Normally the expression "But wait... there's more!" refers to those infamous home shopping commercials offering up two for the price of one deals on everything from vacuums to a convertible TV dinner table.
But when it comes to writing, or more specifically, the world of self publishing, this expression is applicable in every sense of the word! It's been a little while since I published Four of a Kind, but wait.. . there is definitely more!
I remember reading somewhere that the actual writing of a book was merely the tip of the iceberg and what follows, in terms of the editing process, was a whole other phase. So if writing is one phase, and editing is another, then - speaking now from experience, there are definitely several more to add on after that, particularly if you have headed down the path of self publishing like myself. So where am I up to? Well, I believe I'm up to the 'Marketing' phase.
The Marketing Phase
If you're well organised, then the Marketing phase in the self publishing process is going to run concurrently with publishing, editing, and even the writing stages, but for those of us who are slightly more haphazard in approach, then the more likely process is to pop your book up on Amazon then sit back and wait for the sales to pour in. And unfortunately, no matter how optimistic one is (and I tend to sway on the side of overly optimistic), sales don't just happen on their own. That is the double edged sword of self publishing; it's accessible to everyone but it also creates a 'little fish gigantic pond' situation. Why when I first released my book, I struggled to even find it myself, so how could I possibly expect anyone else to!
While I walked out of University with a Marketing degree, like I'm sure most of my fellow graduates would assert, the theory is largely impractical in the real world. And even having had some experience throughout my career in the dabbles of marketing, promoting one's book was a new chapter for me. Like most situations that require research, I turned to the internet and found a lot of useful blog posts, websites and news articles with advice on how to go about this as a self published author.
One of the first concepts I began to work on was my website. I already had Writing in Heels, the home of all my work, information about me, and a great platform to plug my work. But what I was missing was an easy-peasy, spoon feeding page of information for potential readers, buyers and media bodies. I created my Media Kit page modelled off a few really great examples I felt online.
- Michael Hyatt Media Kit - A really great example all set out with a variety of components and information
- Stand Out Books Media Kit - Information about what to include in your Media Kit/Author Tool Box
- The Creative Penn Press Kit - More information about sections in your Media Kit/Author Tool Box
While I had some of the aforementioned items ready to populate my Media Kit upon creation, for the most part I created the skeleton page and the next step was to develop the rest of the content.
From what I read, you should get a professional author photo and never change it throughout your entire writing career. Perhaps it's my stubborn side, but I'm not sure I entirely agree with this. An author photo should reflect the author, and as far as I'm concerned, as a person, and even as an author, I change over time. Thus, I think my photo should change to reflect this. Nonetheless, I decided I should probably update my existing photo which was blatantly an amateur snap, with the flash reflected in the window behind my head! (It's a nice pic of me... what can I say!) I got my hubby who I've used as my photographer on numerous occasions, to try and capture a few more 'proper' pics, though admittedly, I am still going to do another new one before my next book!
So now I had a place to direct traffic regarding my book and me as an author, I had some photos of me in case they wanted to include a picture when they featured me in New York Times (okay, I'm still waiting for that call...), but I was still at square one in terms of, how would anyone possibly know to come to this page! It was time for the promotion aspect of the marketing phase, but you'll have to read my next post to hear all about that!
Feel free to check out my Media Kit here!