How Independent Fantasy Author C.S. Marks Broke Through the Publishing Industry
AuthorHouse indie novelist C.S. Marks demonstrated how indie publishing can triumph in getting traditional publishers to pay attention by appealing to specific readers in a very crowded market. Ms. Marks is the writer of A Tale of Alterra, The World That Is trilogy that has just lately been obtained by the traditional publisher, Sea Lion Books. Her cross-channel victory took five years in the making, brought on by many book exhibitions, book signings, online and offline mingling with fantasy readers and authors all over the continental US. Marks’ grueling endeavors eventually paid off in the end when Sea Lion Books discovered her novel via a book blog visited by one its senior executives. The executive supposedly bought a copy of her book on the strength of the reader feedback for Elf Hunter, the first book of Tale of Alterra trilogy, which gained an average of 4.5 stars from 112 reviews on Amazon’s customer review box. The author’s success leads us to determine the following insights about her independently published book marketing tactics that any enterprising indie author can certainly benefit from: Obsess Over Your Own Book’s Publicity Ms. Marks continuously went to book conventions, organized book signings, and signed up with writing forums for over five years before getting discovered. Her persistent habit of promoting her book and spreading her passion for great fantasy writing paid off in the end with her book’s discovery. Even now that she is considerably more visible and getting more publicity through the marketing support her traditional publisher is providing, she never ceased marketing her book. She continuously appears in interviews and keeps in contact with her fans. Link up with Online Book and Writing Forums Writers evolved into better authors when they listen to commentary and use them in a way that works best for their readers. Ms. Marks actively solicited reader feedback from friends, fantasy forum members and writer’s forums. These forums provided her with important suggestions. Signing up for these forums usually costs nothing but the feedback they provide are invaluable. Through her continuous effort of reaching out to potential readers she eventually succeeded in refining following book installments which only got more readers to want to try out her books even more. Take advantage of the Influencing power of Online Book Reviews Book reviews provide strong social proof for online book buyers. C.S. Marks realized this and have freely distributed excerpts and whole books to interested readers who would review her books. In return, many readers offered positive reviews on Amazon’s Customer Review engine. Many different book cataloging sites GoodReads, LibraryThing and Shelfari are good book marketing platform, so it is best to develop your presence on these social book sharing platforms as well. The fantasy author has definitely progressed from her self-publishing days with AuthorHouse. By the looks of it, she is well on her way to reaching a wider audience. With an elf’s luck, her books may yet become the next Lord of the Rings fantasy bestseller! For more book marketing tips go to the AuthorHouse Writer Advice Center, or learn from the experience of real self-published authors themselves.