I have listened to 60 or 70 podcasts by Simon Whistler of the Rocking Self Publishing Podcast. All of the successful authors, as in ‘Best selling’ say that you really need to have an email list of your fans. Your fans are people who want to know when your next book is coming out and you can send information as soon as you have something new.
So what I have been doing over the last few days is to set up a thing called Lead Pages to put on all of my websites. I have quite a few websites and sometimes I think I am a little bit crazy for having so many. I have one website which is for all of my Mac publishing which includes a podcast Mac 20 Questions. Then there is the NoStylus website which started off as a site called Amazing iPad. I decided to broaden that out to include other touchscreen devices, hence the name NoStylus. For a while there I even did some posts and videos about Android.
Then I have this website for Good and Geeky which is the brand I have decided on for my non-fiction books. Before that I have been using a site called Digital Book Maestro and this website was all about digital publishing of books with an emphasis on how to use iBooks author. I’ll be doing more about digital publishing on this site, due to the fact I have been actually doing some digital publishing lately.
Web Pages to cover all my interests
I also have a site dedicated to making video and editing video called VideoMagical. I have this one because they like to make videos and to edit them using Final Cut Pro. I think it is better to keep the various strands separated and when people go to a website they know what sort of things they can expect to find there.
I do have a website which is just a personal page for David Allen Wizardgold which I have using just for building of my own personal brand.
The thing about creating digital content is that there is an awful lot of stuff on the Internet available and it is difficult to find your audience. Whether that be for a book or for videos you produce on YouTube or blog posts. My main focus at the moment is for the Good and Geeky brand and getting that to be known across the Internet. I am doing what they call in the business, building by author platform.
Join the newsletter to keep up-to-date
I’m looking for people that are interested in books about geeky things and encouraging them to sign up for my newsletter. To this end I have been giving away my first couple of books. The idea is that you give me an email address so that I can tell you when I have new books available. Such as the new book that will be published sometime over the next couple of days about how to get email privacy using PGP. Pretty Good Privacy. Hopefully those of you on the email list will be interested in such a book and will be happy to go off to the Amazon store and to buy a copy.
What a lot of work though!
So what I’m working on now is to create pages on my websites which offer the book. Even using the excellent Lead Pages, it takes some time to make all of the pages for each of the websites. I also have to work out which of my blog posts have been most popular so far and to offer content upgrades.
The way that this works is for me to offer something extra. For my readers to get that extra content, they have to give me an email address. On one of the pages I have collected all of the writings I have done about the same topic, either from the same website or from other places and turned it into a small e-book.
I have also found a website which will create a PDF from the webpage. I’ve offered that as a downloadable e-book for my readers. I still have to create extra pages for the Mac 20 Questions and the Good and Geeky websites with invitations to the podcasts.
Webinars Coming Soon
Something I haven’t tried yet, but will have to get into quite soon, is to create and do a webinar. For example, I can see that this will be a good idea to help put out the word for the book about email privacy. I’ll be doing a webinar showing people how to set up GPG Tools software on the Mac.
I’ll be able to do another webinar about how to use PGP on iOS devices. Hopefully with all of these things in place, I’ll be able to get more traffic to my websites and more people to sign up for my email newsletter. The newsletter is not going to be overused though, I only plan to send out an email maybe every couple of weeks just to remind people that they are signed up to the newsletter. Other than that, I’ll just send something out when I have found something of interest for the Good and Geeky subscribers. Of course I will also be sending information out when I have a new book available to buy.
