It’s only taken me four years. Better late than never. When I started out on this CWAP adventure I had a strapline on my blog that went something like: on the road to either self-publishing, fame and fortune, or self-publishing, obscurity and destitution. Four years later and if I squint very hard into the distance using one of these
I can just make out… more dusty road. If I look over my shoulder I can see this without my glasses. But not for long. I have a plan. At last.
Branding. I’m going to brand myself. Not like that. I’m going to promote OliverTidy.com as a CWAP brand. I’m not going to push individual book titles of series (there’s a short shelf life with that approach) – I’m going to push my CWAP outpourings in my three series as a brand under the banner above. That way, for one thing, everything gets promoted every time I engage with readers old and new – old and new books and old and new readers.
I’ve had enough feedback now to understand that each of my three series has been fairly well received. And I’ve had a lot of readers who’ve read one series and gone onto another and enjoyed that too. Some have even read all three series and said they’ve enjoyed them. That tells me that what my readers have enjoyed is my writing as much as anything. So that’s what I’m going to push – my CWAP writing.
Last weekend I participated in an online webinar run by someone who has made it quite big, not through churning out book after book after book and hoping but by getting a series going and then marketing the brand. The webinar was very interesting. I learned a lot. Or rather I had a lot reinforced, but because of that kick up the bum and the step by step help he offered to get things going I pulled my finger out and set up a few things.
I am not going to lament the wasted time, opportunities and the readers I have missed. There would be no point. But… if I could have my time again I would have implemented his ideas much, much earlier on in my CWAP life.
NS advocates setting up a mailing list using the lure of a free download to get readers to sign up. I’ve now done that. Every visitor to my website now will land on that page. The idea is to grow the mailing list so that when a new book comes out, in theory, you have a ready made audience many of whom will download it.
I’ll soon have B&C#3 available for release. When that’s out I’m going to make B&C#1 permanently free to download. I’ll then have the first book in each of my series as free to download – try before you buy – with more books in each series available. I’m sure a lot of other authors would criticise me for that – giving away three full length novels and a collection of short stories.
With those three free and other books in each series available to download I can try some low level advertising and see how things go. Again, not individual books but the brand. My header at the top of each of my social websites encompasses that brand – three series and the website. I have some other ideas, too, for pushing things. But that’s going to involve me being back home in the UK and personally, physically active.
I bought the domain olivertidy.com a couple of years ago but never got around to mapping it to my website. That’s now done. It looks more professional than olivertidy.wordpress.com.
I’ve been writing short stories for a while. I have four quite good ones that I was going to add a couple more to and then self-publish. I might still do that but not before I have used them as giveaways for readers who sign up to my mailing list. NS says you must keep readers interested in you and he’s right. What I thought I’d do is every time I get ‘x’ number of new subscribers to the list I’ll send everyone one of the short stories or maybe a photo of me in the shower. (Might be time for a survey.)
I haven’t worked out what ‘x’ will be yet. We’ll see how it goes. When I’ve done Bookbub promotions I’ve had literally thousands of downloads. I’m going to try a couple more Bookbubs and I’m going to do some days of free downloads through Amazon. I am hopeful that this will really boost the mailing list. If I update the front matter of any book I promote with info on the mailing list and links to free books for subscribers, as suggested by NS, then, again in theory, I should see some traffic. (Of course, I had to update the front and back matter on every book [15!!]. What a laborious task.)
In the meantime I keep writing. I wrote a good short story of five thousand words last week. If I can produce a few more of those I can keep on top of any commitment I make to subscribers for giveaways. And then I can always bundle them and self-publish them at a later date.
So, if anyone reading this would like a free copy of Three Short Blasts and a free short story (every time I reach another ‘x’ number of subscribers) please go to my mailing list sign up page and… sign up. I promise I won’t ever spam you. 🙂 Click on the banner image below. 🙂
(I announced this mailing list idea yesterday on my Facebook pages and the response was really encouraging. So, this weekend I will send out a newletter to those who have subscribed so far letting everyone know about a free book promotion I’m doing this weekend only. It’s for one of my books that has never been offered for free before. So sign up or miss it!)