Since Kaye Publicity doesn’t represent self-published authors, I wanted to dedicate a post to those who go that route. While all the publicity and marketing advice I post can apply to self-published titles, there are a few additional elements that are of special importance to the indie folks:
Cover is everything. The reading public is starting to pick up on the difference between self-published and traditionally published, and many covers are a dead giveaway. Don’t just hire a designer to do something cool. Study the market, both online and in bookstores, and identify the trends. Know the elements of your genre – from the imagery to the fonts used – and figure out a way to blend in and stand out at the same time. It takes a lot of skill to come up with a good cover, but if you know the market and you have a talented designer, you can make it work.
A couple examples of excellent covers in self-published works (in my humble opinion):
HOUSE OF CLOSED DOORS by Jane Steen
BECOMING QUINN by Brett Battles
Online Presence. I’m shocked at how many independent authors don’t have a social media presence or websites that don’t show up in searches. If you self-publish, the majority (if not all) of your sales will be online. When people search your name, your book title, or even something general like “suspense novel,” you want your book and your website to pop up.
Proper tagging and genre shelving. Again, this is the sort of thing most publishers do, but when you self-publish, it’s up to you to identify what genre you fall into and how to tag it so it comes up in searches. This comes from reading similar books and doing extensive market research. You don’t want to put your book in the sci-fi section when it’s really paranormal, or tag it as a mystery when it’s really a thriller. Properly tagging and categorizing your novel will help your search engine optimization and will increase the frequency of popping up on Amazon and B&N searches.
For all the self-published authors out there, feel free to share your own words of wisdom in the comments section!