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Guest Post: Why one self-publisher plans to take on the big boys at Book Expo America

Todays guest post is provided by Steve Piacente

Anxious for'Second Bite of the Apple

Stevebella4 225x300 Guest Post: Why one self publisher plans to take on the big boys at Book Expo America

All self-publishers reach a tricky point where'decisions have to be made'about spending'money. Paid advertising is expensive and as alluring to the aspiring author as Eve was to Adam. We'should'all'pause to'remember how that one ended.

A'cottage industry has sprung up populated by clever pitchmen (and women) who will'get you noticed ' for a fee. They know how badly you yearn to be a popular author and will happily create your press release, book trailer, web site and a dozen other slick products.'Reminder: they do not work for free.

Some are better than others, and'frankly,'without some good publicity,'even the great classics'of yesteryear'might have been colossal trees that fell unnoticed in the forest.

Today's writers have the luxury of social media tools that enable direct'contact with'millions of prospective readers. While posting is lightning fast, sales can be'painfully'slow. While you're waiting, Eve is smiling from the corner with that luscious apple. Why trudge out to the orchard, climb the ladder and pick your own?

SteveBella 300x192 Guest Post: Why one self publisher plans to take on the big boys at Book Expo AmericaBella's'path to market has been relatively low cost.'Last'spring, however, there'was'a'huge'book expo'in New York City. I'took'the plunge and invested'about $2,000'in a booth on Writers' Row at the Javits Center, where 25,000 visitors passed'over three days. The 'visitors' were'folks from the book, movie and other associated industries.

It was a gamble, and I admittedly did not recover my investment in book sales. At least not yet. The payoff from increased exposure and new contacts doesn't reveal itself all at once. I managed to get Bella'in the hands of dozens of influential'readers, which helped swell the number of reviews on my Amazon page.

I was interviewed by a self-publishing company that later hired me to do several webinars on how I've marketed'Bella.''Hundreds saw my trailer, and I walked away'from New York with dozens of photos'that I'm still using to dress up'blog'entries,'Facebook'posts,Pinterest boards'and flyers for readings and signings.'It's also hard to measure the value of collaborating with all the fellow self-publishers I met up and down Writer's Row. I can say I've been in touch with several new friends throughout the year.

And then there was the middle-aged man who related to Bella'because'one of the themes concerns a friendly fire death. When he was in the military, he said he actually witnessed a similar event. I gave him a copy of the book and heard from him a few weeks later. Turns out he not only liked Bella,'but was the head librarian at a Long Island, NY library. Long story short'he arranged for a reading'that turned out great.

For these reasons and more, I'm heading back to'New York this June for a second bite of the apple.'If you have any experience with trade shows, I'd love to hear about it.


Stevebella3 257x300 Guest Post: Why one self publisher plans to take on the big boys at Book Expo America'About the author:

Steve Piacente (@wordsprof)'has been a professional writer since graduating from American University in 1976. In 2010, he self-published'Bella, the story of a widow's quest to uncover the truth about her husband's death on an Afghan battlefield. The forthcoming'Bootlicker'is'his'prequel.

Steve started as a sportswriter at the Naples'(FL)'Daily News, switched to news at the Lakeland Ledger, and returned to D.C. in 1985 as Correspondent for the Tampa Tribune. In 1989, the native New Yorker moved to the same position for the Charleston (SC) Post & Courier.

He is now deputy communications director at a federal agency in Washington, D.C., and teaches journalism classes at American University. Contact Steve at''Bella'is available from Amazon.

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