As I work to finish editing part II of the novel Piazza Navona, I also (part-time) attempt to promote my first book. Very difficult task I have to say, considering writing requires you to fantasize a lot and the other requires you to stay all business, warping everything through running through your brain while plotting a story.
The challenges I have faced so far are as follows:
1. You must be emotionally prepared to be rejected.
2. The fact there are thousands and thousands of indie authors out there make it difficult for each one to stand out.
3. Going door-to-door is challenging, be prepared for rejection and/or not too much cooperation.
4. Every bookstore now, chain or not, prefers you sign up with Ingram or Baker & Taylor for distribution of your book.
5. Baker & Taylor should consider working with Indie Authors – They don’t as of yet.
6. Consignment book stores are willing to work with you – maybe – and if they do, they want you to understand ‘missing books’ from their stores are not their responsibility.
7. You can always sign up with online book promoting companies, but be prepared to throw down some money to promote your book and possibly get nothing in return.
8. Some bookstores don’t like print-on-demand option. They want to be able to return the unsold stock.
9. Read the fine print when signing up with an online book printing and distribution company and the commission breakdown.
10. Mind where you get your ISBN number from. It’s always best you buy your own and add it to whatever print company you choose. Someone made a good point after I ordered my ISBN through the print company I went with. If that company were to fold or be sold, your ISBN number gets lost with it.
11. Book fairs are a positive means to promoting your book, the cost of joining one is a concern however.
12. Discussing your concerns in a writer’s community is helpful only if something can be done to change the way indie authors can publish and sell their books.