Author Topic: Good forums to promote my novel?  (Read 5475 times)  

Online boxer44

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Re: Good forums to promote my novel?
« Reply #75 on: November 28, 2020, 10:47:33 am »
We've seen pros not as good as amateurs and both amateurs and pros that should try something else. Also seen both pros and amateurs so artistic no one can compare. It's all in what you like and how much time you spend learning to express what you like and want. Don't let that deter you.  You're in charge, succeed or fail ...

I'm a pro photographer and a pro writer.  BUT, we all had to learn sometime, we all began as amateurs. Yes, I create all my own covers in my genre, action and espionage, but would never attempt the artistry required in Fantasy or SYFI. Some genre covers are more difficult than others, and the competition pretty fierce. Some readers probably like my covers, some probably do not.  Same with writing, some like certain authors and certain genres, some do not. Not every writer or artist will please everyone - take what you get, and run with it.  You only fail if you quit.  :)   

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    Offline Brian D. Anderson

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    Re: Good forums to promote my novel?
    « Reply #76 on: November 29, 2020, 06:47:18 am »
    What you're hoping for isn't new. Bookbub results without the Bookbub price tag. It doesn't exist. And despite that you might have been told it once did (back in the good ole days), it didn't.
    There's a few things to consider before you dive off into the bottomless money pit that is book ads. The first and most important factor is whether your book is truly ready for the level of recognition you want? After a quick read through the first few paragraphs I could see right away that while there's nothing glaringly wrong with your writing, a good editor would have made several suggestions. For example: "tapping his fingers rhythmically". While not awful, it is amateurish in style. You shouldn't take that as an insult. It's an easy fix. "Tapping out a cadence" or simply removing the word "rhythmically" would do it. I'm giving you two quick examples off the top of my head, so don't take it as an actual editing suggestion. My point is a good line editor would have caught it.
    The bar for indie prose is higher than it was when I started. You want success? Begin by finding yourself good editors. And don't worry too much about my criticism of that one line. I've committed worse sins over the years. What's important is that you strive to improve. This doesn't mean you have to be some sort of genius wordsmith. My own writing is not crammed with purple prose. And there are scores of writers far better than I could ever be. But there is a level of skill and competence that will separate you from the pack. Your chief goal should be reaching it.   
    The next consideration is the story itself. Not having read your book I couldn't say one way or another how compelling the plot and characters are. But if the story isn't there, the book will fail, regardless how well written. This is where beta readers, critique groups, and developmental editing become important.
    I could go on, but I think you get the point.
    Indie publishing is a business. And a business requires investment. Editors, covers, formatting, ads, etc. can end up costing a small fortune. And that's not accounting for the years spent honing your skills. This is partly why many books never see more than a handful of sales.
    I wish you luck.

    « Last Edit: November 29, 2020, 07:01:05 am by Brian D. Anderson »
    Brian D. Anderson

    Offline Almyrigan Hero

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    Re: Good forums to promote my novel?
    « Reply #77 on: November 29, 2020, 09:07:08 am »
    Yeah, honestly, that's why I'm waiting for my KDP select enrollment to run out before I really do anything in terms of marketing. Not gonna lie: in the most classic of all rookie mistakes, I skimped. Skimped on professional editing and beta reading, didn't even know about advanced reviews, was a bit too confident in myself and my immediate group, we were all a bit too eager to get started on the publishing journey...you know the drill. That sweet, sweet rush of having just finished your first serious work, followed by the creeping slow-motion crash of wondering how finished you actually were, once it's already just a bit too late to slam on the brakes. I'm just happy the air bags popped out before I started spending, honestly.

    I'm still fairly confident in the overall plot and characters, all things considered. I'm not experiencing any sort of crushing hindsight embarrassment, aside from maybe a few cases of avoidable exposition or the odd clunky line (pacing is my main worry,) and while I aimed for originality, I didn't go at it from an 'as experimental as possible' mindset. That said, if the first reviews I get are bad, at this point...where exactly do I go from there? Are major revisions several months after a book's release acceptable form, or do I just 'make the sequel better?'
    « Last Edit: November 29, 2020, 09:19:37 am by Almyrigan Hero »

    Online NikOK

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    Re: Good forums to promote my novel?
    « Reply #78 on: November 29, 2020, 09:56:02 am »
    That said, if the first reviews I get are bad, at this point...where exactly do I go from there? Are major revisions several months after a book's release acceptable form, or do I just 'make the sequel better?'