Street Team for Good and Geeky
The other thing it’s necessary to build up over time is what they call a Street Team. The way this works is that I identify people on my subscribers list who are the rabid fans. These are the people who will buy every book I put out and not only that they will also tell the people they are connected to that I have put a new book out. So in time I will also have to create promotional material that I can have ready for the Street team to send out through Facebook, Twitter or Google plus. All of this makes me a very busy bee, who has always got some jobs that need doing. At some point in time if this takes off, I can see I will need to get myself a virtual assistant. I could have somebody that would take over some of the jobs such as the creation of the lead magnets, the giveaways that I create for the blog posts. Perhaps somebody who would be able to go to all of the websites that do free book promotions. They would fill in all the forms to get the word out for the book in as many places as possible. There really aren’t enough hours in the day to do everything. In any case my time is better spent with creating the content in the first place. Writing the books, making the tutorial videos and so on. As it stands at the moment my subscriber list has 185 subscribers and I would like to think that I could bring that up to 500 by the end of the year. I’d be delighted if I could increase it to 1000 subscribers. A useful place to find out more about list building is at The Traffic Generation Cafe. Ana Hoffman writes about all this sort of thing and you could start with How to Build an Email List 101.
Now for something completely different
All that I have been talking about so far for building up the email list for my non-fiction books. I will have to do that a second time for the fiction books. I will be writing under a pseudonym and I have decided upon the name of Dylan Applebyrd. I have gone with this, because of it being a unique name. I used the name creator tool in Scrivener to come up with as many variations of names as possible. And then I went to Google to do some searches for a names to see what came up. There was nothing with the name Dylan Applebyrd and so that would be good to have something I could build a brand around.
There are Zombies in the Schoolyard
I have started writing a fiction book which is in the zombie genre. Smoking Zombies I have only written a couple of chapters so far, but I have really enjoyed it and I think I could even complete the task and create a decent story out of it. Of course there has to be plenty of blood, guts and gore. That’s what the readers will be expecting. I have a back story for the reason why the people turned into zombies which is a little bit different from the usual. You will have to read the story to find out what that is. The story is set in the 1970s in England and my hero character is a bit useless and of course he is not going to have the same access to guns that the survivalists have in America. In the first chapter he has managed to survive by pure luck, he will continue to survive that way for at least half of the book until he learns some of the tricks of the trade. Now I’ve written the first couple of chapters my next task will be to write a plot or outline for the book and to decide on how the book finishes. After that I will start to work on the rest of it.
Learning the craft of writing
One of the reasons I really like the idea of self publishing is the fact that I can create my digital content and bypass the gatekeepers. In the world of traditional publishing, I would have to accumulate hundreds of rejection slips from agents and publishers, before I would have any chance of getting my book out there. With self publishing I can put my story in front of the public without having to be simply lucky enough to stumble upon the right agent or the right publisher for my writing. To be honest, as it stands at the moment I have a long way to go learning the writing craft and I doubt if I’d get anything published traditionally anyway. It’s not that I want to inflict a pile of crappy books upon an unsuspecting audience, but I do want to get my work out there. I think so long as I can tell a good story and my readers will be happy enough and I can get better at the craft of writing as I go, it is a good solution for me. Hopefully I won’t get too many one star reviews on Amazon during this process and hopefully I’ll be able to earn a little bit of money along the way.
Using Juke Pop and Wattpad
These two sites are places where you can upload your novel in serial form. So you can put up a chapter per week for your readers. It seems that it is a good way to build up a readership and a base of loyal fans. I’m thinking that I will do this with the zombie novel. Before I put these up I’m going to write two or three more chapters, so that I’ll be ahead of myself in the publishing of the serial. It seems that a chapter of about 2000 words per week is about right. To give myself this writing task will be good practice for my writing skills in terms of being professional and upping the word count. The first chapter is ready for you to read – Smoking Zombies I need to make a book cover for the story now. I’ll have to decide how much editing I’ll plan to do and maybe what I can do is to learn from the feedback from readers to make the story better. If it goes well, I could imagine that in time I would be able to take the whole story and put it out as a book. I may need to re- write the whole thing. In fact, it is highly likely that I will have to do a lot of rewriting as that is where the real writing takes place. Taking something that is probably going to be completely vomit worthy and turning it into something worth putting out as a novel on Amazon. In any case, I am looking forward to the whole process. I’ll let you know as soon as I have some chapters put out on both Juke Pop and Wattpad.