The blinking cursor mocked me as I stared at my daunting 50k sci-fi novel which needed to be revised, edited, professionally edited, and then possibly revised again.
I felt overwhelmed.
I didn’t want to rush through the revision process and produce a half-hazard work of fiction. This novel was my baby, I needed to work on it until it reached near-perfection, and then publish it.
But, I still wanted to produce fiction, even if it wouldn’t be my all-time best work on the planet.
So, I wrote a short story about a fox shifter and her time spent under the custody of a powerful and dangerous wolf pack.
At first, I knew my medium was going to be digital only. But when I added the short story to my blog, it seemed too long. And like most blog posts, they go unread after a few weeks (unless you have a high traffic website).
I noticed that I wasn’t getting much traction, but I really liked the story.
My approach to this story changed. Instead of treating it as a throw-away project, I put more effort into the story and turned it into an e-book in 7 days.
Days 1 – 3: Rewrite. Edit. Revise. Repeat
My ebook needed to be cleaned up.
I searched the web and discovered the website Reedsy. I plopped the short story onto the platform and started the editing process.
Because I kept the story short. Editing wasn’t daunting. It wasn’t costly either.
Once I edited the first draft, it was time to re-read and rewrite some scenes.
I felt confident about the story after the third draft. I shared my story with a second set of eyes. Then, I used the Reedsy platform to produce a functional ebook.
Now, I had an ebook. It looked good. Had the proper front page, back page, and middle materials. I just needed a handsome cover.
Days 4 – 5: Cover to Cover
I wasn’t about to produce a great short story, have it edited, and not give it a cover worth loving.
I used the website Canva (love, love, love it!) to produce my cover.
I designed the ebook cover to be simple. At first, I thought it would work. But, then I realized the first cover had nothing to do with the fox or her plight.
So, I went back to the design board, and with some help from Unsplash, a copyright-free image database, I found an image I adored and revamped the ebook cover.
Now, it looked like it would stand up against the big dogs already producing plenty of gold stars on Amazon.
Days 5 – 7 (technically, all 7 days): Lights, Cameras, Promote!
I must admit I went about this all wrong.
Fiction writers (and all writers in general) should start promoting their work as soon as they believe their work is worth finishing. Even if they’re on the second draft.
The marketing game, when it comes to ebooks, is no laughing matter.
I spent more time on Twitter, Instagram, and other forms of Social Media then I’ve ever spent on socials for my own personal life.
The marketing techniques I used were basic but still effective. Such as commenting on other blogs. Writing great tweets with eye-catching photos. And, so on.
Without much effort and some help with Amazon’s free 5-day ebook promotion. I distributed my first ebook to over 50 individuals. And, one person even bought an ebook from me (even before I started to heavily promote it).
What Have I Learned?
I’ve learned many things in the seven days it took me to write and promote an ebook. And, the lessons I took away from the process is this:
- Social media provides great exposure if you’re willing to be consistent and deeply involved with brief, but useful communication.
- Goodreads is a great way to find like-minded writers, readers, and reviewers. I knew this resource was there, but until I actually used it, it became fun and I even gained a reviewer through the process.
- No amount of free publicity will increase sales, but it will help with the distribution of free ebooks.
- Not everyone who follows my blog or social media account wants a free ebook. They just wanted to get to know me. And that’s just as valuable to me.
On this note, I’m moving onto my next project. I’m working on a new novel. And, using the knowledge I’ve gained from this project I hope to be on my game the next round. Want to find out more about my next project? Click Here!