Saturday, May 30, 2015

How I Fouled up Self-Publishing My New Book Series - Case Study 10

(...and what you can do to avoid this mistake)

How I Fouled up Self-Publishing My New Book Series (...and what you can do to avoid this mistake)
(Yes, I know - Fouled up isn't the same as Fowl, which isn't a cute chickie...)

Video edition:

OK, I got busy getting some hard-cover books done up - mainly because Lulu had a 25% discount which ended last night. (And that mostly paid for shipping...)

I had these books which I thought were ready, but actually were only half-way there. Out of the 13 books in that series (yes it grew from the first 6), I was able to get 8 of them coming to me as proofs. (I have one more actually ready, but was too close to the midnight deadline to order, and the others are either too short to print, or have a lot of work yet to make them ready.)

The problem was, I screwed up with the self-serving links in them.

I told you years ago - or was it just last year sometime - that you need to start tracking your links from these books.

It's true that Google is able to read these books, and so can follow links. If you put a link-shortener in there, you get no SEO. So my foul-up isn't that bad.

OK, let's backtrack a bit - this is getting us both confused.

The error you shouldn't make

I had these books ready, or so I thought.

Instead of putting a single link back to the site, I thought to add a "Bibliography" to each book which would give links to all the books in that series. (This is instead of a single link front and back.)

What I did then was to quickly set up landing page addresses for each book (set up the page on the site, copy the link, then turn the post back to draft.)

The step I omitted (which isn't a big deal, since the print versions don't have links anyway) is to convert all these books into links.

The two reasons for using are, first - they are the only shortener left standing which actually tracks your links and can give some analytics on it. The second reason is that they have become a form of social media in themselves.

The whole point of this is to have trackable links from your ebooks to show you whether they are coming from your books or somewhere else. I don't know that Google Analytics can't track these, but the point is that you want to be able to - and is the only way I know of right now to do so.

Why the trade paperback isn't a bad start

It's true that they don't have links, but why paying for the expense of getting these books printed instead of the easy route of ebooks?

Well, for a start - Amazon can't/won't reject them. Second, you are only paying a few bucks for each book and will have a nice copy for your effort, with the satisfying touch and feel - being able to dog-ear and use a real bookmark, etc.

True, I've said to get them out into the ebook distributors first and then only spend the time and money on proven sellers.

And that is still very valid advice. When you are broadshooting with a few dozen books available to publish, that would be the way to go. Particularly with PLR to show you which book markets are hottest - of course you've already done your market research to pick out PLR ebooks based on what you've found. Publishing ebooks just tends to verify and narrow your field (providing your covers and descriptions are enticing and fascinating.)

And maybe this was a mistake. I kinda think not - since I can sit down and rattle off a 5-10 minute book trailer with a hardcopy in my hand, doing a half-dozen or more books in a single sitting. This then gets the book trailer out of the way.

It also takes time to get those books to me, while I then build out the landing pages for each one (yes, you can imagine having to build 13 landing pages will take some time.) With snail-mail (cheapest) figure about 10 days to 2 weeks before they arrive. I should be able to get all those pages back up and running.

The other error I'm correcting 

It has to do with IFTTT (If This Then That - This we've covered - it's a way to get your message out to all sorts of social media. I have to post the original video, cover, blog post, audio, and PDF to basically five sites. Then IFTTT sends these out to:

Facebook Page
and Facebook
And some get multiple posts. That saves me a lot of work promoting these - the problem is: I don't have these set up via IFTTT, either. Or all verified, anyway.

So I pulled down (reverted to draft) all the landing pages I had put up. So when I put these live, they'll be covered. (You can see my CYA post here.)

All that work is headed in a certain direction - which is how to market these books, any books, effectively. And as I said before, what starts right tends to go right, but you can always start over...

What about this Membership stuff?

Funny you should ask. That's probably the fourth error I have to fix.

When I started looking ahead to all the work I had to do, I considered that I wouldn't want to do anything twice - and that why should I invest my Synnd coins on a Blogger blog, when I can spend them promoting the same post on my membership site which I can then syndicate over to that Blogger site (which IFTTT then syndicates to Wordpress and Tumblr, etc. for me.)

About the time I get all done, I'll need to change it again. Not funny.

So my next real step is to figure if I can CNAME deep inside my membership, or simply redirect my Blogger blog over to a category inside my wordpress-based Rainmaker platform.

The original Blogger site will still get set up as planned, it's just that the main promotion is going to be spent on my Rainmaker-hosted site, with the freebie site carried as a version of the first. Is it worth it? Well, you never throw away a blog which has been around for awhile. And this standalone blog will be devoted entirely and only to assembling and promoting the know-how of creating children's books. (I've got plans after this as well - when I start cranking out children's books by the gross, literally...)

Lots of work ahead, one step back for every two forward, and so on.

But you're worth it, aren't you?

You are why I'm doing this after all - so you don't have to go through this pain on your own.

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