Kevin J. Anderson visits Kobo HQ!

Kevin J. Anderson sat down for a chat with KWL Director Mark Lefebvre at the Kobo officeAward-winning and #1 international bestselling author Kevin J. Anderson was in Toronto last week and stopped by to visit the Kobo head office. Kevin is the author of more than 125 books, more than fifty of which have been national or international bestsellers. In addition to this, as the publishers of WordFire Press, Kevin and his wife Rebecca Moesta have released more than a hundred eBooks from over 25 authors. He also hosts the annual Superstars Writing Seminars, which teaches writers the business of being successful in the publishing industry.

Kevin sat down with KWL Director Mark Lefebvre to be our Writer in Residence for the evening. In the audience were local KWL authors and Anderson fans. Over drinks and snacks Kevin shared with us the story of his success and how he got to where he is today. Here are some of the main points:

  • Always write – Kevin discovered a love for creating stories at a very young age, writing his first ‘novel’ at 8 years old. Growing up he was always stealing moments to write before dedicating himself to it full time.
  • Be persistent – rejections go hand in hand with writing and shouldn’t discourage you. Kevin received over 80 rejection letters before his first story was published, proving that persistence pays off.
  • Write about what you love – being passionate about what you write is very important. Kevin found success in the genre he loved, sci-fi. The success of his original works led to him writing several novels in the Star Wars, X-Files, and Dune universes. As a huge Rush fan, their music influenced his writing which later paved the way for collaborations with Neil Peart himself.
  • Be open to change – the publishing industry is changing more than ever before. Rather than shying away, Kevin embraced the change and found success self publishing his back catalogue and becoming a publisher himself with WordFire Press.

We’re very grateful to Kevin for stopping by and sharing his story with us.

You can find Kevin’s books on Kobo here and if you’d like to explore more WordFire Press titles, you can find them here.

Publishing Literary Fiction Independently

By: Piers Alexander

Piers Bearne author photo“I did not need reminding that my place in the world was to be the cutpurse, to show my pistol and witness murder while others played the honest craftsman.

“Garric Pettit, Cassie Barcus, Calumny Spinks: ours was the bitterest trade of all. Hiding in other people’s clothes, tricking and beating our thorny way through the world, and for little more than another day’s bread and water…” - from The Bitter Trade

Sometimes book marketing can feel like that! Writing is a big commitment even without promotion: in my case three years, five drafts – at one point the manuscript was 250,000 words long – until my agent Meg told me that the German version would weigh about 8 kilos… and I sliced 40% of it out. Ouch.

After winning the Pen Factor last year, I finally realized that it was time to stop drafting, put on the clothes of a publisher and get The Bitter Trade  to market. But the novel is literary historical fiction: it’s not genre, there aren’t 30 of them in a series, so it’s not a typical self-pub operation. I know literary writers who’ve been actively discouraged from publishing independently because it’s considered hard to find readers.

So I decided to do things differently, and reach out directly to readers with a few innovations. In my other life I am co-founder of three media businesses, so I’m hoping to bring some ideas in to help promote The Bitter Trade, which is an adventure story set in London’s coffee rackets during the Glorious Revolution of 1688.

First of all, I decided to work with epubli to distribute and promote the eBook. There are a lot of entry-level blogs and courses on digital publishing, but epubli’s author relations team are sophisticated, up-to-date, available and passionate about their writers. I am working long hours just to keep up to date with their recommendations, and the way they think about SEO and social media presence is very sophisticated.

I also asked the voice actor Roland Bearne to produce some high quality audio snippets from the story – they are up on SoundCloud and we will be using YouTube and other rich media channels to find people who prefer to listen to stories.

Then I took the rather radical decision to distribute the paperback nationally through bookstores. It’s a fairly serious investment, especially in typesetting and design (thank you www.thecurvedhouse.com and www.twoassociates.com), but I think the bookshop presence and ebooks will complement each other, with paperbacks leading people to Kobo and the other platforms. More importantly, a really nicely-designed book makes other potential marketing partners take you much more seriously – I walked the aisles of the London Book Fair in April and found I could have proper conversations with people.

