Bookmarks, Coffee, MySpace Bring Success To Self-Published Author

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Steven Oliverez's 'The Elder Staves' benefits from the new age of marketing.

When author Steven Oliverez first started posting his short stories in his personal profile on the popular (, the response was little more than an occasional friend popping in to offer words of encouragement. Now that same web log has grown into an outlet with readership numbering in the thousands, and a vocal fan base that grows daily.

Until now, most promotion on MySpace, which has a membership approaching 80 million users, has been limited to musicians and bands trying to hit it big – MySpace has even started their own music label – but Oliverez is seen as the first author to attract such attention through the site. By offering his short stories for free to the internet community, he has made a name for himself and created widespread interest in his fantasy novel, 'The Elder Staves.' Every short story is met with almost instant feedback and discussion, something which Oliverez himself participates in.

The web log has also been a media target, prompting a slew of articles including a piece from The Book Standard, featuring Oliverez's role in this new style of marketing. Very recently, it also brought Oliverez an offer from a movie studio to purchase the film rights to an unpublished manuscript he had written before releasing his first novel (an excerpt from this earlier story also appears in his blog).

"The response has been far better than I had imagined," Oliverez says about using as a marketing tool. "Being able to instantly receive feedback from literally hundreds of readers at a time has made the writing process more enjoyable and interactive." He expects more established writers will shortly follow suit.

More traditional venues have also been generating attention for the young author. Select bookstores across the country have been handing out bookmarks depicting the cover of 'The Elder Staves,' including Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million – and even the coffee giant, Starbucks.

Success has always been the extreme exception, not the rule in the self publishing world. "There's a stigma," Oliverez admits. "You have to prove that your work is worth reading, and that's no easy task. I'm still thrilled every time I receive an email from a reader telling me they've recommended my book to a friend. When you add it all up, that's still the best type of marketing out there."


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