.

 

NOTE: “Twilight Tales” will only be available for a few more hours, but if you did pick it up, and read it, please consider giving it a review. Reviews mean so much to new authors. Also, there are three more books available ranging .99 to 2.99.