    Well, there're a few things that you could do, and I think it just all depends on how concerned you are with reviews.

    -If you are very worried about bad reviews you could pull the book down and put it back up when you have a newer/more polished version.  This might also benefit you if you are doing this as a series because readers do like to see that there are more books in the series, so if you are working on the next one you could release them pretty close to each other.  The downside of this is that it's going to slow you down and gunk up your system with trying to manage edits, covers, and the next book at the same time.

    - If you are somewhat worried about bad reviews you could leave it up and see what happens.  I wouldn't start really pushing marketing until you have your newer version, but you could throw it out there, use your select free days, and see what happens.  This would kind of let you work on things at your leisure, and honestly, if you are not marketing and if amazon doesn't for some random reason suggest your book to everyone, then it's a not much in and not much out situation.  Maybe you get some reads here or there, but at least your work is out there.  Then make a big push when all your ducks are in a row.

    - If you are not worried about bad reviews too much, then just plow ahead.  Bad reviews will happen, it's a fact of life, but at least you could see what a randomized audience thinks of your work.  This would probably be the most uphill battle because you will have to address problems you have on the fly, people might be waiting for the next in the series, and oddballs out there will always find something they don't like about the book.

    I think a rerelease of your final version would be the most professional play.  Personally though, I've done a lot of updates and revisions with my book up, and haven't really had any problems.  My reviews are mostly consistent even if I don't always have my best foot forward.  But I might also be super lucky.  At the end of the day it might be a question of what you want to get out of it.  If you are dead set on being a pro writer, then it might not be wise to take a lot of chances.  If you want to get your stories out there, have fun with it, and see what happens, then the worst that can happen is a few bad reviews.

    Online ShayneRutherford

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    Re: Good forums to promote my novel?
    « Reply #79 on: November 29, 2020, 11:00:33 am »
    That said, if the first reviews I get are bad, at this point...where exactly do I go from there? Are major revisions several months after a book's release acceptable form, or do I just 'make the sequel better?'

    One thing that's important to keep in mind is that your first book serves as your introduction to all potential readers, and as a funnel that will draw readers into the rest of your series. If it's not a compelling story, readers will be far less inclined to give the next book in the series a try. Also, when you put a higher price on it, people will likely expect more and hold it to a higher standard than if you were selling it for $2.99. Especially if you're planning to go wide - the people who frequent other stores seem to have a higher standard than Amazon readers do.

    So, now that you've realized you skimped on beta reading and editing, this would be a really good time to do something about it. You've got roughly 2 months before your Select term runs out, which gives you plenty of time to take a second look at your work and see where it might need some attention. I would recommend hiring a professional beta reader rather than relying on favors - the pro readers will be more likely to give you solid feedback, and they'll get it to you in a timely fashion. I've never used Frostbite Publishing, but they've been around for years and have very reasonable prices. You also might want to give ProWritingAid a try. Until tomorrow night they have a 50% discount on the lifetime subscription. It's not as good as a real editor, but it can help with things like overuse of adverbs and doubled words.

    I know you said if the first reviews you get are bad, but if you do get poor reviews to start off it can be harder to get other people to read the book, and therefore harder to get more reviews to help make up for those first poor reviews. So, since you have the time, and you're thinking that you jumped the gun, there's no reason not to use the time you have to give your manuscript a second look and try to give it a bit more polish.


    https://www.frostbitepublishing.com/beta-reader/

    https://prowritingaid.com/

             

    Offline Brian D. Anderson

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    Re: Good forums to promote my novel?
    « Reply #80 on: November 29, 2020, 01:42:14 pm »
    Yeah, honestly, that's why I'm waiting for my KDP select enrollment to run out before I really do anything in terms of marketing. Not gonna lie: in the most classic of all rookie mistakes, I skimped. Skimped on professional editing and beta reading, didn't even know about advanced reviews, was a bit too confident in myself and my immediate group, we were all a bit too eager to get started on the publishing journey...you know the drill. That sweet, sweet rush of having just finished your first serious work, followed by the creeping slow-motion crash of wondering how finished you actually were, once it's already just a bit too late to slam on the brakes. I'm just happy the air bags popped out before I started spending, honestly.

