Strategy Outline

Clear Strategy for EPub Success:

EBook Publishing and Promotion

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Gordon Kessler--June 5, 2011

Take from this article what you will.  This is my strategy to make my literary works available to the masses in the biggest way possible, promote that work as broadly as possible and to do it in the simplest and least expensive ways possible.

The intention of making this strategy viewable, as well as open to scrutiny, is to offer it as possible guidelines for those who haven't made the leap into "indie publishing," as of yet.

This outline will be updated from time to time, so please email me your thoughts and concerns, and I might add them in some fashion to this page.

1. Research eBook and POD publishing.

Have an understanding of what this relatively new industry is all about. Why it's so popular and how you will fit in.

Use search terms like "ebooks," "ebook authors," "indie authors," "independent authors," "indie author success stories,"etc. to find Web articles about ebook publishing. Decide whether you want to save time, money and heartache, and actually start making money almost immediately by sharing your books with the world through ePublishing.

2. Decide what you want to publish. 

Is there a good reason not to publish...everything? 

What do you have that's ready for the world to see? Look at your "old stuff," brush it off and, if you feel it has merit, prepare it for others to enjoy.

3. Decide how much you can spend. 

Budget for it now and be ready when you have to use it. 

EPub isn't expensive comparatively speaking--it's mostly free--but you might have to spend a little if you can't make your own cover or format your manuscript according to ePublishing industry needs. You might decide on some add-on services, also, like a book trailer or a blog tour organized by a professional service.

4. Devise a strategy.

Think this out, carefully. Talk to others, read articles on the Net and in magazines. 

It's important to at least start the outline of a strategy, now, even if you change it completely down the road.  Set landmarks, goals and timelines. To promote your eBook to its fullest potential and make the most sales, timing will be critical.

5. Organize your files.

Do it now or you WILL regret it later.


6. Get accounts set up with and

These are going to be your most important product creation tools. has an invaluable style guide that's free!

7. Get Facebook, Twitter and other social networking accounts.

Social networking will be one of the critical keys to your success. If you don't have a good understanding of it now, wake up and join the 21st century! 

DO IT! No matter how you hate it, don't understand it, don't want to do it!  Have FUN with learning something new!

8. Design webpage/website.

Which do you need and where? A page on another website? A website of your own?  An author's blog?

You need a place(s) where readers can visit and see your work displayed: website, webpage, author blog or Facebook page? Don't forget your author's page on page!

9. Design book covers for all work (including short stories).

Do it yourself, ask a friend or pay someone? A good cover will be worth an investment.

This will be one of the most important things to influence potential readers to buy your story! Treat it professionally and with careful consideration!

10. Assemble synopses, blurbs from reviews and bio.

These are critical sales tools. Consider them carefully. Get them right the first time.

These are also important items that will influence readers to buy your story! Consider these concerns seriously!

11. Develop "front matter" and "back matter".

Consider all the work you're going to sell and how to present it in each book/short story.

Include the first part of another story in the back the book?

12. Go "nuclear" on your first book/short story.


Follow Smashwords guidelines. It takes a little work, but it's worth it in the end--believe me! 

Do it!

13. Decide on initial pricing.

$2.99? You can always go down for your kickoff promo.

Tied for 1st place in importance for influencing a reader to buy your story.  When you kick off your big promo, drop your prices so that a reader can't resist! This will pay off later when you make Kindle's Top 100 List!

14. Publish on

Review your work CAREFULLY! Mistakes now will delay all you have planned coming up. 

A little extra time carefully reviewing your work WILL save a lot of frustration and even more time when you have to start over or continually edit what should have already been in good shape before publishing initially.

15. Publish on for Kindle (CreateSpace).

Review your work CAREFULLY! Mistakes now will delay all you have planned coming up. 

Ditto above. If you already have your perfected Smashwords file, it will be so much easier to convert and publish on

16. Give and Take: Reviews. Contact writer friends, and solicit and reciprocate book reviews. Solicit book review from Web book reviewers. Don't forget to use your fellow Alliance members as well as other co-ops and writing circle contacts you've made. And "pay it forward": help other writers by reviewing there ebooks. And don't wait too long! It takes time to get reviews from the popular Web book reviewers, and you'll want to promote your book with the good reviews!
17. Solicit independent reviews. Contact online ebook reviewers and solicit their services. Research, find and solicit Internet book critiques and reviewers. Positive reviews will help your sales grow exponentially if you use them right.

18. Revise your blurbs.

Add to what's already there well in advance of your "kick-off".

Revise in,, Facebook .com and anyplace else your work is displayed.

19. Get ready with promo tools and aids.

Banners, bookmarks, business cards. Research.

Think of where you're going, both physically and on the Internet to promote your work.  What will be the very best promotion tools for those places?

20. Work on a book trailer.

These can be simple and inexpensive, or complex and expensive.

Do your research: watch others' book trailers and note who made them. Some are as inexpensive as $40--or you might be able to DIY!

21. Other formats?

POD paperback, hardcover, audiobook?

POD Hardcover gets way too expensive for the consumer, audiobooks are expensive for the author, but taps into a whole new market that is yet to be saturated.  Trade paper is free to publish at and retails prices are within reason.

22. Plan a blog tour.

There are numerous Internet companies out there to help. Choose carefully. 

Watch other "reader-type" blogs and Google "blog tours" to find a coordinator--or just DIY.

23. Set a "kick-off" date.

Plan carefully. When will most of your audience be available on the Net? 

Coordinate your works' availability and promo aids so that it's all ready prior to hitting the blog tour trail.

24. Tell the world what you're doing and drop your prices.

Get sales, no matter what. You can always raise your prices later.

Now's when you lower the boom, and the prices ($.99) in order to get your books in as many hands-er, eReaders as possible.  The readers who buy your books will help shoot your titles to the tops of the eBook bestseller lists.  These readers, typically won't be the ones who will be interested in buying your books at $2.99, anyway. Strategize prices, packages, discounts, etc.

25. Stay in touch. Network with other writers throughout this process and afterward. Consult and confide and mentor. Help others struggling with what you've been through. Never turn down an opportunity to make new connections, to help others or to promote your work.

26. Have a blast being an:





Blanks left for much more fine-tuning and valuable input from other iWa members!



What about putting the first chapter(s) of one of your novels in the "back matter" of all of your books? A good teaser? 

With eBooks, you have an added promotional tool: interactivity.  Make sure you provide a contact email address in the "back matter" of your book for readers to give you comments.  Then...why not ask THEM questions about it? From those who email you, start building an emailing list for future promotions. Ask them if they'd be interested in seeing certain characters return in a future novel. 


Better yet, put a chapter or two of a serial in the "back matter," and see if anyone wants the next edition (couple of chapters).

Ask your readers if they'd be interested in a serialized version of the novel you're working on, a few chapters at a time (for say $.59 each). If the response is positive, you've got yourself an eSerial or maybe even an eSoap!













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