It takes a while for ebook publishing knowledge to seep through your brain. I've been visiting "The Writers' Cafe on the Kindleboards and picking up information although I can tell the people there are pros at marketing and getting exposure. One other trait I didn't expect to find is GENEROSITY. Ask a question, whine about your sales, beg for help on some tech problem and you get a boatload of helping hands and thorough outlines of how to proceed. These are some of the things the authors in The Writers' Cafe do:
They do quid pro quo reviews to add to the book listings. I'm sure they are sincere. They answer other posts so that their books show up in their signature over and over. They announce good news and that always gives you hope. The thing about these seasoned kindle authors is that they know how to do blog links and avatars and writing little reviews under the image of their books. I haven't yet learned to do any of that although I am trying my best. I sort of cobble together things and sometimes get the appropriate result. Here again, though, there's always some wonderful soul who will do it for you. That's what they say: Here, let me do it for you.
Many of my fellow ebook authors have suggested I join Goodreads and LibraryThing. I've gone over to Goodreads who already had an author page for me from my printed books. I have to tell you it is almost impossible to navigate that site. A prompt will say: add new books here. Then you get a browse button and you browse and choose but nothing shows up. I try e-mailing but I get a lazy answer. "you have to have the right URL." she says. That's like saying, "my three year old can count to ten." In other words, not a good answer.
One other suggestion I received for sales activity: there's nothing better for boosting sales than adding a new title. I don't know about you but I can't write a novel overnight (although there's a guy on the boards that attempted to do just that). But in looking through my files I found four perfectly good short stories (one had even received a laudatory hand-written note from Esquire) and now I will get my son, Nicholas to put together a nice cover and put them up for sale at .99. I can hear the collective gasp. .99 cents!!!
Calm down. This is like a loss leader in the grocery store. Come in for the Barrila Spaghetti Sauce at two for five and stay to buy all the impulse overpriced items. Not that anything I've got to sell is overpriced. 2.99 is the highest price and recently I reduced some books to 1.99. This is a recession and if I can sell twenty books at 1.99 and maybe five at 2.99 I'm still making money. This is all hypothetical, I have not yet sold twenty books.
Today I signed up for a promotion "Book of the Day" wherein your book and link to Amazon store is placed at the head of all kindleboard forums. This allowed me to initiate my PayPal account. I don't know what day, I will be the featured book but it's exciting to think those sales figures will jump around. I'll let you know what happens.