Had an interesting email come in yesterday, a read named John wondering how best to promote his books.
That said, I’m a writer who has self published one book through Amazon’s KDP. With quite a few family obligations finally out of the way, I have an aggressive, but realistic, publishing plan for 2014 that will give me two more novels, a few short stories, and a collection of those stories. I plan on releasing a new free short every 10 weeks. As each new one is released, I’ll change the prior one from free to .99 with my goal being beginning to build an audience. If I’m successful in getting eyeballs on these, my questions would be:
What is the best way of “capturing them” to become readers of a blog or mailing list?
What type of fun/interesting/entertaining material could I regularly email out that isn’t “hey, you should read my next book”?
I’m trying to formalize the marketing end in my mind but honestly, I’d so much rather just spend my time telling stories.
Anyway, thanks for the opportunity. Even if you don’t respond, it was good to formalize these thoughts.
Here’s what I answered:
Great stuff, and thanks for writing.
You just answered your own question, really. If you want to tell stories, just tell them stories. In a way, it’s what I do: I just write something I enjoy writing, knowing there will be people out there who’ll like it. Not quite stories, but the process and the purpose are quite similar.
In my case I can also provide something constructive or useful thanks to my topic, whereas you as a writer don’t necessarily teach. But people still want to hear from you, and if they’re the kind who’d buy your book, they’re very likely to read your emails. Which later makes them buy your books.
Perfect, really. Here’s how a friend of mine does it: [UK writer site]. I’m not buying books these days, he’s not a close friend, and yet I read all his emails. (which would be a given with personal friends). I just like his emails, so I read most all of them.
At some point I’ll probably buy his book as well, even if that’s no longer a habit of mine. Meanwhile I read them, just because I like his style and how his mind works.
So the question: how best to capture them?
Just write, don’t think about it too much. As long as it’s from you, they’ll read it. If they don’t, they’re not likely to become a client at any point anyway, so they are of no concern.
You can write daily life observations, you can do character sketches for new characters, you can write shorts or installments of a novel à la Dickens – anything, really. Life as a writer, progress on marketing and reach, you can take a paragraph you particularly like, and piece it apart to explain how and why you write the way you do – anything, literally, is fair game.
Does that help any?”
Thought you might find this useful.
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