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By Ben Cameron, Nov 20 2017 11:27AM

By Laxmi Hariharan


As someone who is about to move from a full-time day job to becoming a full-time author, self-publishing is a definite yes for me. I did have an agent and had a book published through a mainstream publishing company, only to realize quickly that publishing model wasn't for me.


I found that I had better knowledge of my genre, cover look, pricing and readers than my publisher. I also didn't have any control over pricing, technical issues and received very little money from the publisher beyond the small token down-payment. I found that I liked being in control, including the business side of selling my books.


So, I decided to self-publish. But self-publishing isn’t without it's pitfalls and there are three key marketing questions that I think you must answer to be successful in self-publishing:


Are You Willing to Experiment?


In author circles you hear about a lot of things that work for other authors. Fact is, what works for someone else and their book may not work for you and you probably won't know till you try it. This means that you may have to spend money and/or time on a marketing activity to understand if it can be effective for you.


And then, even if you determine that an activity can be effective, you still need to tweak it relentlessly to make it work as well as possible (for example testing Facebook ads or mailing list services). This is fundamental. If you are afraid of experimenting, afraid of investing money to research then self-publishing may not be right for you.


Can You Enjoy the Marketing as Well as the Writing?


I do enjoy the marketing part of the author business. I like trying out new marketing tools as they come up, all the while knowing that it's helping to build my platform, so the money I spend is not being wasted.


If you view marketing as a chore or an afterthought you will always struggle because you will be doing it half-heartedly. You can hire someone to do many of the marketing activities for you, but even then, you still need to be involved in the process to manage it effectively.


The good news is that marketing really is both fascinating and creative. Many authors who never wanted to market their books have stepped into it to find they are quite effective at it – because they jumped into it with the same passion that they brought to writing their books.


Can You Treat Your Author Identity as a Brand and a Business?


This is tough but essential. An ‘author brand’ helps you to step-back from your book and view your work impartially and dispassionately – so that you make better marketing decisions.


One way to help distance yourself from your author persona is to have a pen name. I admit I made a mistake here - if I had published under a pseudonym it would be easier to take criticism and to treat my author output as a business. If I branch out into new genres, I plan to use a pen name. ‘Till then, I try to keep a respectful distance between me and my author self. It helps bring more discipline to my writing too - while the writing is always personal, treating the author self as separate to myself helps me to focus and write faster.


In the past, publishers traditionally took on the marketing chores for authors so that they could concentrate on the writing. The degree to which that is still true varies from publisher to publisher, but authors with publishing contracts with even the largest publishers are finding that they need to do much of the marketing themselves. It may soon be impossible to avoid marketing your books.


If you are thinking of self-publishing and want to ask me any questions, tweet me @laxmi


Laxmi Hariharan is a New York Times bestselling author. Find her at http://www.laxmihariharan.com


Comments or questions? You can contact us at info@cameronpm.co.uk, Twitter: @CameronPMtweets or Facebook: www.facebook.com/CameronPublicity





By Ben Cameron, May 26 2017 02:20PM

We are very excited to announce a big new live event coming to London on September 23rd!


The Self-Publishing Masterclass is a special full day event that will guide authors through the entire self-publishing process, from first draft to publication date. Led by highly experienced and well-known self-publishing professionals, the Self-Publishing Masterclass will be an invaluable day for any author interested in publishing their book.


Wherever you are in the publishing process, you are sure to get helpful advice and techniques to improve the quality of your books and to find your audience.


Speakers:


•Roz Morris (Author, Editor and Writing Coach): Editing a Manuscript to a Professional Level


•Jessica Bell (Vine Leaves Press: Publisher, Author and Designer): Creating a Quality Product - Cover, Design, Formatting and Blurbs


•Ben Cameron (Cameron Publicity and Marketing): Reaching Your Audience - Book Marketing and Publicity


•Robin Cutler (IngramSpark): Printing, Distribution, Pricing and Metadata


Special 10% off Discount code for our blog readers! Use code CPM10 at checkout!


To find out more and to book your ticket visit www.selfpublishingmasterclass.org



By Ben Cameron, Sep 21 2016 02:00PM

As a writer it’s a relief to move away from staring at the computer screen to actually hearing interesting advice on the craft of writing via podcasts. Never heard a podcast before? Here are a few to get you started


1. SELF PUBLISHING PODCAST

http://sterlingandstone.net/series/self-publishing-podcast/

I love the Sterling and Stone guys. They talk both craft as well as business, but what I like best is that they manage to keep their quirky banter alive, and often interesting insights into how writers work together do emerge from this. Even though they also talk the ‘business of writing’ the chemistry between them is brilliant and gives an insight on how co-writing could possible work.


