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heavycat said:
This is just this week. (Paraphrasing other threads here)

1. Select has run its course.
2. Twitter and Facebook are time sinks (as is all social media, presumably)
3. Paid advertising is a waste of money (Except Bookbub, but only if you're one of the few and anointed in advance)
4. Book review sites don't drive sales (So don't bother soliciting reviews)
5. POI and ENT are too clogged with submissions to care about your free book (see above)

So, for the author who is just starting out, there's no reliable way to market their book, no matter how hard they work. Every marketing option is followed up with a credible "don't bother" from someone on this board.

What am I missing?
I say meh, and a few other things that I can't repeat here on KB. I know several new authors who are doing very well out of the gate. And it's because they listen to the advice given to them from authors who have experience. You have to write good books, and you need several of them. AND THEN...you need to keep writing great books on a schedule that keeps you at the top of the ranks. Amazon works on a cycle. You have to keep feeding it. I have a book coming out every two months this year. Three of them are written, but I still have 5 books to write and 2 anthologies. I work 14-16 hours a day, and I do everything. It's hard.

Marketing does work. You have to market. Social media is marketing. Reader conferences and book events are marketing. Be visible. The more people see your name, the better off you are. I took advice from others who gave it when I started, and I published 5 books at one time, and then I kept it growing, all the while building my fan base. You have to do EVERYTHING (Steps 1-5 and then steps 6-42 that aren't listed) for this to work. And here's the thing...it doesn't happen overnight. It doesn't happen in a year. And sometimes it doesn't happen in two years. Keep writing and building your catalog and your fan base. It'll eventually work if you keep writing good books. On the other hand, sometimes it does happen quickly. A lot depends on genre, your Internet presence and a whole host of other things.

1.) I've tried Select. I've never liked it and didn't think it worked that great when it started. Every second you spend in Select is a second you're not building your fan base at other outlets. It doesn't matter if Select is getting you money NOW. You need to think money in the LONG TERM. Because the now money eventually disappears, just like it does in Select. And when it does, you still don't have that fan base built up at other retailers and you're still poor.

2.) Twitter and Facebook can be time sinks if you just get on there and play games and talk to other writers. Build a fan base and communicate with readers. And then keep doing it. It's part of your job. There's really no way to get around social networking in today's publishing age. It has to be done. Embrace and nurture it. Also, Twitter and Facebook are two vastly different sites. Your fans are different on each. Take the time to learn how to talk to each place. I've got 2700 followers on Twitter--almost all of them use some type of i device. I've got 2400 fans on facebook--most of them use Kindles. These are important things to know.

3.) It depends. Usually the promotions that work are the ones that are more expensive. Even when I first started I didn't waste my time with blogs that had 25 subscribers just because they asked me to post or advertise. The best promotion is a new book. I've done only a handful of paid promotions since I started. It's not necessary for a successful career. I'm about to do my first huge one in February. It was an invite only promo and it cost me big bucks. We'll see if it works. If it doesn't, I'll know for next time.

4.) I've never solicited reviews. Anyone who reviews my books picks it up on their own. I will send ARCs to reviewers if they're on a reputable blog review site and if they email and ask.

5.) The thing about sites picking up your free books is this: they're more likely to do so if they know you're going to have a lot of downloads. They want the sure bets that are going to garner a lot of traffic. I've never NOT had POI or ENT pick up a freebie of mine. Usually I don't even have to email them. They like authors who have an extensive catalog with good reviews. And they like books that have good commercial appeal.

Mostly, indie publishing takes a lot of hard work plus a lot of good books. I see the authors who have the best success have a combination of (great social media presence+great books+business savvy).
 
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