Self-Publishing and the Personal Approach

2009 book signing, CMN, with Karina Fabian

Because self-published authors don’t have a publishing company to help them promote their books, it’s important to take the initiative in marketing. Even authors who have publishers must often do their own marketing. Connecting with your fans on a personal level is a great way to market your book. This can be done through attending conferences as well as interacting with them through your blog, Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus and Pinterest.

Face-to-face interaction, however, is one of the most effective ways to market your book. If you have the budget, time and freedom to do so, I highly recommend attending conferences as a vendor and/or book seller. Readers and potential customers appreciate the opportunity to speak with an author and to have their books signed by the author herself.

For the first six years of my career as an author, most of my book sales occurred at live conferences I attended as a vendor. (Now, Kindle sales account for 90 percent of my writing income). I typically attend two or three conferences a year. I normally sell anywhere from 30 to 100 books per conference (depending on the length and attendance of the conference.) For example, I have attended the Journey to the Father Youth Conference as a vendor every summer since 2005. The JTTF attendees, workers and volunteers know me and, most importantly, there are many at this conference who will not only buy anything I write, they will buy multiple copies.

Another way to keep things personal in marketing is to consistently reply to fan mail, comments on your blog, on Facebook, Twitter and other social networking. This develops a rapport with your readers and you can also make a lot of good friends too!

Participating in Skype and teleconference calls with book clubs are also a wonderful ways to connect with readers. I’ve participated in several Skype calls with readers and book clubs.

One last — and very important — approach: With the Catholic Writers Conference Live fast approaching, please consider attending and networking with other Catholic writers. If your book has the Seal of Approval, you can register to do a book signing at the Trade Show (see photo above), be interviewed by CMN for their author book trailers and possibly be interviewed on EWTN’s Bookmark.

Remember: connecting with your readers can help to promote your books to those readers who will return time and again to purchase your books.

copyright 2013 Ellen Gable Hrkach

About Ellen Gable Hrkach

Ellen Gable Hrkach is an award-winning, Amazon bestselling author. Her five books have been downloaded over 620,000 times on Kindle. Currently, she works as the Marketing Director for Live the Fast, a non-profit Roman Catholic apostolate based in Boston. She does freelance writing and editing for a variety of other websites, she blogs at "Plot Line & Sinker" and is also self-publishing book consultant and a publisher. She and her husband are the parents of five sons ages 16 to 28 and live in Pakenham, Ontario. In her spare time, Ellen enjoys playing board games with her family, watching classic movies on TCM and reading on her Kindle.
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6 Responses to Self-Publishing and the Personal Approach

  1. you are a model of patience and persverance for a newbie like me

  2. DonMulcare says:


    Could you share more details about the Catholic Writers Conference Live. I don’t know about Melanie, but I’ve never been to this particular kind of conference. How big is it? How easy is it to meet folks? Are there dozens of simultaneous presentations? What are the costs involved?



  3. Thanks, Melanie!

    Don, The Catholic Writers Conference Live takes place this year in Somerset NJ in conjunction with the Catholic Marketing Network Trade Show. There are usually one or two presentations running simultaneously, with anywhere from 80-120 people attending. Cost is $80 for all three days (that’s the CWG members’ price) and it is very easy to meet people. In fact, this year, EWTN will be doing interviews with some of our members. Here is the press release:
    If you need any more information, please feel free to email me privately. God bless…

  4. Don Mulcare says:

    Thanks Ellen,

    In similar meetings I’ve attended over the years, the sponsor organizations scheduled events to integrate new members. Will the CWG have an equivalent get-acquainted activity? I’d be especially grateful for access to a critique group.

    The notice you kindly sent mentioned that “attendees have the opportunity to sign up for critique workshop with award-wining short fiction writer Arthur Powers.” Would participants share an appropriate manuscript with the author?

    Many thanks,


  5. Don, We will be having an “Ice Cream Social” the first night and, yes, Arthur Powers is doing a critique group. You would have to contact the conference coordinator (Ann) to find out what he would require for you to sign up…

  6. Roger Walker says:

    Was it right for those who met with success as a result of the conference? See commentary by former attendees, and our news page, both noted above. Also, please review our criteria for who should participate in this conference and who should not. If this pitch conference is not right for you and you require craft instruction from professionals, we recommend the intensive craft-and-pitch workshops run by Algonkian Writer Conferences .