I started writing online in 2012. There was a lot to learn then, thanks to my readers who took it upon themselves to correct my mistakes. However, it wasn't until 2013 that I ventured out into self-publishing. I started with Amazon and Crestespace. The experience was a sad one as nobody bought my stories.
Later that year, I visited Mary Okeke on her blog and after a few discussions, sent her my ebook, Susan's Diary 1, for review. When the review came out, it wasn't what I expected at all. I jumped for joy. We all know Mary Okeke is blunt. If she didn't enjoy reading a book, she includes it in her review. If the storyline is bad, she includes it. If there are inconsistencies, she includes it. However, after that review, some readers started to take me more seriously. Lol. Then at the end of the year, I got an email from Okadabooks founder, Okechukwu Ofili. He wrote about seeing my review on Mary Okeke's blog and how he wanted the book published on Okadabooks.
At that time, I was at the point of giving up the idea of ever selling a copy, as there was still no sales from Amazon or Createspace. But I told myself, well, if this works, fine. If it doesn't, fine. Before then, I had drafted a storyline for someone who needed it for a movie production. Naive me, didn't get all the details of the person or ask for a down payment. I trusted too much, thinking everyone is like me. After the story was submitted, the person liked it. He then asked that I make certain adjustments, which I did and re-submitted. Unfortunately, that was the end. I never heard from the criminal again and his email seemed to have been deactivated. All messages I sent, bounced. So when I was sending Ofili my works for publishing, there was this voice in my head that said, well, how can you trust him? He might sell and keep the money for himself. Heck! He might even remove your name from the ebooks and sell as his. Hehehehee...
I pushed the thoughts aside and sent him my ebooks. Guess what? Okadabooks became the first platform I made sales of my ebooks. It gave me more readership and since then, I have stuck with the company like glue - from a self - published author on the platform to a team member.
My work with Okadabooks has given me a lot of exposure to book publicity, marketing and book sales. I started to understand why I wasn't moving forward before. And as one who assist young authors to get published on the platform, I have been asked a lot of questions. Below are a few of them:
* Will Okadabooks market my ebook?
* How much can I charge for an ebook?
* Do you think people will buy my ebook?
* Is Okadabooks a good platform to publish?
* I hear people don't make sales on Okadabooks, is that so?
* Why don't people like paying for ebooks on Okadabooks? I see they download only free ebooks.
Then there are those who complained bitterly about their experiences on the platform.
* I published on Okadabooks. No sales
* Okadabooks refused to advertise my work
* I'm disappointed in Okadabooks. What I expected is not what I am getting. Besides, they choose who to promote.
* Okadabooks is very poor at helping authors.
* Okadabooks only advertise for celebrities. They are a celebrity platform.
* I will only put my works on Okadabooks if they are willing to promote me. If not, forget them.
When these sort of complains come up, I try to explain. First, Okadabooks is not publishing house. We are not publishers. The platform is simply like a book shelf for you to showcase your works. Its like having a shade in the market place where you display your goods. After displaying them, it is then left for you to attract buyers or watch them pass you by. I go on to explain those actions that should help get readers interested in buying their ebooks. Some listen and take action, other don't.
However, there are those that keep asking for a step by step guide on how to succeed on the platform. It is for these set that my friends and I are hosting a two days workshop.
It is Themed "Learn The Secret to Self- publishing Success on Okadabooks".
Learn the market, learn what sells, learn to use social media to your advantage.
The workshop will cover these topics:
1. Writing what sells
- Should You write a novel or a novella?
2. Quality versus Quantity
- Book cover design (paid or do it yourself)
3. Copyright Protection
4. Publicity Before And After Publishing
- Building a followership
-Build Your email/whatsapp list
- Paid ad services
- Okadabooks ad services
- Interviews/Book reviews
- Importance of owning your own blog/website
5. At the end of the workshop, Okadabooks will give free publicity package to two authors, handpicked.
The date is 30th and 31st of March 2017.
Time: 12pm to 3pm daily
Venue: Closed Facebook Group
Fee: 3000 (This fee was agreed on so as to make it affordable)
After payment, please send the name you used in paying to firstname.lastname@example.org, along with your facebook user name. Also send all enquiries to the above email address.
I look forward to having you all at the workshop, and helping you get started on the right path.