    I'm still fairly confident in the overall plot and characters, all things considered. I'm not experiencing any sort of crushing hindsight embarrassment, aside from maybe a few cases of avoidable exposition or the odd clunky line (pacing is my main worry,) and while I aimed for originality, I didn't go at it from an 'as experimental as possible' mindset. That said, if the first reviews I get are bad, at this point...where exactly do I go from there? Are major revisions several months after a book's release acceptable form, or do I just 'make the sequel better?'
    I really couldn't say where to go from there. What I would do and you should do aren't likely to line up. Though in the general sense our goals are the same - write good books that people want to read - we're in very different places. So I might not be the best one to give you advice on your next step. Much of my knowledge of what it takes to start an indie career is probably outdated anyway.
    If you think working with an editor exposes a few clunky lines and poor word choices you need to be prepared. It's far worse than you think. At least it is if you hire an editor who tells you what you need to hear rather than what you want to hear. It can be an ego crushing experience. One for which you need to develop thick skin. But it will make you a better writer. If you really want to know where you stand as it pertains to skill, solicit a few unbiased reviews from bloggers. It may take a while, but in the end you'll have a firmer grasp on the issue. There are pros like me who can tell you, but they probably won't unless you force them into a corner. It's not a thing we enjoy doing. It makes us uncomfortable. Partly because we find ourselves being as brutal with the aspiring writer as editors and reviewers are with us. It's simply how we relate. Writers can be squeamish about it when on the distributing end. All-in-all we're a nice bunch and hate to dump on the dreams of others. 

    addendum - I forgot to say congratulations. Regardless the outcome, writing a novel is a big thing. Even if you've reached the limit of where you go with this  completing your book is an accomplishment no one can take from you.
    « Last Edit: November 29, 2020, 01:51:14 pm by Brian D. Anderson »
    Brian D. Anderson

    Offline Almyrigan Hero

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    Re: Good forums to promote my novel?
    « Reply #81 on: November 29, 2020, 04:56:38 pm »
    The thing is, as stubborn as I can be on big-picture issues, I'm fairly willing to re-evaluate specifics. This whole cover discussion serves as good indication of that, I think.

    The real meat of my story is the world it takes place in, the mystery surrounding it, and the gradual falling into place of pieces. If an editor or beta reader told me that some secondary character should be axed, or a subplot should simmer a bit faster or slower, or a minor arc takes up too much time without really going anywhere, or a main character's motivations are a bit weak, I could actually see myself being reasonably flexible on those sorts of points. There are, obviously, a few points of no compromise with implications reaching beyond the first book, and when it comes to that ultimate puzzle box everything revolves around I'm going to put my foot down a lot more, but I won't cry myself to sleep over the notion of having to clarify the villain's goals a bit more thoroughly.

    Offline jb1111

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    Re: Good forums to promote my novel?
    « Reply #82 on: November 29, 2020, 07:20:40 pm »
    I didn't read all of this thread.

    Saw the cover of the OP's book, and some of the accompanying discussion. Only input I can give is if you're going to have a cover -- be it your own or a pro-designed one -- make sure the title is bold and easy to read.

    You can have the coolest, trendiest and most pro-drawn or illustrated cover in the world, and if the title is something readers have to hunt for you've shot yourself in the foot. There are readers who still look for books using their Kindle, and on a Kindle the book thumbnails are very small, and sometimes that's all you get in the carousel of new books, suggested-for-you's, or also-boughts -- a very small thumbnail.

    So keep that in mind if you update the cover, or have one made for you. It won't guarantee sales, but will help get eyes on the book, and hopefully get people to purchase.

    Offline spacedin

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    Re: Good forums to promote my novel?
    « Reply #83 on: December 01, 2020, 06:14:47 am »
    I agree with what @jb111 said about your cover, OP.

