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By James Minter, Jun 2 2017 02:22PM

Because Self-Publishing Works – Everything I Learned About How To Market a Book by V V Cam

I’m a self-published author of fourteen books, but my sales are lacklustre, to say the least. To quote V.V Cam “I’ve used sporadic marketing tactics: chasing after reviews, doing a few author interviews and throwing money at promotions with the hope of selling a few more books.” Like 95% of all self-published authors, I lack well-honed, professional marketing skills and knowledge.

For any new, or recent writer whose sales are in the doldrums, this book is for you. If you’ve Googled searched, you’ll know there are tonnes of marketing information on the Internet, but what is lacking is a decent structure to build a marketing strategy and plan. This is where ‘Everything I Learned About How To Market a Book’ scores highly. V.V Cam has a professional marketing background, and she has put her hard-won knowledge and experience to good use to drive the sales of her husband’s book ‘Because’ by Jack A Langedijk, to a respectable level for both paperback and Kindle editions. Now she is sharing all she knows in this very complete ‘how to…’ book. You only have to look at the Table of Contents to see how complete she is.

Note; this book is not for wimps. I love ‘How to…’ books, but it’s one thing to buy the book, another to read it, but it’s a totally different matter putting into practice all the ideas and suggestions. It’s at this stage many authors give up – tenacity, dedication, commitment and a realistic budget are paramount. As V.V Cam points out, there is no marketing silver bullet.

However, V.V Cam has come to your aid with predesigned, downloadable templates, self-analysis questions, a plethora of web links to useful resources, and a copious amount of hints and tips.

I have no hesitation in recommending this book to any serious self-published writer. And if you are a first timer contemplating writing the next best-seller, I suggest you read this book to understand the world you are entering into. You’ll realise writing a book is relatively easy! With Amazon, Kobo, Smashwords, Draft2Digital, etc. listing over nine million books for sale, you soon appreciate it’s a formidable challenge to break into the top 20% where you need to be if you are looking to earn a living from writing. The only real chance you have of doing this is to adopt the strategy so comprehensively laid out in this book. And finally, does the strategy work? Only time will tell. I’m fully on board and will let you know in 12 months.

By James Minter, Apr 28 2017 09:24AM

Self-publishing is now a very accepted way to bring your novel to market – even the most successful authors like JK Rowling are using this approach. However, writing a novel to the standards demanded by readers is, in many writers minds, the biggest and principle issue they face. As a self-published author of twelve books, believe me when I say that writing an attention-grabbing story, though significant, is only one step to becoming a successful author. The demands of the self-publishing process are high, complex, time-consuming, frustrating, bewildering and at times, make you question is it all worth it.

Any author going down the self-publishing road needs all the help they can get. As V.V Cam says in her introduction, there is a heap of information out there on the internet, but what she has done is make a good attempt at bringing it all together into a single place. By doing so this she’s made the information more accessible, as well as presenting it in a logically structured style – you only need to read the Table Of Contents to see that. Moreover, it is heavily spread with her own hard-won knowledge and experience gained by going through the process with her husband’s book. That’s why I love “How to…” books. They capture hard-won knowledge and experience and make it available in an easily consumable form so saving you making the same mistakes or going off tangent.

People write for many reasons, but not everyone attempts to publish their work. A useful device V.V Cam employs throughout the book is self-assessment questionnaires. In chapter two she offers one appropriate to answer the question – is self-publishing right for you. I recommend you complete this since you will better understand why your writing and if you’ve the time/tenacity/money to bring you book to the general public.

Self-publishing is a big, evolving process, and a guide such as this cannot be complete or totally up to date. As with all eBooks, it can constantly be corrected, amended, or added to. V.V Cam makes a good use of live links to allow the reader to explore some of the software products and tools she mentions.

I’m a visual person, and for me, I would like to have seen a diagram covering the whole process. That way each chapter could reference the diagram as the book unfolds so you can monitor your progress. By its very nature the publishing steps are interrelated, and on a few occasions reference is made to an item like ISBN’s or Tax Identification Number but not discussed until much later. Also, some recommendations like grabbing your Author page on Goodreads and Amazon were weak suggestions rather than being presented as a must do. Additionally, I felt chapters 6, 7, and 8 were rushed/sketchy and needed more attention.

In conclusion, a book worth purchasing but there are gaps, but in fairness writing the definitive guide would be near on impossible.

By James Minter, Jan 9 2017 11:49AM

I really like this Author and what he has to say. He can be counted on to give great stories and examples of what needs to happen to become more creative. There are lots of learnings, and I feel he’s really on my side, and perhaps even understands me a bit!

It’s always reassuring to be given examples of how others who have come before, have struggled with the same issues I have, and it inspires me to become better than I perhaps thought I am.

This is book 3 from Collins on the Power of Creative, and it contains many nuggets of information. However, I feel he does himself an injustice since they should be pointed out to the reader, not simply embedded inside paragraphs. I believe this book would have more impact with better formatting. Having said that, it is still well worth the read.

The author provided me with a copy of the book for the purposes of reviewing it.

By James Minter, Dec 30 2016 06:29PM

Based on the premise we, as authors, need to find our audience, and Goodreads is a free platform with over 50 million subscribers worldwide, it’s a potential goldmine for writers to connect with readers – but of course, it’s not without hard work and commitment. Drozdowich, in this second book on, focuses on the need to network. Actually, this book comes as a responses to her first book- The Ultimate Goodreads Guide for Authors - and the fact the visual (screenshot) approach didn’t work across all reading devices, and that in the intervening years Goodreads has changed.

Drozdowich has dropped the embedded graphic approach and instead included links to screencasts – a free series of mini-courses which contain the visual elements supporting her narrative. A great feature of eBooks.

The written content provides a succinct yet worthwhile introduction to each feature of the Goodreads platform, and is ideal for both novice and seasoned users. Well researched and written, it’s a useful time-saver for us hard pushed writers…

Watching the free screencasts is essential - especially Networking 1 and Networking 2 - to find hacks or how-to-get-the-best-out-of-Goodreads from a networking point of view.

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