Adithya Srivastava strongly believes in promoting your book well before launching it. Read how he uses Instagram and Facebook to do so.
1. Tell me briefly about your latest book – what is it about and what motivated you to write it?
My latest book, The Story of Your Life, is all about digging some dark and pleasurable memories of life through different narrations. If I talk about what motivated me in writing this book then I would say my solo trips. I am a hobby traveler, and also, being a public speaker, I have to visit many places and meet new people.
2. How have your sales been?
Sales for the first month were disastrous as I didn’t use any marketing or promotional activities. But then I joined Kindle Select and also started promoting my book through various paid and free channels which really boosted the outcome of sales. Right now, from Kindle and the paperback version I am almost earning 15-20% of my monthly salary, and that’s around $95-114 USD.
3. You’ve gone the self-publishing route. How have you liked it so far? Talk about some of the positives and negatives you’ve encountered.
My experience with self-publishing was filled with learning and enjoyment and some networking, and I liked it. Some positive aspects of self-publishing: it is easy and cheap and the best thing for new authors who really don’t want to spend a fortune on publishing. Also, with self-publishing you get to choose your terms, which is kind of great. And if I talk about negative aspects of self-publishing then the biggest is marketing and promotion. You have to do everything on your own or hire some marketing firm to do that for you.
C.N. Bring writes in the military suspense genre and has stuck to her own style of writing despite pressure from traditional publishers. Learn why she’s skeptical of Facebook as a marketing tool and why word of mouth is so important to promoting your book.
1. Give me the elevator pitch for your book in five to ten sentences.
Commander Celia Kelly is a perceptive Naval intelligence officer rebuilding her life after the tragic death of her husband. The suspicious suicide of a fellow officer has Celia questioning the mission she’s been assigned.
With the help of a one of a kind secretary, a by-the-book assistant, and a Navy SEAL, Kelly discovers she’s been set up. Digging relentlessly, nothing is as it seems. Someone is after twenty million dollars that disappeared when Kelly’s husband died and now that someone is after her.
2. Why did you become an Indie writer?
I was almost published traditionally, but I was asked to change the story too much. The series is not a romance, but instead a military mystery, suspense. The traditional publisher wanted to add a formula romance to the story. Though I wasn’t opposed to changes that might enhance the story, I was against losing my original audience. Truthfully, romance isn’t really my thing. To be successful, we all have to find our own voice unlike anyone else’s. The hardest part about the business is they (publishers) want a safe sell. They want a familiar story with a new voice. It’s the publishing catch-22. So I started to explore indie publishing.
Sherry Woodcock is a spiritual writer who turned her blog into a book and uses her personal experiences to shape her writings. She talks about using a launch party as an element of her marketing campaign and why writers must “get out there” to create awareness of their books.
1. Tell me briefly about your books – what are they about and what motivated you to write them?
My books took life from a blog I started in January of 2010, called Daily Spiritual Tools. The first one took the name of my blog as the title. The second one is only available as an e-book and is called Daily Spiritual Tools, Learning How to Forgive and Let Go.
These books and my blog are focused on spiritual practices I call “tools.” I’ve always been a voracious reader and spent hours reading spiritual and metaphysical books. From these books, and clairvoyant training I pursued in the nineties, I gathered countless ways of connecting on a daily basis to that inner consciousness that many call God. I began writing about them, in what my readers say is a clear and easy to read style. The truth is I wrote for me, to find my voice.
2. How have your sales been?
Since October, when I released Daily Spiritual Tools, I’ve sold 75 paperback copies and six e-book versions.
3. You have not been published by a traditional publisher. Why?
I went with non-traditional publishing because my topic is popular with a small group of readers. Targeting spiritual but not religious
readers is not something that most traditional publishing houses would take a risk on. I did send out query letters and letters to agents, but had little success.
Barbara Fleming writes from personal experience with her book, The Backwards Buddhist: My Introduction to Dzogchen. Here she talks about a variety of marketing techniques and why she would choose to only self-publish.
1. Tell me briefly about your book – what is it about and what motivated you to write it?
The beginning of the writing process was a challenge to write a book in a month. The story, of necessity, was autobiographical so that it required no research. Having just completed part one of recreating myself from the ground up by divesting myself of every spiritual thought or preconception I ever had from birth to age 50, it was a logical choice of subject matter. The path I chose was so unlikely for me, it seemed a great example of the improbable becoming true. My premise was I could choose to live in a world created by some perception of how things should be, I could just show up every day ready to embrace whatever arose, or I could experiment with any one of an infinite variety of combinations of the two. Tibetan Buddhism is not the first place most westerners look to find their personal path, but it was mine, so that is what the journey is all about. Finding a path with potential but no map and no fixed destination was my recipe for self-discovery. Setting off on such a quest just because I could, and recording the journey to show the potential, complete with embarrassing pitfalls as well as triumphs, should anyone else want to do so, is the major point of the book.
2. How have your sales been?
Sales have been surprising. My expectations were zero, so selling a few hundred was quite fine and I continue to sell. The most surprising sales were triggered by the inclusion of my title on a college neuro-science course reading list, the subject being the Brain and Meditation, quite a hot topic these days.
3. You have not sought a traditional publisher. Why?
I did not seek a traditional publisher because no one owes me any personal favors.