Category Archives: Independent Author

THE TRADITION CONTINUES

Last year, I kicked off the annual start to the holiday shopping season on Black Friday by offering some of my books for free. I then promoted it on social media starting on Black Friday and then continued on Small Business Saturday (independent authors are small business owners after all), Indie Author Sunday (I totally made that up but to my knowledge no one has grabbed Sunday yet, so I’m making a claim for it… help me promote #IndieAuthorSunday on social media) and finally Cyber Monday (these are electronic books that have to be ordered online).

I believe this one small promotion is what really helped me turn the corner on my writing career. Soon after, my book, Bourbon Mixology became a bestseller on Amazon.

Coincidence?

Maybe.

I’m not going to take a chance, though. Once again, this four-day shopping bonanza will feature my very own “12 Days of Christmas”… a dozen of my books available for free download starting Black Friday and running through Cyber Monday.

Here’s a look at the lineup this year:

I have six of my chapters, complete with bonus material from the book Small Brand America IV: Special Beer Edition. Those six are as follows:

Jolly Pumpkin

Smuttynose

Jester King

Brooklyn Brewery

Full Sail Brewery

Spider Bite Brewery

I also have two of my chapters from Small Brand America V: Special Bourbon Edition as a part of my Twelve Days of Christmas. Here are those two:

Syntax Spirits

10th Mountain

In addition to these 8 books that are part of bigger books, I have 4 stand alone books as well. They are as follows:

Life with Akester – The book I wrote about my father. This one really got me started with writing after the unexpected passing of my Dad on 12/12/12.

Coffeehouse Jazz I – A book dedicated to helping you build the ultimate jazz playlist by sharing 101 instrumental jazz classics.

Second Cup: More Coffeehouse Jazz – The sequel, with 101 more instrumental jazz classics.

Brain Tsunami – The book I wrote with Jenna Brownson, Amanda Hoppes and Samm Lim. We took a real life accident my brother-in-law had, and all wrote different endings since he had amnesia from the event and doesn’t remember what happened. It’s an awesome ride!

I hope you enjoy the 12 books I am giving away this holiday season. Of course, if you are doing some shopping, I sure would appreciate you considering some of my books for the individuals on your holiday shopping lists this season. Here’s a look at some winners that would make great gifts:

Bourbon Mixology – My bestselling book ever offers 50 signature cocktails from 50 iconic bars.

Bourbon Mixology 3 – The latest in my Bourbon Mixology series featured 30 more iconic bars sharing their signature cocktails.

Coffee and Holiday Mixology – This specialty book features iconic bars sharing their signature coffee and holiday-themed drinks.

Leo the Coffee Drinking Cat – A fun story featuring primitive drawings kids can relate to.

Small Brand America IV: Special Beer Edition – 26 craft brewers share their story.

Small Brand America V: Special Bourbon Edition – 20 craft distilleries go behind the scenes to share their history.

Pa’u Hana – My only novel is a fun adventure of two best friends trying to break into the movie business. Guaranteed laughs with this one!

Thank you for reading a little bit about what I am doing this holiday season to promote my writing!

Happy Holidays!
Steve Akley – Inventor of #IndieAuthorSunday

 

 

 

 

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STARTING WITH A PLAN (OR NOT)

Every good business starts with a plan, right?

Before you give that an affirmative, let’s think it through using me as an example. I think even a hobbyist writer like myself who has a full-time job and writes in his or her spare time probably needs a plan, but I really didn’t. When I started writing in 2013, my only plan was to write.

When I published my first book, I thought it would be a good time to develop a plan to market the book, but I was met with a collective sigh, or yawn, or whatever is worse when I tried to garner interest in my work. There was no engagement from any form of media in helping an independent author trying to make it on his own.

The money I spent trying to market my first book led to me losing money in my first year of writing. Some would stop right there, but I pressed on by doing the only thing I definitely knew I could do: write.

That’s right, I went about my “business” by writing. After the catastrophe of attempting to gain a large scale audience by marketing as I had done with my first book, I limited myself to simply social media (Twitter and my blog) to market my books. Yes, I’d distribute a few marketing copies to newspapers or others I thought could help spread the word, but social media truly was the bulk of what I was doing.

Basically, my goal became to build an audience one person at a time accompanied by a flurry of writing which could only be explained by the fact I had spent over 40 years waiting to start writing.

Fast forward to today, and I have over 50 books, short stories and mini-books published. I’ve built a decent following on social media and I finally believe now is the time to build the plan to really reach a bigger audience.

Over the past month, and for the rest of 2015, I’m working on a two-year plan to really build up my readership and an active, and engaged fan base.

Will it work?

I don’t know. Just like the books I write, I’m making it up as I go. I’m having fun, though, and that’s probably the true first step in making any business plan a success!

 

BIGFOOT vs. PAUL BUNYAN AND COFFEEHOUSE JAZZ: THEY ARE OUT THERE!

I’m pleased to announce that I was successful in getting both Bigfoot vs. Paul Bunyan and Coffeehouse Jazz this week. It’s always so rewarding to see your book out there.

Check ’em out:

Bigfoot vs. Paul Bunyan amzn.to/1wsQHuD

Coffeehouse Jazz amzn.to/1w6bse8