Patrick D. Kaiser understands the hard work it takes to make self-publishing a success. He explains his approach to networking and which marketing methods he avoids.
1. Tell me briefly about your latest book – what is it about and what motivated you to write it?
Frost is a verse thriller (A thriller told through poetry).
Everyday people living everyday lives, not knowing the legends, myths, and fairy tales they tell their children are real. Goblins, trolls, magic – not to mention Jack Frost: The world’s most notorious criminal, the master escape artist, and one cool lady. Jack currently finds herself training Nathan Masterson, a protege who is drawing attention from the Organization, the magical government’s law enforcement group. On the run for a murder he didn’t commit and struggling with the secrets of his past, is he seeing double or is someone out to frame him? Even with help from Jack the world seems colder than usual as death approaches. It’s gonna be a cold summer. Get ready for Frost.
Years ago when I was in high school, I and a friend began an inside joke about how we were magical cops looking to arrest Jack Frost. I don’t even remember how it started. But that hook has always stuck with me. So I decided to write it into a book.
2. How have your sales been?
Sales have been decent since I’ve started, though they could always be better. I’ve already exceeded the stats that say most Indie authors will only sell around 200 books in their entire career. I just keep pushing. I know that my books are good, so I’m just gonna keep going until I can’t anymore.
3. You’ve chosen self-publishing. How have you liked it so far? Talk about some of the positives and negatives you’ve encountered.
It’s definitely one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. I think more people should try it. It gives you a level of control that traditional publishing just doesn’t. In self-publishing, if you fail you know it’s because of you, which motivates you to put in 120% to every aspect of the business. The downside is that you don’t have the backing of an established brand behind you which presents a few challenges in getting your work in the hands of readers.
4. What sort of networking have you done as an author, and what have been the results?
I’ve mainly connected with other indie authors, as well as a few local bookstores and some local schools. Networking takes time and even after a full year I’m nowhere near where I need to be. Then again, this pandemic isn’t helping.
5. Talk a little about the sort of marketing techniques you’ve used to sell your books. Which ones have been most successful?
Mostly it’s been in-person book sales and signings. I also use Facebook and Instagram boost post features. And they’ve served me well. Plus I do free promos and percentage sales on Amazon KDP Select.
6. Are there any marketing or networking techniques you’ve intentionally avoided or discontinued, and if so, why?
I tried Amazon and Google ads for a bit, but they weren’t getting the results I needed for the money I put in. I do not suggest using those. Boosting a post on Facebook is much more useful and profitable, especially if you line it up with a free promo day.
7. What are the most important things you’ve learned about publishing that you didn’t know when you started out?
How rewarding it can be. It’s all up to you. And when you reach a milestone, it’s the best feeling you could hope to have.
8. If you could do one thing differently in publishing your books, what would it be?
Hire an actual editor. Freelance editors are so overpriced. When you’re starting out or even when you have some success, you have to break the bank to pay for their services. It’s just not worth it unless you have a bunch of expendable income. I’d love to have a professional editor, but it’s just not in the cards right now.
9. New authors face the challenge of getting their books into the hands of readers. What advice do you have for an author just starting out?
Networking with reviews and social media influencers, and doing in-person sales and signings at small local book stores. Most are more than willing to help you out. You just have to ask.
10. What other projects are you currently working on?
I’m working on the sequel to Frost, titled Sight. It’s releasing January 2021.
11. If you could market your brand – not just one particular book, but your overall brand of writing – in one sentence, what would it be?
Fun, entertaining verse novels. It’s a guarantee you’ve never read a book like this.
12. How can readers learn more about your books?
Readers can find me on Instagram, or visit my website.
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