Friday, October 14, 2011

Lessons Learned in Self-Publishing, Part 2…Know where you want to be

First thing I needed to know for self-publishing: who’s my audience for the Penelope Mystery series? This sounds like an easy question, and one that I should readily know.  It ‘s important for any writer to consider.  If you think, I’m writing this book for everyone, it’s probably time to rethink it. A twenty year old will have one interest as compared to a sixty year old. Men and women have different interests. (Yeah, I know I’m being sexist.) Is the reader a professional or blue color worker? Lots of things to know.

My reader for the Penelope Mysteries is eleven to thirteen year old girl who’s an avid reader, probably carries a book around with her for those lulls in the day. She likes mysteries, thrillers and probably has read most of the popular books that are out like Harry Potter and Twilight.  I anticipate a secondary audience of young adult women who follow many of the YA novels, reading vampire and paranormal romances. Finally I wanted to reach adult readers who enjoy a mystery and humor.

I wanted to make the Penelope Mysteries available on platforms that would be available to the primary target audience.  My first thoughts were paperback book and the Apple iPod.  Getting the books out on other platforms such as Nook and Kindle would be necessary too.

Another part of my search was to get the most bang for my buck and if it cost nothing, the better. Smashwords popped up on my radar. It offered 85% net back on sales. Distribution to Barnes and Noble, Kobo, Diesel and more. Free ISBNs. Conversion into nine formats. Marketing support. Coupons for discounts.  And most important it was free.

I’ll leave the discussion of how I chose the paperback publisher for the next installment and yes I did run into some caveats with respect to publishing with Smashwords.. That too is for a later date.

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