Guest post by C. L. Ferrari, author of a recent Amazon best-seller, Enriching Your Retirement: How To Find Your Niche, Change Your Thinking, Enjoy Your Future.
My launch was a month ago and I’ve continued to learn about monetizing and direction. The more I learn, the more I realize I need to learn. But today, I will share with you a few things that have affected my understandings and have changed my future plans as a writer.
When I began working on a Christian fiction novel 4 years ago, I had no idea in mind other than getting the story onto paper (so to speak, it was in Word) and exorcising the darkness that inspired it from my being. Little did I know that in June of 2016 I would find an invitation to a summit of authors, act on it, and change the direction of my future.
That summit led me to join SPS and I quickly saw that my novel project wasn’t going to go fast enough for me to learn the process in the time frame I desired. So, I decided to write a short self-help book which both had a relevant topic and a very small time requirement to completion. With that, I could more quickly absorb the lessons I needed to apply to the writing, marketing, and monetizing of my novel.
So you see, my idea of one book turned into two.
During the course of the writing of the self-help, I had the benefit of a coach. A few brief contacts during that endeavor helped me to get to and complete the launch. But this coach specialized in fiction so my goal was to use the bulk of my available contacts for the fiction side of my writing needs. A few things he did tell me though were that financial success rarely comes on the first book and probably not until the 4th or later. Also that in addition to the writing, the marketing would include connecting to influencers. The purpose for that was to gain access to blog and podcast interviews and speaking engagements and possibly even book signings to promote your work.
I balked at that and remember saying something like all I wanted to do was write a book and have people read it. It seemed overwhelming! Time for me isn’t the issue it is for other writers who still work regular jobs. I just retired in January this year. But I also paint and do photography, want to travel, and spend time with my grandkids while they still want to be around me (I know I will lose my “coolness” for a while when they reach that age), so that seemed like a crazy amount of work to do.
But I started grabbing information from other sources. I had spent some money on promoting my book and when I read that you can bypass the paid promos, or at least use them sparingly, with the development of a huge email list of “fans”, I surmised that my next goal was to work on that angle. So I bought into the course of Nick Stephenson to develop my first 10,000 Readers.
I know, I know, it seems like I’d just been spending money like crazy but not getting a lot of return at this point. But I equate it to taking a few college courses. Knowledge is not free but with it you can plant a money tree if you follow the successful paths of others.
Now, one of the first things Nick promotes is the concept that you have to have more than one book to be successful. Also that by making things free, although it seems that you’re just giving away your hard work, you offer readers a taste of your skills. Those who enjoy the sample are likely to come back and buy the product. Kind of like free sample day at the grocery store. If you taste it and like it, you put a package of it in your cart.
That’s why, on your first book, you do the free promo for the 5 days every 90 days as Amazon allows. So mark your calendar and set it up every 3 months. But between the first time and second time you need to do a couple of important things: study your results from the first promo as to the success of each promo site you used and be much more selective the second time, and get very proactive on building your own email list of fans.
Now I’m not going to tell you everything Nick teaches because I paid for it and so should you. But I will tell you that I believe his course is a valuable investment in your career as a writer. I have learned a lot AND those two books I had decided on ….. well, I’m now writing a prequel to my novel (working on both) which will ultimately be a perma free book for the series (which will be the novel and 1-2 other books), I’m writing the first of a series of kids mysteries which will contain no less that 5 books, and I’m sketching out ideas on another fiction mystery series which came to me from a niche discovery using KDP Rocket. I’ll use the lessons taught by both SPS and Nick to build my readership and rely mostly on my own email address list to promote my work in the future and, when I need a new idea, I love to pop onto JF Penn’s website and blog to see what innovative marketing things she is up to.
In a nutshell; the writing seems laborious and the first launch is an emotional rollercoaster. But IF you want people to read your work and to make money at it, that is just the very first step on a long road of experiences both in being the author and in being your own business manager. We wear many hats but they’re all enjoyable. Most importantly, don’t forget that you must always be a student, even when you reach the level of being an expert.
That’s all for this post my friends. I’m immersed in learning and writing and don’t even want to come up for air.
Want more? You can find CheryLynn’s blog HERE.
Till next time, be kind to everyone you meet for we all have our hidden sorrows. ~Tzaddi