Today marks the one week anniversary of the release of my first ever book, Tidal Falls.
When I began this journey I did it just to see if I could. It was a childhood dream to one day write a book, sell it to Harlequin, <g> and see my name up in lights.
Two out of three ain’t bad. 🙂
Along the way I’ve met some amazingly kind and generous people, willing to help the new kid on the block figure out the ropes. I can’t tell you how grateful I am, without them I would have stumbled a lot more than I did.
I wish I would have done more research into Amazon’s algorithms. Before you publish make sure you find out all you can about subject choice and keywords. They’re crucial to your books success.
Amazon has an informational page on this, which I used for my list. However, when I actually started the process and was asked to choose my subjects, virtually none of my choices were available. So I chose the obvious.
Bad move. This puts the book into the broadest categories, which means you virtually disappear into the woodwork.
Thanks to some great advice from a new writer friend, I was able to go back in, change my subjects, and achieve some visibility.
Make sure you have a social media presence. Yes, this takes time and effort, but in the end it’s invaluable. Everything I’ve read suggests 80% social and 20% selling is the best formula, and I’d have to agree. No one likes something shoved in their faces. So if that’s your only goal for joining Facebook or Twitter, don’t bother. For myself, I like the connections I’ve made with people in the industry. New friends I would probably never met otherwise. I like the sharing of jokes to lighten the day, and the support shown when someone is going through a rough patch. Everyone needs friends, 🙂
Everyone who reads this blog knows I’m a starch defender of Amazon. I love what they’ve done for the consumer, and for the book industry in general. Coming from a small town, without them, and Harlequin’s reader subscription service, I would have missed out on untold amounts of reading pleasure.
Sure we have a library, but for me, I like to take my time with my books, savour them. I love having the world’s largest bookstore at my fingertips. Heaven.
But from a writer’s standpoint, I’ve run into a few issues that I’d like to share.
First off, I found out to my surprise each of Amazon’s global networks work independent of the other. I know, I know, I should have expected this, I just never realised the ramifications.
When publishing you’re encouraged to set up an Author page on Amazon. Okay, make’s sense. Thanks to an easy tutorial, I managed without too many difficulties, though setting up an RSS feed for my blog was a stumbling block for a while. For anyone who doesn’t know, just add feed to the end of your URL. Ex: jbiggarblog.com/feed/
The second stumbling block came when I learned I needed to do this in the other hosting countries as well. Once wasn’t enough. So for France, and Germany I had to stumble through with no idea if I was doing it right or not.
Lastly, and for me most importantly, they don’t even have an author page in Canada. This is my home, where I wish to shine, and I’m instead having the most issues.
Createspace, who did a beautiful job of producing my paperback, 🙂 doesn’t distribute to Canada. This means anyone wishing to purchase a copy of my paperback must order it through Amazon.com and have it delivered to Canada. You can see the problem with this scenario, shipping.
The funny thing about it is, the paperback is available in every other country. The U.K, France, Germany, Australia.
Just not Canada. What’s up with that?
If anyone has some advice on this matter, we’d love to hear from you.