Self-Publishing - When Writer Becomes Marketeer: JM Shorney, Author

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For indie authors the hard part comes when promoting their work. Struggling authors are becoming increasingly smarter marketeers in order to improve sales without the resources of a big publisher.

Self publishing is not the quick path to fortune, but it's certainly been revolutionary for many indie writers. The statistics reported by Publisher’s Weekly, from the Author Earnings Report, certainly backs this up.

On Amazon’s bestseller lists, only 16% of the books are published by the ‘Big Five’: Hachette, HarperCollins, Macmillan, Penguin Random House and Simon & Schuster.

31% of e-book sales on Amazon’s Kindle Store are self-published.

Self-published and independent authors are taking almost 40% of total sales.

However, from the writer’s perspective, it doesn’t always appear to be so encouraging. According to self-published author JM (Jean) Shorney, writing is the easy bit. The challenge comes from getting your book to the masses.

“I’ve been writing for years,” Jean Shorney says, “I’ve come so close to being published traditionally, but it’s not worked out for one reason or another. Over the last couple of years I decided to do something about it. I wanted to get my books out there. It soon became obvious that you can’t just upload a book and hope for the best.”

So what options are there for writers trying to make their mark without the help of big publishing houses? Jean has been concentrating on three books in her ‘Aidan McRaney’ thriller series, now available in print and download: The Devil In Soho, Stalking Aidan and Progeny of a Killer. These books tell the tale of Aidan McRaney, an Irish ex-convict trying to make good against the brutality and violence in London’s underworld.

Jean Shorney adds, “I don’t have a problem writing my books. I just put my music on in the background and the story pours from me. I can’t write fast enough. It’s what comes after that’s a bit more difficult. That’s when you have to switch from a writer to getting my head around marketing. I didn’t have the first idea of how to even start!”

With online services such as SmashWords, there’s a network for writers and readers to connect. For Jean, the most effective way of promoting her work has been via Twitter. “I’ve taken to Twitter really easily. Surprisingly, I’d say! I started off quite nervously, but instead of following big celebrities, which isn’t my thing anyway, I started to follow writers who I admired. I then naturally got into conversations with them, and other authors - self and traditionally published - and found people who enjoyed my books. It was great fun!”

But isn’t it notoriously hard to sell through Twitter? “I’m not a salesman. I might post a link to my book rarely, but I mainly just talk to people and take it from there. That’s what works for me on Twitter best anyway. I still need other ways to push my books, but Twitter is the one where I think people get to know me best.”

The Devil In Soho, Stalking Aidan and Progeny Of A Killer by JM Shorney are now available online.

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