Andromeda Edison helps promote independent authors, and draws on her deep experience with internet marketing. Here she discusses her work and what she’s learned about e-books and self-publishing.
1. You’ve been in internet marketing since 1996. Describe the sort of work you’ve done.
I started in search engine optimization in 1996 before there was a name for it. I expanded and changed with the industry, so that I got involved in email marketing, blogs, social media marketing and others as these things came on the field. In 2011 I expanded to e-books creation and marketing where all my Internet marketing skills can be utilized.
2. How has internet marketing changed since you first got involved with it?
Unfortunately this is a loaded question; a lot has changed since I first started, this could be (and is) a whole book. When I first started there were very few avenues you could utilize: search engines, forums and email was it. Now there are a lot of different ways you can go and you have to take a look at each one to see which ones will be best for reaching the public.
The fun part is that the changes haven’t stopped, just like technology evolves (check out the latest iPhone compared to the one before).
3. Your experience in this field is quite extensive. What advice do you have for indie writers looking to use the web in their marketing efforts?
The Internet is becoming a world of interaction, you can’t just post information up and expect people to come to it. You have to drive people to you and the way you drive people to you is going where they are and enticing them with some of what they are looking for. Authors are mini-celebrities (and they get bigger based on how much they sell) and people love to be connected to mini-celebrities in a personal way so you can use this for all it is worth.
4. After you got your Kindle, you started researching self-publishing and had the opportunity to promote a friend’s e-book. What did you learn through that project?
I read a lot of books, did a lot of research on what others have done that are successful. While there are a lot of self-published books out there, there are a lot fewer in the success story arena. Working out the differences is an on-going process and there will always be some luck involved. However, you can create your own luck. With that said, to have a best seller in the Amanda Hocking category there is a lot of work involved. Many authors who worked on their books part time while still working a full-time job just don’t have the time to invest in this. So, they need to pick one area they can handle and start there.
5. You also do some of your own writing. Tell me about that.
I have always written, but nothing that I felt worth the work of publishing. However, now seeing the way the industry is going right now I have gotten revitalized on my own work. I am finishing up a series of short stories as well as a full length science fiction novel which I hope to get done this year and published. Now that I have set up my own editors, cover designers and such I can get it done professionally too.
6. What are your impressions of self-publishing so far?
That it is a wide-open field, ready for anyone to get into. If you can produce a high quality product and get out there and promote your products, anyone can be successful.
7. What other marketing techniques besides internet-based methods do you recommend for indie writers?
The Internet is really where it is at.
There are other ideas like: go to conferences (like the Writers Conference); convince your local little bookstore to do an event and invite several local self published authors to come; if you write non-fiction attend events related to the area you write about and get in on the action (try to speak if space available).
8. Are there any marketing techniques you do not recommend, and if so, why?
Email markering hasn’t proven very successful, specifically in relation to buying spots in other people’s lists. Every time I have used one, I have gotten a few sales, but not worth the money. Instead spend your time building up your own list.
9. What’s the biggest mistake someone can make in marketing their book or website online?
Putting up a book that isn’t ready for publishing. If you have typos and/or bad editing (or really no editing) you will get bad reviews and definitely not become the huge success you want. A good editor is one of the best investments you can make in your book; while it may feel like a bit before you make your money back on it, realize that once your book is online it continues to sell forever. Each book well written and edited will sell the others you have, so make sure each one is well done.
10. Independent authors face the obvious challenge of marketing their books without the resources of traditional publishers. What advice do you have for an indie author just starting out?
Create your own website and set up an email list that anyone can subscribe to. Then get on the social networks and anywhere you can to drive people to that list. This list will prove valuable when you publish later books or try other marketing tactics.
11. What projects are you currently working on?
I have two big projects happening right now:
12. How can readers learn more about your work?
My website is here. I send out a regular newsletter which people can subscribe to.