Monday, September 20, 2010

Getting To Know You

I'm finding out there areauthors at Smashwords who have very good websites, blogs, Facebook pages and Author Central pages. In fact, I'm learning how to do a better job of marketing my books by seeing the work they put into their social networking skills. Mike Jastrzrebski, for example, has spent hours in reader forums, like Kindleboards, not saying "hey please read my book" but offering insight into what makes a good crime story, what it's like to live on the water, and generally getting his name out there as a sensible likable guy. JC Phelps has a blog that features guest reviewers. Scott Nicholson is everywhere, and has become quite well known by doing the work of getting in front of readers every chance he gets. I believe I commented on Eddie Wright's networking in his review. AJ Davidson, our next featured author, also has an international presence via the WorldWide Web.

Do yourself a favor. Google your name, see what comes up. Google your book titles. The search engines are our lifelines right now. Expect to see more features of writers who have done their homework. Anyone thinking this blog will catapult them to fame is guilty of wishful thinking. It hasn't done it for me, and it's my freaking blog. So do what I say. Find out how others are finding you.

We all need a way to sell via Smashwords. It's not easy. Mike has sold over 500 books at Amazon, and less than 5 at Smashwords. We need to come up with a collective marketing scheme that draws readers to Smashwords as an original source. Don't expect someone else to do it. The writers must do it. We need to all learn from the Kindle authors how to use available tools to sell our books.

Send in your ideas. Post comments. I need the answers as bad as you do.


  1. This is an interesting point. I think targeting reading communities is crucial to the success of self published authors, but you are right. You cannot just ask people to read your story. Giving people a reason why is extremely important and an author's personality and charm is one of the best tools for this. The web can be so impersonal, so adding your own personal voice is a great way to attract readers.
    - Nina of

  2. just noticed that Smashwords itself has a Facebook page. 458 people "like" it, but they are doing nothing with it.

    Smashwords does seem to be getting more and more attention, but you're absolutely right. We Smashwords authors need to do what we can in this area. Personally, I tag #smashwords with every tweet i put out there for my own (and others') books, and link to it in every one of my relevant Facebook and other posts

  3. Neil,

    I've been thinking about your post ever since I read it a few days ago. I thought you might be interested in this blog post by an Aussie agent:

    I think the promotional method used by Vicki Tyley (via Smashwords, no less) is fantastic.

    I know patience is a virtue...I keep telling myself that every day...