Book Promotion for the Self-Published Author!
Book Promotion for the Self-Published Author!
Writing a book is the easy part. Selling it….now that is MUCH harder. There are so many books out there in the marketplace that us indie authors have to constantly work hard.
And I mean freakin’ hard.
Marketing isn’t easy.
Especially when you don’t have millions to throw into your marketing plan.
Don’t think that traditionally published authors do either.
Unless you’re Stephen King or someone of his caliber, publishing houses give very few resources to mid-list authors. The majority of marketing falls squarely on their shoulders.
There is no get rich quick scheme for us authors. No magic way to sell books by the millions. I sure wish there were.
So what are some of the things you can do to promote your books? Besides, keep writing new ones?
Have a website to help promote your novel.
In this day and age to help with book marketing you must have a website.
I would like to add you must have a good website. I don’t mean a $10,000 dollar design with amazing glamor shots of you all over it. But intuitive navigation, responsiveness for mobile, and be customer-centric.
Facebook for you and your book promotion.
I think it’s safe to assume that in this day and age most of us have a personal Facebook profile.
You should also have a Facebook page for your writing if you don’t already. For the main reason that it gives you a little bit of separation between your personal life and business.
Your Facebook page is the opportunity for you to engage your readers. Let them in to see your personality, your process, even a little insider information on your books.
Facebook ads are also a good way to get more exposure.
Other social sites. Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter, the list is endless.
I don’t recommend you get on every platform at once and try to promote your book and engage your audience but pick a couple you’re most comfortable with to start.
The reason I separated Facebook from the rest is most of us use Facebook for personal reasons, and it’s always good to start with what you’re most familiar with.
These 2 sites have been around forever. They aren’t pretty and frankly can be difficult to use.
However, there is still a treasure trove of information on there, connections you can make, and free promotional opportunities within the threads.
Every little bit helps.
Grassroots local in-person book marketing.
Even in a virtual business, nothing can beat good old-fashioned getting out and meeting people.
Contact places that make sense to host a book signing or author event. A coffee shop or a wine bar.
It doesn’t have to be a big grand thing.
Often small businesses are happy to work with someone wanting to set up a small table and showcase some books and advertise where they will be as it has the potential to bring more people into the store.
Libraries offer readings.
In the electronic age, I think libraries are so overlooked and under appreciated. When I was a kid going to the library was such a treat. Today with the ability to use an app to rent ebooks from the library and never even go in the whole experience is being missed. Libraries love to have authors come in and hold talks, interact with patrons, and generally just support the love of literature.
This is another group who love to have authors come talk to them and speak. Readers find authors fascinating.
Even if you’ve only written one book. You have a talent.
A talent that many people wish they had but don’t so they view you as special. Being able to meet readers and talk to them will give you the opportunity to not only make the connection with them but the people who they might tell.
You know word of mouth travels fast.
There are 2 types of community I’m talking about here. The community you live in and the virtual community.
The community you live in can be another overlooked venue. Just because you sell ebooks doesn’t mean everything you do needs to be virtual. That’s a misconception many authors I work with have.
Just because your book lives online doesn’t mean you can’t have flyers or postcards made up that will promote your book. You can have coupon codes to offer a discount or free, swag to give you.
All sorts of things to build awareness.
Everyone loves a contest. It’s a great way to build buzz and excitement around your book.
It doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive.
A free book or a $5 gift card to Amazon. It’s usually the thought of winning something that really counts.
I often ask other authors to include their books with mine to give out in a gift basket.
It’s a win – win as it gets all of us exposure.
Book reviews are one of the most important elements to selling.
It’s natural for people to be more willing to lay down their cold hard cash if they see other people have enjoyed the book. There’s less of a risk factor.
Be proactive and ask for reviews. Offer free copies in exchange for HONEST reviews.
So yes, you must be willing to put yourself out there and take the chance the person you asked won’t like your book, but I will add that most people whom you ask to review if they don’t like it will usually not post rather than posting a negative.
And let’s face it you, are going to get bad reviews. It sucks but learn from it and move forward.
Video has overtaken the world (and it did kill the radio star).
Want to make mac & cheese? Check out YouTube.
Want to perform brain surgery? Check out YouTube.
Book trailers are not very effective in my opinion but video of you talking about your book, about your process, and stuff like that are.
The 11 ideas I listed is just the tip of the iceberg.
Marketing may seem like a daunting task, but there are countless ways to get your book out there. Many for little to no cost.
You need to figure out what works for you, your author platform, and your book.
Marketing isn’t a one size fits all.