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   Marketing your novel: the long lonely trip forward unless you find the right help. The trip can also be pretty expensive and take a lot of time. The key things you have to ask yourself is can I afford the amount of money it will take to push my novel past the fog of thousands of other novelists looking to do the same thing and do I really know the true worth of what I have just created. The latter point can be painful if you have to acknowledge that your masterpiece isn't worth the paper it was printed on.

   After seven years of off and on writing of my novel, many revisions to numerous to count, and paying someone to edit my novel: I was ready to send my manuscript to a literary agent who would find some merit in my novel.  Naturally, none of the Literary agents bothered to respond to my efforts. I was at a loss and didn't know what to do. Finally after I created a page for my novel on my photography site ( Custom Photography ) I thought of selling my novel as an Amazon Kindle product. Somehow, I made a mistake in searching for Kindle and ended up in Amazon's self-publishing  division: Create Space. Once I could see how easy it was to self publish my novel and because I have a background in photography, I created my own front and back cover using templates provided by create space and my own photographs, I was like a man who had been revived with smelling salts in the ninth round - I was back in business. The best part of all this is that I could order each book for $5.36 plus shipping costs. And once I held a copy of my novel in my hand. I knew I was going to do what I could do for this novel.


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    Yes, I am an affiliate of X-Site pro and if you buy any X-Site program or training, I will get a small commission for each sale. X-Site pro wasn't the first software I used to build a site. The first was Microsoft Frontpage and after I brought the software, I learned that I had bought the last edition of this software. A year or two later I bought Microsoft Expression. This software was supposed to replace and enhance Frontpage. Unfortunately, this software was too complicated for me to learn.
Which brings us back to X Site Pro a program that is easy to learn and has some features that make it easy to put in ads from Amazon, Google or Affliate ads. It also is easier to plug into social media sites like Facebook and Twitter and offers software that lets you put a comment's section on your site.  But the most important thing about X Site Pro is that the company is selling more than a good web site builder. It is also offering training on building your web site, attracting traffic to your web site and even offers a course on web site designAll this means is that an average person like me can put out a decent web site that attracts good search results(SEO ) in my local areas like Fort Pierce, Vero Beach and Port Saint Lucie and improves my search rankings in national search results.


 And if I needed to revise my novel all I had to do was upload my revisions and okay the proof of the new revisions. Basically, this means spending $5.36 plus shipping for a proof book. A proof book is a copy of my book with the word 'Proof' printed on the last page. This is probably the biggest reason why a publishing outfit like Create Space is the way to go. Sooner or later you are going to realize that you need to make changes to some area in your novel. If you had already paid for several thousand copies of your novel and they haven't sold you are not going to make those changes. Trust me, that is how life works. Perfection almost never comes with the first edition.


Bill Benton
Proofreading help

The downside to a service like create-space is if you elect not to use their expensive services like editing and cover design you have to be ready to publish something professional. I thought I was prepared until I sold a copy of my novel to Bill Benton. Bill found some mistakes in my novel and afterwards. I gave my novel two through edits and found a lot more mistakes. I offered to pay Bill some money if he could give my novel a thorough edit. He did and found a lot more mistakes in my novel. Bill has a background as a lawyer and I think that background is essential if you want someone to correct your grammar and help to make your novel more precise without changing the plot and tone of your novel.  Most of the mistakes in my novel that Bill found most people would not have noticed.  But once I saw these mistakes. I wasn't going to sell another copy of my novel until all the mistakes were corrected and the novel was revised and published again.
















Create space also offers marketing at an added price. I have experience mixed results with their marketing efforts. Create space's marketing services can be pretty expensive and some of the services do little to advance your marketing:

