Laura Smith


Selling Hard Copy Books

Posted by lsmith335 on February 6, 2014 at 9:35 PM

I kept coming across CreateSpace as a usful tool to format books and ebooks, but there seeemed to be so much to it that I decided to format the books myself. Knowing what I know now, I should have started with CreateSpace to begin with. Now, I have my second ebook available to buy in print form on CreateSpace with an Amazon listing to come within the next week, and it didn't cost me a dime.

CreateSpace prints books as they are ordered so there's no need to purchase books ahead of time and hope that they sell online. CreateSpace also picks up all of the printing and shipping fees, which gives them a higher percentage of each book sale, but I think that's fair. The potential costs were the main reason why I avoided print books at first. 

That just leaves me to promote the book. This will be a lot easier once the Amazon page is up, but with my ebook promotions not going too well, I'm running out of options. I've read a lot about promoting with local schools and libraries so I'm looking into that slowly but surely. This is where an agent would come in handy. They seem to have better connections than an author promoting on their own. I'm also looking into promoting at local vendor fairs. Paying for a table is a gamble, but it's something I plan to try, at least in my local neighborhoods at first. I'm hoping that word of mouth will spread as well, but since I don't know many other active writers, it's hard to generate buzz.

I'm pretty sure that my Facebook and other social media friends are tired of my promotional posts, but they say that social media helps. I've gone from 12 to 49 Twitter followers in the last few months. I've also been pinning on Pinterest, started a Tumblr account and posted on LinkedIn. I have different followers on each account, and I'm trying to attain more on each site by liking other people's posts and posting regularly. It's coming along slowly but surely.

One site is helping me to promote by giving away five free ebooks of "Saving Hascal's Horrors". We'll see how effective that is. I also want to work on trying to get more reviews. My first book currently has two reviews, and my second book has three. I used a site called to find reviewers and promoters that will work for a low fee of $5. Hopefully, more reviews will help me open the door to other promotional opportunities.

I've been looking at author boards as well, but a lof these boards require an invite, and once you do get on, the posting is so constant that it's hard to keep up. Promoting is defintiely a full time job, but I just have to keep plugging away and hoping for a break. I'll post in the future about what has worked for me.

A few things that haven't worked include:

-free website promotions

-free days on Amazon

- paid promotions

I don't think there is a "best" way to promote. Some people get lucky. Some people have a lot of friends and family that can help spread the word about your book, and some people just know the right people. So far, I don't have any of these things, but I do believe in the quality of my books, and I know that I'm in a competitive age group and a nobody in the industry as well as young to the writing world, despite having been writing stories since I was five years old. Like any art form, writing is a mix of talent and luck. 

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