This article, by Beth Barany, originally appeared on Writer’s Fun Zone on 9/28/10.
More and more romance authors are independently publishing on the Kindle. I sat down with two women from the San Francisco Romance Writers of America chapter to uncover more about this phenomenon and discover their promotional secrets.
Many authors think they need a traditional publisher to succeed as an author, but actually all you need is drive, vision and a hungry audience. Then you can started now on your career as a successful published author.
Discover four tips on what it takes to succeed on the Kindle and in the digital publishing market from two authors who’ve done it, one at the start of her career and another in the middle of it.
Tip #1: The Cover is Everything
“I was thoroughly ignored by agents and editors alike, while my critique partners and beta readers kept telling me my writing was ready to be published,” says Tina Folsom, www.tinawritesromance.com, bestselling author of paranormal and erotic romance (Amaury’s Hellion, 2010). “So, when Amazon.com started their self-publishing platform and I got a Kindle for myself, I figured I had nothing to lose.”
She published her first books in Spring 2009. But they had “boring” covers, she said, and she only sold a few copies.
“I still had an old copy of Adobe Photoshop on my computer and taught myself how to use it so I could design decent covers. And boy, did that pay off! As soon as I changed my book covers for the older novels I had out there, plus designed really sexy covers for the two new books (Scanguards Vampires), my sales took off,” says Folsom.
Folsom designs her own covers and only paid a few dollars to purchase the photos from www.bigstockphoto.com. Folsom highly recommends spending your time and effort on your book cover. “People will click on the book if the cover looks enticing,” she adds.
Bestselling, multi-published author, Bella Andre, www.bellaandre.com, chose to publish a sequel with the Kindle while she was between book contracts with no contract clauses to worry about. She had kept getting requests for a follow up to Take Me, published by Pocket Books in 2005, and decided to “get the book to the readers who wanted it.” In July 2010, Andre published Love Me via the Kindle and SmashWords.com. Andre said she was picky about the cover and took care to brand her Kindle books to express “the more erotic side of Bella Andre.”
Andre was also inspired to publish directly to the Kindle due to J.A. Konrath’s reports of his self-publishing success with the Kindle. (http://jakonrath.blogspot.com/) Inspired by his reported good sales results, Andre thought she’d “probably sell” if she put up her sequel. Andre hasn’t released her sales results yet, but has reported that they are “very good.”
Tip #2: Know Your Reader Expectations