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Author Topic: So, my new space opera serial is coming out soon...  (Read 1307 times)

Offline Eli_Freysson

So, my new space opera serial is coming out soon...
« on: May 25, 2016, 12:09:50 PM »
I have the covers, and only thing between now and release is a last read-over of the first story, and a few touch-ups.

I'm just wondering what to do about the publication itself.

When I released Firemoon a few weeks ago I asked advice on Goodreads about how to get it noticed. One advice I got that I rather took to heart was basically: "Publish it, celebrate is some way, then get started with the next story for the joy of it."

It helped me realise that I've maybe been too damn neurotic about seeing quick success. It probably relates to my other problems.

But while I've worked on the Silent War in one way or another since 2004, The Golden Throne is a brand-new setting and one I'm quite excited about. I would like to see it get noticed a bit more than my fantasy novels.

I once asked Ryan Kirk, author of Nightblade, how he'd been so successful with his first novel and he really didn't have an answer beside "a bit of luck". He didn't make extensive use of social media.

This has kind of given me the impression that succeeding as an indie author is largely a matter of luck. It's an oddly liberating feeling, since social media bores me to tears and I don't want to devote the fifty hours a week or whatever it takes for it to make a difference.

Any advice? Are the rules a bit different with getting short stories noticed? I gave book bloggers a shot with my first two books, but I had zero luck with the notable ones, and the ones I did have luck with did not cause a single blip on my sales chart.

Man, this post got a little longer than I planned...
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Offline Lanko

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Re: So, my new space opera serial is coming out soon...
« Reply #1 on: May 25, 2016, 01:42:19 PM »
Have you seen this book? Write.Publish.Repeat. : https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/19173266-write-publish-repeat?ac=1&from_search=true

May give you some tips. I think I read some parts last year and had some good advice (and others I didn't agree). I remember they have a Podcast, and they had the same stance about you on social media? By the time it was written they said they weren't deep into Twitter/Goodreads yet. They said they were using e-mail lists, something I don't recommend, or at least don't see utility today, but who knows.



« Last Edit: May 25, 2016, 01:44:16 PM by Lanko »
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Offline marshall_lamour

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So, my new space opera serial is coming out soon...
« Reply #2 on: May 25, 2016, 02:47:31 PM »
I don't know how you're writing your serial, but I'm writing mine as I publish and basically giving it rounds of publicity with each release. Do what you can each time you put out a new release then assess and learn. You'll spend only as much time and energy on publicity as feels appropriate at any given stage and focus exclusively on writing in between releases.

This is mostly conjecture on my part, but it's the plan which made the most sense to me and probably the only way I'm likely to stave off discouragement through the process--by spreading my publicity out over time and not becoming too heavily invested in its success.
Discover the world of Aeva in book one of the Children of Cataclysm series: Sons of Exile

Offline Eli_Freysson

Re: So, my new space opera serial is coming out soon...
« Reply #3 on: May 25, 2016, 03:00:32 PM »
I don't know how you're writing your serial, but I'm writing mine as I publish and basically giving it rounds of publicity with each release.

But how? Which routes do you take?

Also, can you link me to your series? Out of curiosity.
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Offline tebakutis

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Re: So, my new space opera serial is coming out soon...
« Reply #4 on: May 25, 2016, 03:24:13 PM »
This has kind of given me the impression that succeeding as an indie author is largely a matter of luck. It's an oddly liberating feeling, since social media bores me to tears and I don't want to devote the fifty hours a week or whatever it takes for it to make a difference.

Any advice? Are the rules a bit different with getting short stories noticed? I gave book bloggers a shot with my first two books, but I had zero luck with the notable ones, and the ones I did have luck with did not cause a single blip on my sales chart.

Man, this post got a little longer than I planned...

Luck isn't just a factor for indie authors. It's a factor for all authors, even those traditionally published. If you get traditionally published, you can't control when your book will be released, how it will be promoted, how many weeks it will be on the shelves before it is judged successful or not successful ... and so on. And if you don't earn out and sell lots of copies, you're done in traditional publishing. It's just part of the business.