The most radical thing I’m doing is working with very niche interest groups, like the London coffee scene (launching and selling the books at one of the leading coffeehouse groups), and historical reenactment societies. I had a lovely moment last week when a member of a Luxembourgish 17th century historical society kindly refused to take a review copy and insisted on paying for an ebook instead. The best part about this is the opportunity to connect with people who love coffee, and people who are as passionate about the historical period as I am.

the-bitter-tradeSo it feels like a good marketing plan is coming together – wish me luck! The Bitter Trade is up on Kobo already, and I still have a handful of free review copies available on Goodreads for friendly readers.

Wishing you all happy marketing… and more importantly, the time and freedom to write your hearts out.

 

 

Kobo and Kobo Writing Life are proud to be sponsoring the 2014 Penn Factor again this year. They are actively contributing to the success of new and talented authors like Piers. The winner will be offered a one year access to TLC literary and publishing events at Free Word Centre, editorial and advisory support.

We are looking forward to meeting you all at the 2014 Writing in a Digital Age Conference, which starts tomorrow in London.

 

KOBO REVIEWS COMING SOON!

In the near future, Kobo will begin featuring book reviews!

Customers will be able to write reviews and choose star ratings for your titles and post them on the book page.

We want to give KWL authors the opportunity to begin collecting reviews for their titles before the feature goes live!

Here’s how: 

That’s it! You can use this Kobo Reviews link to collect as many reviews as you want.

You may notice that the page does not list every one of your books.  The catalog of books represents a cache that might not always have the most recently added titles – but it is updated on a continual basis, and if a title doesn’t appear now, it might appear in a few days.

Go ahead and post your Kobo Reviews link to social media, include it in your newsletter, and feature it on your website.

The more reviews you gather, the more customers will notice your title. So, get the word out!

Making Social Work for You

An interview with Bestselling KWL Author Maggie Shayne – By Ben Landau

For self-pub authors, social media can be either a best friend or worst enemy. Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr—all of these are valuable resources for writers as they attempt to spread the word about their latest works and connect with an audience. Without a clear social media strategy however, these same platforms can become a major source of procrastination.

Eternal+Love_+The+Immortal+Witch+Series

So what, if any, is the “right” way to make social media work for you? To answer this question we enlisted the help of Maggie Shayne, the self-pub author and social media dynamo behind the Immortal Witches trilogy and a handful of other dark and steamy reads.

What moves the dial? Does a “like” turn into a purchase, a fan, or an ambassador for you? Is this what writers should be aiming for?

What moves the dial is personal and sincere interaction with the fans. Don’t try to sell to them. Just be there, talking about normal stuff the way you’d talk to your friends and having a good time. Share challenges within reason (never become a public complainer, it’s unbecoming) and share how you deal with them, too. Let people know you’re a real human being with a life a lot like theirs, and that you care about them. You can’t fake that. That has to come from a real place inside you. You can’t measure the payback of this sort of thing in numbers of sales. I think long term, it’s more karmic. The more people smile when they think of you, the better your life is going to be. It’s about making other people feel they are important and worthy of your time. That’s what it is at the heart of it.

How much time do you spend on social daily? What social media platforms do you use?

I’m mainly a Facebook girl. I have a Maggie Shayne page, a Wings in the Night page. I also use Twitter quite a bit, and have been dipping my toes into Instagram and Pinterest. I blog at MaggiesBlissBlog.com . I spend anywhere from an hour to two hours online each day, but it’s fun for me. It needn’t be that time-intensive.

What is an effective social media strategy for an eBook author? What is simple timewasting?

For me, the most effective strategy is having fun. If you hate doing something, it’s never going to be effective. If you don’t enjoy social media, don’t use it. Everything in life is like this. If we trusted our gut feelings more, we’d be far better off. Have fun with it. That way if it works, bonus.

