Down the Rabbit Hole of Discoverability

Pexels photo by Darlene Alderson

Discoverability is one of the indie author’s biggest challenges and it’s often an uphill climb. Big bookstore chains and stores like Costco don’t often feature indies. The good news is that there are always other opportunities to sell your books. The other day, for example, I found a list of recommended free promotion sites, and thought why not list at least one of my books? And that’s where the trip down the rabbit hole began.

One of the first sites I clicked onto, invited me to list my Amazon Author Central page, which I bookmarked quite some time ago. That’s when I discovered that all of my books except The Opposite of Dark had disappeared from that page. Also listed, was an old blog site I hadn’t used in years. My Author Central page wanted an up-to-date RSS feed to link my blog, which I didn’t have, so I went to WordPress and figured out how to do that. Next, I discovered that I actually had two Author Central pages, so I contacted Amazon to figure out how to fix this. The solution was simple, as Amazon merged the two pages for me.

It was a lot of clicking and searching to prepare for just one listing. On the upside, though, my Author Central pages is up to date. Note to self: check in on these sites more often. How many of you list your books on sites then eventually forget about them? I’ve now started a list of all the sites where I’m listed, which I probably should have done ages ago.

I also listed my Casey Holland series on Google play this week, which took a bit of time, although once I got into the rhythm after a couple of books, entering the metadata, blurb, bio, etc. went much quicker. I have no idea if Google Play will result in any sales, but every time I sign up with a book promotion site the option to add Google Play’s link is available. Apparently, they apparently have over a million subscribers, so who knows?

Needless to say, this week I spent more time on marketing than writing, which is not the balance I want. In June, the emphasis needs to be on writing and editing or I’ll never get anything finished.

Author: debrapurdykong

I'm a British Columbia author who's been writing for over 30 years. My volunteer experiences, criminology diploma, and various jobs, inspired me to write mysteries set in BC’s Lower Mainland. Employment as a campus security patrol and communications officer provide the background for my my Casey Holland transit security novels. I'm also a part-time facilitator in Creative Writing Workshops through Port Moody's Recreation program. Feel free to contact me at dpurdykong@gmail.com

22 thoughts on “Down the Rabbit Hole of Discoverability”

  1. I know marketing can be time-consuming but sometimes it is worth the time. I’ve been busy updating the sites I’m on as well. The new book needs to be added to all the sites. I’m also running a blog tour which is using up a lot of my time. No point in writing the book if no one knows it’s out there!

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  2. I’m doing more marketing now than ever before and really enjoying it. It’s about building momentum not just with your brand but within yourself. You have to keep checking sites and updating your own website, getting involved in everything you can, and at the same time, put out new material. You have to be a juggler whether you’re an Indie or not, but as an Indie you’re a lone juggler!

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    1. A lot of it is enjoyable, but some of it is tedious, and a little bit is downright uncomfortable, so I’m trying to figure out where to best put my focus.

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  3. Yep, down the rabbit hole you went. And your process sounds very similar to mine, when I finally set my mind to listing my book somewhere or updating my profiles. Too many platforms. Also, that’s when I discovered I hadn’t updated the info in years in some places. Even on my own blog, my “about me” page didn’t even mention that I actually published the book I was working on. Six months ago, haha.

    Anyway, many tasks and some of them aren’t even beneficial regarding sales. Like updating the Amazon author page or Author Central. My next post, tomorrow, will talk about all the promotion efforts I’ve completed, with mixed results. Sooooo much time is spent doing that, with little results.

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    1. I just finished an interesting hour-long workshop on marketing today, which helped clarify some things for me. A lot of it comes down to having the right mindset and not depending on social media to sell books, but to provide content. Blogs and newsletters also are a few of the tools you can use to provide content that this particular marketer recommended. In your case as a nonfiction writer, for instance, you could build a fanbase by providing regular how-to tips for would-be nomads on your blog or regular newsletter, unless you’re already doing that!? It’s one great way for you to find more readers.

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      1. That’s a great idea, Deb! Thank you. I am not doing that yet and thought this would only be beneficial if I were to write (or did already) and publish a how-to book for becoming a nomad.

        I do realize blog readers would benefit from content like this, but one of the reasons why I have been “lazy” to do this is because it takes so much time and energy to come up with new topics and write them in a compelling, informative way. It’s all about the trade-offs. If one new article only sells one more book, I make $3 for three hours of work (or longer). You see what I’m saying?

        Of course, if it’s all about putting books into people’s hands (and gathering lots of reviews) and not making any money, there are many different ways to accomplish that. 🙂 For the same reason, I don’t create a newsletter.

        In your case, when you have multiple books out with more in the pipeline, these actions might be more beneficial. A lot of marketing experts focus on authors who want to make writing their career or who have series out or planned. When you are a single-book author like me, you really have to consider the efforts vs. the results. Especially when your main passion is traveling and seeing the world.

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      1. It is. This week’s issue is the realization that I forgot to include a privacy policy in my newsletter. Now, I’m working on adequate wording and trying to figure out where best to place it. Just once? in the signup, or with every email?

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