This is what my desk looked like right before publishing my book Night Bells (*cough*, *cough* that happens to be available here and *cough* here…). As you can see, it has been devoured by my notes on where to publish, what my highest marketing priorities were, etc. Today, I’m going to give the aspiring indie author tips on marketing! WOOHOO! I should be an expert right? Well, I’m not. Chuck that idea out the window. I’m new at this game, just like all of you. What I’m going to share today are some helpful resources as well as some of the things I’ve been trying and finding successful for myself. *Read* This is not expert advice. 🙂 Just some advice from a fellow writer trying to make it in the world.
First off, RESOURCES:
>> Lindsay Buroker’s Website — This lovely lady has some TERRIFIC marketing tips on her website. I learned much of what I, myself, do from her wonderfully detailed and instructive posts.
>> The Creative Penn: 7 Ways to Grow Your Readership — This is a great post to give you some ideas on how to find readers and keep them (a HUGE part of marketing, in case you didn’t know).
>> The Book Designer: Marketing Your Book — Another great article with some really great link resources embedded within.
Secondly, THINGS I DO:
>> Be present online, but don’t be everywhere — Initially, I thought if I was involved in social media, I needed to be EVERYWHERE! Linkedin, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Goodreads, Flickr, Tumblr….The list goes on and on. And I’ll tell you right now, it’s not possible to be everywhere and actually have substance to your involvement there and//or have a real life. SO! My advice is to pick a couple things and get really active in them. Lindsay Buroker offered similar advice in this post. I, myself, am very active on Goodreads, Facebook, and Twitter. I get involved in discussions, join groups, and post links to fun websites, other articles, and my own blog posts.>> Use links effectively — When I am writing blog posts, I make sure to link back to posts concerning my books, where they’re available, and previews and such. Now, if you’ll look back at the first paragraph of this post, you’ll see that there was a wee bit of *cough* promotion going on. That is an example of what is likely a too obvious approach. We aren’t trying to trick people into clicking on links to our books, but we DO need those links to be displayed and prominent in many (but not ALL) of our posts. Find ways to connect your book to the content of your post. If your book is about sea dragons and you’re writing a blog post about your favorite fall recipe, they probably don’t match up. However, if you’re reviewing a great book by a fellow author in your blog post and the books share a similar genre, why not post a link to your own book? As well, you should be linking your readers to articles outside your site and from your site throughout posts. >> Goodreads campaigns — So far, I am still on the fence as to whether or not this was a good option for me. On the one hand, it is helping with people adding my book to their to-read lists, but it is not necessarily increasing sales right now. However, what is most important for authors in the beginning is rising from dreaded obscurity. So far, my Goodreads ad is helping to do that. If you are a new author, you will want to make an account at Goodreads and add your book to their database. They will then offer you a chance to be a part of their Goodreads author program. DO IT! It is awesome and it opens you up to some fantastic marketing tools. For instance, you can do giveaways of your book, run ads (like the Goodreads campaign mentioned above), link your blog to your Goodreads profile, and more! Seriously, Goodreads is a great tool even if you don’t get an ad. As well, it is a SUPER fun place to hang out. >> Local paper articles — Create a press release about your novel for your local paper! That is something my father-in-law helped me with and it was a really cool way to spread the word locally! Sure, not everyone reads the paper anymore, but it was a really cool idea and I did hear from people about it! >> Have a blog//website and post//update frequently! — This is so, so, so important! Blogs and websites are excellent ways for writers to build a readership and community based around their writing and novels. However, you need to treat it as an aspect of your job and make sure it is a priority. Most days, I do my blogging first. I enjoy writing articles and funny posts and it helps me to introduce people to me. Most readers nowadays want to know the author behind the book. As well, if you are good at search engine optimization (SEO), it can help bring traffic to your blog and ultimately, to your novels! >> Amazon Author Page — Make sure you set this up via Amazon’s Author Central once you have a book available! It can automatically give readers access to your “about me” information and your Twitter and blog feeds. >> Book Reviews, Guest Posting, Interviews — The internet is a huge, giant community. One of the great things for us indies, is that it is full of readers and people who love to review books and share their reviews. One thing I recommend is seeking out book bloggers who review indie books in your genre. Be patient. These people get TONS of submissions daily, so you may not hear from them for a while. If you can’t get them to do a review, sometimes, they’ll offer to host an interview with you on their site. TAKE THAT. Any way of spreading the word about yourself as an author is a GOOD THING. Take for instance my interview on The Hopeless Bibliophile. Even though it isn’t a book review, my book is mentioned and I am asked direct questions about it. Get out there and start seeing if people will showcase you! Don’t be a Spammy Susan, though. If you don’t hear from them, don’t obsessively send emails and tweets to these people. It is rude and it is a sure-fire way to get them not to review your book or interview you. >> Family and Friends…are your friends — One thing most of us can count on in this crazy book marketing world is the presence of family and friends who love us. My family and friends have been BIG helps in the marketing sphere. One of my friends is a graphic designer and helped design a bookmark for me (which I will distribute at some point). One friend is really active on Facebook and Pinterest and has shared links about my book. Family members are telling their friends who are telling their friends….On and on it goes. Word of mouth is a very powerful thing. Politely encourage your family and friends (the ones who have read the book, liked the book, and are vocal about things they like) to spread the word far and wide. There you have it! Some action items to consider when you are marketing your own book! It is a HARD, HARD, HARD thing, marketing, but it will slowly pick up if you are diligent and consistent with it! Good luck, fellow indies! Good luck, traditional authors! We’re all in this together! Thanks for stopping by on this beautiful Tuesday! I truly hope these tips and resources were helpful to you in your quest.