Social Media Is An Effective Tool For Promoting Ebooks — Karo Orofofuo, CEO of Pelluera
A few weeks ago, we brought you interviews with traditional publishers like Parresia Publishers, AMAB Books and Winepress Publishing. This week we bring to you an interview with the CEO of Pelluera, Karo Orofofuo.
Pelleura focuses on stories to help you get through your daily challenges. They also publish inspirational, business stories/articles for SMEs (small-to-medium enterprise), Brand Stories for businesses, Self Love and Self Improvement Stories, Relationship, social, e-marketing and even religious stories.
They are an e-publishing platform that helps authors convert their books to epub and upload to platforms of their choice for sale.
In this interview, Karo takes us into a journey of how her publishing career started, the flips and turns, the challenges and glories thereafter, her relationship with Okada books, how social media is an effective tool for promoting ebooks and many more.
Welcome to the show. Let’s begin. How did your love for online publishing start?
Thank you Syncity. I never wanted to bother about publishing. All I wanted to do was write. But I soon realized that writing is only the beginning. Publishing is a different thing all together. I’ve always written drama and movie scripts but ventured into novel writing in 2012. It was in 2013 I started to look into publishing. I started with online publishing because I already know how difficult most Nigerian traditional publishers are. Most prefer school books or at least fiction works that can be used in schools. That’s their market. Also, I didn’t have the funds to pay a traditional publisher to print and distribute my books. Neither did I have the experience with selling hard copy books. But doing all these online seemed easy to learn and also less expensive.
“Traditional publishers are difficult”. This seems like a sub.
Lol. Not at all. Truth is, of recent, our publishers are more open to the idea of fiction because they see there’s a market for it online. But still, some of them are difficult. *laughs*
Tell us about your experience/journey into the world of e-publishing.
I’ve had my bad and good experiences. When I was first introduced to online publishing, I needed to create awareness. I opened my blog and started posting my stories. But I didn’t know what I was doing. All I did was copy what some people were doing without really understanding what to expect. It has taken me time to learn the ropes on e-publishing. I started to see the light though, when Mary Okeke reviewed Susan’s Diary. That review was superb and that was when Okada books founder contacted me to publish the said book on the platform. Publishing on Amazon was frustrating so I decided to try Okada books. It was that trial that opened me to everything I know today about book publishing and marketing. I was an author first on Okada books before I become a staff member. It is the platform I made my first 4000 in book sales.
Tell us more about the lessons learnt at Okada books.
Okada books has been a blessing. I joined the platform in December 2013 as an author but started working with the platform in September 2015 as a contract staff. What I did then was marketing the platform to other authors, handling contests and publicity.
How would you say people received e-publishing as regards the usual traditional publishing? How did you convince people?
As a full-time staff I was handling a lot more, especially when a few other staff resigned and I had to add their work load to mine. So, I was in every department, even tech, to an extent. With Okada books I’ve learnt how to publish in almost any online platform, the different aspects of online book promotion, what works and what doesn’t, growing a fan/reader base and also email list building and marketing.
I’ve learnt social media engagement helps drive book sales. As one who read a lot of books for review, the reading helped sharpen my writing skills. Most importantly, I’ve learnt that if you aren’t hella famous you must be raedy to spend money for promotions.
If you do not have money for promotions, or you have it but won’t spend it, then be ready to amke a alot of noise on social media to get attention. Be creative about the noise you make. And when people see your efforts, they will be moved to support you.
Asides social media, how can new writers push their reach, build a community and aid publicity? How can they make sales?
With Okada books, when we see an author making so much efforts to promote their books, the team steps in to assist. If you don’t, they do nothing for you. Same goes with your social media friends and followers. I learnt to love marketing. Before then, I always saw marketing as an evil something. Lol. But not amymore. My idea about marketing improved greatly when I stumbled on kopywritingkourse.com. A lot of them were happy about about the idea. But a few were/are still scared of plagiarism. You know ebooks are easy to steal.
