We could discuss the message(s) in the story of LYCCYX but that is another post for another day. Today I did some reflecting and research from the first six months since LYCCYX: Episode 1 was published.
For the first three and a half months, I did no real advertising other than here and through Facebook. I was very new to Twitter back then and only recently have much of a following.
Lesson 1 – Advertising works. It’s simple but true, if no one knows about a product, they can’t buy it. My traditionally published friends have told me they are still required by their publishers to advertise and market. Most of what I have used has been free and has paid off tenfold. The major investment is time spent looking for good free ways to promote a book.
Lesson 2 – Giveaways help, but do not work miracles. KDP Select on Amazon allows for up to 5 free promo days every 90 days for each book enrolled. Much is changing in the eBook market lately so it remains to be seen how effective this will be long term. It has certainly helped me to grow an audience but is really only one small piece of the puzzle when it comes to marketing. Giveaways combined with targeted advertising seems to be helpful.
Lesson 3 – Perhaps the most important lesson I have learned on this journey is that we can’t network enough with other authors, artists, entrepreneurs and other like-minded people. The more I promote other’s work, the more I get promoted and the better off we all are. Reading is now social and it is in community that books flourish. The same goes for other works and small businesses. People are the most important resource period. The more we invest in each other, the more we all benefit from shared resources and reader (customer) base. I believe it is helpful for authors to branch out an try reading other genres different from their own – maybe even try writing in a new genre just for fun.
Lesson 4 – We have to keep writing. Few of us write that one big blockbuster that sells millions and retire. Even those who do will tell you of the years they labored away in obscurity until that big break came. Ray Bradbury said his secret was simple – he wrote what he liked. We have to keep writing and keep publishing to reach a place of influence. I read recently that most authors who make a living publish something significant at least every 2 to 3 months, many publish significantly more than that.
There you have it; just a few thoughts today from the last several months. Here’s to much more in the days ahead.
If you need a break from writing or reading, check out the audio version of LYCCYX: Episode 1 – The Declaration out now on Audible and coming soon to Amazon and iTunes. Check it out here.