Thursday, November 1, 2012

Kingdom Tour: Anderson O'Donnell Guest Post on Independent Publishing

Anderson O'Donnell stops by the SSP Blog today to give some grounded straight-talk from an author's perspective on the world of indie publishing today.  Some very valuable advice in this post for authors everywhere, gleaned from real world experience.  Speaking from my own experience as an author, Anderson is spot on with what he says here.  Read onward and we hope you find these insights valuable!

The World Doesn’t Stop Because You Published a Book: Eight Important Things I Learned While Promoting KINGDOM

Just in time for Devil’s Night (dystopian fiction sprung to life) here’s the final guest post on KINGDOM’s October blog tour. While the tour runs through November first, today is my final guest post, so I wanted to share some of the lessons I’ve learned, both through my own experience, and observing the actions of other authors. I’m not an authority on self-publishing/promoting—not by a long shot.

  • ·         Be Polite, or The World Doesn’t Stop Because You Published a Book. This seems like a fairly simple concept. But some folks still don’t understand the importance of patience and civility. Aside from the intrinsic value of good manners, as the number of authors vying for attention continues to skyrocket, treating readers and bloggers like human beingsnot disembodied pixelshelps to create the kind lasting relationships with readers and bloggers you need to sustain a career.
  • ·         Be Prepare to Spend Some Money. Like any business venture, you’ve got to make an investment. Specifically, you’re got to hire an excellent cover artist, book formatter, and, most importantly, a professional editor. With regard to editing, I hired Rebecca Smith, of SmithWriting. Rebecca did a tremendous job, giving KINGDOM the kind of professional polish it needed to hold its own with traditionally published works which is, still, the standard by which indie novels are held. Once the editing was done, I used CreateSpace for the formatting and cover design. Again, this wasn’t cheap, but it wasn’t too pricey either, and given that, again, indie authors are under extra pressure to make a professional first impression, it was money well spent. Plus, don’t forget to take the tax deductions…
  • ·         Give Back to the Community. I’ll admit it, that at times, I haven’t given back as much as I’ve received. Striking the right balance between staying active in the indie community (reading other authors books, commenting on discussion boards/posts, etc.) and focusing on your own work is tough. At times, I’ve found myself a bit overwhelmed by the pace of the digital indie world; there are a lot of people posting about a lot of different topics, and it can be hard to keep up. But I’m trying by commenting on my own posts, responding to every email I get within 24 hours, and general, trying to set aside 15 min a day. Don’t be an indie vampire!
  • ·         Hire a Professional Blog Tour Company. This bullet ties into the “Spend Some Money” header, but its importance enough that it needs its own space. Not only is working with a blog tour company an inexpensive investment, it gets results. For my most recent tour, I used First Rule Publicity and this partnership has been a big success. These folks love literature, are professional, and aren’t afraid to put authors in their place (when necessary, of course). Highly Recommended.
  • ·         Don’t Waste Time and Money Chasing Traditional “Big” Media Coverage. One of the biggest mistakes I made was working with a publicist (NOT First Rule) who focused on traditional “big” media outlets. There were lots of positive “reports” but, at the end of the day, not many results. Basically, there are so many indie authors vying for attention that “big media” isn’t paying much attention…unless you are one of the few who get picked up by a traditional housethen the headlines come. Until then, focus on local media and the indie community.
  • ·         Don’t Use Family and Overly Effusive Friends to Promote Your Work. When the reviewer giving your novel five stars has your last name, you’re not only discrediting your own work, you’re hurting the entire self-publishing revolution. So, for the good of, well, everyone, try to avoid this all-too-common self-publishing pitfall. And if friends are going to post reviews, ask them to be critical and point out perceived issues/weak spots to help balance their review.
  • ·         Even if Your Book Doesn’t Suck, Someone Will Think it Does. And that’s a Good Thing! A few one/two star reviews are consistent with the reality that, no matter how good your book might be, someone will hate it. I mean, Shakespeare gets one star reviews on Goodreads/Amazon…so you will too. And it shows that you’re not afraid to put your work out there for honest review; consumers are learning not to trust the author who has only five-star reviews. Oh and fuck sock puppets. Let’s not defend the indefensible here people.
  • ·         Acknowledge Those Who Contribute to Your Success. You’ll notice that, throughout this post, I’ve name-checked a few of the people/companies who have helped me present KINGDOM to the world. I’m not just weaving in cheap plugs; indie publishing isn’t just about the authorsthis is a community and lots of people, from the readers and bloggers to the formatters and editors, play critical role, and deserve acknowledgment. Doing so helps draw attention to the best the indie world has to offer, which, in turn, is going to strengthen the indie revolution, to the benefit of bother readers and writers.

