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In the meantime Print on Demand has meant that for an author the usual publishing set-up can be neatly skipped. One book can be printed up at a time and still be listed on Amazon.
But the challenge now is getting the word out. I've set up an attractive website with extra funny illustrations, extra stories about side characters, I've commissioned a 40 second animation as a 'movie style' trailer for the book and I plan to run competitions for fans to send in artwork and story submissions based on the story, as well as running my own chatty blog about the book and the art of writing in general.
Promotion-wise, I need to identify which book bloggers out there count who will be willing to review my book, hit up all the radio shows i can with an interesting pitch, try to think up a stimulating press release that features my book and submit stories to other fiction sites for free in return for a link back.
What do people think about the existing market for ebooks? I'm less interested in making a profit right now than in getting the book read as far and wide as possible. The money will come later.
Is there anything else I can be doing to get the word out there?
Things to do to make sure I hit the "next" button after opening your e-mail:
1) Make it obvious that you've never even looked at my site. Pushing a book of poetry when there's not one book of poetry on my site tells me you're just spamming a bunch of sites hoping one hits.
2) Construct your e-mail with poor grammar and spelling and describe your book in turgid prose that convinces me that your book is probably written just as poorly.
3) Complain that the little guy never gets a break and that only famous authors can get published. Many first-time authors have had their books make it onto my site (and do well in general). Of course, the deck is stacked against you, just don't whine about it.
What to do right? Research the sites and blogs that would be the most help and ensure your book fits in well with their site or blog. Construct a personal and interesting e-mail to the correct person at that site and explain what you're willing to offer and what you'd like to have them do for you. Be prepared for a lot of non-answers and denials, though.
It's a tough business.