These words billowed through my brain all the way home across the country; it was the primary message I came away with from the 6th Self-Publishing Conference in UK’s Leicestershire on Saturday last.
As a writer of waffle, a blog and captions below instagram photos (Viola_Bleu), the drive to become more efficient and effective has been building for some months and I know if you’ve been here a while you’ll have recognised this in my posts.
Had I been attempting to create pieces of fiction twenty years ago, and had I thought them quality enough to be shown in public without disgracing myself, there would have been only traditional routes open to me – submit to agents and publishers advertised in the backs of magazines, newspapers and throughout the pages of the Writers & Artists Yearbook.
That’s all changed.
The internet and the growth of Amazon and its self-publishing section created a wave, no a tsunami, of previously unpublished works written by thousands, probably millions of previously unknown authors. They took – and take daily – the opportunities offered by the internet, with links to kindle and e-readers, to have their pages available for reading by the masses; the ‘outside world’ of readers across the planet, in fact anyone with internet access and a desire to read.
Clever covers can be uploaded to create the effect of a ‘real book’ (even if it is only available as an ebook) which will hopefully draw those googling readers to their words rather than the hundred listed either side of the result of their months/years of blood sweat and tears. POD (print on demand) options gives writers a chance to sell copies of their books in paperback form as readers press the relevant option on their Amazon app ‘Buy in Paperback’ .. and hot off the press, a copy is printed, packed in those exciting cardboard packages with the special rip open feature that you wish could be repeated, so good is the sound.
Publishing your book is one thing. Marketing and ensuring sales happen is really quite another.
Enter the FairyGodmothers of self-publishing.
There are, naturally, competing organisations offering similar services, but I’m sharing my thoughts with you here of Troubador because I now have first hand experience of their personas and the effort they put in to running this conference. So, already they are leaders in my mind because that right there – the conference – means they understand what marketing is about. A whole day of organised talks by experts in the business of self publishing.
If they’d written their debut novel; I’d now be buying a copy. Just take a look at the sessions which were available;
For self-published writers who choose NOT to use experts along the way, they rely solely on reviews from their early readers (ideally good ones) to invite further readership. It is a little like pyramid selling and your baby is the product, yet you’re no longer in control of its destiny, your readers are.
Now I’m not a pushy salesman type and it is why my day job is in the service industry. My clients recommend me to their friends. In effect, I’ve left the PR to existing clients who are happy with my work, use me year in year out and who talk about me to their friends. My job is to provide top quality repairs on their expensive horse rugs and to deliver back to them ultra clean and waterproof rugs so their precious beasts stay snuggly and dry throughout the winter months.
With my writing, I would prefer my job to be the creation of something worth reading, and leave much of the PR to people who know what they’re doing. Troubadour and their umbrella company Matador, plus the other attached organisations such as The Book Guild Ltd, all offer a variety of services, details of which can be obtained on their website link above. These guys would help me with marketing, opening doors to even more people who know the business. They have tips on how to approach your own PR campaign as your confidence grows.
Here are some tips from the brilliant Guide we all received in our goodie bags …
We also had the privilege to listen to a talk by Molly Flatt who is (her words) an ‘entrepreneur’ of the modern age, a social media guru with many years to her name in the literary world of work. Her book is due out imminently – ‘The Charmed Life of Alex Moore’ … please go and check her out if you don’t follow her already because, quite frankly, your life simply isn’t complete without her in it.
Man of the Woods was simply amazing while I was away moving daughter one day, at a writing conference the next. He fed himself, and our son, went shopping and made sure I would not run out of bisuits for ages, bless him. Look Patty – our favourite!
With the Curtis Brown Creative 6-week online course in which I am partaking from next week, support from MOTW, Matsu always close, and Troubadour up my sleeve, there’s really no excuse is there.
Daily Word Prompt