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!