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101 Self Publishing Questions

It’s a very exciting time here at ‘The Cross of Santiago’ HQ (that’s the title of my novel… keep up!).  The cover is nearing completion, my final edit is almost at an end (only four more chapters to over-analyse) and so it’s off to Mr. Kindle and Mrs. Smashwords with my manuscript so they can magically make it into an online literary sensation 🙂  Woohoo!  

Now I’ve been doing a lot of research on self-publishing up to this stage, but it’s only when you get this close to publishing that a lot of really important questions need answering pronto.

I suppose the first question is, KDP Select.  What’s it all about, is it worth doing, is it a big mistake not to?  Let’s see what Amazon says about it:

KDP Select – a new option to make money and promote your book. When you make your book exclusive to Kindle for at least 90 days, it will be part of the Kindle Owner’s Lending Library for the same period and you will earn your share of a monthly fund when readers borrow your books from the library. You can also promote your book as free for up to 5 days during these 90 days.

The other thing is, you can’t publish your book on any other platform for the 90 day duration.  That’s three months people, which is a mighty long time, as Prince once said.  But the whole freebie thing, that’s what seems to drive your book up the charts, which is extremely important because it gets you on the ‘Customers also bought’ list, which I have heard described as prime real estate when it comes to marketing.  My question is this: should you use the free days to give your book away to all your family and friends (rather than begging your old aunt Irene to buy your book – which she’ll say she’ll do, but we both know she won’t) or use it to flog to complete strangers on Social Media?  Or both?  Answers on a postcard.

Secondly, reviews.  I’ve already written about how important blogger reviews are to the success of your book, but should you send out your book to be reviewed before the launch, thereby (hopefully) garnering some good reviews on Amazon or Goodreads for potential readers to see?  In which case, should you delay your launch until you’ve got some good reviews in place?

Thirdly, the launch.  I’ve come across quite a few ‘companies’ running book tours, launches, tweet attacks and general tactics to beat people in submission to buy your book online, but do they really work?  I would imagine word of mouth is the best marketing tool (something you’ll only achieve if you’ve written a decent book and people actually like it), but could your book use a little extra help at the launch stage?

So there you have it, three big questions I’m hoping to find the answers to and as soon as I do, I’ll post them  up here.  Alternatively, if any of you out there have already been down this road and wish to share your writerly wisdom, please do add a comment and help a girl out!

 

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