  1. Press release service: Service is very expensive and many of the people they sent a press release to have nothing to do with someone reviewing or giving some publicity to your novel. Two people on their list checked out my site, and not one review was gained from my press release. The other thing about someone else writing a press release or review of your novel is that the writer doesn't always understand the actual plot of your novel or what you are trying to accomplish. This is something I recently understood after I rewrote the story line part of the press release.  The better thing to do is learn how to write a press release and go to the sites where you can send out some press releases for free.
  2. ForeWordC Review:  I liked my review and felt it was worth the money. Yes, there was some criticism. For example, the reviewer said I could have provided more depth for some of the nasty people in my novel. I can't argue with that point because I never intended to provide depth with some of my nasty people. Providing some basic motivations for their actions was good enough for me. My review was listed on their site and showed up on some google searches. The reviewer also provided a good quote which I put on the cover of my novel.
  3. Kirkus Review: This is a pretty snobby group and I only put part of their review on my site and opted out of putting my review on their site. What really irritated me about the review was that I felt the reviewer didn't bother to read all of my novel. In the review, he describes Jan(the main female) as the love of the protagonist. This misses the point that he was obsessed with Jan and that is much different than someone who is the love of your life. If this person had bothered to read the last chapter, they would have known that they missed one the key themes of my novel.
  4. Other Services: Create Space has several other marketing services which I wasn't interested in, but you might want to check out. They also run a blog and offer videos on different aspects of writing.

  As a new author you can find many people trying to sell you services that will give you a big time audience. Listed below are two non-create space services that I have used. If you have a website, you need to have a way of measuring the things you do to increase exposure and sales for your novel. I use Google analytics because it is free and gives me a good idea of what is and what is not working on my site.

  1. Websites for readers: There are many websites for readers but the biggest one I found was goodreads. This site like other sites for authors offers you an authors page and contests that offer free books from authors. 790 people entered my contest - giveaway of 10 books. 104 people marked my novel as 'to read'. After the contest ended on 8/13/11 one contest winner wrote a review of my novel. I am happy to say she wrote a favorable review.  However, not one person who marked my novel 'to read' actually bought a copy of my novel, even though I offered a refund on the price of the novel. I am not sure what I have learned from this experience.
  2. Facebook: Facebook also offers paid ads for people trying to sell something. As most people know Facebook's ads reach a much bigger market than your local newspaper. Facebook also allows you to set your daily budget for your ad and offers categories where you can target your ads for specific people or groups. During the period where I used Facebook's ads over 1400 people clicked on to my site. Almost 90% of these people stayed less than 10 seconds on my site. My ads were directed to those people who were interested in buying a novel and getting a refund on the novel. Why those people didn't understand my ad. I don't know. What did they expect to find when they clicked on my site, I also don't know? The only thing I do those was that Facebook's ads were a spectacular failure for me.

   Below is a audio featuring successful author, John Harricharan. The title: The seven deadly myths of writing and publishing a best seller. Mr. Harricharan gives some reasons as to why I was unsuccessful in finding a literary agent regardless as to whether my novel had merit or no merit

  This audio is presented by: Authors University Their site is worth taking a look at. They also offer a guide to writing, publishing and marketing your book and becoming a best selling author. Presently, I have not taken this course, but I am thinking about it, because some of the ideas expressed in the above John Harricharan audio(he also teaches this course) have resonated with me. Certainly, the outdated idea that once you finish your novel you should look for a literary agent or publisher. Certainly, technology, the internet and a bad economy have changed the way books get published.  I regret the time I wasted looking for a literary agent. I could have spent that time and money marketing my book. The following is a quote from my novel. I believe the quote properly expresses my view to the difficulties of getting your novel published and marketed.

“Famous, you bet I should have been famous,” Geezer number one harshly told his friend. “I tried to get in the remake of ‘Mondo Freudo,’ but I was told if you weren’t a midget, monkey, or an unwashed celebrity, you just didn’t meet their standards.”

From Past Twilight

If you have a web site please list your site's url. It is a good way to improve your SEO via links from other sites. Also if people like your content they may click on your site and like your site's content. If you are a author, maybe they might even buy a copy of your novel.



We can learn from each other. If you have some successes or failures in marketing your book, please type in a few comments in the below comments section. I find that it is better to share. I also believe that when more people share everyone wins in the end. 


 Author's Websites

Once you write a novel, the hard part starts: you have to sell that novel to a literary agent, publisher and most important to people who want to read a novel.
In order to do the above things you need to do many things, but the first thing you need to do is create a website. If you live in the Fort Pierce, Vero or Port St.Lucie area. I am available, for a small fee, to help you create a website. I use XsitePro as my website creator.  It is easy to use and is geared toward today's commercial web market.


Please click on the below link and click on the video ad on the left-hand side. If you are interesting in building a web site, this may be the smarting thing that you have ever done.(Alright it's the second smartest thing, clicking on this site was the first -hah hah)


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