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So, your book is done. Awesome. Now you’ve got to make sure it gets sold. It’s not an easy thing these days, with thinner marketing budgets, digital clamor, and thousands upon thousands of books blooding the marketplace every year. As many authors have discovered, getting your book noticed often falls on their shoulders, even if they were lucky enough to be picked up by a real publisher.

blackmile1Social media marketing helps, among other things. But all that time spent marketing your way takes away from the job at hand: writing. As Jay McGregor writes for Forbes, self-published author Mark Dawson decided to risk doing the thing that is often recommended but is nevertheless hard to do: Give it away. That’s just what he did with The Black Mile, a heavily researched historical thriller.

There was the good news. He “sold” tens of thousand of copies over a weekend.

But:

… he was immediately presented with two problems. The first was that he’d made no money whatsoever from The Black Mile, a book he’d poured hours of research and travel into. The second was that he had no follow-up book for his new fanbase to dig in to.

Now, Dawson is a self-publishing machine, making a living writing, selling, and promoting his work. Of course, a lot of that is possible due to exciting new self-publishing technologies available from a host of companies.

But it still boils down to writing a good book to begin with. You know, the kind of thing that people snap up 50,000 copies of over a weekend. Next, be prolific. Very, very prolific.

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