2. STORY GRID

https://storygrid.simplecast.fm/

I listen to this for a dose of cold reality. They critique stories live on air, so you learn a lot. Everything from how to hook them from the first sentence, to writing faster, writing better and calibrating your scenes


3. TIM FERRIS PODCAST

http://fourhourworkweek.com/podcast/

Writing is all about mindset. The same mindset of discipline, perseverance, belief, never giving up. The kind that makes or breaks entrepreneurs. The kind that Tim Ferriss talks about. In particular this podcast where he interviews Paolo Coelho http://fourhourworkweek.com/2012/02/15/paulo-coelho-how-i-write/ is eye-opening. He delves not only into mindset of what makes great entrepreneurs, but goes into how to help make lifestyle changes so you can survive this punishing pace for the long term. Best discovery I made from here: Mushroom Coffee


4. THE PSYCHOLOGY PODCAST

http://thepsychologypodcast.com/

I find the best advice on writing craft comes from psychologists. After all what is writing if not delving into character motivations and understanding human nature and interactions at its core. I LOVE this one and listen to this podcast often as a pick-me-up. Best one so far, is the one called “Subtle art of not giving a fuck – something which we creative expressionists must practice more often” http://thepsychologypodcast.com/the-subtle-art-of-not-giving-a-fuck-with-mark-manson/


5. BETWEEN THE COVERS

https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/between-covers-author-interviews/id583648001?mt=2

For those looking for a more straightforward literary discussion and insights into plots and writers – and why not. As an Indie what I still admire traditional publishing for is their ability to spend more time refining the books (often) something I don’t have the luxury of in the fast-paced production process that comes with Indie writing. Author interviews with today's best writers--established & up-and-coming-- in fiction, nonfiction and narrative poetry. Hosted by David Naimon


These are just a few podcasts that focus on the craft of writing and which have stuck with me. What about you? Know of an awesome writing craft related podcast? Share in comments below.


Laxmi Hariharan is a New York Times Bestselling author of urban fantasy and paranormal romance. Join her list to get a starter library of her books here: http://smarturl.it/Laxmi


Comments or questions? You can contact us at info@cameronpm.co.uk, Twitter: @CameronPMtweets or Facebook: www.facebook.com/CameronPublicity



By Cameron Publicity and Marketing, Mar 12 2015 02:00AM

We are giving away one free ticket to the 3rd annual Self-publishing Conference on Saturday 9th May 2015 at the University of Leicester.


The conference is the perfect day out for authors thinking about, or already involved in self-publishing their work. Whether you are going it alone or using a self-publishing company, the multiple sessions on a wide variety of topics will be invaluable. Speakers include Keynote Speaker, Bridget Shine from the Independent Publishers Guild (IPG), who will talk about the rise of indie publishing and the day rounds up with an interactive Indie Author Exchange. Other speakers include:


•Dr Alison Baverstock (Kingston University) who will guide authors through key decisions in self-publishing.


•Literary agent Judith Murdoch (Murdoch Literary Agency) on getting an agent.


•Our own Ben Cameron (Cameron Publicity and Marketing) on the key points of book marketing, press releases and pitching your book for media publicity.


For to find out more about the speakers and self-publishing topics at the conference visit http://www.selfpublishingconference.org.uk/


TO ENTER THE COMPETITION simply send us an email to info@cameronpm.co.uk with the subject heading: Conference Competition by the closing date Friday 3rd April 2015. Winner will be chosen at random. One winner will receive free entry to the conference (£60 value). Does not include transportation or accommodation.



By Cameron Publicity and Marketing, Feb 25 2015 02:00AM



Booking now, the first ever Indie Author Fringe Festival will take place on Friday 17th April at Foyles Bookshop, Charing Cross, London. Coordinated by the Alliance of Independent Authors (ALLi), the IndieReCon Global Online Conference and London Book & Screen Week, it is looking like it will be the live self-publishing event of the year for both authors and readers - a great opportunity to learn, network and have fun!


The Indie Author Fringe Festival will feature talks, panel sessions, debates, performances and one-to-one professional advice.


The day-long event, sponsored by Ingram Spark, will feature top publishing commentators and author-publishers including Porter Anderson, Ben Galley, Steena Holmes, CJ Lyons, Toby Mundy, Joanna Penn, Orna Ross, Debbie Young and many more. The early half of the event is limited to ALLi members with doors open to all writers and readers at 4pm for an Indie Author Fair, ALLi Member Showcase and one-to-one advice on self-publishing.





Held at Foyles Bookshop, Charing Cross, the largest independent book store in London, the Fringe Fest will offer exciting ways for readers to meet indie authors and discover great reads. And, in line with ALLi’s mission to be a global organisation for authors everywhere, the event will be live streamed as part of IndieRecon (http://indierecon.org), so that other authors and readers worldwide can take part online.
Held at Foyles Bookshop, Charing Cross, the largest independent book store in London, the Fringe Fest will offer exciting ways for readers to meet indie authors and discover great reads. And, in line with ALLi’s mission to be a global organisation for authors everywhere, the event will be live streamed as part of IndieRecon (http://indierecon.org), so that other authors and readers worldwide can take part online.

Tickets for The Indie Author Fringe Festival cost £75 but are free to ALLi members and those with a ticket for The London Book Fair. Register at: http://www.eventbrite.com/e/indie-author-london-book-fair-fringe-festival-tickets-7543012353


This special live-streamed event will be the culmination of this year's IndieReCon global online conference for authors, which takes place online from 15th to 17th April. The highly successful IndieReCon, now in its third year, aims to provide the best advice and education for independent-minded authors across the world: a mix of online educational seminars, workshops, discussions and masterclasses promoting quality and craft in all aspects of author publishing


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