Promoting Tips for Indie Writers…

The problem with e-books is that they are way too virtual. You can’t really carry them around with you and display them on tables and wave them in potential readers faces without going to the clunky bother of hauling out your e-reader and pulling the e-book out for them to see.

So a few weeks ago I ordered business cards from Vistaprint.

business card





Now I know that is a pretty basic design. In fact, at my last book signing a young graphic designer tried to pitch me with his own design. I told him that I was operating on a Kool-Aid stand budget. I told him that I was one of the last creative do-it-yourself pioneers.

I told him that I was cheap.

He was impressed by my use of the QR – that funky little square that looks a little like that television you bought from the dude in the leather jacket on the street corner outside the bowling alley, last Thursday night. If you scan that QR it will take you directly to the Kobo page that lists all of my Kobo releases.

To see what I mean just try clicking that picture of the business card for an instant demonstration.

Now – in hindsight I really should have paid the extra few dollars for a double-sided business card – and then I could have put a QR for my Kindle releases as well.

Ah well. Hindsight is really only good for looking out of that hole in the seat of your favorite blue jeans.

Now I know that some of you folks who regularly follow my blog will point out that I already mentioned this business card in an earlier blog entry – but some things bear repeating – like those cucumbers in last night’s Greek salad.

Ah, cucumbers – the gift that keeps on giving.

Another tool that indie writers should never forget is Twitter.

Yes, even old farts like me can Twitter.

Now – a lot of folks will tell you that you CAN’T sell books on Twitter.

And they’re right. Let’s face it – you can’t sell books ANYWHERE. The darned things just sit there and refuse to be bought. But what you can do on Twitter is to entertain folks, give them a giggle or two, enlighten them just a little and maybe along the way draw just a little bit of attention to your e-books.

That’s where books sell, after all.

Books sell in the imagination. You’ve got to get your potential readers thinking about your books. Plant the notion in their brain – “Hmm, I like reading Steve Vernon’s blog entries and I even like reading his Tweets – might be I might ACTUALLY enjoy reading one of his books.”

If you scatter enough of those seeds before you know it they’ll start sprouting up like so many cucumbers in the dirt.

Seriously – as all of you gardeners know – NOTHING grows faster than cucumbers – unless you’re talking radishes and I don’t think I’ve met anyone in the world who eats radishes, except for my granddad who loved those funky little red burp-factories.

Remember – don’t misspell in your tweets and blog entries. There is NOTHING that says “this dude can’t write” than misspelling and/or misusing a necessary bit of the English language.

And do not fall back on “text-speak”.

I do NOT want to see any of you folks tweeting out something like

“Seriously U ought 2 BI MY BOOKS, DUDES!”


Now - if you click THIS cartoon it will take you to an earlier blog entry I wrote - NINE RULES FOR EFFECTIVE TWEETING - IN TWEETS!

Now – if you click THIS cartoon it will take you to an earlier blog entry I wrote – NINE RULES FOR EFFECTIVE TWEETING – IN TWEETS!

(Note – I borrowed the cartoon from a blog entry written by UK author/blogger Terry Tyler. You might want to check out what she has to say about the Tweeting of writers in her blog.)

Remember – at the end of the day an indie writer must learn how to channel the marketing-moxie and shameless carnival-huckster-chutzpah of William Shatner.

Now get out there and plant those cucumber seeds!

yours in storytelling,

Steve Vernon



3 responses to “Promoting Tips for Indie Writers…

  1. But how do you print these things on the cucumbers? How do you get the cucumber into the computer?


    • I’d like to reply to you with something witty and brilliant and wonderful involving cucumbers and e-books and promotion and repeating and such – but it is too darned close to dinner and every time I think of cucumbers my stomach rumbles and growls and overpowers those brilliant thoughts of creation. I have the same problem with cheeseburgers, salt and vinegar chips, pan fried steak and tall glasses of Tabasco sauce. SO – for expediency’s sake – why don’t you just imagine that I’ve replied with something wonderful and brilliant and entertaining. I am sure if I had taken the time to properly reply it would have been side-splitting. Thank you for playing. I’ve got to go get me some groceries! 🙂


  2. I tweet stuff I think other people might be interested in, crap jokes, my blog posts and the odd bit of news about my book. I also have little chats with people but usually I am unable to find them again. I agree about the seeds though, you put bread out on the waters and just hope it’ll come back.




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