Thursday, June 5, 2014

The Book Marketing Challenge

My self-publishing journey began back in 2011. After I tediously learned each step in formatting the stories I wanted to tell (real-life ones) and self-publishing the completed projects, I thought I might put together a program that would teach others how to do what I had learned how to do. I believe it was in 2012 that I googled “self-publishing for practically nothing” to see what else was available on the subject and found Shelley Hicks’ website She had already done everything I was thinking of doing and then some. I subscribed to her newsletter and downloaded the free reports she offered. On April 25 (2 months ago), I received one of those newsletters announcing that Shelley was going to be one of the 40 contributing experts in the upcoming Book Marketing Challenge.

If you’ve known me for a long time, you know that I have been living on a fixed disability income since 1998. I would not have been able to take this course had there been a charge for it or if I had to drive any kind of distance to take it. While there were Gold and Diamond upgrade levels for a fee, I was able to enroll in the Silver level for FREE. The course was broken up into 30 individual well-organized daily segments which included articles, interviews, and exciting assignments (including the steps on how to complete them).

My favorite part of the course was related to blogging which spilled over into Facebook Fanpage Parties and Virtual Book Tours. I was excited to find out that I wouldn’t have to physically travel all over the world to do a book tour (although I wouldn’t mind). I had already self-published five books through CreateSpace, four of them through KDP, and had started this blog back in 2011. I also had created an Amazon Author Central Page, a Facebook Fan Page, and a Linkedin profile. I quickly absorbed the lessons about developing an author platform, identifying a target audience, and how to sync all the pages I had created together. I tweaked my blog heading to reflect the overall purpose for my books and began to rewrite the back cover contents to sum up what I had learned from the entire transformational process. At least all the books were print-on-demand so I am only throwing away about a dozen proof copies! I kept telling myself that I hadn’t sold very many books because something was going to shift – and this course was IT! (Sorry, Shelley – if I had been able to purchase your courses, I’m sure you would have described a similar process – and congratulations on being selected as part of the Book Marketing Challenge!)

My most recent memoir is “Love, Life, & God: Getting Past the Pain,” a journey that began when I could no longer work back in 1998 and ended about 15 years ago when I discovered ways to shift my thinking and managed to create a meaningful life (after moving 43 times). I included stories about people, places, pets, and experiences (some of which were super-natural). My ideal readers, which I realized by taking this course, are people who have endured multiple life challenges and are looking for someone to relate to as well as be inspired by. My books can be viewed at or by clicking on any one of the book cover photos that are on this blog.

I am really excited about tomorrow’s Blog Hop!

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