In the first of our series of author success stories, we hear from David Gerard, author of Lost In Plain Sight (www.lostinplainsight.net). His website launched in October, 2010. Since then, he has had well over 800 views of his book trailer on YouTube, was interviewed for a news program, and received good review by the Fantasy Book Review. His book has also been entered into the Indie Excellence National Book Awards for 2011.
So what’s David’s secret to success? Here are his answers to our questions …
1. Who built your website? How was the experience? Smart Author Sites built the site and I must say the experience was effortless. My vision was executed perfectly in a timely manner and at a fair price. Check out the thumbnail image on the home page and you’ll see what I mean.
2. Which social networking sites do you regularly participate in? Facebook? Twitter? GoodReads? LinkedIn? Any others?
As a full time media executive, I’m on LinkedIn all the time. I don’t use Facebook as much as I should … certainly no where near the amount of time my kids do. I need to take better advantage of that platform to communicate with readers as well as prospective readers whom might never know about the book otherwise.
3. How many online followers do you have? How many pageviews have you gotten on your website?
New visits to the web site www.lostinplainsight.net were up almost 62% in February month over month.
4. How has your online presence (be it through a website or social networking profiles) increased your visibility/book sales?
My online presence has definitely helped to give me visibility and support book sales. I was contacted for a TV interview because of the web site and the book trailer which is posted both on YouTube and SmartAuthorSites.
5. What is your “secret” to achieving this success? Were there any tricks or creative ideas (i.e. a contest) that you used?
I don’t think there is any secret beyond a good story idea, persistence in writing the book and promoting it by leveraging many different sources and platforms to get the word out and break through the clutter.
6. Is there anything you would do differently if you were starting over again?
That’s a loaded question. Yes … just about everything! Seriously, writing the book is one thing, understanding how the publishing process works is just as important to making your project a success.
7. What is the greatest lesson you’ve learned in the process of building your online presence as an author?
The greatest lesson I’ve learned is that you have to take it one step at a time. Be patient. Always keep your eye out for new ways to speak to people. Leverage different mediums like video, movies, music to help support the book. The internet has democratized the publishing process, so anyone can throw their hat in the ring now. It is both a blessing and a curse. Your project needs to be the best it can be and you need to be relentless in getting the word out through the cacophony of competition. It only takes one comment, one review from an influential individual to trigger awareness of the story in the collective conscious and launch sales.
8. Final words of wisdom for any new authors wondering how to get started….
Stop thinking about it and do it
Are you (or do you know) a successful author? Let us know!