I have been lurking here for years, and I'm ready to come out of the shadows and do more work with book promotion. Here's my story.
Last year I published Memoir Revolution, a book about the power of memoirs to change the world. The book received excellent reviews and I was hoping that my successful blog, Memory Writers Network would help me sell it. This has resulted in fewer sales than I would like.
I am now publishing my book "How to Become a Heroic Writer" as a sort of companion to Memoir Revolution. If you want to write your memoir, you have to become a writer. The second book is a self-help for writers book.
I am now going to revise my book "Learn to Write Your Memoir" - hopefully by the end of the year, I will have completed this revision, resulting in a three part set for aspiring memoir writers.
Over the years that I have been working on this project (since 2004) I have gradually developed my platform and self-promotion skills. And I've had all kinds of excellent advice. Now I need a bit more. Obviously I need help, but within a reasonable budget.
The problem is, I don't know how to bump this up a notch within a reasonable, incremental budget. I would love for example to launch a blog tour or two. Would love to increase my blog traffic and email list. But the cost of a consultant or one on one helper is through the roof. Now I finally understand why book publishers want to "guarantee" sales of 30,000 before they'll touch a book. Getting the book out into the world is complex and expensive.
Anyway, so what am I asking? One question: Is WAENetwork the right place to ask the question? I would love a group of writers who want to help each other solve these problems. I am here in this group at least in part because of Deborah's interest in people. Deborah is this the place to be?
I just googled your name and found this note: Maybe this is it?
WAENet co-founder Deborah Herman is now CEO of a great self-pub website with free conversion software and a mass distribution engine. Sell books from the site with your own page and learn how to successfully promote your books. Check out www.offthebookshelf.com. Membership is free.
So many options, so much to do. Who knew selling was such a big part of writng? (I love your relentless drive to reinvent your business model to suit the new face of publishing. Very inspiring.)
I think WAENetwork is a fine place to ask the question, but I wouldn't stop here. If you're part of other online writing communities, then ask the question in those places, too. From what I've found, getting the word out needs targeting, but it also requires a long-term commitment. It's a Johnny Appleseed situation: you need to spread the information all over, and some information will do better in different places. One advantage of self-publishing is you never have to permanently remove a book from the sales rack.
Most of the books I've published so far have been short story anthologies with multiple authors. Last month, one of our books had its most successful month ever, and it was published in the fall of 2012! It's taken ongoing effort to get the book reviewed, included in online book clubs, and mentioned in seemingly casual posts in social media. It's not a NYT blockbuster, but I'm pleased to say we've had ongoing success with it.
Of course, success is a matter of perspective. If my objective for each book were 30,000 in sales, then I'd have a long wait until I find success.