I am new to writing and self publishing, I completed my first novel Scars of Love and have published it through Amazon two weeks ago. I've received hundreds of reviews on my teaser links, but none on the actual book yet, making it harder to market I assume. So my questions are, am I expecting too much too soon? Is this a process that takes a considerable amount of time to take off when your first starting out and attempting to establish a name for yourself?
Also any suggestions on marketing my book and getting more followers and people to review my book, would really be appreciated.
Any expectation is usually confounded by reality. If your book hits the right people at the right time, you can become a success very quickly (the example that springs to mind is GP Taylor with Shadowmancer: he self-published and within a few months he had a multi-book deal with Faber and was everywhere).
If it doesn't hit the right mark, it can takes years, or may never happen at all (Melville, Poe, Kafka and Lovecraft all had to die before anyone took much notice). Just remember, it doesn't have much to do with the quality of your work (for which consider the difference between Taylor and Kafka for instance!), and not a huge amount to do with the effort you put into marketting it (my first book was a big hit and I did no promotion whatever for it; later books that I have pushed have been slower). It's all about that fickle and infuriating master, Luck.
The best thing to do as your first book finds its feet is to write the second. Then the third, the fourth and the tenth. If success does come slowly, then once people do find you there is a wealth of back-catalogue for them to mine and you will be rewarded for your efforts. If it never happens, then at least you've spent time doing what you enjoy instead of pondering the imponderables about the book business!
I know that doesn't address your question about how to market and get reviews, but there will be others here who are more qualified to answer that than me.
I can definitely see your point and you are one hundred percent correct. I have started on my second book already to keep myself distracted as well as motivated, thanks so much for your advice.
My book was published by Comfort Publishing last December, and I was left the responsibility to market it myself, and I can tell you first hand, it is not easy, and yes, it is hard to take off and make a name for yourself. My best advice is join social networks like FB and Twitter if you haven't already, and post something about your book every single day. Join a book club, or start one. Give copies out, if you have them, to every reader you know. Ask to do a book signing at your local book store(s). Use your imagination to get the word out. Having said that, I've done all of these things and more and still waiting on reviews to come in. It may take more than one book to get your name established, and knowing the right people too, and I think getting in with a huge publisher helps considerably. Self publishing is daunting in my opinion, but I wish you well, so from one author to another, don't ever quit!
Nicely put Jolee!
I am not using twitter but I am thinking of opening an account. I am on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/pages/Battle-Cry/346988732048478?ref=hl), but I am not sure how to spread the word to more people about my book. I tried boosting my Facebook page and I got an overwhelming response, yet I don't see the results in sales. Also, I had my first book signing this past weekend and it was successful. I had a great time and sold some books. Any help you can offer on other ways to promote my book would be greatly appreciated.
Last year, I published my first book entitled, Battle Cry,but I waited to promote it due to errors on the e-book version that weren't resolved until this year. It didn't feel right promoting a book that wasn't up to my expectations. Needless to say, I learned a lot about editing a book in order for it to look the same in e-book format. The main reason I had difficulties formatting my book into an e-book is because I have drawings inside. Thankfully, I was able to pretty much resolve all of my issues and my book is now available for kindle, nook and google e-readers. I am still waiting on iTunes, they are a tough nut to crack, very picky and detailed oriented. It is in the final stages though.
Anyway hope to hear back from you soon. Happy writing.
Thank you for that, I have done many of those things so far but you are right there is also a lot more marketing I can do. Thanks for the advice I really appreciate that.
Jolee Wilson just gave you a good advice 'DON'T GIVE UP'. I am also a new author. I just published my second book ON THE BRIDGE yesterday. It only available on Kobo for pre-order until 31/10/13. I created a Facebook fan page and Twitter account to get more publicity. I write a post daily to keep my fans entertain. I also, use Facebook's advertising to reach readers in my targeted countries. For £5, I attracted more than 5,000 people to view my page yesterday. I think it takes longer for most books to takes off if little or no advertising is done. Some authors are very lucky their books becomes popular from day one.
Also, as Alan Porter mentioned, you need to write more book. I think most readers preferred authors that have more than one books.
Honestly, I am new to this writer's world and I am learning everyday.
It definitely takes time - although as Alan mentioned, you could get lucky and hit the right people at the right time, and then we'll all be sitting around saying "I knew Marlene Gonzalez when....!"
I disagree that success is purely a matter of luck. It's about reaching out to the niche of readers who are most likely to love your story and being a part of those communities. As Ada said, blog about topics your community is fascinated by. Post on your favorite social media sites, and use hashtags so people who are looking for what you chatter about can find you. This will lead to followers who actually want to hear what you have to say.
Beyond that, approach bloggers - not just book reviewers, but anyone who writes in the community of your readers - and offer them review copies. Approach family and friends who read in your genre and ask them to write a review on Amazon. The key to this strategy is to become known to people outside your circle of acquaintance.
And while you're blogging and chatting up reviewers, get started on Book 2 :)
As everyone has already said -just keep pushing and promoting. It can take ages and then suddenly take off for no apparent reason. Use the social networks such as facebook and twitter plus get it on as many book sites as possible. Amazon is fine but there are lots of others who allow self publishing - and get your friends to buy it and leave reviews. Don't be shy about telling people you've written a book!
And good luck
It will take time but hopefully it'll all work out in the end.. I've had my book out since April and its trickling away, not moving mountains but the word is out there. As already mentioned, start a facebook and twitter page, maybe tumblr or pinterest. Whatever social networking sites you know, just create a page and update it regularly. As of yet, I'm plugging away but only one review on my goodreads page but non on amazon or any of the other online retailers. But persistence is the key.
Everyone's advice is good, sometimes it can happens right away and other times it can take several years and multiple books for you to get a name for yourself. See if you can get your book on NetGalley so that professional readers can give you reviews. Become best friends with bloggers, if they like you chances are no matter how busy they are they will make the time to read your book. Organize a blog tour either by yourself or through a tour company that has interviews, excerpts, reviews and a giveaway. You give away a few copies of your book and not only are you getting the word out, but you are also having someone read the book a possibly writing a review for it. I checked your Goodreads profile and there is no information there beyond your book, you need to add a photo and update the profile. Become active in that community, bloggers that I have talked to are wary right now about accepting books from authors they don't know or who are not actively promoting their books because of the recent scandal. I know that if you sent me a request to review your book based on the information I see I would say no simply because I could not verify your identity. Like everyone else said get on Twitter and Facebook as well, interact with people the best advertising can be word of mouth.
Busy Moms Book Reviews
Thanks to all of you for the great advice, sorry it took so long for me to respond, I really needed to take a break from anything book related for a few days. I have been spending so much time writing and promoting my book, now working on my second book, aside from being a wife, a mother and working full time, that I felt I just needed a break from reality, so I grabbed my husband and kids and took off to camp in the white mountains. But now I am back and will be putting all of your advice to good use. Thanks again!