Goldie Alexander on Publishing eBooks

Goldie AlexanderWelcome to this week’s Guest Blogger: Goldie Alexander. As you will read below, Goldie is no stranger to the world of publishing – but this is the first time she has chosen to publish a new title as an eBook ONLY. She shares her feelings about the experience.  

Publishing Fiction as eBooks: “Dessi’s Romance”.

I’m no novice at putting out some of my newest fiction and non-fiction in both hardcopy and ebook format. My adult crime series: “The Grevillea Murder Mysteries: A Trilogy” has already appeared in both formats, as has my how-to ‘Mentoring Your Memoir’ and my Aussie children’s ‘Famous Five’: ‘A~Z PI Hedgeburners’ and its sequel ‘Car-Crimes’.

Dessi's RomanceWhat is new is only having an ebook for my latest YA novel: ‘DESSI’S ROMANCE’.

This idea was first suggested by the publisher of who had already published “Body and Soul: Lilbet’s Romance” in 2003. I originally wrote both Lilbet’s and Dessi’s story as one novel, each section reflecting similar turbulence and issues, each using the word ‘romance’ in an ironic sense.  If the problems my protagonists encountered were parallel, Lilbet’s story is set in 1938 and Dessi’s is very contemporary being set in ‘Schoolies Week’.

It was in the second or third rewrite that I took Lilbet’s story and fleshed it out to become just one novel and removed the other half.  Thus Dessi’s story was left to idle for nearly ten years. But when Lilbet’s story was about to be republished under it’s new title, it seemed an excellent idea to put out both novels in this easily accessible new way that saves trees, warehouse space, printing costs.

The market for eBooks is not only thriving, it’s exploding. Electronic publishing has taken the power out of the hands of traditional publishers, though in my case is very aware of innovative and current trends.  Many authors are having more success with the electronic format than they could have ever imagined with traditional print. Thanks to this great shift in power, we can promote ourselves, our work, and hopefully, make some profit on all our hard efforts.

I had already discovered how wonderful it is to own a Kindle that will download almost every book I want to read in just minutes. Marooned in hospital for ten weeks with a badly broken right leg, I might never have been able to read as widely if it wasn’t for that Kindle. It won me over to this new technology completely. However, I have since discovered that it is difficult to be a ‘prophet in one’s own land’. For example, my publisher requires reviews. But the only reviewers we both know are only prepared to read novels in hardcopy. Some literary competitions have started, albeit reluctantly, to accede to this new format. But only if hardcopies are easily accessible.  We have a user friendly printing firm, so we can use PIO (Print On Demand) to answer this demand.

But there still remains the question of how to promote this new technology without prospective buyers being able to browse a shop’s bookshelves. Amazon, Kobe, Apple, and all other book readers have hundreds of thousands of ebooks, many that have never been edited, many not worth the trouble of downloading even if they come free. How are we to convince youngsters with Apples and PC’s –many schools now make this technology obligatory – that they might like to pick up this novel on screen?  Hence, here are some ideas I am currently using to promote ‘Dessi’s Romance’:

  1. Providing a brand new author website.
  2. Providing easy links to my blog, facebook and twitter.
  3. Creating re-usable talks to connect with all forms of social media.
  4. Providing links to where the book can be bought in eBook formats
  5. Ensuring that the eBook is available internationally
  6. Utilising user friendly eFormatting and links
  7. Being aware if the speed of YA blogger-reviewers and guest blog interviews
  8. Placing the book on strategic reviews and recommended reading lists
  9. Using curriculum links and teacher discussion notes
  10. But best of all is to promote myself as the author of the title. This involves making a few guest appearances on related blogs, and submitting quality articles to ezines and directories, and providing advice on popular Q&A sites that include a link back to where my eBook can be purchased or downloaded.

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