Sorry the book bloggers didn't work out for you. They have definitely offered my biggest spikes - I got two successive positive reviews on Glyphbinder late last year, and saw a huge sales uptick off that. Then I had another positive review early this year, and didn't see anything. So even if a blogger does like your book, it seems like any sales or exposure from that are dependent on their number of readers/followers, and if those readers/followers are interested in your particular genre.

However, your approach of "write it, promote it, move on to the next without stressing about sales and have fun" is, by far, the best way to do it, and the way I've been doing it for awhile. None of us will be supporting ourselves solely on books sales any time soon, regardless.

Offline marshall_lamour

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Re: So, my new space opera serial is coming out soon...
« Reply #5 on: May 25, 2016, 08:01:49 PM »
I don't know how you're writing your serial, but I'm writing mine as I publish and basically giving it rounds of publicity with each release.

But how? Which routes do you take?

Also, can you link me to your series? Out of curiosity.

Every route I can think of, so long as I feel adequately prepared and can stomach it.  I've started out pretty minimal to match my level of preparedness, but so far, I use social media, this forum, and a personal blog.  Some publicity comes with how your publishing platform handles your work.  On my particular platform, I topped the weekly sales with the official launch of my serial but not for long; it didn't end up mattering though since people don't yet shop for fiction much on leanpub (I'm not on there for sales so much as the platform's tech and philosophy, which jives well with my particular disposition).  They also have Disqus comments on there which serve not only for reviews and the like, but for me to openly engage with my readership.

I post updates on my twitter to let people know that the work is progressing (which I think matters very much with an in-progress serial), but I also try to post things that are relevant to me as an author.  I'm not terribly active on there (even less-so on facebook), but I do keep a more passive curation flow on Flipboard (passive in the sense that it's less social or personal and meant more as a service), which I feel speaks a bit more to what influences me in my writing or otherwise than microblogging ever could but purely by the cumulative gist of what content I select for each topic.

That brings me to blogging, which is probably the most important sort of publicity an author can have because it introduces an audience to your actual writing style and what ideas and attitudes underly your work.  For my part, I've taken it upon myself to use it as a platform to introduce prior work and concepts and increasingly as a way to casually roll those into a coherent body of work.  This will serve, I hope, to either intrigue or deter an active readership by giving them a better idea of what's in store with my fictional works, since samplings and blurbs can't always communicate the more abstract and pervasive notions that work.  This may not be a good fit for everyone, but philosophy was my first true love in literature.  Of course I post updates on the releases of my serial there as well, and so far I've gone about it a little bit meta, elaborating on where my series is coming from and how it came about.

Of lesser note, I've put up samples on Wattpad and Medium.  I actually found Medium to be the better of the two for its attractive layout and more meaningful analytics as well as having had more views there than on Wattpad (surprisingly, since Medium is primarily a blogging platform).  I think one would have to be a bit more engaged on the Wattpad forums to get more readers there, but I haven't yet felt compelled to do so, probably due to a bias against the quality of material there.

Reddit's always an option.  I have done a bit of posting there, but I find it difficult to break the ice and achieve much meaningful engagement.

So yeah, when I launch the third part of my serial, I'll obviously update on social media, probably comment on my promotion thread on this forum, maybe reach out to other forums and probably reddit, and post about various changes I've made to my writing/revision process (and since I'm pursuing this work as a public WIP, comment on what changes I might have made to the previously released parts).  I'll mention the new release on leanpub's disqus and probably link to my blog post, as well.  The most difficult and time-consuming part of this process is the blog post, but I see it as an opportunity for reflection as well as something potentially helpful for other new authors.

At that point, I will have already begun work on the fourth part, so it's just a matter of continuing to write.  During the writing, the most I'd do beyond little twitter updates is just to be myself and be present online, for better or for worse; otherwise that round of publicity will be over.  I see my promotional efforts being as much a WIP as the serial, itself.
« Last Edit: May 25, 2016, 08:10:52 PM by marshall_lamour »
Discover the world of Aeva in book one of the Children of Cataclysm series: Sons of Exile