Lake Atitlan, Panajachel, Guatemala

“Reading and writing are acts of empathy and faith. Guard that trust carefully — in this rapidly changing business, it’s the only sure thing.” ~Erin Keane
"Never give up. And most importantly, be true to yourself. Write from your heart, in your own voice, and about what you believe in." ~ Louise Brown

"Write something to suit yourself and many people will like it; write something to suit everybody and scarcely anyone will care for it."
~Jesse Stuart

"A writer's job is to take one thing and make it stand for twenty." ~ Virginia Woolf

Friday, November 19, 2010

Learn to Market from the Indies

One of the self-published authors I follow and watch is Stephen Tremp. (And don't you like the word "indie" so much better than "self-published"?) Still, when I first started following his blog, before the "indie" phrase started taking hold, Steve proudly proclaimed himself a self-published author. His book, Breakthrough, was printed by iUniverse, but the marketing and  promotion lay squarely with him.

And now with changes in the market, even traditional publishers are putting more and more of the marketing and promotion on the author's shoulders. If you're with a small press, you can count on it--you're the one. If you want to see some real marketing expertise, watch writers like Stephen Tremp.

Here's some things I've learned about Stephen from following his blog the past six months.

He's a truly nice guy. Never mind that sci fi is not my genre, either to write or to read. I will buy his book because he's a nice guy, and I want to give him a chance. I have a daughter and several sons who love sci fi, so that makes it an ideal choice for Christmas. And the cover is awesome.

His blog, while designed to promote Breakthrough, is not just about him and his book. He posts about a variety of subjects, visits and follows other blogs, comments regularly. He's part of the community, not just posting about himself and his writing.

He does all kinds of things to market and works tirelessly on promotion. I have learned from him. I borrowed his sidebar buttons for ordering my novel as an ebook after noticing them on his sidebar. This is the second release of Breakthrough, newly edited, and now available as an ebook. Buy it here on Kindle.

He goes where the readers and book buyers are. He's done signings in bookstores, talks and presentations, and now he is doing more online while getting Breakthrough out there as an ebook. He has links on his sidebar for all the e publishing formats, and also shopping carts for purchasing print versions. Really, go visit his blog and just see everything he does, then copy it. You can't go wrong.

Summary of Breakthrough:

A scientific breakthrough in Einstein-Rosen Bridges, or wormholes, is stolen by a group of misguided M.I.T. graduate students. They scheme to usher in a global science-based oligarchy. Greed, betrayal, murder, mayhem, spiritual contemplation, and unconditional love define the power-play struggle in this fast-paced suspense thriller. As the death toll mounts, will Chase Manhattan and a multi-faceted cast of characters escape their hit list and destroy the discovery which threatens life as we know it? On sale in bookstores late August, 2010.


  1. And a great wrap-up of Stephen's tour!
    Am I first to comment? Do I get a prize? Stephen, I'll take the inerociter, preferably before Tom Servo uses it to make hot chocolate.

  2. Sounds like a great book by a truly proactive writer!

  3. Iheard about him for the first time yesterday and in between you and Talli I am pretty much awed by him. I will visit his blog to see what i can learn from him and if i can help a fellow blogger out.

  4. I agree, Stephen is a really nice guy. I will buy his book because I like him, but I will enjoy it because I love science and especially the type Stephen is writing about. I can't write this stuff, so I am in awe of those who can. I am squarely in the fantasy realm. There are three books I want to buy asap...Stephan's is one of them.
    N. R. Williams, fantasy author

  5. I enjoy Stephen's blog, too. I especially like his science posts and also his tips on promotion as we're all going to have to do it if we publish.

  6. I really enjoy Stephen’s blog too. This was a great end to the tour.

  7. It looks like a great book. The cover is very intriguing!

  8. Thanks Karen for hosting me today! I've been out all morning and am now just checking in. This has been a fun tour. I like that you noticed I wasn't just promoting my book or myself. I wanted to post something each day practical that readers could use

  9. It takes a lot of work to self promote but you are right about the publishers leaving a lot of that up to the author these days anyway plus I hear they want to reduce the author's cut even more. I'm not surprised many authors are turning to indie publishing. I wish Stephen all the best.

  10. Yay for Stephen Tremp!!! It's a pleasure following him throughout his bloghop tour for his fab book Breakthrough!!! I am so excited for him and wish him all the best with his novel!! Yay!! Take care

  11. You know, I quite cynically started my blog to promote my book. LOL Little did I understand what a great community blogging itself is!
    I'm great at promoting OTHERS and things I believe in, but begging people to read my little Hawaii novel (Aloha Where You Like Go? avail @ Amazon :)
    seems demeaning, though I have enjoyed doing readings and such. . .

    Self-published used to mean "stupid amateur" but with the changes in publishing, it can be the only way a new voice can be heard."
    I'm in the state library here, and have had kind remarks from folks I really respect; HEAVEN!
    And perhaps someone will make a movie our of it, who knows?

    Aloha from Waikiki

    Comfort Spiral



  12. A great wrap up for an interesting tour. I enjoy visiting Stephen's blog too. I've learned a lot from his posts, as well as from yours too Karen.

    Thoughts in Progress

  13. I think it's an amazing feat to self-publish. I'm not sure I could ever tackle it myself. Kudos.

  14. Thanks for such a kind, heartfelt post, Karen. The news out there can be quite discouraging so it's nice to hear good stuff! I'll check his blog out.

