Embarking on a writing career can have you feeling like you’re staring up at a steep mountain with an almost unnavigable path. We’ve all heard the success stories of authors who have sold millions through self-publishing and landed themselves a movie deal, but how did they get there?
The Kobo Writing Life team takes our inspiration from authors like Bella Andre and Amanda Hocking, who during their self-publishing journey have learned a few tricks of the trade to become best-selling authors. Check out these Top 5 Tips for Self-Published Authors:
1. People do judge books by their covers
Bella Andre says she had a sales breakthrough when she started using a retro-looking cover on a series she published under the name Lucy Kevin. The books stood out, and at the same time looked similar to one another which alerted readers to the fact there was more where that good stuff came from. Make sure your cover art draws the reader in and is relatable.
2. Don’t discount discount pricing
Hocking has sold as many as 100,000 books in a month. She made the decision early on to charge just 99 cents for the first book in a series to attract as many readers as possible. Once she had a strong following, she then increased the cover price to $2.99 for each sequel.
Meanwhile, other indie authors sometimes drop their prices to free or 99-cents for a short period to capture a huge number of downloads, which in turn pushes their titles up the best-seller lists, which then gains more attention, more interested readers, and ultimately more sales. With Kobo Writing Life, authors can adjust the price of their work at any given time and for as long as they desire with no restrictions. We also feature books priced $4.99 and under on the home page of the website and in our newsletters to help generate interest and ultimately sales in your titles.
3. The world is your oyster
Kobo sells in 190 countries around the world and has titles in more than 60 languages making self-publishing a great way to instantly access a global audience. Our English titles cross borders easily with Kobo users hungry for new titles so getting started in your international adventure is easy, and when you do decide to be a multi-language author don’t be afraid to take a page out of Bella Andre’s book – she’s already published in seven languages giving the ability to reach more people than possible through traditional publishing means. But remember, you must make sure that you indicate all the countries where you have the rights to your work so readers there can find you.
4. Leverage your network
There are 800-million users on Facebook, 500-million on Twitter, and 180-million people blogging around the world. The power of social media and the ability to tap into communities can be tremendously powerful in helping you get the word out about your book. Promote the links to your books to help fans buy directly from anywhere on your social network.
The best way to link to your eBook on Kobo is to use the following formula:
(replace [eISBN] with the 13 digit ISBN of your eBook)
Also, think about expanding your reach by actively inserting yourself into conversations happening elsewhere. If you’re a romance writer, check out other Facebook fan pages, bloggers, Tweeters and others related to romance and comment within the conversations going on to create reciprocal relationships. But don’t stop there, look at groups that may not be directly connected like Mommy bloggers for romance and travel reads, or gaming enthusiasts for science fiction titles. If someone with thousands of Twitter followers enjoys your commentary or links and retweets them, you’ve just connected with potential new friends.
5. Become a BIG FISH in a small pond
Not everyone can be the #1 NYT bestselling author. There is only so much room at the top, but there are a good number of “smaller” peaks to climb. Kobo recently revealed sales trending information directly on our website. Use it to your advantage. You might not be in the TOP 50 overall bestsellers, but perhaps you’re in the TOP 10 or TOP 25 of a specific category, such as Historical Fiction, Family & Relationships or Travel. Take the information and use it in your marketing efforts to drive interest and attract new fans or to promote your next title. Differentiation is key to attracting new readers.
So there you have it. Go forth, be empowered, and take your self-publishing adventure into your own hands with Kobo Writing Life!
And don’t forget to check out some great indie writers who are making waves with their Kobo Writing Life reads:
- Terry Goodkind – The First Confessor
- Bella Andre – The Look of Love
- Barbara Freethy – One True Love
- Hugh Howey – WOOL
- Joseph Nassise – The Templar Chronicles (Omnibus)
- Blake Crouch – Run
- Paula Todd – Finding Karla: How I Tracked Down an Elusive Serial Child Killer and Discovered a Mother of Three
- Phyllis Smallman – Margarita Nights
- David H. Burton – Broken: A Paranormal Romance
- Katy Leen – The First Faux Pas: A Lora Weaver Mystery