Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Little Things You Can Do To Promote Your Book

First of all, let me say that this blog will be a "duh" for any seasoned indie author.  It is written for those who are new to self publishing, and is one blog of several where I blog about different ways to market.  Still, sometimes it surprises a seasoned veteran when they read over these things because they find a few things that have gradually been overlooked.

None of these things are going to send your book to the top of the charts.  Each of these things are simple ways to get the word out and perhaps pick up a few sales.  Things you should do every time you release a book, because they cost very little and take almost no time to do.

-Make sure that you list your book, the buy links, your fan or author page link, and your blog link in your email signature.  There is a way to set it up automatically, so that every email going out from you has it.  Each email program is a bit different, but none of them are hard to figure out.  Look under "tools" or "options" in your email program.

-I already blogged about the fan or author page, so I won't go into detail on that one. Just let me say if you don't have one, you should.  Now.

-Consider using your book cover as your photo on blogs and boards that you frequent.  Add it to your profile on any of those pages.  Note that I said "consider".  There are some reader forums that do not want authors to actively promote their work.  Read their instructions and rules.

-When you publish for Kindle, you get an Author Profile page in Author Central (through Amazon).  Fill it out, add your book cover and set it up so that your blog feeds into it automatically.

-Start a blog. Blog about anything and everything, or just about writing, but do NOT blog about your book.  It can be mentioned once in awhile as an example of something you are talking about, or because something great happened for it, but people will get sick or hearing about your book constantly.

-Get business cards with your cover as the photo and feature the buy links on it.  These an be purchased online for under $100, sometimes under $50.  Just like your book, though, the cards don't work if they just sit on a shelf.  Use them!  Give a bunch out to friends to give to friends.  Give them to servers, at doctor's offices to workers you interact with, etc.  Don't be afraid to mention your book at an appointment.  If you are afraid to talk about your book then you must not think you have a very good one.  I am not talking hard sell.  Let it flow out of a natural conversation.  Once you have said a few things about it and given your card, change the subject.

-Think of fun stuff that may or may not sell books, but does not cost much.  I have a bumper sticker that says  "Who in the World Was Gastien Beauchamp?"  and then his facebook fanpage.  I have gotten a lot of comments on it.  Has it sold books?  I don't know.  However, it only cost me a little under $10. 

-Send press releases to local papers of places you live or have lived.  Consider doing the same to radio stations.  I am getting two interviews featured in two small town papers after doing that.  I may get more, who knows?

-Join kindleboards.com and put your photo in your signature.  Become involved in conversation in the Writers' Cafe there.  I am not saying to always talk about your book, I am saying to become involved in author's conversations and posts.  As you become known there, people will notice your book.  Authors are readers you know.  Some who come there are not authors, but do read a lot. Some may buy it, some will talk about it or promote it.  All kinds of cool things happen there.  Just remember, you are not there to sell your book, but to learn how to become a better writer, find ways to promote your book outside of the board, and help other authors. 

-Join other boards that talk about your genre. Talk about the genre, not your book! Once again, as people get to know you, they will check out your profile and possibly your book.

-Find other places to sell your books besides Amazon and B&N.  Type in keywords for your genre on google.  For instance: "Mystery Fiction" etc.  You will find sites that sell your genre.  Read how to apply to sell yours there.

-Open your mouth!  Even if you don't have business cards you can still tell people about your book.  Don't hog the conversation, just include a little big about how excited you are to have your first (second, etc) book out.  If they ask more, answer.  They will ask.

Don't forget to keep writing.  I will promise you that it is difficult to balance all of this.  In spite of that, you need to find a way to do some marketing, while at the same time writing that next book.  Be patient.  Don't be overbearing.  A first book seldom does well.  It takes about three books (from what I have been told) to find out if all three will be decent sellers.  Oddly, the first book starts selling more as more come out.  That is not odd for a series, but it is true for other books, too.

Write on, baby!

1 comment:

  1. I just twittered about this post! The stories are amazing.
    I particularly like the DL envelopes and custom business cards… but it is awfully hard to choose.