    And I've got sidebar links to a couple of blog fests coming up. Hey, you're the gal who showed me these hops work (and I'm forever grateful.) Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!

  15. He does have self-marketing down and we can learn a lot from him.

  16. I didn't realize I was the last stop on the tour-- how exciting-- and thanks everyone for stopping by, and for wishing Stephen Tremp awesome success with Breakthrough. In fact must go now to add it to my Goodreads shelf!

  17. Great job Karen; I agree we can learn a lot from
    Stephen. When time permits I am going to go back and review past posts, I have missed! He is a great guy and I am ordering his book today!

    Fun you are part of the tour and a great wrap up it is~

  18. I'm also a fan of Stephen's. Enjoyed the tour and learned a lot.

  19. Great post! Stephen writes some interesting articles. (I didn't know what a wormhole was before he explained it.)

    As you said, he's supportive of other authors and bloggers. While not a big Sci-Fi fan, I may just pick up his book.

  20. Helpful post, thank you. I look forward to learning more about Stephen's book and visiting his blog.

    On self-publishing: it is a good option for some writers and books... it is just a different way to publish. There are pros and cons to all the ways authors and publishers conduct their business arrangements and processes. I think those who successfully self-publish are more attractive to publishers, but by that time the author may find he doesn't need a publisher to reach his dreams. Or, if he does, he'll appreciate the new opportunities a publisher brings all the more, and it's a win-win for everyone. The author already knows a lot about marketing and publishing and the publisher has an author with realistic expectations and a proven track record.

  21. I'm glad everybody enjoyed the tour. I sure did! Wormholes are a cool concept, and who knows, maybe we'll see a breakthrough of some degree during out lifetime. If so, I just hope they are used to further civilization rather than ne used to destroy it. Something to think about as we continue to see exciting news come out of CERN and other scientific communities around the globe.

  22. Stephen, All this about wormholes, I have a daughter who is getting Breakthrough for Christmas, Kindle version of course.

    Lucky Press, Voice of reason, very well said! Thanks for this comment. So much better than people taking "sides," as we can all benefit from one another, regardless of the journey.

  23. Great post! Sounds like a great book and I will be visiting Stephen's blog soon. I am most interested in learning more about the art of self- publishing, promotion, and marketing. Thanks for the introduction!

  24. Stephen is an inspiration. I am not a sci-fi fan, but DH is and will have a copy soon. I will read it and Stephen might convert me. :)

    He has shown me that courage to get out there and promote your book, works for indies. (I love that word too).

    A lovely post about a supportive blogging buddy.

  25. Hi Cathy .. great to be here .. and you're right in all you say about Steve .. he's so down to earth - good thing with wormholes floating around .. and always supportive.

    He's been so professional in this blog tour - I'm sure teaching many about his approach and what can be done to make the tour more productive ..

    As you say he's got lots of useful information on his blog ..

    Great being here - thank you .. Have good weekends .. Hilary

  26. I love the word 'Indie' too. For music and writers, it has really great sound. I'm off to check out his blog now. Self-publishing I think is alot more acceptable now and it can only grow right? Thanks for sharing! ;)

  27. I love a great story about a self-published author! Hopefully there are many more of us to come!

  28. Indie author does sound nice doesn't it?

    Thanks for introducing me to Stephen. I will definitely check out his blog and his book.

  29. What a nice post you wrote about him. I agree - cool cover. And I like that it's about MIT graduate students. They live all around me since MIT is just down the street from me.

  30. Sounds like a great read! Thanks for sharing!

  31. Great post about Stephen Tremp, Karen!


  32. So many new faces for this final tour stop. I'm meeting some really terrific bloggers this weekend. Its great to visit your sites. I hope to see you all around in the weeks and months to come.

    Theresa, how cool to live so close to MIT. One of these days I need to get out there and visit the campus.

  33. Way to wrap up the tour Stephen. Thanks for pointing out such a marvelous blogger/author Karen. I've been following Steve's tour - and his blog of course - and I am impressed.

    I like the shout out here - it brings up a lot of reasons I enjoy his blog so much.

    Have a good weekend Karen.


  34. Interesting post. Congrats on a great blog tour. Wish you well with book sales, Stephen!

  35. Stephen has done a great job, and his blog tour posts were so well thought out and interesting.

  36. I'm adding his book to my To-Read list. Hoping to buy it with holiday money. It sounds fantastic!

  37. Donna, Karen did an awesome shout out. This was a great place to end the blog tour. Karen wrote this all herself. I couldn't ask for more.

    Susanne, thanks for the well wishes. They are always much appreciated.

    Talli, thanks for the vote of confidence. Its a lot of work but the rewards are well worth the effort.

    Shelley, I love the holidays as I get a chance to buy books. I ask for B&N, Amazon, and Starbucks cards. I'm in heaven at Christmas.

  38. Karen, thanks for sharing this! You always feature GREAT writers and have such solid advice. I'll be visiting his blog this week, as well as buying his book to support him. Sci fi AND a nice guy? That's worth spending money to support (not to mention his book sounds like the perfect Christmas read)!

  39. Jennie, what a nice compliment. I'm glad you're a potential customer, I can't wait to read Breakthrough myself!

    Stephen, I should have mentioned in my post that YES this was ALL me!

    Stephen did not provide me with the post LOL.