Finally - a place for Self-Published authors to find readers!

Karen McTackett By Karen McTackett, 2nd Jan 2014 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL http://nut.bz/3zvd4yxu/
Posted in Wikinut>Business>Sales & Marketing

Self-published authors are growing in numbers. Hidden Reads finally gives polished works a chance to shine with free advertising.

The Emergence of the Indie Author

Self-published author, Indie author, whatever you want to call us, we are a growing breed and this poses both positive and negative implications for traditional publishers, readers, and the beloved book-stores. But wait, what about us – the authors? I can say that the option of self-publishing for me was a blessing, a relief, and perfect for my situation but I certainly cannot say that I have made a single cent in profit. I did not write my book for the money, absolutely not, but it would have been nice to cover my expenses!

My first novel was 20 years in the making and she was my baby so I made the decision that “Awakening” would be self-published - she was not going to be touched and tormented by someone that did not even know her. Of course, babies grow up and like to play with others so I held an elaborate book launch with actors playing my main characters, a wonderful musician to play some mellow acoustic guitar sounds, drinks and snacks, all held in a local hotel's function room. It was spectacular and perfect and it cost me my entire savings. I sold about 20 copies of my book that night. 20 copies. I was thrilled, don't get me wrong, but when the excitement settled... 20 copies. That didn't even cover the cost of the 50 copies I purchased let alone everything else.

To Publish Traditionally or Self-Publish...

This is where traditional publishing is head and shoulders above self-publishing as an option. A traditional publisher will take you on with the desire to sell your book. You make them money, therefore, they are going to do everything they can to make sure your book has every chance to succeed. But with self-publish, the buck stops with the author unless they can afford to promote, promote, promote. Also, traditional publishing assures the reader that the work should be relatively free from errors and should be a decent read. Sadly, self-published works don't always meet those standards, but the problem is, some do and THOSE are the ones people SHOULD read. The trouble is linking readers with writers. A reader will not search for a writer whose name they do not know so how will a fantastic writer who chooses to self-publish for whatever reason ever find a fan-base?

Personally, I have approached book stores directly (and am on the shelves of one), I have sold directly to friends and family, I have given copies away to promote myself, I have displayed at conventions, I held a book launch, I advertise constantly on social media sites and yet I have still only sold around 60 copies in total. I have 5 star feedback including from people I do not know with some fantastic comments. Yet only my 167 Facebook fans know my name – and most of them only follow me because I am a “Horror Writer”, they have no real interest in reading my book. Maybe they are waiting for me to hand out free copies, who knows. Surely 20 years of my life is worth SOMETHING.

Hidden Reads to the Rescue!

A few months ago, I started researching in an effort to get my name out there. I searched for places I could advertise for free, or at least for minimal cost (my financial situation is another article for another day), and I looked for options for getting my author websites and fan-pages out there. I found little to nothing! So I've decided to take the bull by the horns and do it myself and just the exercise of doing that has shown me the power of social media and what can be achieved at zero cost. First, I created the skeleton of a website which I called Hidden Reads. To read about it, CLICK HERE. In short, it is a place specifically for SELF-PUBLISHED authors, article writers and bloggers to advertise their work for free. I will not pretend these authors will suddenly make $1000 a day, but to an author who truly wants readers, any method is worth a shot – especially if it is free, no? After creating the blog/website for free through WordPress, I then created a Hidden Reads Twitter account, a Hidden Reads Facebook Page, A Hidden Reads email address (gmail) and linked all of these to my WordPress page. That took about an hour all up.

No, I didn't sit back and wait! I requested every Facebook “friend” I have to like the page. I Started following writers, publishers, journalists etc on Twitter and I sent out links to Hidden Reads on LinkedIn, Tumbler, Pinterest and I can't even remember what else. This all began on November 11, 2013. On January 2, 2014, we have 229 followers and it is growing daily. It's a slow but steady start on the road to helping my fellow self-published authors.

Please join us at Hidden Reads:

Blog
Facebook
Twitter

I am hoping to attract more authors to the site before we officially launch this Sunday so please feel free to share this with others :)

Tags

Author, Authors, Blog, Blogging, Book, Book Review, Books, Indie Author, Read, Read This, Reader, Readers, Reading, Reading Books, Reading For Improvement, Reading List, Reading Skills, Self Publishing, Write, Writer, Writers, Writing, Writing Articles, Writing For A Living, Writing For Money, Writing For Pay, Writing Site, Writing Skill, Writing Skills, Writing Tips, Writing Tips And Tricks, Writing Web Content

Meet the author

author avatar Karen McTackett
www.iamacademy.com.au
* Professional Writer/Facilitator/Speaker
* Writing Mentoring & Freelancer
* Master of Arts (Writing)
* WRITE NOW Creator -
https://www.facebook.com/groups/WriteNowHub/

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Comments

author avatar MarilynDavisatTIERS
2nd Jan 2014 (#)

Good afternoon, Porie; thank you for creating the site and for sharing the information. I will be checking it out later tonight. I'm headed to the day job of counseling. That is the bane of most of us indie writers, the need for another income stream. I mention this as it seems you have an article in you specific to this as well :) I also created a web site for my addiction curriculum and was, like you, surprised at how easy it can be. Again, thanks for seeing and need and responding. ~Marilyn

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author avatar Karen McTackett
2nd Jan 2014 (#)

Hi Marily,
Thank you for your kind words and yes, thank you for the fantastic suggestion of further articles in relation to how hard us indie writers work. Only writers understand the time and effort that goes into our soul food but that we still have to earn money to live! ARGH! Hahaha. We do it for the love but it is truly exhausting! I work, go to uni (Master of Arts), write, manage a blog for the Australian Horror Writers Association, and now I have Hidden Reads. Not much time left for sleep, hahaha.

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author avatar Fern Mc Costigan
3rd Jan 2014 (#)

Interesting post and informative as well!

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author avatar Phyl Campbell
23rd Jan 2014 (#)

Good job with Hidden Reads -- I do believe I have heard of you via Twitter!
I am sad (and feel like my previous comments may have kicked a poor dog who was down) that you only sold 20 copies of your book at your launch. When I launched Mother Confessor some years ago, I was volunteering at the Literacy Council. They let me use their school building for free, and we combined the event with a Halloween party and the students brought potluck. Doesn't get much more shoestring than that, but I sold 20 copies that night and several more in the weeks that followed from people unable to attend the party. Sadly, I've moved on from the school, and haven't found an equivalent venue, though we have lots of expensive hotels and meeting spaces (and some cheap ones, if I followed another article where you mentioned such good advice).
Anyway, good luck with Hidden Reads, may it be everything you tried to get for free and couldn't before!!

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author avatar Karen McTackett
24th Jan 2014 (#)

Hi Rhys. Thank you for your kind words and no, not at all a kick - everything is a learning experience. I am glad that you have found some of my other articles useful and I hope, through Hidden Reads and my postings on WIkinut, to help others to learn from my own experiences (good and bad). I have found some fantastic authors through Hidden Reads and am doing what I can to help them. Of course, I hope it has an impact on my own sales and promotion - that would be ideal; however, Hidden Reads is running on the concept of Give Support, Get Support - help others and you will be repaid in kind. I love the success of others as much as my own so I hope I can have an impact :)
All the best - Porle :)

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author avatar writestuff
23rd Mar 2014 (#)

Thanks for for sharing. This is a very informative post. I will support your visionary efforts every way I can.

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author avatar Karen McTackett
23rd Mar 2014 (#)

Thank you writestuff! :)

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