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Four Months In – Let’s Reflect On What It Means to Be ‘Indie”

We Are Mars is close to its four month anniversary and it’s time for me to take a step back and ask the hard question – How are we doing, book?

SALES

So far, I’ve seen modest sales. No surprises there – I am bootstrapping into a flooded market place. But the sales I’ve had are good and steady, which show that people are starting to hear about the book, read it and talk about it. I’m working on my Amazon Author profile currently, so plans are in the works to boost my online sales too.

SOCIAL MEDIA

I have worked tirelessly on social media to grow an audience and keep fresh, interesting and entertaining content in front of them. Some of that effort has seen massive rewards. Twitter has been a great place to seamlessly join communities of writers, authors and science nerds, like myself. I have enjoyed engaging some very interesting and wonderful people. They, in turn, have bought my book – an added bonus to connecting with them. Some of the negative aspects of Twitter include the fake and spam accounts and the deluge of politically-driven tweets I see every day, even though I don’t get involved myself. On the positive side, I have almost two thousand five hundred followers and have followed some awesome accounts myself. It has worked for me and I’ll continue to promote and engage on Twitter as long as I can.

Facebook has been less successful, but I get much encouragement from friends and family there. The page is a good reflection of the book and my message and I will maintain it and run campaigns there when I have events, announcements and the like. I enjoy the groups on Facebook, although they are not as active and supportive as I had hoped they’d be. I have learned a lot and the group discussions and posts by members do help to broaden my experience as a writer and sci-fi enthusiast.

I have become involved with other sites, had reviewer interactions, written articles as a featured contributor, done interviews and been interviewed, as well as learning a lot about book marketing as an indie.

LESSONS LEARNED

The most important thing I’ve discovered has been how responsive people are to an offer of help. I’ve put out a few offers to help – promote an event, raise awareness for a cause, writing mentorship and advice and design advice. These experiences were the most rewarding and have made the road of this indie a less lonely one. It has been my pleasure to assist others, and I will do more of that along the way, because we all need a little help from time to time.

It is with pride that I am now able to say I have won a small (and maybe not industry-elite by others standards, but I don’t mind) award of a five-star Readers Favorite Review. The reviewer was honest and the critique helpful and positive overall. I appreciate that it is part of the competition entry I submitted, but it is peer review that indicates my book does not suck – for real! Contests have been entered and even if they are not the ‘premier’ contests in the industry, the results will be important to me. I’m fairly new at this writing gig and I’m still learning what works and what doesn’t.

BOOKS IN STORE

I also have representation at the Chapters Kamloops bookstore – my area Chapters (the large book retail chain in Canada). If it does well here, I may see it go into more stores in the near future. This is something I’m truly grateful for. Peter, the manager I spoke to, is willing to give my little book a spot on his table – thank you, Peter! I will also be doing a signing at this Chapters at some point, which will be another arrow to add to my marketing quiver. All in a day’s work for an indie author.

I’m currently investigating a publicist, but as many of you know, indies don’t normally have loads of money around for that sort of thing. Costs and requirements will be the deciding factor. Imagine having loads of cash – that’s how you rise to the top every time, ‘ey?!

PLEASE REVIEW

I’m waiting on a few reviews, so if you’re reading We Are Mars – PLEASE review! It would mean so much to me and give me the leg up I need on sites like Amazon. The big book retailers are awash with content and the ONLY way to become visible is with a little help from reviews, so don’t be stingy, give it a rating and a quick five words if that’s all you have time for. I’m thanking you in advance because I know you’re going to do it!

So that’s it for this not-quite-quarterly round-up of how We Are Mars is fairing out there in book land.

Thanks for reading, and stay tuned for more!