So I went to the London Book Fair at Earl's Court on Tuesday. I managed to get there earlier than I expected so I had time to sort myself out then find the stand I wanted to go to for a talk. The first talk was called 'Book Discovery for Authors' and was a question session to the panel of Mark Coker (Smashwords), Andrew Rhumberg (Jelly Books) and Joanna Penn (author and member of ALLi). It was all about how to get your books discovered by readers. I took lots of notes, but will only do a summary of the main points I learnt.
The challenges that authors face is shelf-space. Now that more authors are publishing ebooks. Joanna said that they solutions are to write and publish more than one book, and grow your email list. (This is something I plan to do now, and next ebook I publish will have a message on the contacts page asking if they wish to join my newsletter). Joanna also said it is a good idea to join with other authors writing the same genre and create a box set. Andrew said to have a great cover, be consistent on social media and write interesting stuff not just buy my book. Readers will determine your success. Mark said that you need to take your readers to an emotional high and make them say wow.
Joanna, who also writes non-fiction, said that when you publish a non-fiction book, check out keywords on Google etc. Don't give the book a title that readers won't look for.
Mark mentioned the 'Pre-order' he has on Smashwords. This makes it easier for readers to find the books in estores. And, if you put your ebook for pre-order and you get readers buy then, when the ebook comes out, you get the sales on the first day. Budget for this in your launch.
How do you know what works? Joanna said that indie authors are more focussed on what works.
The single most important thing to do to get discovered more - grow email list. Mark said the book.
Put your contacts page at the back, as readers want to know what you write before they know you. Price your book good, lower is best. You want to eliminate friction from reader between giving them the sample and them purchasing the book.
Then book trailers were mentioned. Don't pay too much, it's for a special audience but if you enjoy doing it, then do it.
Later at the weekend I will talk about the rest of the day. See you then.