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What the Heck is #IAN1?

April 26, 2012 1 comment

I know the answer, don’t worry. #IAN1 is a Twitter hashtag. If you’re reading my blog and you’re not sure what Twitter is or what a hashtag is then I’m surprised. It’s not that I consider it common knowledge, it’s just that a large portion of my blog readers are pulled in from Twitter. For those of you that aren’t, let me see if I can sum it up.

A hashtag is a way to organize related tweets. Think of it as a category or even a genre. If you want to look up horror books you’d sort through a list of horror books, right? If you want to find out about tweets related to the TV show The Voice, you’d want to look up any tweets that use the hashtag #thevoice somewhere in them. Twitter was built with this in mind so people can read streams of tweets with this in mind. It’s called “trending.” Thus ends the Twitter lesson.

So back to #IAN1. That happens to be the hashtag set up for the Independent Author Network. It’s a website I joined a while back for a nominal fee to help host my books. I was searching for as many reliable and cost-effective ways to expose myself. Er, expose myself without any police involvement. Anyhow, the Independent Author Network is a resource for independent writers that are looking for fellow writers to talk shop with or just a place to put up our books and let people see them. It’s a huge benefit to readers as well, they can view (by genre) books and authors without any pressure as to whether they’re going to buy them or where they’re going to buy them at (each book has links to where it’s available at). I’ve got nineteen books on there, which is far and away one of the larger profiles.

To my fellow writers: has it helped me to have a page on the Independent Author Network? I think so. I don’t have any empirical data, you see, but I do know that my page was getting hundreds if not thousands of hits each month for a while (I haven’t seen any stats in a while but I imagine it’s gone up, not down). That doesn’t necessarily convert to a sale, but every opportunity to put my book in front of somebody increases the possibility of them buying it.

It’s not an instant guarantee of success either. As with anything, if people don’t know it exists then there’s little to no chance of them ever visiting it. That means I have to share the knowledge. I have to let people know that I have an IAN page and give them the address to it. It helps if I toss in a “please check it out,” while I’m at it.

IAN also offers up additional promo opportunities for writers from time to time. Some cost nominal fees and others are free. For example I’m involved in a “Spring Fever Promotion” that cost me nothing, it just required that I offer up a few books for display that are under $5. That’s easy for me – all my books are under $5.00! At least all of my ebooks are. Here’s the link to that page, I recommend checking it out and seeing if you can find a great price on a new favorite author (other than me, of course): http://www.independentauthornetwork.com/kindle-under-5.html.

And in case you wondered nobody asked me to write this, nor am I receiving anything for it. Sure, I hope you’ll check the page out and find some use (such as buying one or more of my books), but if that’s not your thing that’s fine too. It’s also a public service message for struggling writers that are trying to find ways to get more exposure. I’m giving the place two thumbs up, I recommend you check it out.

To learn more about Jason Halstead, visit his website to learn about him, his books, sign up for his newsletter, or check out some free samples of his books at http://www.booksbyjason.com.

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