It’s not too hard to put out an e-book. Sure, it takes work to write a novel, but as far as turning that into an e-book — even I figured it out pretty fast.
The tough thing is promoting what you’re doing.
There, I can do much better.
A Couple Cases
It’s a smart move, allowing fans to have fun and to use more brains than just the one in Shawn’s head. (I can assure you that Shawn’s a bright guy, but more bright minds coming up with independent ideas is neat, and I look forward to seeing what people come up with.) Sure, he’s also giving away a Kindle and some other goodies, but it’s that inclusion of his readers that will be fun to watch.
Chuck Wendig is a busy guy. I’ve followed his blog for awhile, and it’s been a blast watching things blown up (in a good way) for him. Chuck likes trying different things. One of the things he recently tried was a Kickstarter project.
It was funded in a matter of hours, and he continues to get backers every day.
Chuck is also promoting the upcoming release of his novel, Blackbirds (affiliate link), whose main character, Miriam Black, knows when people will die. Chuck started a Tumbr blog called This Is How You Die that allows readers to submit ways they can see their own deaths happening. (Some are humorous — others much more serious. I submitted this one and this one.) He’s received hundreds of submissions while generating interest in his book.
If You Build It, They Will [Probably Not] Come
It’s a nice thought that all one has to do to find success with their writing is create a blog, write a book, and then sit back and watch success unfold before their eyes.
But it doesn’t work that way — if it did, I wouldn’t be spending this afternoon writing mortgage procedures and rushing to write as much as I can before going to bed at a decent time so I can be up for the day job tomorrow.
When I released Hell Comes with Wood Paneled Doors, I did just that — I released it. No fanfare or build up…I created the e-book and offered it with little more than saying on The Juggling Writer, “Hey, I have an e-book out there,” and doing the same on Facebook and Twitter.
I didn’t give the release the attention it deserved.
I never believed that all it took was releasing the e-book — no If you build it, they will come. It’s done better than I thought it would, but I didn’t have high expectations since I didn’t really promote its release.
There’s no formula for success with writing and releasing your own e-books. The closest thing to a formula I’ve seen is this: write a genre series and keep it coming. Once you have half a dozen stories out there, you increase your odds of people reading more than one thing you’ve written.
Oh yeah, and make a lot of noise about what you’re doing without annoying those following you online.
Where that leaves the person writing and self publishing literary or mainstream e-books, I don’t know. (I’m considering the e-book route with the last novel I wrote, and it definitely falls into the realm of mainstream fiction.) There are definitely days I consider setting aside the harder writing I do for the fun and speed of a genre series.
How about you? What are some different ways you’ve promoted your writing, or creative ways you’ve seen others promote what they’re doing?