I want to thank everyone who has been following my blog tour, and whose love and support has helped make KINGDOM a success. With Hurricane Sandy bearing down on my area, its time to evacuate! Stay safe everyone, and thanks for reading.

About the Author:

Anderson O’Donnell presents a biopunk, dystopian noir-esque thriller in this amazing read, KINGDOM. Most people are familiar with the term “cyberpunk,” but “biopunk” is harder to nail down. In many ways, biopunk is similar to the cyberpunk genre, and shares many of the same themes and archetypes: the dystopian future; the overreliance on technology; mega-corporations; a constant and overwhelming flow of data; the anti-hero—these elements are integral parts of both genres.

Both genres are fueled, to some extent, by the sense of rebellion and desire for individual freedom expressed by the original punk rock revolution. But the main difference—the most important difference—is that while cyberpunk focuses on invasive technological modification of the human body, biopunk explores the dehumanizing consequences of biological modification, of re-arranging our DNA in the pursuit of perfection.

Anderson lives in Connecticut with his wife and 2 sons. Anderson himself deems Kingdom as “a thrill-a-minute, bio-punk myth that manages to wrestle with the most pressing issues of the new millennium. O’Donnell has crafted a kickass novel of tomorrow night, when the big party gets raided by the monsters we’ve been building for the last half-century.”

His debut novel, Kingdom, a dystopian, biopunk thriller, is now available in paperback and ebook format. Kingdom is the first part of the Tiber City Trilogy. Look for part two, Exile, in the summer of 2013.

About Kingdom:
In a secret laboratory hidden under the desert, a covert bioengineering project--codename "Exodus"--has discovered the gene responsible for the human soul.

Somewhere in the neon sprawl outside the nation's collapsing economic core, a group of renegade monks are on the verge of uncovering a secret that has eluded mankind for centuries.

In a glittering tower high above the urban decay, an ascendant U.S. Senator is found dead--an apparent, yet inexplicable, suicide.

And in the streets below, a young man races through an ultra modern metropolis on the verge of a violent revolution....closing in on the terrible truth behind Exodus--and one man's dark vision for the future of mankind.

Welcome to Tiber City.

Kingdom Tour Dates– Oct 7 - Nov 1
10/7/2012 - Kweeny Todd - Review
10/8/2012 - Urban Fantasy Reviews - Guest Post
10/9/2012 - Flying Monkey Press - Interview
10/10/2012 - Free Book Dude - Review
10/11/2012 - Beauty in Ruins - Review
10/12/2012 - Free Book Dude - Guest Post
10/13/2012 - Splash of Our Worlds Reviews - Review
10/14/2012-  Full Moon Bites - Guest Post
10/15/2012 – Heather’s Book Chatter Review
10/16/2012 - Watch Play Read - Interview
10/17/2012 - The Flip Side of Julianne - Interview
10/18/2012 - Alchemy of Scrawl - Review
10/20/2012 - The Independent Review - Review
10/21/2012 - Azure Dwarf Horde of SciFi and Fantasy - Review
10/22/2012 - Miraculous! -  Excerpt - Giveaway
10/23/2012 - I Read a Book Once - Review
10/24/2012 - Bookishly Me - Review
10/25/2012 - Edi's Book Lighthouse - Review
10/26/2012 Jess resides here - Interview
10/27/2012 - Sheila Deeth - Review
10/28/2012 - Bee's Knees Reviews - Review
10/29/2012 - Ali's Bookshelf - Review
10/30/2012 - Workaday Reads - Guest Post
10/31/2012 - Book and Movie Dimension - Interview
11/1/2012 - Cabin Goddess - Review & Recipe
11/1/2012 - Seventh Star Press Blog Site - Guest Post

1 comment:

  1. Thank you. Wonderful post--you cover all the bases and don't leave me running for cover.