It’s been announced with fog-horns this year that 2012 was the year of the self-published author. “Top tip” blogs have become a hot topic in 2013, and they all offer great sensible advice, play with pricing, get your book professionally edited and a professional cover done, make yourself known on social media, get book reviews etc etc. I could repeat most of them in my sleep I’ve read the same list so many times.
So here are my top 5 self-publishing tips you don’t normally hear:
Tip 1: Improve your book’s search rankings with targeted Keywords
Making your novel easily found on the internet is more crucial then media attention – it is even more crucial than distribution. Find out how many searches are being done per month on your topic, or on a book similar to yours, in Google using the Google Keyword Tool. Type in your genre, book themes, similar authors into the tool and it even suggests other similar keywords that people type in which you may not have thought of.
Make sure you use your name, or the name of your series to brand all these different places so readers start to build up a brand recognition for you.
Tip 2: Use the Power of YouTube
YouTube videos rank very highly on Google (favouritism much?) and because Google owns YouTube it applies a little bit of parental bias to the site. Google is also biased to websites and blogs that have a lot of YouTube videos on them.
Tip 3: Use QR codes to add videos, audios and web content to your story
A QR code – for those perched uncomfortably between the land of the land-line and the land of the smart phone – is a 2D barcode, generally square in shape that can be read by barcode apps (on desktops and smart phones).
Consider the types of content a QR code could take a reader to: sample chapters, videos, audios, Facebook ‘like’ pages and the list goes on.
Tip 4: Allow the story to leave the page
The whole novel is written as though you are reading off Facebook, so the next logical step was to create Facebook Pages for each of the main characters. Not only do my characters share videos and photographs with people who like their page (something you couldn’t do with an e-book because it would make the file size too big) they also respond to readers who post.
Tip 5: Collaborate with Other Authors
Once a reader has read all your books they need another author to feed their reading appetite. If you know an indie author whose novel you have read and would recommend, you can collaborate and borrow each other’s readers/traffic. Put their synopsis and a mini version of their cover in the back of your novel and have them do the same for you.
- Germans can’t see meteorite YouTube videos due to copyright dispute (wired.co.uk)
- Five AuthorHouse Steps Towards a Social Media Editorial Calendar (authorhouseselfpublishing.com)