Advice for Self-Published Authors by a Self-Published Author

self printedI read a lot of author blogs but very few of them give advice I can truly use. Even if I love the author I usually unsubscribe after a while and move on to reading other blogs. Catherine, Caffeinated is one blog that I love seeing in my email line-up. First, she is from Ireland and I love reading about people who live in foreign lands. Her home sounds enchanting (or maybe that is just my opinion of Ireland.) Second, she is a successful self-published author and is willing and eager to help others who want to be successful self-published authors.  Third, she has a wonderful writing style that makes you feel like you are reading a letter from a friend, complete with rants about TV shows (I do that too!), and other candid opinions.
She has a book called Self-Printed. She has released it twice to keep the information up-to-date (which is so important in the ever-changing self-publishing world). She is releasing it again but this time the book is more than just re-edited. Self-Printed: The Sane Person’s Guide to Self-Publishing (3rd Edition) is a completely new book, keeping the timeless information from the first two editions, but adding and removing topics that work and don’t work in today’s industry.
If you are interested in self publishing a book and wondering how successful authors do it then Self-Printed 3.0 is the book for you. If Catherine writes about something that works it means she has successfully tried it herself. Reading this book is like getting advice from a trustworthy friend.
In the vein of being helpful and successful, Catherine invited bloggers to write her a question. She answered everyone’s questions with the request that they post them on their blog. Below is my question and her wonderful kick-in-the-pants answer. I am more than happy to add her to my blog. Her advice has helped me in my writing journey and I hope it helps you.
Q:  What advice do you have for an introvert who has a short story series (six books so far)on KDP and is ready (and scared to death) to do some marketing and get more interest in these stories?
A: First of all, you are asking an introvert this question. Most writers are introverted (which, I always make sure to say, does not necessarily mean we’re shy, but it does mean we have limited battery power to deal with other people and need quiet, alone recharging time at regular intervals!) and so we face a constant struggle between I have to get out there and promote my book and oh, but it’s so nice here in my room in my PJs. But I’m going to Dr. Phil you right now Jennifer and tell you: suck it up. No one else is going to promote your book for you, so you need to get your skates on and get to it. But here’s the thing: this whole digital self-publishing and social media world? It couldn’t get any better than this for the introverted author. Once upon a time, you had to leave your house to promote your book! (Perish the thought.) Now you can talk to people whenever you like from a distance (Twitter), join groups of the enthusiastic (Facebook) and share your innermost thought somewhat anonymously with the world (blogging). So get out there! You’ve no excuse. 😀
In terms of practical advice, I would say approach book bloggers, offering them a complimentary copy of the first of your books and maybe another physical copy (if you have one or can make one with CreateSpace) as a prize to give away to their readers, and/or offer to do guest posts for them. If you find this difficult, take a step back and get involved on Twitter first, where you can chat to people first and THEN, down the line, approach them re: reviews and book tours. But there’s also plenty you can do that doesn’t involve putting yourself out there at all, like running a series of Goodreads giveaways which I blogged about recently, or if your books are in KDP Select, have a series of free day promotions. Another thing you can do is research how other authors sell/promote their books. Follow them on Twitter. Read their blogs. Ask yourself if there’s anything they’re up to that you could maybe use in a slightly different way to promote your books. But so SOMETHING. Even if you’re not ready to boldly e-mail a book blogger, there’s still lots you can do. Good luck!