Red Button Publishing

Publishing and Consultancy

Is there a magic formula for ebook success?

I’ve been reading a lot about marketing ebooks this week. I was particularly struck by the stories of two authors whose approaches could hardly be more different.

A friend pointed me in the direction of Michael Hyatt’s irresistibly titled post How to Launch a Bestselling Book. You have to admire Michael’s unwavering commitment to making his book a New York Times bestseller; though you might reflect ruefully, as I did, that not many authors would be able to offer a reward package worth $375.98 to readers who agreed to buy their book in the critical first week of publication.

At the other end of the scale, I was intrigued by the story of ‘happy amateur’ Kerry Wilkinson, who sold 250,000 ebooks in six months, apparently without really trying, and now has a multi-book deal with Pan Macmillan. Kerry’s secret seems to be that he simply loves writing, and by happy accident his work has found an enthusiastic audience mainly through word of mouth.

At the most recent of Justine Solomons’ excellent Byte the Book soirées, I was impressed by the immense effort self-published authors put into marketing their work. It can be tough making your mark in the world of digital publishing. Many authors find it embarrassing and awkward to promote themselves and their work. And it takes a lot of time – time that could be spent writing. That’s something we can help with at Red Button: see our submissions page or take a look at the consultancy services we offer.

Most authors probably fall somewhere between Michael Hyatt and Kerry Wilkinson: they dream of making a living from writing and will do whatever they can to make that dream a reality. I suppose what these two stories show is that there’s no magic formula for making an ebook a hit. But putting in the hard yards is certainly a start.

by Karen Ings, 31/8/2012

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This entry was posted on August 31, 2012 by in On digital publishing, Our consultancy work and tagged , , .
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