Who if any, are some other socially active authors that you think set a good example?

Susan Mallery. OMG, she’s the Goddess of Facebook. And Christine Feehan, who has her own freaking message boards, like a mini Facebook all its own at ChristineFeehan.net, these folks make me look like a rank beginner. (Not too rank, I hope.) ;)

Have you ever had a memorable interaction with a reader over social media?

A reader had a doomed pregnancy. She was told to have an abortion because the baby wouldn’t survive anyway, and if she tried to carry the child, she wouldn’t make it either. This reader read EDGE OF TWILIGHT, a book with a doomed pregnancy and a miracle ending. The way the book came to her, she was sure it was a sign. (I am, too.) Someone gave it to her to cheer her up, not even knowing the subject matter. Anyway, the mom decided it was a sign, and she carried the baby to term. Her little girl was born healthy. All are still doing well today. I treasure the email I got from her.

I’ve had lots of others. Readers email me for advice, or during challenging times for encouragement, and I’m always there for them.

maggieShayne_photoCheck out Maggie Shayne:

At her website: http://maggieshayne.com/

On Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MaggieShayneAuthor

On Kobo! View Maggie’s books: http://store.kobobooks.com/en-ca/Search?Query=maggie+shayne

On Twitter: https://twitter.com/maggieshayne

 

Other Helpful Resources:

How to Market a Book by Joanna Penn – http://store.kobobooks.com/en-CA/ebook/how-to-market-a-book

The Zen of Social Media Marketing: An Easier Way to Build Credibility, Generate Buzz, and Increase Revenue by Shama Kabani http://store.kobobooks.com/en-CA/ebook/the-zen-of-social-media-marketing-1

 

Author Branding & Revamping Your Website & Image

Three years ago, almost to the day, I made the smartest decision I’ve ever made. Before you ask, no I did not decide to forgo a unicorn wrestling match (I know that was your first thought); no, I began my first website, E-book Revolution (http://ebookrevolution.com.au).

A very ugly Blogger blog that had all the finesse of a monster truck and kind of looked like a five year old had drawn a very boring picture with crayon on a brown paper bag.

E-book Revolution blog old

When I first started I didn’t really know what I was about. I was in my ‘teenage’ blogging phase, the years where you kind of know the stuff you like, and the things you want to talk about, but you hadn’t quite found the path that fit the personality. When I first started I knew I didn’t have the skill to blog about my fiction writing, but I was great at investigating, at pulling apart the things people did (often via instinct) and figuring out how they worked. Like a mechanic for ideas.

Back when I first dived into creating my author platform Amazon hadn’t opened its doors to Australian authors, Smashwords was just getting started and Kobo was a name I thought I heard once whispered in a dark alley by a leprechaun. Not really an expert at anything I did my best imitation of a triple somersault dive and descended into the depths of learning.

So the blog grew, with its cobbled together Logo in Microsoft Paint and font colours that didn’t quite match the theme. It grew from a site that explored how to throw off the oppressive cloak of publisher rejections, to a site that looked forward to digital experiments, taking control of your publishing, and (eventually) how to write a magnificent book.

In three years the blog had grown out of its teenage years, and the message it conveyed with its pixelated pimples of mismatched colour no longer fitted where I was. I now had a job in the publishing industry, I hold workshops teaching writers to be indie authors, I was being asked to talk around Australia, and I had a site that didn’t exactly scream professional. It kind of screamed ‘boring’.

So as it approached the blog’s third anniversary I decided it was time for the outside wrappings to look like the inside, and starting on the 4th of April I am running a week long website relaunch to celebrate, complete with a shiny new digital home, logo, and seven days worth of prizes! In fact it’s going right now! (http://ebookrevolution.com.au)

In the wake of these months of hard work I’ve done what I do best, broken down the process so that people can see how it works.

