This week I’m welcoming the wonderful Catherine Ryan Howard to my blog. Like so many other writers (not only self-publishers) I have long been a fan of her Catherine Caffeinated blog.
Today sees the launch of her updated version of her best-selling ‘Self-Printed The Sane Person’s Guide to Self-Publishing’. So when she offered to answer bloggie type questions, I was in there like a shot.
Here’s how it went.
Q – Hi Catherine,
You have a great blog and an entertaining writing style, but there is a lot of clever techie stuff in there, too. You use all this to great effect when promoting your new self-published books.
Most authors attempt to master and have a presence on social media – blogs, Twitter, Facebook, etc. But how much does it help to promote a self-published book to be more hands on with the technical skills?
ie: all those sharing links at the bottom of your blog / the graphics and images within / the ‘how busy am I’ calendar / embedding a book cover in a photograph. All pretty cool stuff that I (whisper) haven’t a clue how to do.
Are you actually just a natural genius, Catherine, or have you worked long and hard to teach yourself these skills?
A – Hi Rena – thanks for your question!
First of all I’d say that I *seem* to be a lot more techie than I actually am. Sites like WordPress.com (which is what I use) are not designed for rocket scientists – although they may look a bit daunting at first, they’re actually simple to use. All I do is take best advantage of the features they offer, which I’ve learned to do over time. (I’ve been at this for five years.) Then I just use services like PicMonkey.com to make graphics, and PM is incredibly easy to use.
Second of all, the most successful blogs are not the ones with all the bells and whistles. They’re the best blogs, as in the best content. THAT’S what matters, above all else. Keep your blog theme clean and simple and attractive (and all of WP’s free themes are those things, so pick one and don’t mess with it too much!) so as not to distract from your content, yes, but really, don’t worry too much about embedding links in images and all that jazz. The most important thing is not how your blog looks, but it was SAYS. That’s what’ll help sell your books, so focus on that.
Thanks, Catherine, and good luck with that new edition of ‘Self-Printed’.
Catherine Ryan Howard is a writer, self-publisher and caffeine enthusiast from Cork, Ireland. SELF-PRINTED: THE SANE PERSON’S GUIDE TO SELF-PUBLISHING (3rd edition) is out now in paperback and e-book and available from Amazon. Follow the #selfprintedsplash on Twitter today (Friday 24th) and/or visit www.catherineryanhoward.com for chance to win an amazing prize that will get your self-publishing adventure started!
“SELF-PRINTED is my self-publishing bible. It taught me how to format, create and upload my e-books and print-on-demand paperbacks. It showed me practical things such as how to build a website/blog and how to promote my books. More importantly, it taught me how to compete with the professionals. Just look at the results – The Estate Series has sold nearly 100,000 copies and following that I got a traditional book deal with Thomas & Mercer too, so I’m now a hybrid author. Jam-packed full of hints and tips all in one place, I’m always referring back to it. In a word, it’s priceless.” – Mel Sherratt, author of The Estate Series and DS Allie Shenton Series