At the June 6 Sarasota Fiction Writers meeting, author Jaimie Engle shared her experiences and knowledge concerning self-publication and, in particular, marketing. Jaimie travels around Florida to schools, writing conventions, and comic cons selling and discussing her books: middle-grade historical fantasy Clifton Chase and the Arrow of Light, fantasy adventure Dreadlands: Wolf Moon, anthology of short stories The Toilet Papers: Places to Go, While You Go, science fiction The Dredge, and her book on writing, Writing Your Novel Using the Bible As Your Guide: A Study of Other Works in Literature.
Critical to selling books, Jaimie said, is visibility. To achieve visibility, it is important to write and market as if it is your business. Maintaining records concerning number of sales, where those sales were made, and what adjustments have been done and ads have been run that affected those sales is pivotal. Furthermore, Jaimie highly suggested mimicking the layouts and setup of traditionally published books for a self-published book in order to make it look more professional and appealing to potential readers. Such details include having a professionally created cover, a professional author photo, properly formatted end pages, and appropriate fonts. Knowing the theme--and not just the plot--of both your books and your brand can also make or break a sale. About halfway through the presentation, Jaimie opened the floor for questions, and members did not disappoint!
Jaimie was a joy to listen to and a wealth of knowledge and encouragement, and we hope to see her again soon! For more information on Jaimie's books and tours, please visit her (awesome) website at The Write Engle.