So here are my five tips on author branding and revamping your website and blog:

1: Why You Should Rebrand

It doesn’t matter how careful you were at picking your original template and banner art, how much time you spent agonising over the whether you wanted your headings fuchsia or fluoro green, chances are that if you’ve put together your author platform more than two years ago, times have changed. Not only have design trends changed, but what interests you, what entertains you, what you talk about while blogging, and what you share, has morphed into an entirely new polka-dotted beast.

You may write in more than one genre now, or you may have found the topic you first started with didn’t strike a chord with your audience, but as soon as you started posting pictures of My Little Ponies in compromising positions your website statistics skyrocketed.

Writers do not stay static; we trade in ideas and imaginings.

So the question you’ve got to ask yourself is, does my site still match my message and who I am? Because if it doesn’t, then you may find you’re not attracting the size of audience you should.

2: What Does That Involve?

Basically asking yourself a stupid amount of questions. Get a piece of paper and go back to your original posts: What did you talk about, what were the themes, what got the most interest from visitors? Then compare it to your posts and social media sharings over the last six months: What themes and topics do I cover now, what do people care about in 2014? How does that change in tone and topic match the images and colours on your website? Does your current status, celebrity, or career level, reflect in the layout?

The ultimate are-you-ashamed test is to ask yourself if you would be happy paying $10,000 to stick you logo or website banner three stories high on the side of a building. Does the thought make you twitch? Then that tells you how you feel about your logo today. Hand your logo or website banner around to family, friends, and people you meet in the park walking your dog. Ask them what they think when they look at it, what is it saying to them, does anything turn them off?

Ebook Reolution Logoe-book-revolution-logo-largest

                  Old logo                   New Logo

Finally, articulate in a paragraph what you are about now, and what your message is. Start going through Google images and websites of authors similar to you and start collecting all the images that appeal to you in a document. This is what you’ll use for your base line rebranding.

3: Recreating Yourself

Sorry guys, but this is where you have to come out of the world in your head and take part in some good old fashioned collaboration.

You are not the best judge of you!

Unfortunately writers are not the most subjective bunch of creatives (helloooo editors!) and we need professional help and a fresh perspective. Rebranding involves revamping your website, logos, and tag lines. You saw my old blog above, and below is an image of my new website.

E-book Revolution New Blog

I had already pulled together images of sites I admired and my new tag line (E-books, marketing and digital experiments – helping you bring your stories to the world ) from the previous step before I began approaching designers. There was a web designer friends had worked with in the past who made amazing WordPress sites that you could add to and run without any need for all those silly ‘maintenance fees’ that IT companies charge these days. She was the one who linked my pre-existing book cover to my new logo, and once the logo and highlight colours were decided she then moved on to make sure that the website matched the lot.

She was so amazing I actually invited her to write a post on Author Branding for my website relaunch. You can read it here (http://ebookrevolution.com.au/?p=759) and it will be live from Saturday the 5th of April.

You may find that you can get an all in one package like me, or that you need to hire a graphic designer first before bringing the logo to the web designer. Either way make sure you get a list of fonts and colour hues used so that when you are doing a sneaky alteration in Microsoft Paint, that you get it right.

4: Reconnecting With Your Audience:

Take your new stomping ground as an opportunity to have fun! What have you always wanted to add but never done?What information do you have already that you can now repurpose and help you connect with a new audience. Make it easier for them to do their crash course and then join you at the level you are now?

When I first started E-book Revolution I talked about really basic concepts and step-by-step processes to help authors get up and running in the digital space, but three years on I am way passed those beginner topics and rarely cover them. What a missed opportunity to connect with a new person! I am missing out on a whole audience who, if I pointed them to those original articles, would be up to speed and get so much more out of what I post now. Just because they didn’t happen to dive in the deep end at the same time as me.

So in the new version of my website I have resource sheets (http://ebookrevolution.com.au/start-here/) that list all of the most popular questions and blog posts on Marketing, Publishing and writing, so that writers who are starting out can find what they need, and those who have followed me from the beginning don’t have to read what they already know.

