How to Self-Publish #6 - Close the Loop

I feel about a hundred years old when I say: "These days everything is connected." But... they are. For example, when I post on this blog it automatically pushes the post to my Twitter, Tumblr, and Facebook and beneath the post there are Sharing options for Wordpress, Facebook, Tumblr, Twitter, Reddit, Digg, Pinterest, Blogger, and even the now-old-school-option of email. People just have Gmail accounts these days to log in to Facebook. It's true, don't deny it. Wordpress allows a Print option too which I like to believe someone still uses.

Let me explain with some simple diagrams:

Closing the loop is an incredibly important step as you don't want to leave people who love your work unable find out anything else about what you're up to. Readers do follow characters from one book to the next, but they're really more interested in who is writing these stories. Harry Potter isn't in JK Rowling's new book A Casual Vacancy (at least I don't think he is... NO SPOILERS!), but orders are through the roof because the person who created Harry Potter is writing a new book. Readers are interested in her.

Readers are interested in you too.

Here's a start:

  • Build a blog for yourself via Wordpress, Blogger, Tumblr, etc and write about whatever interests you. There will be others with your same interest, they will follow your blog, and in time they may just buy a copy of your book. Be sure to do the same with other bloggers and follow ones you're interested in back.
  • Create a GoodReads/LibraryThing author page. Both of these sites are tremendous resources for authors to stay in touch with their fans, set up giveaways, and become part of the writing/reading community.
  • Update your Amazon Author Central with these links. As mentioned previously, your Author Central will display your tweets and blog posts and is a great hub for fans to read more about you on Amazon.
  • Link to all of your sites (or Twitter) in the back of your book. This is a relatively new idea, but follow Hugh Howey's lead (the author of the mind-bendingly popular Wool self-published-turned Ridley Scott optioned Sci-Fi and other adjective-filled phenomenon). When someone finishes your book don't leave them hanging... give them a place to learn more about you, your other works, communicate with you and perhaps even a supply them with a gentle nudge to leave you a review.

If you just put your book on Amazon people would have to use a search engine or the Amazon site to specifically look for you or your book, but if you have all these other outlets people might find you for a variety of reasons. It's far too time consuming to post every article you write and about every one of your books on all of these sites but you never know... someone else might just do it for you so leave these options open. Choose the ones you like (I stick to Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Wordpress, Goodreads mostly [fusion_builder_container hundred_percent="yes" overflow="visible"][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type="1_1" background_position="left top" background_color="" border_size="" border_color="" border_style="solid" spacing="yes" background_image="" background_repeat="no-repeat" padding="" margin_top="0px" margin_bottom="0px" class="" id="" animation_type="" animation_speed="0.3" animation_direction="left" hide_on_mobile="no" center_content="no" min_height="none"][that's already too many I feel]) and make them work for you. Connect them. Tag them with descriptive keywords. Give others a way, and a reason, to find you.

Though I mostly write about writing/self-publishing, my posts about a web series I work on and the travelogues I've put together are often how many new people find this blog. Some of those visitors see the ads for my books and short stories. And some of those just happen to make a purchase.

The more lines you have in the water, the more chances you have to catch a fish.[/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]