Wednesday, February 15, 2012

eBooks-A Good Way to Get Published?

I got a huge, huge pick-up from this year’s Life, the Universe, and Everything symposium. There’s always a class or two that I find worth it to go and see. This year was like a second Christmas. I focused mostly on the classes about ePublishing, and self-promotion.

This was by far the most sanguine panel I went to. At the start of this panel I was about 60% sold on the idea of ePublishing. By the end of this panel I was 90% sold. The important thing to remember is that there isn’t just one thing that brings in sales. It’s a combination of many things. One of the panelists used this analogy of using a hammer to pound invisible nails. You don’t know where to hit, and the best thing to do is start swinging.

Here is a short list of things that you should try. Each one of these is a discussion in and of itself, so if you want more information, copy and paste the item into Google:

  1. Amazon KDP Select.

  2. Smashwords.

  3. Blog Reviews

  4. Book Bombs

  5. Try to get at least three reviews on Amazon

  6. Book Trailers

Above all, make sure you keep writing. You have to learn to split your time evenly between writing and promoting. What is a good percentage? There isn’t one. Set goals. Make a resolution to produce one new novel as often as you feel comfortable, and to keep an active presence in the Internet. The important thing is consistency.
Some things to beware of:

  1. Don’t ePublish until you have at least three books to put up. Why? Because having more stuff gives the impression of credibility. Content is king, and it gives people a reason to come back to your website again and again.

  2. Space your releases about three to four months apart. If you have more books, put a “coming soon” notice so that your readers will be reminded to check back.

  3. Don’t let people hijack your schedule. It’s easy to get stuck waiting for artists, beta-readers, and others hold you back. If you know your work is ready to go, then go. The nice thing about ePublishing is that you can change things if you need to.

I’ve been skeptical about ePublishing, but now I’m completely sold for three very important reasons:

  1. Amazon and Smashwords are the new slush pile. Publishers are not the least bit picky about picking up a self-published author who has a proven track record for success. The only people who look down on ePublishing are other authors.

  2. The skills required for promoting your work are identical whether you are self-published or commercially published. It’s a huge win with publishers if you have an established following.

  3. It’s just so easy. The tools are all there, and there is no risk to you. If you stick with it until you’ve obtained a measure of success, it will eventually lead to a publishing contract.

P.S. You can follow me on Twitter. My username is @TWAbbottJr. If you have a blog and something you want to say, this is a great way to get out the word. Follow me and I'll follow you.


  1. That panel was really informative, with lots of specifics and examples. One major caveat that I'll remember well, though, is that you don't do yourself any favors by pursuing e-publishing before your writing is good. The only danger I see in e-publishing is that it's so easy, it makes me want to just throw my books up there and promote them 24/7 before they're as good as I think they should be.

  2. Absolutely. You can do your brand some serious harm that way, and build up a reputation as a poor author.

    One of the panels I went to made the point that I ought to hire an editor. Maybe someday when I get this social networking thing figured out, and I'm confident that I can earn back a $1000 investiment.