5: How to Gain Traction

Make it a party! When I originally started the blog I posted every day for 31 days straight. I wanted to build up momentum (and obviously had some unfulfilled need to punish myself) and that was the best way I could think of to do that. And it worked surprisingly well, I got over half the subscriptions to my newsletter because of that first, month long sprint. But as the three years went on that momentum slowed, in part I think because of the DIY feel of my site, which three years ago was fine, but these days was neglectful.

The website revamp was the perfect opportunity to reconnect, recharge and take advantage of the connections I’ve built over the past three years. So my recommendations for gaining traction include:

  • Like launching an ebook, extend the launch of your site over the course of a week. It is only through multiple connections that you can make an impression.
  • Have some great content, not only from yourself but people within your network. Use the launch as a way to build connections with your colleagues as well as your audience. Building a community, and presenting quality information helps you build trust for the years ahead.
  • Give people who don’t know you a reason to drop by! Information is all well and good but giving away prizes that are relevant to your audience is even better. At my launch I am giving away multi-media courses, a set of 6 writers guides from Chuck Wendig, a Kobo ereader, and a swag bag of books on indie publishing by some of the best indies around, just to name a few. All appropriate for my audience; writers and independent publishers.
  • Don’t just let them all go once the launch has ended! Don’t do all of this work and hope that people will continue to visit your site. Get people to sign up for a newsletter, that way you have a way of contacting them directly. I give away a free 1hr crash course on the E-book Revolution and a workbook on Writing a Killer Blurb to anyone who signs up for my newsletter. Not only do they get some great free information, but I am able to contact them in the future about any new book releases or events.

Emily_Craven_1Emily Craven is an author, speaker and innovator and runs the website E-book Revolution where she discovers writing, publishing and new ideas. Her website relaunch is running from the 4th- 10th of April with some great prizes for indie authors, check it out (www.ebookrevolution.com.au). Emily is the author of the non-fiction book ‘E-book Revolution: The Ultimate Guide To E-book Success’ (http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/e-book-revolution-the-ultimate-guide-to-e-book-success) , and the comedy ‘The Grand Adventures Of Madeline Cain’ (http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/the-grand-adventures-of-madeline-cain-photographer-extraordinaire) written as though you are reading the main character’s Facebook Page.

 

 

 

5 Ways to Optimize Your Crowdfunding Campaign

By Daniel Baylis

When I decided to publish my book (The Traveller) independently, I knew I would have to get serious about crowdfunding. The process of leveraging funds from my online community became a step in the publishing process that was as inherent as designing a book cover. Overall, my campaign was very successful, garnering more than 200% of my target goal. Why is that? Well, I applied a selection of key tactics to make sure my campaign would be successful.

Here are five lessons that I have learned about crowdfunding.

Start planning early. I began doing research into what makes a great crowdfunding campaign six weeks before I intended to launch my own. This entailed scouring other campaign pages, watching other videos, reading other writers’ campaign pitches, and analyzing how campaigners communicated their “rewards.” Then I essentially pillaged their ideas and drew up a shortlist of my favourites. If you want to go deeper, Indiegogo offers a Field Guide and Kickstarter offers a School. These tools are free. Use them.

Make an awesome video. If you don’t have the skills to do this yourself, hire someone. On most crowdfunding platforms, the first thing a potential funder will see is your video. Think of it as your storefront. A quality video will be worth the investment. Bonus tip: Keep it under three minutes — the Internet does not have time for wordiness.

Communicate creatively. On the first day of your campaign, you’re allowed to explicitly say “Please support my campaign!” But by Day 30, nobody in your network is going to want to hear your tired plea. You’ll need to spice it up. Try creating campaign-related content that had an implicit request for support. For instance, every few days I featured a photograph of funder and had them explain why they chose to support the campaign. Go ahead, steal my idea, but come up with your own, too!