Plagiarism is a BIG issue for e-publishing. How did you protect people’s works from being plagiarized?
I’ve seen a lot of polls online about this. And yes, a lot of persons still prefer print. But still, a lot of them still like ebooks. I know of a raeder who has the eCopy of almost all the hard copy books she has. One writer came to me and I told her if she wants what she’s asking for, she should get a blog. She ran off. In this time of ours, social media is very important. I wouldn’t ask anyone to skip it. If you don’t understand social media, then get someone to help you. You need social media to be able to drive traffic to your blog, your community, or email opt in form. Once you’ve gathered a large following, or members or email list, I still advice the continued use of social media.
And there’s no challenge you are going through that someone else hasn’t gone through. You just need to research the right keywords too find the solutions these people used. But most importantly, be CONSISTENT. A lot of the time, life happens. You get thrown off but you need to be determined, consistent and open to new ideas. Look at what other authors do that works for them, ask Google. Research. There’s nothing you are doing that another person hasn’t done.
Okada books has a DRM system in place. If a book is DRM protected, readers can purchase and read it in the app. It cannot be copied, or downlaoded. The book is 100% safe. When authors contact me to help them publish on Okadabooks, I ask which they want, DRM or no DRM? Some authors want people to buy and read their books without necessarily going to download and download and install the app first. So that means no DRM. But others insist on DRM (Digital Rights Management).
Print vs ebooks. For a new writer who wants to publish, which would you advice and why?
I would advice both depending on what the author can afford. If he/she can afford to print and market the printed copies, not leaving them on a shelf for dust to cover up, then by all means, go ahead. I will also advice him/her to publish an eCopy. There are a lot of online readers these days that buy ebooks. So there is a large market for ebooks. However, if the author cannot afford printing, I will advice he/she starts with e-publishing and grow from there. As your books become more popular, people will ask for your hard copy. Then you can consider using Print on demand services, using Print on Demand services, or print a batch of hardcopies to sell off. This way, they are not sitting on your shelf.
Tell us about Pellueura and how it is fuelling the vision of storytelling. What other services do you render?
Pelleura is about stories. The platform is in two sections:
1. Pelleura Business: This section covers stories/articles/guides on how to start and grow a profitable blog. We also help SMEs market their businesses with stories. People would rather read stories than just a plain article. I also notice that my blog traffic increases with stories.
2. Pelleura Story: It focuses on fiction/real life stories that moivate, inspire and entertain. We also use it for story-driven marketing. You need social media to be able to drive traffic to your blog, your community, or email opt in form.
Services on the blog include ghostwriting, editing, book cover designs, e-publishing, book reviews, adverts, consultation, writing brand stories for businesses.
Please give us your last words and how we can reach you. Your contact is very important
To authors, I will say, don’t stop learning, it is an essential part of the process. I have a free ebook on my blog specifically written as a basic guide for authors, on what to do to grow, keep and sell to reader base.
Special thanks to Synners who tuned in from all over. You all make me cry everytime. Which kain love be this. Lol.
Thank you so much for having me. SyncityNG, I had a great time.
Una good night o. I love you all plenty. see you next monday. Gather all your village people come o
The live interview session had the following comments:
@scribblinggirl: Something about print (book in flesh and blood) you can’t explain. Hardbacks. Paperbacks. Real books. Print is walahi! Though we can’t deny what good ebooks done us.
@harchychy: I don get plenty knowledge. Too glaring! Much thanks ma
@scribblinggirl: Many thanks to you ma’am @karoOforofuo for your time on today’s show. Educative. Plenty insights. A reminder. Consistency is key! People like us haven’t been o because ”life”. But it can’t stop us. More strength to @syncityng for this platform. We stan!!!
@Ilario: I think I prefer print, can’t be staring at a screen for hours, plus there is something abot thhe smell of paper that just does it for me.