So you’ve finally written that book you’ve been dreaming of writing for years. And even better, you’ve now published it and it’s available on Amazon. Great! But…now what? How do you make people aware that you’ve written and published your book? How do you get people interested in buying and reading it? This is one of the biggest struggles facing new and self-publishing authors. Self-publishing is a great way to get your work out there for the world to see. But the downside to forgoing the traditional publishing route is that you also forgo the perks of working with a traditional publishing house, like having an entire marketing department ready to promote your book to the masses. So what’s an author to do? Based on feedback I’ve received from self-publishing authors, I’ve compiled the following list of ways to promote your book without breaking the bank.
- Social Media
We all know that social media is the way to network and I’m not talking about posting to your Facebook friends that you’ve published a book and calling it a day. While that’s a good place to start, it’s not likely to get you much exposure because that kind of post 1) relies heavily on your friends sharing your post with their friends and 2) depending on privacy settings, your friends’ friends may never even see your original post. So instead, try setting up a public Facebook author page. This is a simple process and it will allow people to like and follow your page and share your posts. If you need to gain followers, try using a Facebook ad. You can customize your budget amount so you gain exposure without breaking the bank.In addition to Facebook, consider setting up a Twitter and Instagram account, too. These are also great networking tools and when you utilize the right hashtags in your posts, you can essentially create an ad for free.
And please don’t forget about Goodreads! If you’re going to promote yourself as an author, you must claim your Goodreads author profile. Goodreads is a social media site dedicated to books, so doing this allows their millions of users to find, share, and review your book.
- Book Bloggers
There are many, many book bloggers out there who love to read and talk about books. Many of them (such as Kait’s Bookshelf) also offer review services to authors in which they will read your book and post a review to their followers. How can this benefit you? Most bloggers have not only their blog following but also a substantial social media following as well. So when they review your book, there is the potential for hundreds, sometimes thousands, of people to see that review and share it with their followers, etc. It is an opportunity to get a lot of exposure. Some of them even post their reviews to popular book sites like Amazon or Goodreads.
The most important thing to remember when contacting a book blogger for a review is to follow their guidelines. Most book bloggers have a list of what types of books they read and what types they don’t and some have specific guidelines for submitting a request. If you contact a book blogger without following their guidelines, it is likely they will ignore your request and you will miss out on your chance for a book review. As a book blogger, I can personally tell you how frustrating it is when someone submits a request for a genre that my website clearly states I do not review. Think of contacting book bloggers as building professional relationships. If your initial review with them goes well, you may be able to count on them for future book promotions.
I have never met a bookworm or bookbutterfly who didn’t love receiving free books. This is something you can easily do through your Facebook author page or another social media page. You simply announce that you have a copy (or two or three) of your new book to give away and state the rules for entry. Common rules are “like this page” and “tag a friend or two in the comments”. This is a great way to gain followers for your author page as people will likely be tagging literary minded friends who will also have an interest in your page and giveaway.
- Paid Promotion
If you have some marketing money set aside, consider a site like BOOKGRABBR. For $25 a month, an author can create a profile and offer an extended preview of their book. Once a user finds your book synopsis intriguing, they must first share it with their social media followers before they can access the preview. Once they’ve completed the preview, they will be given a “buy now” option to purchase your book. BOOKGRABBR even offers you analytics, so you know how many people are sharing and buying your book and which social media networks (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) are providing the best networking results. It is a new, innovative way to gain exposure for your book.
If your marketing budget is limited, consider services like a Social Media Blast from Kait’s Bookshelf. For $10, I will compose a tweet to my followers of either your twitter profile or a link to your book – your choice! I will also compose a post to my Facebook page with a link to your book on the site of your choice (Amazon, Goodreads, your author website, etc.). 48 hours after the initial posts, I will re-post them to increase visibility to my followers. There is no limit to how many Social Media Blasts you can purchase, so if you would like to purchase one in the month before your book is published to start creating hype and then another when it releases, you can certainly do that.
I hope these tips have given some guidance on promoting your book(s) and prove to be useful for you. Do you have any tried and tested methods of book promoting? Have you used one of the resources above and found them to be helpful or not so helpful? Please feel free to share with me in the comments section about your experiences of promoting as a new or self-publishing author.
Happy Writing and Promoting!
Up Next: My review of Revival, my very first Stephen King novel! Subscribe to the blog or sign up with your email here so you don’t miss out!