I had originally planned on having a video shown at the NYC...Live in Roanoke! event in which I show a day in the life of an independent author. I wrote the script, and although humorous and over-the-top, it has a ring of truth to it. Picture me wearing a sandwich board with my book's info on it, running up and down the streets of Roanoke, sped up ala Benny Hill, me ringing a bell ala Monty Python's "Bring Out Your Dead" begging people to buy my book. Exhausted, I would collapse on a bench and then a person would strike up a conversation with me debating if an eBook qualifies as a "real" book or not. It's funny stuff, if I do say so myself, but I just don't have the time to make it happen before next week. It's tongue-in-cheek, but in actuality, the scenario has a ring of truth. No, I'm not walking up and down the streets ringing a bell, but when you're an independent author, it's something you almost have to do in order to get recognized.
Besides writing an interesting book and pricing it fairly, marketing and promotion is one of the most important aspects in being a success. And the goal of marketing and promotion is being "discovered" in the virtual bookstores by people I don't know. I have my author pages. I have my Facebook page. I have my book trailer, which is right up there on Smashwords, but on Amazon, the trailer is only on the author page and not on the main site where Fractured Facade is offered, so it doesn't do much good there. So how does one get discovered on Amazon?
Unfortunately because of the title of my book, when you search for it three other books show up on the page, all of which are about the front of buildings. My "facade" is not about an actual building, but about the hidden nature of people who pretend to be someone they're not. So how would a potential reader know that? According to what I've read it's by the "tags" and reviews that are left on the site. The tags are one word descriptions of the book that people click on if they agree with it.
Most important are the reviews left. It's my understanding that at least ten reviews have to be left before the book gets put into search results. I don't know if that's true or not, but that's what I heard. So far I have three five-star reviews, not too shabby, but well under the magical number of ten. So I am here today, ringing my bell, asking you for yet another favor...Brother, Sister, can you spare a review?
I know it's a pain in the butt, and frankly if I could just cut and paste some of the private messages I have received and posted them on Smashwords, Amazon & Barnes & Noble, I would. Here's just a couple...
"bought your book read it in one day, a first for me. last book i read was "summer of 42" in Mr. geneve's class at NUHS. i connected with much that you said, and spoke of..."
"...I have been wanting to write to you to tell you how much your book hit a nerve with me - so many of the situations were very close to home for me. Is it growing up in Brooklyn in an Italian family that makes so many things so similar? However, all the dysfunctional stuff that goes on in families - guess we all have our skeletons. There were so many things I can relate to - was a very emotional time for me as I read the book and discussed it with my husband and boys. I give you soooo much credit for writing it and don't know how you were able to get through it - truly a labor of love. You have so much to be proud of and I wish you much success in the future; you truly deserve to be published!..."
"...Just finished reading your book - wow!..."
"Bravo! I just finished Fractured Facade and must tell you that the entire time I was reading, I felt like a very good friend was telling me her story. The book is so alive I felt like the story of Marie was actually happening to me. You kept me guessing as to what was real and what might have been fiction. In the end, I surmised that it had all really happened to you and that you only had to change the names. Also, I cried at the end at your lamentations on wishing things could have been said or done differently with your parents. We all have those wishes. There are many lessons to be learned from your book. I like the cavalier way that you faced each situation dealing with the death. I like that you taught us to be careful because evil in people truly does exist when it comes to money. I hope you write another book because I will snap it up immediately..."
Those are just four...there are more, and every single one fills me with such gratitude. And I hate asking for more help, but if you are the author of those wonderful comments, please consider leaving them as a review on the site where you bought the book, whether it be Amazon, Smashwords, Barnes & Noble, wherever. And if you would, click on the tags on Amazon as well as that would really help too.
As you might or might not know, I also have a small business for the last 16 years, and I quickly discovered that spending money on advertising was a waste of time. The best way to be successful is providing a good service, having a good product, and most importantly, word of mouth recommendations. Needless to say, I would be most grateful for your loud shouting! By the way, if you bought the book from Smashwords you can leave a review there and on Amazon. Copy and paste is your friend ;)
Thanks guys and dolls!