Creating a great book cover design for your manuscript is something that every successful author has taken seriously, it’s a fact that the market place for authors has become incredibly busy, so, if you don’t try to stand out from the crowd you will find it more challenging to sell your book.
A professional book cover will help you to present the best image to your audience, but you will also need some form of advertising too. Now I’m not saying you have to spend thousands of dollars in self promotion, but you will need to put a little effort in to ensure you reach an audience.
So, what options should you be looking at with your book? Well the first and most obvious choice would be using social media, the likes of Facebook and Twitter are great places to begin with and they are free to set up. Of course the greatest investment you’re going to have to make will be with your time, the social media accounts are wonderful places to begin, but you will need to be consistent with their usage.
Getting set up with your social media channels gives you the choice in using a personal account or having a separate and more specific set of feeds which are purely for your ‘Brand’ as an author. Now this is a personal choice but most favor keeping them separate and focused on you as an author (not all of your readers will want to read about your friend’s birthdays etc).
With your social media channels created you should look at having a consistent feel across all of them, so use the same profile picture and banners. With your profile picture keep in mind your genre, if you write thrillers, would a selfi on vacation be the best option? Maybe not, try and use a profile picture which fits the image of a professional writer in your genre. The same goes for your banners, where possible have a professional one created which includes a visual reference to your current books.
With social media the key is not to just use it to sell, connect with others and engage with them, post things that interest you and that you think would be of interest to others, again, if all you do is post links to where someone can buy your book on Amazon you’ll lose followers very quickly.
Post things of interest to your readers and don’t go overboard, updating your status every five seconds is way too much but only posting once a week is way too little. It’s fair to say that most people follow lots of other feeds, so they’re used to seeing their social media pages update very quickly with lots of information, you can post five – ten times a day and still (if the posts are relevant) grow and engage your audience.
The nest step would be starting your own blog and/or website, these are so much easier to create than most authors would imagine, and we have several articles on how to do so with our own blog. Here you can have a platform to promote, inform and engage with your readers, as with social media the more you put in to it the more you’ll get out, so keep it relevant and update it consistently.
From a website comes an opportunity to build a mailing list too, for this you’ll normally need to offer something for free (such as the first couple of chapters of your up and coming book), this will be in return for the reader’s email address. From here you can build a list which you can send mail outs to, try not to go crazy with sending hundreds of emails each week, keep it to two to four a month and ensure you follow the guidelines from your mailout providing service.
Along with websites and social media you can promote your book through companies such as BookBub, here you can get a small ad for your book in front of thousands of readers, with a simple link to your book’s sales page. These services are normally quite economical to run and will give your book a boost.
Also, with Amazon you can try a give away (for the eBook version) and for four or five days give it away for free, from this you will be hoping for a boost in the rankings and a higher position (ie: easier to find) when the free offer ends.
Of course there are lots of other creative things you can do to promote your book and yourself as an author, the main thing to remember is to engage with your audience and have fun.
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