    Also, the following:

    (1) It doesn't matter how good your book, writing, story, craft, or anything is if you can't get visibility. The only way to get visibility is to advertise. Just putting a book up on Amazon isn't helpful, and after the first 30 days, any new-book visibility you might've had is gone. Try different ads, spend just a little, see if you get any traction. Do not overspend.

    (2) I gather that this is the first book in a series. It'd probably be better if you waited until at least book 2 is published before you start spending much on book 1.

    (3) You have to decide for yourself how you want to approach your writing career. Are you doing this to make money? If so, you have to stick with the market, write those tropes into the ground, and forget about what it is you really want to write/say/do. No amount of editing or cover design or ad budget can make a book a success if it's not what the market wants. On the flip side of that, really poorly written books can be huge successes if they hit the market in the right spots. Don't believe me? Open up the Look Inside on top-selling indie books in several genres. Good to-market storytelling is far more important than "good" writing. Readers don't care. They want a story they enjoy.

    (4) Pricing. Indie authors have destroyed the pricing of ebooks so that even $3.99 seems "expensive" for a 100K-word Kindle edition by a little-known author. I don't know what to tell you about this except that pricing your book above $3.99 is probably pointless. Do you want nonexistent royalties? Or do you want people to buy your book and make practically nothing from each sale? Hey, even at $0.99 with the 35% royalty, if you sell 2,000 books, you've made $700.

    (4) Whatever you do, do not ever give up. Keep writing. You'll figure it out as you go along.

    Online boxer44

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    Re: Good forums to promote my novel?
    « Reply #84 on: December 01, 2020, 06:59:27 am »
    Quote:  (4) Pricing. Indie authors have destroyed the pricing of ebooks so that even $3.99 seems "expensive" for a 100K-word Kindle edition by a little-known author. I don't know what to tell you about this except that pricing your book above $3.99 is probably pointless.

    That's kinda it in a nutshell for the Indie populations. 

    Advertising and promotion costs kill the profit margin, especially for new authors. Therefore ups the budget investment it requires for new or 'un-famous' Indies to gain traction in the markets. Unlike Trads, as individual start-ups, we are less able to push our non-existent and ready-made Trad markets. And, if an Indie has a limited budget, it often forces an e-book into the free or discount market, which lessens the revenue even more. We all understand it takes money to make money ... but Indies really shot themselves and future Indies in the foot with a 12 gauge not a simple .22 when e-books launched all those years ago. Tough to recover from that original pricing error.

    A good, well-written story should have the same value no matter who writes it.

    Offline spacedin

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    Re: Good forums to promote my novel?
    « Reply #85 on: December 01, 2020, 07:09:31 am »
    What @boxer44 said--I totally agree.

    For an indie with an audience, turning out a 15K- or 20K-word book, especially in a series (or better yet, a serial) every week at $0.99 makes some sense, especially in KU, since page-read revenue probably outdoes the sales revenue. But for those of us who write 80K+-word novels that take more than a week or two to write . . . well . . .

    Offline jpchoquette

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    Re: Good forums to promote my novel?
    « Reply #86 on: December 01, 2020, 07:25:00 am »

    You'll find a big list of promo sites here: https://davidgaughran.com/best-promo-sites-books/


    This is really helpful, thank you, Simon!

    Offline spacedin

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    Re: Good forums to promote my novel?
    « Reply #87 on: December 01, 2020, 07:30:43 am »
    This is really helpful, thank you, Simon!

    I just looked through the list and mostly agree with it, but please note that lately Bargainbooksy hasn't produced good results for the amount of $ it costs. Other authors have had a similar experience. I still use Freebooksy for free books--they're terrific--but Bargainbooksy is off my list.

    Also, in my experience, BookRaid and BKnights are good for both free and bargain books.

    Offline Julia2233

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    Re: Good forums to promote my novel?
    « Reply #88 on: December 03, 2020, 09:32:02 am »
    This is an interesting discussion, and I want to add my two cents. I know that many people promote their books on such sites as Goodreads, Book Buzz, Scribd, GoodKindles, Writers.net, Wattpad. Have you tried them?

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