Thursday, 13 September 2012

My Book Is Out!

Shortly after midnight, on the early hours of Wednesday 12th September, I uploaded Steps In The Shadows to Kindle Direct Publishing on Amazon. I have now sold some copies of it, and I feel pleased to call myself an author -- a published (albeit self-published, something for which I make no apology) one, at that.

Now, my mind turns to marketing. As an indie author (indie sounds so much better than self-published, doesn't it?), it falls to me to promote and publicize my work. That's a challenge I relish, and I want to learn as much as possible about it.

I think I'm already learning. I've tweeted and facebooked extensively. I've prepared a press release and sent it to the Free Press Release Service. Someone invited me to the facebook group for Stoosh PR, which will enable me to help others promote their work (not just writers, either -- musicians, artists, actors, etc.!). I've let my friends and family know about it, and they've been very happy to promote it. I've even posted about it on an internet forum or two, and I have a couple of blog interviews coming up (and I'll ask for more of these, as well as guest blog posting opportunities). Finally, for now, I sent the press release to several publications, along with an author photo and book cover. No one has replied to me from  any of these publications, but now the book's actually out, I'll try again by emailing them with the link to the book, which has the "look inside" feature so they can check out the first few chapters, and asking them to reply if interested in reviewing it and/or interviewing me (in reply to which I'll send them a free copy).

The only concern I have is that a review was posted very early on: a five-star review! Why the concern? you might ask. Well, given the recent sockpuppeting scandal (which actually seemed to be largely a problem among well established, high selling, traditionally published authors rather than the indie community) and the talk of reviewers being paid to write reviews, I think it was inevitable that I would feel a hint of concern. The writer of the review is none other than my dad, and he did this completely unprompted. He didn't tell me about it, but instead texted my wife to tell her that he had posted it. He has read the book - in fact, he was the first proofreader! - and he genuinely enjoyed it. He's proud of his son and wanted to post it. Yet I still agonized over whether I should ask him to remove it.

It would be nice to get a few reviews in addition to this, though -- so if you want to read a new crime fiction book set in Manchester, click here!


  1. I did wonder about the early review, but it is often the case where a product is sent out for testing, pre-release screening or focus group opinion before general release and reviews can originate from these situations.

    I think in a week or two there will be several other reviews that will pop up to support your new novel - I am loving what I've read so far and will certainly post an honest review when I'm done.

    (The bribe box is on the corner of my desk BTW...)

    No seriously, worry not - if there were LOTS of five star reviews as the book launched I'd be worried, but not the one.

    Enjoy your new found success. :-)

  2. Great post and congratulations! I wouldn't worry about the review (hey, it's a 5 star). Your dad posted it genuinely and no one is going to make a big deal of it (I don't think). I don't have that many reviews (22, I think) for my book that has been out almost a year. I don't really solicit them and rarely look at them. I think the people that stock pile reviews can be spotted. Be proud that your dad did that for you! I can't get mine to even read mine:) If you are interested I published a post on marketing tools in my middle grade/ya blog. I'll leave the link, maybe you can learn from my experiences. Best of luck and I plan to read your book, but I have a stack of books that I need to read for reviews. If I can help in any way, please don't hesitate to ask. Have a great night.

    Paul R. Hewlett