Be realistic with your goal. It’s tempting to apply the old adage: “Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars!” But when it comes to crowdfunding, that’s not the strategy you want to employ. Read these words: DON’T SHOOT FOR THE STARS. Ask for the amount that you feel absolutely confident you can get. If you reach that goal, be prepared to encourage additional funding with stretch goals — further objectives that communicate what you’ll do with more money. Remember that campaigns stay online forever. Your name will be attached to it. What type of cyber footprint do you want to create? I’ll answer that question for you: One that reeks of success.

Say “Thank You.” This might be an obvious one, but it needs to be highlighted. For every single funder that gave to my campaign — there were 253 people — I issued a personalized thank-you email. This might sound like a lot of work, but it doesn’t have to be a long note. A simple personalized acknowledgement goes a long way. Think of it this way: You’re not just selling a book; you’re building a personal brand. Care what people think of you.

daniel baylisDaniel Baylis is a writer and adventurer. In 2011, he spent the entire year travelling around the world, visiting a different country each month and engaging in a variety of volunteer positions. Upon returning to his homebase in Canada, Baylis wrote a book about his journey and crowdfunded many of the expenses of his book on Indiegogo. In September, his campaign was fully funded in less than three days and went on to earn more than 200% of the initial target goal. Baylis’ book, The Traveller: Notes from an Imperfect Journey Around the World, is now available on Kobo. He politely invites you to buy it — and read it.

Indies for Indies: My Partnership with My Local Bookstore

By Robert L. Slater

Bellingham, Washington, has as many bookstores as many small towns have churches and bars. You can literally have a top ten… I frequent many of them, but the one I know best has become a great friend—Village Books. VB did a lot for me as a reader and community member. I saw Terry Brooks, Neal Stephenson, and many more folks at VB events.

As a customer in their original location, an old building in underdeveloped Fairhaven, I joined their Reader Rewards Club.  Every year on your birthday month, club members receive a coupon for a discounted book, your age up to 39 as a percentage discount, and a cup of coffee. Eventually the costs of maintaining an awesome local brick and mortar bookstore took their toll and everyone got 25% off no matter what their age. In addition, at 20 purchases customers get a cash voucher for the average price of those books. I’m a cheap and careful shopper, so mine was never big, but always more exciting than the free haircut or coffee punch card.

Village Books offers customers a savvy reminder they have access to Kobo’s giant catalog of eBooks.

Village Books offers customers a savvy reminder that they can access Kobo’s giant catalog of eBooks. Learn more here!

Over the last year VB became more of a place to go see ‘friends.’ The past year has been a series of synchronicitous events in my writing. I wrote my third novel for NANOWRIMO 2012. Soon after I opened an email from Village Books announcing a Speculative Fiction Writer’s Group. I went and met Paul Hansen, their General Manager. He read from his own work in progress. Two weeks later, I returned and soon volunteered to manage the group mailing list and reminders.  I met other local writers, now  friends, whom I hope to see in print someday.

Then I was chosen with five other writers to write a Speculative Fiction Serial Story for the local newspaper, The Bellingham Herald, set in Bellingham 100 years in the future. One of the first questions from editor, Dean Kahn, was, “Do you want to read at Village Books?” I wholeheartedly agreed. My theatre background would come in handy. When Dean had to opt out, I stepped in to be master of ceremonies.

The evening came. I dressed for success, imagining what a professional writer might wear and say and do. We went from empty to a crowd in minutes. Sam Kaas, another fabulous VB employee, introduced us and we were off. The evening went well. I handed out postcard promos for my collection: Outward Bound, (already on Kobo) and for my soon to be released debut: All Is Silence. New folks signed up for my mailing list. I thanked Sam. He asked for some cards and asked if I would like to be featured in an eBook newsletter as a local author using Kobo. Of course, I said yes.

