Those who say that self-publishing is a vast world of bad quality writing, are right… still right. They do not take into account the fact that self-publishers learn and improve.
Self-published authors, those who think seriously about their writing, are highly motivated to find answers to their failures or successes, are willing to analyze and receive feedback. All that to write, publish and promote a better next book.
The beauty of the Internet is that they can find almost everything here. They have the same access to knowledge, resources and tools as big publishers.
Many of the tools were already mentioned in this series. Let’s say, the author is using Bite-Size Edits. He can observe, bite by bite, how his text is being edited and improved. Or after testing a couple of self-publishing platforms he decided to focus on two of them. Or he learns that the best way to communicate with readers is podcasting.
Internet is the biggest self-improving system on earth. Users are learning from each other – from comments, number of likes or favorites, number of retweets, you name it. Every such micro-fact can be, and usually is, analysed. And self-publishers have tools to make the analysis more accurate.
Let’s start from book statistics functionality. The biggest and most advanced platforms offer different ways and levels of analyzing how the book is doing. You can then match it with your online activity and locate the effort which gave best results.
One of the best analytics is provided by Feedbooks. It shows not only a number of downloads and favorites. What is tremendously useful is the split into different file formats, clients (apps, browsers) and countries. You can see how many of your readers are using mobile devices with Android operating system or how many of them are downloading your book directly to a computer. This can help you intensify your communication to the most promising group of readers.
If you promote your book heavily on social media, you can use tools to measure the effectiveness of your activity. The most common and advanced one is Bit.ly. It’s a URL shortening tool with an extended statistics functionality. You can check the influence of every link you share: the number of clicks, tweets, Facebook shares, likes and comments.
The basic way to use Bit.ly is to check the impact of the message associating the link. Send two tweets to your book page – each time with a different text. You’ll see which one is more convincing.
Another great tool to consider is Hootsuite. It’s a Twitter client with many powerful features. Among many options, you can compare traffic to your blog (Google Analytics) with your Twitter activity. Other Twitter based analytics tools are Klout, TweetReach, BackTweets and TweetStats.
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