The pirate speaks,”In this month’s Indie Spotlight we’ll be reviewin’ Dark Harbors — a fun, smartly-paced rock ‘n’ roll pirate adventure by J.K. Dark, who was kind enough t’ answer some questions about how he approaches marketin’ as a self-published author. Thank you, J.K.!”
(What did you think … I ran my intro through the Pirate translator …. something I’ve always wanted to do but never had the opportunity in all my years of blogging! lol)
Tell us a little bit about your decision to self-publish, and what have been the biggest advantages and challenges?
For me it made perfect sense from a number of standpoints, I had a book that no traditional publisher would touch, it was a collection of very personal short stories from a lifetime. They were stories for me to exercise some demons perhaps, as well as tell a few loved ones how much they meant to me, had to be done. It was a quest for me.
There are a million stories just like mine, stories that for economic reasons a publishing house might not touch, but they are none the less important than say a Fifty Shades. I have read some terrific Indie books, and some terrible ones. Like life, what we put into it, is what we get out of it.
Plus, I like being independent and having full control. I have run a small business my entire adult life, so it was not a new “wear all hats” experience. Not to mention I loved the entire creative process.
How do you get people to read/buy/review your books?
Marketing is a never ending quest. It starts long before I publish a book, and as near as I can tell, it never ends.
I use a combination of social media sites, my own blog, some help from industry review sites and a network of professionals. And the best marketing tool I have, the readers. I try to be engaged and solicit their help.
I also contribute every chance I get to several ezine magazines, The Good Men Project, and Taboo Jive. They have been very instrumental in expanding my readership, and allowing me to cross market as well as provide content.
Agreed. So many authors ask, “When should I start marketing?” and I think you hit the nail on the head — it’s never too early, you don’t have to wait for the book to be published to be thinking about marketing.
We often advise authors to blog. What role does blogging play, if any, in your writing or marketing efforts?
Well, I blog to get things out of my head, and on to a format that is more than storage. It houses my short stories; it serves to keep readers informed of what I am working on for any future publications.
What is the best marketing advice would you give to an author who has made the decision to self publish?
There is no magic bullet! Marketing is all encompassing; you should be marketing all the time, in every format made available to you.
And engage the audience and ask for help.
I couldn’t agree more, great advice! So what’s next for J.K. Dark?
I’m working on a sequel to Dark Harbors as we speak. The readers dictate what I do, and what my focus is. They wanted more; it is my job and pleasure to oblige. I hope to have that completed by Christmas.
I also will be writing my beloved short stories, it allows me to stay fresh, and never get bored.
I love that you published for your own personal reasons but continue for your readers. Thank you so much for your time, J.K., and for writing such a fun read!
Stay tuned for part 2 of our Indie Spotlight featuring Dark Harbors — my review! It will go live tomorrow, and we’ll announce our July Indie Spotlight featured book so you can read along!