Getting e-publishing help to market your work is key...
Writers love to write. We thrive on creating interesting characters, building our plots, and choosing a great location for our novel. Then armed with all of our research, we finally get to sit in front of our computers and begin to implement our creative writing ideas.
Learning how to write a novel doesn’t happen overnight. We
work so hard to write a great book but believe it or not, that’s not the most
important part. It is vital to write well, but writing a great book just isn’t
enough. You have to be able to market your book so it can be read. And that is,
of course, why we write.
Since most writers either don’t enjoy or don’t know how to
market their work, I have asked Jim Conway, publisher of http://www.e-novel-advisor.com to
answer a few questions about writing and marketing and give us e-publishing help so we
can get the word out and have our work read. His website is like your very own
novel guide and offers great advice.
Thank you for taking the time to speak with me today Jim.
Jim, you are obviously very knowledgeable on the writing and publishing process. Can you tell us a little about your background?
I moved 13 times before I was 9
and was frequently the new kid in school, sometimes more than once in the same
year. Consequently, I didn’t have a lot of friends and so I became a voracious
The first time I became aware of
the power of words to move and inspire was reading Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings.
Then later, while I was at Ripon College in Wisconsin I was introduced to a
much wider world of authors than I was previously aware of and I decided to
become a writer myself.
After college I started my “writer’s life” by driving a forklift for 12 hours a night so I could raise my son while my wife worked during the day. It wasn’t glamorous but it gave me time to write and deepened my understanding. And, understanding of the human experience is what you really need to write something of substance.
Your website, www.e-novel-advisor.com is a great resource for writers and I was wondering what motivated you to start the website and what is your ultimate goal for the site in the long run?
As a writer you tend to believe that once you finish the novel you’ve struggled so hard to write, the heavens will open and you will be hailed as the next great thing.
It’s more like chirping crickets and tumbleweeds. If you want to be a writer you must also learn to be a marketer. Otherwise your book will die the death of obscurity. If that's you, get some e-publishing help
My website is part of a strategy to gain recognition for my first novel The Vagabond King
and subsequent novels by providing a lot of valuable information to writers and
marketers of books looking for information about how to write a novel.
You see, non-fiction writers have an easier job marketing
their books. Their books address a need or solve a problem. People are
motivated to buy those books because they have a pain they want to relieve.
While novels rarely address a need or solve a problem, it's not urgent for people to read them which means that there is less urgency to buy your novel
in a sea of one hundred thousand other novels.
The best way to market a novel is to build a platform that
addresses a practical need. www.e-novel-advisor.com
provides information on both the writing process and the marketing process that
are essential to a writer’s success. It also provides information on publishing for those who want that option.
And, with thousands of views a month, a few people are bound to click on my book and buy it. And so you start building an audience…and the snowball grows.
Your website covers the writing and e-publishing process from start to finish. What questions do you get the most of about the process?
Marketing seems to be the thing that confuses people the most. This is because writers are writers, not marketers. Marketing is a completely different mindset.
However, it is a mindset that would be very profitable to
develop. With the advent of Amazon Kindle and electronic publishing, internet
marketers who have no idea how to write are rushing into our market like miners
toward a gold mine.
Did you know that a lot of the bestselling books in the
non-fiction space are ghost written for very savvy internet marketers? They
have no real knowledge of the topics that they or their ghostwriters are
writing about. And, they don’t care.
What they do know all the little tricks of the trade to draw
attention to their books. And this is just some of the information I teach
What is the biggest obstacle for writers from your experience?
Finding the time to write.
I wrote my first novel The Vagabond King over the course of many years. I wrote on forklifts, in the middle of the night, and in the spare moments of my working day.
It is difficult, to say the least. And, when you are doing
it all alone, you think that it shouldn’t be this difficult and that you’re
doing it all wrong and you better give up because it shouldn’t be this hard.
It should be that hard, and it is for all writers. There is
no way around it.
This is one of the things I try to teach but, after much trial and error, I have also learned how to unleash the creative power of your subconscious mind. There are some very simple techniques that anyone can use to make the process easier and faster.
Do you have any favorite publishing options?
I drifted around for a few years after I finished The
Vagabond King, half halfheartedly looking for publishing options.
But then someone suggested I self publish via Kindle Direct
Publishing and it opened my eyes to the world of independent publishing and
vibrant community of indie writers all happy to offer some e-publishing help.
I would never publish via a traditional publisher. They would get in the way. They take most of the profits and really don’t know anything about marketing. That is why the vast majority of books don’t sell more than 500 copies. That's why so many writers need help.
You’ve got to do it for yourself and this is what I teach at my website.
As a novelist myself, I love the writing process, descriptive writing is tough but marketing a novel is a bit tougher and a bit confusing. What advice do you have for writers about getting their work out there?
Great question. As I said before, marketing is a whole
different mindset. It can be tough, but it doesn’t have to be. There are many resources available for e-publishing help.
The first thing you need is a “lead magnet” that is
something that people are looking for. With non-fiction the lead magnet is the
book itself. The book solves the problem. With fiction you must develop a way
to serve a need that people have. Then, once you have gained their attention
and solved their problem they might buy your book.
This is just the first step in the process though. I have developed a whole strategy with various tactics to develop an audience that I share with people on my website.
If a writer wants
to market their book, where should they start? Is e-book marketing any
different than marketing a print book?
There is a great saying that “a bookstore is the worst place to sell a book”. It sounds odd but it is true. How is one book/author going to attract the attention of a potential reader surrounded by a million other books/authors?
You need to establish a different venue for you and you
alone. This is why Starbucks is one of the largest sellers of music CDs.
Because, those CDs don’t have any competition.
So, that being said, I think the first place to start is by
developing a website. It sounds difficult but it is not. Companies like Solo Build It make your success virtually inevitable. They offer an action guide that offers all the information you will need to get up and running fast.
This is the keystone to your writing success. With a print book your book is surrounded by a thousand others and only sold during store hours. When you have a website and are selling an e-book, your store is open 24 hours a day and you have a potential market of about 6 billion readers.
There are so many ways to market that it can get overwhelming and so many of us become paralyzed and do nothing. How do we keep from getting so overwhelmed?
Another great question. How do you eat an elephant? One bite
at a time.
The best way to prevent anything from becoming
overwhelming (which leads to procrastination) is to break it down into its
Step 1. What is it that you want to accomplish?
Step 2. What do you need to do to accomplish it?
Step 3. Where can you get what you need to accomplish it?
Then, once you have gathered the necessary resources, you
can move forward to accomplish your first goal, then the second goal and the
next until you have completed your project.
It is really quite simple but can take many people, myself included, years to realize.
9. What is your best
advice regarding marketing a book so it can be widely read?
Develop a platform. All of your
other efforts to market your book will be built on your platform. That gives you e-publishing help that continues to work for you.
Be patient. Life is not linear and there will be many
obstacles that prevent you from getting from point A to point B in the time
frame you want.
You will get there!!! Just give it time and keep moving