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For indie authors, writing and editing the book isn’t the last step. We then have to get a professional cover, get it formatted, and upload it to various sites (Amazon, D2D, Smashwords, et al). All that has now been done.

Now comes the marketing and promotion (yes, they’re different) phase. Marketing means figuring out what market you’re trying to target with your book. In the case of MMM, I’m targeting older SF readers who also like historical fiction and romping mystery yarns, as well as Poe and Carroll fans who may like a mystery starring the authors. You also have to figure out the best way of reaching them (SEO, Amazon ads versus FB ads, book tours, ARCs, release day parties, swag, et al). Promotion is taking all of that information and putting it into action.

I am currently in the marketing phase for MMM. I have Amazon ads ready to go (it’s useless to put them up at the moment because Amazon won’t put up the Look Inside feature that gets readers hooked until your book is actually released). I’m currently taking a class on FB ads so I’ll probably get those up in a week or two. I have ARCs up at BookSirens and BookSprout so that reviewers can read the book and leave reviews, hopefully good ones. I’ve been doing pre-promo on Twitter and FB with ad graphics, and I have eighteen pre-orders.

Tomorrow, the book will be released on Amazon, and B&N/iTunes/Kobo/SM/Google Play soon after. I know some people prefer to stay entirely with Amazon, but I make decent sales on other platforms so I like to use them. My Amazon ads will go live, and I’ll retune my ad graphics for “now available” and start using those on social media. I’m also going to hit various Poe and Carroll websites and see if they’re interested in reading the book and posting a link to it somewhere. Finally, I’m going to start a newsletter so that people can be kept up to date on other releases from me (I have an UF series in mind, plus a space opera).

I must admit, all of this has been made much easier by the fact that I’ve been publishing romance as Nicola M. Cameron since 2015. But there are differences, as well — a lot of SF review sites simply will not look at indie books, and too many places still want physical ARCs. So i have to adjust for that, plus the fact that I can’t use 95% of my usual reviewer list who are romance-only. Still, the bulk of the groundwork has been done, so now I just have to dig in and get to promotin’.