Michael Stephen Daigle has had experience with both traditional and self-publishing. He suggests a variety of in-person marketing techniques and explains which ones work best.
1. Tell me briefly about your latest book – what is it about and what motivated you to write it?
My last completed book is The Red Hand, book four in the Frank Nagler Mystery series. The title comes from the mark that the killer leaves at the scenes of his crimes. It is a prequel, set roughly twenty years before the The Swamps of Jersey, the first book in the series. It establishes themes that appear in all the other books, and defines the important relationship in Detective Frank Nagler’s life: with his wife, Martha. It also defines the Charlie Adams murder story that filters through the other books and the political crime scheme that is a constant.
I wrote The Red Hand to clarify those elements, especially as I plan the fifth book in
the series as a book-end to the entire story. Readers also wanted to read the Charlie Adams story. It should be available in the spring of 2019.
2. How have your sales been?
Sales are not as brisk as I would like, but I’ve learned not to panic about it. The marketplace is changing and I need to be flexible in my approach. Some of it is networking and some of it is determining how much I’m willing to spend to market the book.
3. You’ve used both self-publishing and traditional publishing. Which one do you prefer and why?
I self-published a short-story collection and a single short story, but pulled hem back. I was getting a lot of free looks but few sales. I also wanted to rework the collection. I have a small independent publisher who is enthusiastic about my books and has offered more support than I could have imagined. The choice reduced my costs, and frankly, got me published.
S.P. Jayaraj knows the hard work it takes to make it as a self-published author. Find out how he uses book fairs and Patreon to attract more readers.
1. Tell me briefly about your book – what is it about and what motivated you to write it?
My book is a story about Gradni, a young elf orphan boy who blames dragons for all the pitfalls in his life. He is determined to destroy them, but he struggles on this journey when he learns that the dragons are not the villains he was brought up to believe. It is a coming of age story in a high fantasy world that is influenced by global mythologies.
2. How have your sales been?
Initial sales were pretty decent considering that I’m still learning about how to market this book in a way that suits me.
3. You’ve gone the self-publishing route. Tell me more about that and how you got into it.
I did initially start sending my book out to agents, and though I got some positive responses, ultimately agents did not think it was a good fit for them. I understand that an agent really needs to feel a unique connection with a book to be able to represent it. I wonder if part of the problem was the vastness of the world that the story is set in which might have seemed overly ambitious and thus hard to trust which I do understand. I could have continued to look for an agent and believe that I might have found one that way; however, I wanted to get this book out there into the world so that I could work on following it up with more stories of Adijari.
Florence Osmund self-published her first book, The Coach House, earlier this year. In that time she has picked up a lot of great marketing tips, and she shares them here.
1. Give me the “elevator pitch” for your book in five to ten sentences.
1945 Chicago. Newlyweds Marie and Richard Marchetti have the perfect life together. Or at least it seems until Marie discovers he secretly attends a mobster’s funeral. And when she inadvertently interrupts a meeting between Richard and his so-called business associates, he causes her to fall down the basement steps, compelling her to run for her life. Ending up in Atchison, Kansas, Marie quickly starts a new life for herself in a coach house apartment. Ironically, it is the discovery of the identity of her real father and his ethnicity that changes her life more than Richard ever could.
2. Tell me about the marketing techniques you’ve used to sell your books. Which ones have been the most successful?
One thing is for sure: books don’t market themselves, so we indie authors have to be diligent and creative in our marketing efforts. Two ‘musts’ I believe are creating a website and maintaining a blog. People just expect it, and if you want to get the word out about yourself and your books, you have to have these. Some other methods I’ve used are the creation of Amazon and Facebook author pages, adding links to my website and blog in my e-mail signature block, participating in online discussion groups, seeking out book reviews, subscribing to book promotion sites, sending out a good press release, including testimonials in my website and blog, participating in online interviews such as this one, contacting book club members, and networking with family and friends. If all my Facebook friends were to re-post my book announcement, I would reach close to 10,000 more people. That’s a lot of potential book sales!