Reviewing the pain….

Another day, another batch of facebook and instagram and a little bit of twitter….

So the saga continues, I keep banging away at social media, my followers continue to grow and so do the following. None of which helps sales though, which could be considered poor to non-existent. Reviews are the thing, without them any book will just languish in the dusty basement of Amazon’s Kindle shop.

A while ago I ran a free offer to try and generate some interest and gather some reviews, I gave away over a hundred books and in return I think it generated….. wait for it…. A review. Whoopee…. I’m not sure why this is, a fellow author I’ve met on facebook did the same and within a week had 38 reviews. Okay so his was a travel blog and wasn’t a long read, but still. I suppose here patience is the key. My priorities are different from everyone elses…

Other news I updated my cover on the basis that although I was pleased with my cover, it made a poor thumbnail. A weekend on Photoshop was spent and I was really pleased. But guess what? The thumbnail was shit. So I updated the Kindle cover only to make it stand out a bit more. We will see if it helps. The thing is though it won’t help with reviews, there are so many promotion sites out there that won’t even look at your work until you have twenty plus reviews. I have eight.

Now this may sound like a moan. There is a reason for that. It is a moan. Hey it’s okay though, nobody reads this either, so I can moan away to my heart’s content.

What to do next? I actually have no idea at all, I will plug away at it, the feedback I get is all positive and having read other authors work(It’s a thing you do once you start mingling on the same facebook pages) I can honestly say that I believe my book to be at least as good as I’ve read and in most instances actually head and shoulders above the other stuff I’ve read, even the ones I have enjoyed have been below my own quality. And I’m not usually one to bang my own drum. What this does mean is that while the confidence in my own ability has grown so my enthusiasm to grind away at sales remains undiminished.

Moan over, that feels better, sometimes it’s just good to get things off your chest…. Until the next time….

An Anti-social on Social Media

I freely admit to not being the most social of creatures. I have a Facebook account which I have a look at now and again and think to myself, hmm, maybe I should be a bit more social…. Tomorrow says my inner-self, to which I readily agree, knowing that tomorrow the same will happen again…

In fact, in the current circumstances this could be an example of a conversation.

The wife, (well, ex-wife actually, long story). “I’m sick and tired of all this self-isolation and social distancing.”

Me. “Oh is that still a thing, is it?”

It would be fair to call me ‘The reluctant blogger.’

So, as I mentioned in my post ‘Trials and Tribulations,’ the fact that to sell an eBook requires a social media presence came as a bit of a disappointment. But hey ho, it’s off to work I go and so I created a Bob Sharp Author Facebook profile(link at bottom of page). And truthfully I actually quite enjoyed the process, okay it isn’t going to turn me into a best-selling author overnight, but it did increase my profile and it did generate a few sales, and now it’s running and I have to work at it. But here’s the thing, I find myself wanting to work at it. I’m proud of my novel and I would like to see it out there. That’s a big carrot.

What else Have I learned over the last few days?

I suppose Instagram and Twitter will follow in due course, but I’ve never used them and so it seemed easier to start with Facebook.  They will happen, but there’s some procrastination to be done first.

What else have I learned over the last few days? Not much really, it is still a bit of a jumble in the old head. But it is becoming clearer, I have listed in a few book review/promotion sites, I will wait and see how that pans out. I have a free promotion running on Saturday when the Kindle version will be free, another thing that helps apparently, again I will wait and see the results. I am of course promoting it on face book and have purchased some advertising, I will find out if it’s worth it and post the results.

Now to the Newsletter, I hadn’t thought about ever having a Newsletter, so I was quite apprehensive about doing one. I couldn’t think of what content to put in. But I’ve given it some thought, and actually I’m now pretty excited by the idea. I have loads of great ideas, some of which I think are quite unique and I’m sure will be entertaining. There will also be prizes in the first one. I have decided initially it will be a monthly thing until I see how it goes. It will go out on the first Saturday of the month, so the 6th June will be the first one. It looks like the Newsletter will get the launch my novel didn’t.

For anyone that’s interested in the story so far and is trying to do something similar I will give a brief description of how I got to this stage.

To Which I said F***!

1 The obvious place to start is with a domain name and hosting, I bought mine and the hosting through ionos

2 I used WordPress to create the design, it gives lots of templates but can be quite confusing initially. Stick with it, once you get the hang of it, it’s a dawdle.

3 I have added a few plugins to WordPress, two of which I paid for, the two I paid for were – slider(which creates the sliding banner) and an upgrade to WPforms(for form creation). The last one wasn’t actually needed as I found out after the fact.

4. I then spent a day in the mire of trying to figure out how to set up a Newsletter(it was at some point during this that I decided that buying WPforms was required) after trying various paid services(which all the bloggers say is essential… it isn’t, at least not initially). I eventually found one called mailchimp, it’s free up to a decent limit of emails/subscribers and it works. I was delighted, all you then do is install the mailchimp plugin in WordPress , set up your preferences and templates etc and you’re good to go. And that was the weekend taken care of.

5. Yesterday was social media and website promotion day. And that is going to be the rest of the week too, another journey of discovery as I start to push the webpage, Facebook and the book to try and generate some traffic.

I can kind of see the sense to it all, and it seems to be a proven formula. Everyone says it is required. Everyone except for the blog I read this morning, according to this chap none of it works. To which I said F***! But then again I did read it in his blog.

As for writing this blog. Another thing I thought I’d hate, but you know what I’m really rather enjoying all this. Maybe I’m not as anti-social as I think.

Below are some links to some useful pages I have found. I’m not affiliated with these companies in any way, I don’t make a penny from listing them. They are just what I’m using to set all this up and what I’ve found to be useful.

https://www.ionos.co.uk/

https://mailchimp.com/

Hope this makes some sense.

Cheers

Bob