Author J.M. Shorney Highlights How Self-Publishers Becomes Marketeers With Release Of New Book

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J.M. Shorney is a self-published author has discovered that it's as important to know how to market your book as it is to write it. It's becoming more essential to self-publishers to understand online marketing to get the most returns from their work.

The dust has settled over the sales of ‘Fifty Shades Of Grey’ and its successors ‘Fifty Shades Darker’ and ‘Fifty Shades Freed’, which publisher Random House has stated is around 70m copies. It’s hard to measure whether or not the series of books has caused an explosion in self-published works since its success.

For writers who are making their way across the self-publishing landscape, it’s still not an easy venture, even with the myriad of outlets for aspiring authors. Among these online publishing platforms are CreateSpace, one of the leaders in the field of self-publishing worldwide, Smashwords, Penguin Group’s Author Solutions and Lulu.

Amazon is - perhaps unsurprisingly - the first port of call for self-published authors, especially as it has its own designated promotional service in the shape of KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing) Select. KDP Select offers free promotion for five days when your book is enrolled for 90 days exclusively with the service.

Does this service help, or has it hindered sales? Author J.M. Shorney is under no illusions as to the purpose of KDP Select. “I understood that the promotional period with KDP was limited, and it did generate some sales. Nothing mind-blowing, but it was something. What I think surprised me was how fast sales dropped. I was then stuck with an exclusivity deal with Amazon. I don’t think I took on board how frustrated I would feel, but that’s more to do with my expectations. I’m happy using Amazon, but I’m more aware of how to use it effectively now.”

Online Marketing For Authors

For any author, it’s not so much about the content of the book but the marketing of it. For many self-published writers without the marketing support of a publisher, this is an uphill struggle.

Jean is a self-published author who has been releasing books online over the past two years. Like many self-published authors starting out, Jean freely admits to a certain level of naivety when putting her books up for sale: “It was such a learning curve just getting my book online. Just understanding how to get my book seen by anyone was tricky enough!”

“It was this lack of knowledge that led me to hire marketers. That was definitely a step in the right direction.” Jean continued, “It can be expensive, but does give you an insight of how books move online. I’m now getting more involved in the marketing side myself, although it’s a bit scary, what with getting to grips with social media and the like.”

As many self-published authors like Jean are finding, it’s getting more and more essential to get out there. “I suppose the upside is that I can kind of do it on my terms a little bit, and connect with people I enjoy connecting with, and not give the hardsell. It can take a while, but it’s worth it to get my name out there.”

Borrowed Time by J.M. Shorney is now available on Amazon and at other online booksellers.

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Peter Shorney
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Peter Shorney
since: 04/2009
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