All Is Silence by Robert L. Slater

All Is Silence by Robert L. Slater

As a local teacher at Windward High School, I partnered with Village Books in printing WHS’ first annual book of poetry, art and fiction, Whispers in the Wind, using their Espresso Book Machine [EBM]. When it came time to talk about publishing my own book I knew I wanted to partner locally if I could. My initial plan was to have Village Books print my Advanced Reader Copies [ARCs] using the EBM, but unfortunately, the EBM had become unavailable. Brendan Clark, the ever-helpful arm of Village Books’ publishing forays, told me cryptically that I should wait and see what else was in the works.

I had done my homework. I had a plan. VB would print ARCs, then pro-printing with Lightning Source. When I sat down with Brendan and talked about my vision, it turned out what was in the works was a VB partnership with Lightning Source to print books. Turnaround time was longer, but the book cost was better for short runs. Best of all, Brendan Clark would be my go between with Lightning Source.  When I printed 500 copies, the books would be more expensive than going with Lightning Source direct, but only by about 8%. That trade off was perfect. I could partner with Village Books, get the quality I wanted without LS’ legendary lack of author-friendly support. That 8% into my local community and the extra help made it an absolute win-win.

When I got the call from Village Books that my ARCs had arrived, VB personnel and patrons ooed and ahhed as I grinned like a monkey and set my book on the shelf to see what it would look like. The cover wasn’t quite popping so Brendan changed to high gloss for the second set of ARCs. When they came in, the cover popped!

Author Robert Slater promotes All Is Silence at the KWL-sponsored Village Books event in January 2014.

Author Robert L. Slater promotes All Is Silence at a KWL-sponsored Village Books event in January 2014.

I worked on getting final edits in and my cover artist made adjustments. My goal was to have people’s jaws drop when I told them it was self-published. After sending off the ‘final’ edits, I settled into all the other prep work for releasing a book. Then I got an email from Sam. Would I be interested in doing an ePublishing workshop with Kobo? Sure. I had been trying to get All Is Silence uploaded as an ePub to Kobo, and was having issues—too much specialized formatting. So Sam connected me to Mark Lefebvre at Kobo, the main speaker at the workshop. Mark helped me through the process, even purchasing a copy for himself after getting hooked!  The workshop with Mark was great, Paul and Brendan and Sam were great. We had a great crowd and lots of questions.

Mark helped me set up a special pricing deal on a card for the eBook leading up to release of my print book and connect readers to VB eBook opportunities. We gave it out to workshop attendees, Mark took some on the road with him and Sam kept some at VB. Soon, I hit #7 on Kobo’s Young Adult Dystopian Fiction Bestsellers and, for a very short time, #3 behind Veronica Roth’s Divergent and Insurgent on the Young Adult Science Fiction list. [I have the picture to capture the moment.]

My partnership with VB led to many unforeseen benefits. Rumor had it that one major retailer would not allow pre-orders on self-published books. The only way around it was to create a seller’s account and cough up $30 for set up. Because I partnered with VB, and through them Lightning Source and Ingram’s, my book was up for presale internationally on that major retailer for no extra charge. It also got me into the local library system early. I have more books being requested than they have in stock. It’s a great start.

KWL Director Mark Lefebvre presents a workshop on digital publishing alongside Rob Slater at Village Books.

KWL Director Mark Lefebvre presents a workshop on digital publishing alongside Rob Slater at Village Books.

Now my book is in Village Books. They’ll be hosting a novel release party with me on March 14th and after that… who knows. What did I do to get so lucky? When I picked up the first batch of my print books, Paul Hanson told me, “When you first came in you said, ‘What can I do to help?’”

So, writers, ask not what your bookstore can do for you [the answer is plenty], but ask what you can do for your bookstore. Be professional. Communicate warmly, openly and politely. Get off the broken record of “buy my book, buy my book,” and make friends, find partners, and buy books at your local brick and mortar bookstore.

Visit Robert’s website.

All Is Silence on Kobo.

Outward Bound on Kobo.

Learn more about Kobo’s partnership with indie bookstores here and here.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 2,132 other followers

%d bloggers like this: