Covers, Reviews, and Marketing

I finally took the plunge and reached out to a very talented lady for help with my book cover. I mentioned her a few posts back. She can be found on  Facebook and Twitter.

Anyways, thanks to Connie’s patience and expertise, I finally have a Kindle cover image and book jacket that I can be proud of. I was never quite happy with my own efforts. If you follow my blog, you may remember that I said I’d be begging Connie to design my next book cover. Well, I decided not to wait so long. You know what they say. There’s no time like the present.

Which more or less brings me to my next point. You’ve probably read this elsewhere, but if you decide to self-publish, find yourself a professional cover designer – unless you absolutely know you’re doing. I figured I could get by on my own (I can hear Joe Cocker singing in my head) – only to end up unhappy with the final design. I tried tweaking the cover, and I was much happier with it. But I didn’t love it. I couldn’t stand by my book with pride. And now I can. See for yourself. 🙂

And we all know how important book covers are. The first thing a potential reader sees is the cover. If they like the cover, there’s a much greater chance that a potential reader will take a closer look to see if it’s a book for them. We all have different tastes and reading preferences. And some stories will resonate with us more than others.

We also need great quality of course – the same is true for any product. Otherwise, those much needed reviews may not be what we had hoped. Although I have yet to read a self-published book that didn’t impress me with its superb content.

There’s something so honest in the stories written by self-published authors. The voices of their characters ring true. I don’t mind admitting that I’m hooked. Please don’t get me wrong, I’m not knocking traditionally published books. I just think indie authors deserve their day in the sun as well.

Now if you don’t mind, I’d like to get back to the subject of reviews for a quick second. I’ve probably mentioned time and time again by now how important reviews are and why, so I’ll spare you having to read the same thing again. But if you’re on Goodreads and you’re interested in honest reviews for your book(s), there’s a great group that you can check out. It hasn’t work very well for me (poetry is a harder sell), but I’ve seen books receive loads of review requests. It’s worth a try, right?

Then there’s the required marketing of our self-published books. Unless you’re fortunate enough to have a fan base waiting to buy your books, it’s up to us to find those readers. Otherwise we run the risk of having our books lost somewhere in cyberspace. And is that what we envision for our books? I didn’t think so.

The million dollar question is how do we find readers? Lord knows there’s an awful lot of them out there. And how do we get our books in front of the right readers? By that, I mean readers who enjoy the genre our books fit into. I certainly don’t want someone who dislikes poetry to read my book.

For that reason, I don’t market my book to friends and family. I have no reason to believe they like poetry, so why try putting my book in front of a reluctant audience? I do have a sister whose support is relentless. I’m lucky to have her in my corner.

I’ve also been fortunate enough to have a few authors on Twitter who continuously support my book by retweeting my posts. I’m more than happy to support other authors in the same manner, and I do.

I should mention that I discovered a couple of online services to help me with my marketing efforts as well. Although I don’t have enough helpful information to share just yet. But I will as soon as I can.

Like many of us, I’m learning as I go. So I’d appreciate any marketing tips that you might like to share with me and other writers/authors. I’d also love to read your opinion on book covers and reader reviews.

Before I go, remember that I mentioned I could hear Joe Cocker singing? I thought I’d share the song with you. I love music as you know. Until next time, be kind to yourself.

With a Little Help From My Friends

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