Sunday, November 19, 2006

Virtual Blog Tour

Today I'm a stop on Dorothy Thompson's Virtual Blog Tour for her recently released eBook, A Complete Guide to Promoting & Selling Your Self-Published eBook, a subject I have a healthy amount of interest in myself. Dorothy is the editor of The Writer's Life and the moderator for TWLAuthorTalks, a yahoo group I belong to that brings in successful authors and agents as resources for the unpublished author.

I did a mini-interview with Dorothy, and here's what she had to say about ebooks...

A: What do you see as the role of self-publishing in the current publishing climate? Is it a viable solution, a last resort, a savvy business opportunity?

D: Definitely a savvy business opportunity! Self-publishing eBooks is a great way to make money on the side while you’re either waiting for that NY contract or those piddley royalty checks from your already-published books. It’s so easy to do, and you keep 100% of the profits!

A: How have the promotional strategies outlined in your book, A Complete Guide to Promoting & Selling Your Self-Published eBook, helped in marketing your previously published ebooks?

D: What’s funny is, my previously-published eBooks are the ones who inspired this promoting eBook. Last year, I did an experiment with one of the free eBooks that my writing group and I published. I wanted to see if I could get it in the top ten spot in all the search engines using a popular key word phrase, “free ebook for writers.”

Using the notes that had been piling up on my desk, and in my files on promotion that I had accumulated over five years, and implementing the ones I thought would work, I (along with the help from my writing group) managed to get our eBook “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Getting Published” in the number one spot on all the major search engines, including Google, Yahoo, MSN, and others. I know this stuff works, and that’s what my eBook is all about.

Why the importance of getting it into the number one spot? When people use a certain search word or phrase that is related to your book, you want them to land on your website link. If your website link doesn’t come up in the first three pages of a search engine, you’ve just lost a potential customer.

A: What are your thoughts on the near future of e-publishing?

D: I think it’s looking great. I’ll never believe that print books will ever go out of style, or completely replaced, but it sure is nice there is an alternative. The reason why I love eBooks is for the convenience. If I need to know something in a hurry, or I am doing research and need to know a certain something that I can’t find over the Internet and I find an eBook that can give me that, it’s a sold eBook.

But, the best thing, in my opinion, about eBooks is that it’s so easy to put one together and sell it yourself. What better way to make 100% profit on something you created?

But the thing is, we have to create awareness of our eBooks in order to see any sales at all. There are still a lot of people who balk at buying them. That’s the reason why I put out free ones. I want the public to see how easy it is to read them over the Internet. That’s their only downfall, I believe. People tire easily if they have to sit at the computer any longer than they have to, so you have to be a savvy promoter to get to those people. If it is something that will make their lives better, I believe you’ll have a winner on your hands.

So, to answer your question, I see e-publishing sticking around a long, long time, especially if writers jump on the bandwagon and start creating their own eBooks. It’s a win-win situation if you promote right.

Thanks for your insights, Dorothy, and best of luck with the tour and the ebook! And if anyone else would like to chime in with opinions on the future of ebooks, consider this an invitation...


Dorothy said...

Hi Alyssa, and thank you for having me! I welcome any questions from your readers, and I say happy promoting to each and every one of you!

The Wannabe Writer said...

What a great interview! It really helped me to see the benefits of self-publishing- something I know very little about. :)

Kim Stagliano said...

Dorothy's group has been very helpful to me as I've navigated the find an agent minefield. Hi Dorothy!


Colleen Gleason said...

Hey Alyssa, if Dorothy's group is ever looking for a guest author, I'd love to talk to her about doing it!

Hope you had a great T-Day!

Alyssa Goodnight said...

I'm not sure Dorothy is still checking this blog entry or not, but I'll let her know, Colleen! That would be fun if it worked out.