This is going to be an unusual blogpost, in that it’s not specifically a story update. (By the way, //019 is now available.) It’s about the process of organizing and planning my writing.
As noted in the last post, I’m trying to think more about how I promote my work and how I present it to the world. So, I started a thread on a YA authors Reddit asking for assistance. The feedback’s been good so far, and rather than just make notes to myself, I thought I’d summarize it here as well as my response to each item… and throw it open to the floor. I’d love to hear your thoughts; you’re part of this process, too!
Free “lite” versions of the ebooks, at least the first ones. – OKAY!
The way my writing works, I already do this; if you go to the site you can read MOST of the book for free. But for users finding me exclusively through Amazon, they don’t even know the site exists. One thing I’ve been toying with is an eBook release of just the free chapters, for free, as a promotional tool. It’s a low-effort way to get out in front of new readers. (Of course I still have the problem that searching for “City of Angles” makes Amazon go “Oh, did you mean City of ANGELS?” and changes your search. Bleh.)
Clarify that UE and Sailor Nothing are not fanfic. – YEAH, OKAY.
This has plagued me for some time. Because of their colorful anime art style and the word ‘Sailor’ everybody assumes these are fanfic. Ugh. I can’t do much about it but I can slap a more explicit “No, it’s not” on the stories.
On the store page, cut the technical description and put in a plot summary instead. Similarly for the descriptions on Amazon include more about the characters. – CAN DO!
Originally I was ranting about how the books are 6″x9″ and the ebook is DRM free etc. etc. because I wanted to make sure people knew what they were buying into. But, these days, it’s kinda standard to expect that buying a book = getting a book, so I can push the actual plot details instead.
Covers for anachronauts are too serious, CoA are too kiddie. – WHOOPS? OH WELL.
I’m not keen on changing the cover art now, not this late in the game. I can see where this is coming from, but anachronauts IS meant to be science fiction so more serious covers matter. Maybe too serious? I don’t know. As for CoA, yeah, I’ve gotten complaints about Allison’s artwork. I like it, personally, and I think it suits, but it DOES earmark the books as adorable storytime for children due to America’s fixation that any hand-drawn characters are Spongebob Squarepants. For my next book I’ll definitely aim for a midpoint.
Blog more about writing or other people’s books, not just weekly project updates; blog posts can go into the ‘inspirations’ behind chapters. – OKAY!
You’re reading one right now. I want to do more with the blog, more than just “Hey it’s Saturday here’s more story.” I’m presuming you guys wouldn’t mind reading more, too. Get more engaged, dig in a bit deeper. I used to use this blog for all manner of things, before I focused my personal blogging on Twitter. I can do more.
Prizes and contests; signed books as rewards. – MAYBE?
Now that I’m done using Kickstarter (it was a noble experiment that mostly worked but I think it’s too much of a hassle) I can offer autographed copies directly, or for community events. Not sure yet how best to do this, or if I will. Would you guys be interested? Got any suggestions?
Little photo ads and resources folks can use on tumblr, twitter, FB, etc. Media kit for fans to use to spread the word. – MAYBE?
I’m a big advocate of ‘street teams,’ sending your fans out to spread the gospel. Not sure how useful this would be, but if you have an interest, let me know.
Buy google adwords for ‘new releases ebooks’ or ‘ya fiction.’ – MAYBE?
I’ve earmarked some of the Kickstarter budget for advertising, and am working on how best to spend that. This is a possibility but I have my doubts that SEO and Google focus would help. Do people really google “NEW BUUKS” when they want something to read? It’s not like buying a vacuum cleaner.
Wattpad free ebook version – TRYING!
Wattpad kinda sucks. I’ve been trying to upload City of Angles but it keeps claiming it’s “Rated R” and rejects it every time, without saying why. Their interface is poops. But if I can make this work, I will.
Write more fanfic. – NO.
I’m outta that game, baby. I don’t need to write about how Naruto can beat up Dragonball Z in order to grow an audience. Don’t get me wrong, fanfic is fun and I encourage more of it and it IS a good launching pad, but… I’ve launched, and I get way more satisfaction from original writing now.
So, that’s everything so far. If you’ve got any more ideas, post below!