It’s been a long journey, countless hours of writing followed by edits, rewrites, more edits, further rewrites, formatting, cover design and finally… (drum roll please)… your book is now available to purchase on Amazon.
So, what now?
Well, unless you are a well-established author, simply uploading your book to KDP, IngramSpark, B&N etc. does not guarantee you any sales, once your book is published, the next stage in your journey as an author has just begun, this is the marketing and self-promotion stage.
If this is your first book (and in many cases, even if it’s your tenth), marketing a book can seem like a confusing uphill struggle, it’s easy to spend lots on advertising and many hours on social media shouting about your book to anyone who will listen.
So, what can you do to self-promote? Here are our tips on marketing a book as an indie author.
One – Social Media
An obvious place to start, but it is an important one. With social media the channels themselves may come and go in popularity (just look at the rise of TikTok and the slow decline that Facebook is currently going through), but these platforms are a great way to engage with potential readers, and also offer incredibly precise advertising options for running ads.
Firstly, with social media, make sure that you have dedicated pages/profiles as an author, try to keep away from using your own personal pages so that you can project a professional image across all of these channels. Also, make sure that they have some consistency, use the same profile image and banners, if you need inspiration, take a look at your favorite authors or check out some of these banner designs that will give you a good idea.
The key part of social media is in being social, engage with others and be polite (being a troll just makes you look like a moron in front of your audience), post often but don’t bombard your followers with only advertising, share things that you and your audience will find interesting and engaging.
Most social media is about the long term, it takes awhile to build up a genuine audience (and please, do NOT buy followers, they really don’t help).
Two – Social Media Advertising
Now that you have your social media channels set up, start to advertise with them. Channels like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram offer frighteningly precise advertising options, here you can set your budgets and target exactly who you would like your ads shown to.
If you are going to spend money on advertising your book this way, make sure that your ad looks professional and has a clear call to action, some of these ads you can create yourself on your home PC, but if you are not sure, many designers can create an effective and eye-catching banner ad for $30 - $50.
Three – Amazon
Amazon allows you to advertise your own products on their website, they have a pay per click service which will allow you to put your book in front of its intended audience, we have an article showing you how to set up an ad account with them and how to advertise with Amazon which is well worth checking out.
Four – An Author’s website
With the popularity of build-your-own website services, having your own website has never been easier, you don’t need to know anything about coding and most services are ‘drag and drop’, so designing your own site is a great deal easier than you may have imagined.
The key thing about having your own site is that it’s yours, so, you won’t get kicked off, or lose commission when a policy gets changed, you can sell your books directly, engage with your readers and build an email/subscriber list for future advertising.
But, in order to make a website successful you will have to put some work into it, SEO (search engine optimization) is something that will always be ongoing and require some dedication on your part, this is if you want people to find your site. The main things to remember, is to write great content which is relevant to your audience and update your site on a regular basis.
If you want to know more about setting up your own author website, we have an article on websites you should take a look at.
Five – Get reviews for your book
Whenever we look to buy something online, we inevitably look at the amount of stars it’s given when we weigh up the option of purchasing it, a low review and we’re more inclined to move on, a higher review and with more people contributing to it and it’s in our basket.
This goes for buying books, and every good author understands this too, the more good reviews you can get, the better your chances of making further sales, so getting your book rated is important. The good news is that there are plenty of things you can do, from giving out free eBook versions to sending paperback editions to influential people, with some creativity you can get the reviews needed to make your book shine to an audience. We have listed lots of these options in this article on reviews which will help.
Six – Goodreads
Most authors know about or use Goodreads, it’s a website dedicated to showing what you are reading, reviewing books and to help others find books that they will love. So as an author this is a perfect channel to connect with your readers, gain reviews and advertising your book directly to people who are specifically looking for something to read.
Seven – Guest post & Blog
Another way to reach an audience is to guest post on other websites within a subject/topic relevant to yourself, this could be a horror fiction site if this is your own genre for example. Reach out to the website you’re interested in and simply ask, be polite and follow their guidelines for submission, most people/businesses who run a website are happy to have guest posts from time to time (as long as it fits and is professional).
Eight – Be a podcast guest
Podcasts are massive and cover every genre, sub-genre and niche you could possibly think of, and they normally need great guests to talk to, so why not contact one to talk about your genre or niche as an author? They normally have a strong presence on social media along with their own websites, so getting in touch with a relevant podcaster is easier than you might have thought, just be polite and try to offer them something that would be relevant to their audience.
Nine – Use book promotional sites
There are plenty of these out on the internet and are still worth engaging in, I’m not too sure about spending a fortune on these but even if you don’t, there are plenty of free options which are worth using all the same, we have a list websites to promote your book you may find helpful.
Ten – Enter competitions
One thing about the literary world is that there are plenty of competitions for authors, the great things about these is that if you win something, you normally get a badge/seal to add to the cover of your book and it gets promoted via the competition’s website and social media channels too.
However, you will need a thick skin and patience, there are a lot of other authors doing the same thing as you, so keep at it and keep sending your book off to competitions.
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