Let’s be honest – getting your book into the hands of readers, no matter what your foundation or however good your book might be, is hard. There are many resources on the internet for both traditional and self-published authors, giving advice on negotiating the murderous waters of book publicity. One of the best-established however, is the Indie Book Collective, a members organisation for authors and the organisation behind such publicity juggernauts as the Blog Tour de Force, Best Seller for a Day and the Indie Book Blowout.
Today, Elena Gray joins us to talk about IBC, how to get involved and what opportunities they are opening up for authors in 2012.
CQ: For those new to IBC, how did the Indie Book Collective start and what are its goals?
The goal of the Indie Book Collective is to give authors, both indie and traditional, the marketing tools to create massive, positive change in their careers with long term sustainable sales, through industry relevant education, informative texts, strategic sales events and innovative programs. We commit to paying forward the knowledge and experience we gain for the overall good of authors and industry professionals because together, we accomplish far more than apart.
CQ: IBC runs several webinars. What sorts of subjects do you cover? Can non-members take part and what do they cost?
- Intro to Indie: Covers platform building, social media basics and branding. Cost: Free
- Meet the Blogosphere: Covers starting a blog to growing an audience. As well as how to approach book bloggers to get a review. - Cost non-members: $25 Members: $15
- Eformatting 101: Learn how to format your book during a live demonstration. - Cost non-members: $25 Members: $15
- Brand – Storming (Facebook/Blogging/Branding): Learn how to create a public image that is clear and resonates with your readers. - Cost non-members: $25 Members: $15
- Amazon Optimization: Learn how to optimize your digital sales platform to maximize your book sales. - Cost non-members: $50 Members: $30
CQ: IBC has run some interesting projects around KDP Select and, judging by the blog, seems largely positive about the system. Tell us about the Free Par-tay – successes so far and where you plan to go with it.
Of the 40 titles in the promotion, all but four ranked in the top 500 FREE and ALL ranked under 1000 FREE. Moreover we had 10 authors who scored in the top 100 FREE consistently throughout the free promotion.
Our results following the free promotion during the paid cycle were nothing short of amazing. We had a 79 %rise in rankings overall and our top producers scored an astonishing 89 % rise in rankings. As of this writing many of the books are STILL in the Top 1,000 PAID lists. Multiple authors earned their way into the top 100 PAID too!
Since we are still testing the KDP waters, our goal is for our next event, Lucky Days which will run Mar 15 -17, to blow our previous event out of the water!
CQ: One of the most talked about IBC projects is the Blog Tour De Force. How does this work and how can people, both writers wanting to take part and readers following it, get involved?
Blog Tour de Force has changed with the emergence of KDP Select. Only non-KDP select authors are allowed to participate.
Each author on the tour gifts each person that comments on their blog with an ebook. There is a Kindle grand prize drawing as well as customized author gift baskets.
Each author that participates can expect an average of 700 blog hits and 100 comments, and an increased Twitter, blog and Facebook following. Not to mention the reviews generated from this free ebook event!
CQ: The IBC talks a lot about self-publication. Is it only aimed at self-pub authors, or can small press and/or traditionally published authors get involved too?
Also, many traditionally published authors are taking their backlist titles, refreshing them and self-publishing.
CQ: Members are encouraged to have a blog and a twitter account. What part do these play in the business plan of the Collective as a whole?
Many people are intimidated by social media. They feel overwhelmed and don’t know where to begin. That’s where our informative classes come in to play.
CQ: A lot of your projects are loudly aimed at readers, not authors (although of course there is a great deal of overlap!). How do you balance giving advice on marketing and writing and so on, while trying to attract readers who don’t write themselves and wouldn’t be interested in those parts of the site?
Our new Meet the Blogosphere class works for readers, reviewers and authors. Anyone can learn how to create a blog and gather a following. A blog can be important to a reader, because in turn they can become a reviewer, thus gaining even more of those coveted free books.