As this blog is as much my experience as an author as it is about my scifi work GloryEve, I have a great series of tips from M.L. Banner, who i ran into on Hugh Howe’s blog. I intend on posting this little gems more and more as I run up to self publishing Valhalla. Enjoy!
My Top Five Mistakes that you’ll want to avoid:
Don’t be cheap on editing – I went with the cheapest editor I could find. I just didn’t think anyone would buy my first book and so I didn’t want to invest that much in it. Big mistake! I am quite sure I would have sold thousands more copies of my first book had I not initially published with so many errors. Now I employ an editor and proofreader, and I get help from many wonderful volunteer beta readers.
Don’t rush your book to the marketplace – Hold off clicking that “publish” button, no matter how tired you are of rereading it. Again, editors and betas can help you with this.
Don’t think of other authors in your genre as competitors – Quite the opposite. Reach out to other authors, especially those who have had success in your genre. Read their books and post reviews on your platforms and then tell them about it. That’s how relationships start.
Don’t be cheap on your own platform – Buy a domain and set up a website (you can do so with GoDaddy for less than $100 per year). Then, make sure your site’s focus is on building your subscriber list: These will be your future advanced copy reviewers and fan base that will push your next book onto the Hot New Releases list.
Keep writing – Your most important activity is to write. Don’t stop. Make it a habit and write every day. Then when it’s ready (see #2), release your next book. Each book you publish (if it gains visibility) lifts the sales of your other books, especially those in the same series.
My top five recommendations to improve your chances of success:
Take as much time to write your best book possible – I cannot stress enough how important this is. Again, get it right the first time. I lost many potential readers, perhaps permanently because I wasn’t careful with my first book.
Publish to Kindle Select – I know this is a powder-keg issue right now because you’re reluctant to give into Amazon’s exclusively requirement (even though it’s only for 90 days), but this will absolutely help you in their algorithms and therefore their Best Seller Rankings. Remember, a higher ranking leads to more visibility, which leads to more sales. Married to exclusivity is anxiety over KU, but my KU borrows continue to boost my books’ rankings over those that are not in Select. Certainly if you have a big readership base you’ll need to examine this point more closely. But if you do not have many followers, this action is practically a necessity these days.
Choose the right sub-genre – For your next book, choose the two sub-genres (fitting to your readership and the book’s storyline), with the lowest number of books in it. Check the bottom 100 of the Hot New Releases (in that sub-genre) and see what it would take to make it there. Use http://kdpcalculator.com/index.php to help you translate Best Seller Rank (BSR#) into the approximate number of daily sales you’ll need.
First goal: Make the Hot New Releases in at least one sub-genre – To do this, you’ll need to sell a progressive amount for the first five to eight days after launch. In most sub-genres, this is not a big number, but something like one sale the first day and maybe eight sales by the eighth day ought to be more than enough: That’s 42 books total. Do that and you should make it on the Hot New Releases list for your sub-genre(s). Boom, instant visibility! I’ve known other authors who set their book price at $0.99 for the first ten days or so, just to give it the added boost to make the HNR. Once you’re there, you’ll have up to 30 days of best-selling fun ahead of you.
Use Countdown + promotions to build audience & visibility – With Kindle Select, you can run a Countdown (after your first 30 days) to get your book in front of another group of readers who haven’t tried you out yet. Then run a few promotions during those days. A $100 to $200 budget should be sufficient.
Big news – Booktrope has been sent GloryEve! I’m setting my goal for this to be the year GloryEve gets published in 2015, either self, hybrid, or traditional. I’m a big fan of the booktrope idea of teams getting a portion of books they back, but I’m sure they’re burred in manuscripts.
I had a fantasy about this post, that this post will go down in some journal when I’m a famous author – the day “Joe Fecarotta” tried to go to Booktrope and get his book published. 🙂 Now the ball is in their court, and I’d love have a team helping me. I’m following Steven King’s model of letting your book sit for a while, but I’m starting to itch again. Fiction, and the story of GloryEve, compel me.
I’ve also ordered the Writers Market….so here I come publishing world!
Science moment – this blew my mind. With the Theory of Everything hitting the Oscars, most people will now know the acronym GUD (Grand Unifying Theory) or ToE (Theory of Everything). Well, those are from theoretical physics, so it makes sense that theoretical biologists came up with the concept of LUCA, or Last Universal Common Ancestor. This the theoretical existence of a microorganism that is at the root of the tree of evolution Not the first thing that would be deemed life, but the winner of that competition. The Mega-Organism….don’t think Lucy the ape-like creature. Think a small particle of goo that became really successful. Here’s the intro to this concept on New Scientist:
“ONCE upon a time, 3 billion years ago, there lived a single organism called LUCA. It was enormous: a mega-organism like none seen since, it filled the planet’s oceans before splitting into three and giving birth to the ancestors of all living things on Earth today.
This strange picture is emerging from efforts to pin down the last universal common ancestor – not the first life that emerged on Earth but the life form that gave rise to all others”
Its interesting when you think about God’s place here. If you don’t believe try suspending your disbelief for a moment since its an interesting thought experiment. Think about why God chose this way. Is God a programmer?
God is operating at distance but could He have woo’d the molecules together? Its part of the great mystery to me that He chose this way, to have this highly complex machine create an even more complex machine, ad infinitum until you get humans – the most complex organism on the planet. Evolution then favors complexity over simplicity. Virus were once useful to exchange DNA between creatures, but eventually became something life had to fight against. Then more complexity arose, and along with it a more complex challenges, all the way to us.
The struggle lead to complexity lead to our emergence and dominance on this planet. Was this how God was to put life into a lifeless solar system? Was it the only way? Evolution is a brutal way to accomplish this end.
Finally if you think of the Noosphere. Humans are also a very successful megaorganism. Assuming we continue our success, it would suggest that our tree will split, and the diversity of what comes out of this common system will be an enormous advantage to the survival of life itself. Are we USMA – Ultra Sentient Mega Organism? And if so, what comes after us?
Would we split in three – Advanced Humans, Machines, and Machine-Human Hybrids? Advanced humans would be those humans who elect only to have life extension. The Machine-Human hybrids would be humans who elect both life extension and mechanical enhancement of body and mind. Then there are the pure machines, which would be our riskiest play. Humanity is already concerned with the AI turning on us. Perhaps the only way to stay safe here is to ensure that we as humans enhance ourselves along with our machine counterparts.
Gloria Thom, is a twelve year-old California girl living an idyllic life along with her two brothers, Griffen and Rowland, until she is diagnosed with an aggressive form of brain cancer. The Thom family’s faith is shaken as she struggles against the horror of the disease until an experimental nanotechnology-based procedure called LifeCells promises to be the cure.
It is the year 2105, the dawn of a new century, a time bristling with super intelligent robotic familiars, hyper-real virtual reality in every home, and ubiquitous nanotechnology that does everything from cleaning teeth to collecting vast amounts of shale oil. Yet it is the LifeCell therapy that represents the crowning achievement for nanotechnology – repairing the neurons of the human mind.
Through a series of actions and mishaps the cure becomes more than a cure, replacing much of Gloria’s mind. Now part computer, part human, Gloria and her family struggle to find the line between human and machine, while powerful forces seek to control or destroy Gloria and the new intelligence that she represents. Is Gloria the first to jump into the singularity? GloryEve 001 is the first in a sci-fi series by Joseph L. Fecarotta that looks to explore what that explores the nature of humanity, faith and identity in an increasingly technological society, exploring a reality that is right around the corner.
When do we cross the line from human to something else?