Steve Nedelton asks me this morning how have I sold so many books... here is my public answer.
from: Caroline Gerardo
to: Steven Nedeltonsubject: re: Friends
I never pay for ads, submissions, or permission.Be yourself but be fearless - expect failure but be ready to get up and be better. I'm working on my craft as my number one goal. I write seven days a week - work full time and am sole provider for my family... all that aside I am going to give you some input here and please put your turtle shell on and ears open (I have a desert tortoise who is the dearest).
Focus on three silos at max- you need to budget your time for the number one (writing and family) above.
Pick three different internet tools and one live face to face one.
Buddy up with authors not necessarily same genre ( but you will find kindred make the most sense if they are smart and understand we are not competing with each other).
You need to blog- you need to pour your writing practice warmups in the blog or do reviews of what you adore. Wordpress is fancier I use Blogger just because I'm a loyal Google brander. Don't bother with writing things that bore you or are negative - people don't want that in short posts. Naysay will drag your heart down.
You MUST change your photo on amazon -it is GREEN and you need a haircut and a relaxed look. The glasses are good you have a cute face but the picture is awful and readers (like everything in the world) judge a book - and the author by its cover. Be you. Its fine to be quirky, authors never dress fashionable.
Think branding - your writing, your presence, your posts, are your whole soul opened for ridicule. Be fearless, I repeat. Link up your silos but don't link all four - link two and two because readers will get bored with "buy my brand." I started using twitter 42 days ago, and just love the flash fiction aspect of writing without self editing, this may not be for you.
Go fill out Listorious with all the definitions and details. You can add- tags. What are your brand's five tags? USE them. Mine are: literary, poetry, fiction, contemporary, books. Yours I'm going to poke here are probably: thriller, spy, nerd, smart, books.
I don't like Facebook but many authors just love it and sell books there, try it maybe you will be better there than I. I'm on Linkedin and dabble in some writers and filmmakers groups (I've produced before but not where I'm headed today). Linkedin has sold books for me to business people- most authors will tell you linkedin doesn't work for them. Goodreads doesn't sell books but is an easy place to display covers, find those buddies, and read other work to push yourself to grow. Amazon is where your links all need to point to. Amazon sells the largest percentage of paper and ebooks. Amazon slam dunk beats them all. Go look at the big boys Amazon pages Follet Baldessari Crais - they aren't even getting close to what indie authors have figured out: a slick book trailer does not sell your book- content does. The content is you - so be fearless, bleed content, the world is starved for new. God they are so tired of T.V. if you are true to your "brand" you will succeed.
Other methods: indie bookstores go to readings, go to your local library and leave fliers - try different things, figure out what works for you.
I haven't done blog tours- some swear by this and physical tours J A Konrath is a master at the dog and pony show from the back of his car and he blogs about it. He and Locke know how to package and market on a budget with great success.
Authors Den, Agent Query, Bookcountry, a million others find the ones that you like.
Russell Blake said to me yesterday, this is a long haul not a foot race
Read. Be happy. Pay it forward. Be kind. Let the trolls and negatives roll off like a duck.
buy steve's books here:
while you are at it buy Russell's
better yet buy all my books....