Tami Kidd believes authors should share marketing ideas. She shares her own ideas here and discusses her approach to completing writing tasks.
1. Tell me briefly about your latest book – what is it about and what motivated you to write it?
My latest work is The Diary of A.M. Zing. It’s about a young college professor who finds a box of old diaries in her aunt’s attic. The diaries, written by a young girl in the 1950s, become her obsession. She vows to return the diaries to their owner or the author’s next of kin. She soon discovers that the diaries are the focus of another’s attention and she is square in the middle of the mystery surrounding them.
After writing my first two novels, I wanted to have a new protagonist, a younger female character. The main character in my first two novels was an older woman.
2. How have your sales been?
The sales on my first two books were fair. I haven’t really had time to market them, so sales could have been better if I had the time to invest in promoting them. Working full time doesn’t leave a lot of time for writing or marketing.
3. You’ve gone the self-publishing route. Have you sought an agent or any work with traditional publishers? If not, why not? If so, what has been your experience?
I have not sought an agent. I don’t have the time to pursue an agent. Perhaps when I retire I’ll have more time to search for one.
4. How have you liked self-publishing so far? Talk about some of the positives and negatives you’ve encountered.
The positive of self-publishing is you make all the decisions about your book yourself. But that can be a double-edged sword. You can make the decisions, but who’s to say those decisions are good ones? Also, one advantage is the royalty rates. If you went with traditional publishing, the royalties would be much less. One advantage with traditional publishing used to be that they took care of the editing, cover, advertising and promotion. But now they typically leave that up to the author, so that’s no longer an advantage. Plus, it may take several years to publish your book. Publishers usually only publish a few books a year.
5. What sort of networking have you done as an author, and what have been the results?
I have a Facebook page, a Twitter account, a website, and I regularly moderate a writer’s group at our local library. I participate in a critique group and I attend writer’s conferences when I can. I also have a Goodreads page.
6. Talk a little about the sort of marketing techniques you’ve used to sell your books. Which ones have been most successful?
The most successful campaign was through Ereader News Today. In one day I made enough off sales to pay for the cost of the campaign with a nice chunk left over. I’ve also done other blogs and advertised through Amazon, but without much success. I’ve also participated in blog tours with minimal results.
7. Are there any marketing or networking techniques you’ve intentionally avoided or discontinued, and if so, why?
I have given away a lot of my books, both in paperback and digital copies. I feel the best advertising is word of mouth. I want my work to be read. If I were in this for the money then I’ve chosen the wrong way to do it. I love writing and I want to be read. If people like my work and then tell their friends then I’m happy.
8. What are the most important things you’ve learned about publishing that you didn’t know when you started out?
How important editing is. Don’t have your friends and family edit your work. They will miss what a professional will catch. Invest in a good editor, you won’t regret it. Also, share your knowledge. We are all in this together. If you have a tip, share it.
9. If you could do one thing differently in publishing your books, what would it be?
I would have had several books published at once. Do a book here and a book there isn’t a good strategy. Give your reader several books to keep them interested. Series sale better than single books.
10. New authors face the obvious challenge of marketing their books, whether they go the indie or traditional publishing route. What advice do you have for an author just starting out?
Be prepared to invest a lot of time in things that aren’t fun. Marketing isn’t fun. Promoting isn’t fun. Have a least three books ready to go live. Become a member of a critique group. Find a writer’s group. Never stop learning the craft. When writing gets tough, I have a formula; it’s my bit-by-bit formula. One word, one sentence, one paragraph and one page at a time. Soon you will have a finished product. Writers often feel overwhelmed by the sheer volume of work there is to do, but don’t look at it as a giant task. Take it a little bit at a time.
11. What other projects are you currently working on?
Right now I’m just trying to finish my third book. I am currently in the editing/rewrite stage. I would like to get it out by summer. Then it’s on to the next story. I would also like to get a book of my poetry out.
12. If you could market your brand – not just one particular book, but your overall brand of writing – in one sentence, what would it be?
Down to earth. I like to think my characters could be the girl next door, or the guy down the street. They are real people with real problems. They are relatable. Their situations could happen to any of us. If you want to escape into a fantasy world, then don’t read my books. But if you want to read about someone that could be you, then you might like them. (I know that’s more than one sentence.)
13. How can readers learn more about your books?
My first two books are Deadly Discovery and Deadly Deception. Both are available on Amazon. You can also buy them in a box set. Hopefully the third book, The Diary of A.M. Zing, will be out this summer.
My website is here.
My Facebook page is here.
Twitter is here.