Okay, so my eBook is active on Amazon.com in the .mobi format for Kindle and available in a variety of formats from Smashwords.com. I must say that getting the eBook into both distributors was much easier than I first thought it would be. Using the Smashwords Style Guide was very helpful. It will be even more helpful for the next book I start from scratch because I’ll set up the formatting before I even get started and be one step ahead of the game.
My eBook, Any Tomorrow: The Calling, is out there for folks to buy, but how will anyone know it’s there? When I uploaded my book to Amazon (Kindle Direct Publishing), I was like #3409 in the queue to get published. Millions of eBooks are available from various distributors and self publishers. How can I possibly expect that anyone is going to notice mine?
Smashwords Book Marketing Guide is free and provides a lot of useful information about self-marketing. There are user communities, blogs, and social sites, but the how the heck do you monitor and have a presence in all those locations and still have time to write? As I’ve learned from this blog, the moment you stop having a steady flow of dialogue, readership drops dramatically. Yes, I took a few days off and now I find that I am probably writing for my sole benefit.
I guess this where an agent or “real” publisher would prove his/her worth. They would have a vested interest in my success, their job being to make sure my work is seen and that I get the exposure required to benefit financially, and it’s important to remember that when I benefit, the agent/publisher benefits. Of course, purchased loyalty has its downside.
In my own experience exists a cautionary tale for artists managing their own careers. My cousin, an avid surfer named John “Pinky” O’Rourke, in the late 60’s packed everything he and his wife owned into a VW Beetle and left Charleston, South Carolina, to find the perfect wave in Hawaii. He was an exceptional artist who worked in various mediums from his home in Haleiwa. He exhibited brilliant vision and extraordinary talent, but he wasn’t a manager. His priority was his art, not marketing, and certainly not finance. Like many artists he worked for cash which all too quickly vanished. He relied on small jobs to keep bread on the table for his family. I always admired him because, unlike the other artists in my family, he was willing to sacrifice everything for his art, to try and achieve a vision that was known only to him. If he had had a financial manager, someone to market him, someone to watch the money while he created art, he may have received the recognition he deserved.
I can’t say with certainty that I would have or could have done what my cousin did. Our paths took decidedly different courses, but in the end I am faced with the same basic problem he had, that is, how to make it happen. How, in that post-creation environment, do I translate art into money? How do I balance my resources to make the work thing happen and the art thing happen? How do I do everything I need to do to get readership without sacrificing the day job? And, visa versa, how do I meet my responsibilities to my job and home without sacrificing my art?
I need to let prospective readers know that my eBook is available and that I want their feedback about it. So far I’m feeling more than a little overwhelmed with trying to discover venues for advertising that are free and don’t require me to give my book away. I created a Facebook page for my eBook called the Any Tomorrow Trilogy, but I couldn’t figure out how to make that page visible to the world while keeping my personal page visible only to my friends. I guess being technically challenged doesn’t help.
If you’ve been involved in self-epublishing and have any suggestions, please let me know. I would greatly appreciate you sharing them.
As always, if you have any comments, questions, or concerns about this post or any of my posts, please let me know. I would really appreciate your feedback. Thanks.