You wrote the book, you made the many many required edits (or hired an editor!), and now you’ve published your book online. But.. what’s next?
Unfortunately in 2017 it’s not enough to simply write your book and self-publish it online, as an indie author you *must* engage in some heavy self-marketing. This means being proactive about finding readers, engaging across some social media or other online communities, sending out copies of your book unsolicited and basically selling yourself at every opportunity (in a literary sense!).
A little while back I interviewed an author who’s very *very* familiar with this process, Nathan Farrugia. Australian author of the Fifth Column series, his first novel The Chimera Vector was a number one bestseller on Amazon and iBooks, and also claimed the title of Apple iBooks Thriller of the Year. He was formerly published by Momentum Books, which was a digital imprint of Pan Macmillan that closed down in 2016 after the Australian publishing industry hit hard times.
Fast-forward to today and Nathan is now a successfully self-published author. While he has print books available his primary market is digital, which means he’s familiar with everything to do with online marketing as an author.
We chatted about Tweeting, Goodreads, approaching readers directly and the uselessness of paid Facebook ads for authors.
How did you originally get your manuscript in front of Momentum?
I had a literary agent who I signed with, and he was submitting to Australian publishers on my behalf. I then hired Joel Naoum as an editor – he worked for Pan Macmillan but had secretly been promoted to run Momentum which I had no idea about at the time.
Half-way through the edit he was pitching my book in Momentum meetings so instead of getting an edit back, I got an offer for publication.
What did your publisher do in terms of marketing for you?
Generally publishers used to have a lot of contacts who were reviewers, but that’s changed now especially for genre fiction. There aren’t really any official reviewers – pretty much every newspaper and magazine has stripped them out. It’s mainly bloggers who have an audience now, but in my genre there isn’t too much of that so it’s a minor thing. It all comes down to reader reviews and recommendations.
Momentum did a few things for me. One was publicity, they pitched ideas and articles to targeted websites like Buzzfeed or Huffington Post. For me, it was Junkee, which then led to an article in the Daily Mail and a TV interview on Channel 7.
The most important thing they did for me though was their promotions with retailers.
Momentum had a strong relationship with Apple iBooks in Sydney, which presented marketing opportunities and features that greatly increased downloads of my books. I’ve built a large audience through iBooks alone.