5 lessons from my week of fame

Discoverability is a huge hurdle for indie authors. You can have the best story, immaculate editing, an astounding cover, but if no one ever finds your book you might as well not have tried.

For most of us want readers. Not all of us want fame, or to make our living solely from writing, but if no one is going to read your work, there’s no point in publishing at all.

So, how do we get our readers?

The first step is easy, or at least is something in your control.

Write the best story you can possibly write.

After that…

I’ve had a lot of help in the last few weeks from an unexpected source. I recently used acx.com to produce the audiobook version of The Face Stealer. One of the options in the production process is to enter a royalty share with a narrator. This has tremendous benefits for the writer, who doesn’t have to pay anything up front. And slightly less benefits for the narrator who’s only going to receive money when the audiobook sells.

I know I’ve gotten lucky with my narrator, Paul Cram. Paul is awesome. Seriously.

But, there’s another benefit for the author in that from being the sole champion of your business—and I do consider what I do a business—to having two of you championing your work. This is awesome. I can’t understate this enough. Having a second person championing my work has spurned me on.

Whilst I’ve been working furiously on the edits to my next books, my narrator has been seeking out opportunities for promotion. And with the beauty of the Internet, he’s been able to do this in the US whilst I’m based in the UK. I’ve written about stepping out of my comfort zone several times, and if it hadn’t been for Paul, these opportunities would never have happened.

Opportunity 1 – Podcasts

The SciFi Geeks Club on Galactic Netcasts. No way would I have thought I’d be able to talk on a podcast for over an hour but you know what, I did. And it was excellent.

Off the back of this, another opportunity may have presented itself. Wait and see.

Opportunity 2 – Local paper

A piece in the local paper. Not to be sniffed at, the Southport Visiter is the only paper worth reading in the area. The Face Stealer had a good angle in that it’s set in the town so it became a local interest story.
With Paul’s help, I created a media kit on this website so could direct enquires to it. This has made it so much easier to reach out and demonstrates that I’m taking this seriously.

Opportunity 3 – Online magazines

An article in a print and online local magazine Southport Shine. Now, I’d never even heard of this so it shames me to say that Paul found it, contacted them, and provided copy for them to include.

Opportunity 4 and 5

One more podcast and an interview are scheduled this week. I’ll say more in a future post once they’ve happened. Both of these are super cool.

Summary

So, this was the week I became famous.
And what about you?
  1. If you’re a writer looking for publicity, take heart in that there are opportunities out there. I hadn’t heard of the podcasts I’m appearing in but am so excited by them.
  2. Don’t dismiss the desire from local journalists looking for a local news story. Reach out.
  3. Have a media kit ready. This will make it so much easier when reaching out.
  4. Prepare a press release. No, it isn’t silly. Journalists will treat you seriously if you make their lives just that little bit easier.
  5. If you’re in a royalty share for an audiobook, you’re in this together. Communicate and let each other know of successes and opportunities. Paul has put himself forward to appear on shows without me. This absolutely shares the load.

Good luck!