If you have chosen KDP Publishing for your book (and so many authors do), you may have uploaded it and are still waiting to see some serious sales come through, scratching your head, and wondering what’s going on.
But then most of us know that by just uploading your book with the basic information doesn’t necessarily translate into an overnight best seller, there is of course a bit more to it.
So, what should you do to give your book the best chance?
Firstly, you need to approach your book as an advertiser or publisher would, try to step away from it and view it from another perspective, as someone who will be its intended audience, and granted, this can be hard.
Guest Post by Dean Burgess.
As an author, having the opportunity to share your work with the world can be exciting and motivating, giving you the positive reinforcement you need to keep writing. In the past, it was difficult for writers to get their work published, as they had to bypass the gatekeepers of the publishing industry, like editors and agents. Today, creative writers have many outlets for getting their work discovered and growing a fanbase. This guide provides some steps you can take to get your creative writing discovered.
The Alliance of Independent Authors describes the self-publishing industry as “a beautiful, bubbling, chaos, typified by abundance and diversity, driven by authors [...] from all sorts of backgrounds and approaches, bringing together the most forward-thinking creative minds in an environment where they can freely create.” Although most self-publishing platforms don’t release data on their book sales, the numbers are likely higher than we know because this method of publication enables authors to reach more readers than traditional publishing allows.
One interesting market that has thrived in self-publishing is horror fiction, with sub-genres like supernatural, post-apocalyptic, slashers, and the vampire/werewolf/zombie niches. Self-publishing works well for horror writers because they have the freedom to publish work which may not find a home in traditional presses. Although horror is a highly versatile genre with dedicated fan bases, it’s found to be difficult to sell. Self-publishing opens doors for horror writers to get their ideas out into the world. Here are three tips if you’re thinking about self-publishing horror fiction:
If you haven’t used Goodreads yet, it’s certainly worth looking at especially for authors, originally founded in 2006 and then launched in 2007 with an approximate 650,000 members, it was bought by Amazon in 2013 and has grown to over 120 million members to date.
Goodreads has become the largest site for connecting readers with the books they’ll love, giving recommendations and book reviews (which is what they’ve become known for), it’s also a great place to follow your favorite author and is free to use, you can even sign in using your Amazon account where you’ll see the books you’ve purchased.
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?
Along with having a good book cover for your work, authors should also think about the promotional designs they are going to need to help sell their book to a larger audience. When you look at current trends, self-publishing continues to grow and as such, every day there is more than 4,000 new indie books being released.
What this means for an individual self-publishing author is that you must do more to reach your audience.
Self-publishing a book can be a thrilling and wonderful experience, you have worked hard on your book and after editing, polishing, and pulling together many services, your book is uploaded and available to buy on Amazon and other bookstores.
But now what?
It may well be the case that you are not yet working from your laptop while lying in a hammock upon a tropical beach, not yet anyway. It’s a dream that many have but by simply uploading your book to Amazon and keeping your fingers crossed won’t necessarily lead to massive success. If you take the example of most big-name authors, they got where they are today by a lot of hard work as well as having creative talent.
Promoting your book can seem a little daunting, where do you start? Who do you use to plug your book? And how much will it cost? The good news is that there are plenty of options available and a wide range of price points to suit most author’s needs.
Over the past few years many websites have sprung up which offer platforms to advertise your book to an audience, this is great for both the reader and of course the author who wants to put their book in front of them.
Here we have a list of some of these sites that you should consider, some are free and others charge, it’s also worth considering using multiple sites and staggering your promotions so that you always have something out there promoting your work.
Standing out as an author in a very crowded market has never been more important than as it is today, so, along with a great book cover design, what else should you use to capture the eye and imagination of your potential reader?
For most authors, the first place to self-promote a book will be through social media. Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are great channels to reach large audiences and they all have marketing options which you can tailor specifically for your own budget.
Most authors understand that to reach as many readers as possible (and especially now with social distancing) you must embrace the various channels available to you online. Social media is of course key and will be the first line of attack for lots of authors, but this will be followed by a website, blog, YouTube/steaming channel and you can even look at starting your own Podcast (it’s easier than you may think).
With these multiple avenues to reach readers you must show continuity, it looks unprofessional if your Twitter page has a different profile image and banner to that of your Facebook page and/website, both should match, the same goes for your other social media channels and complete digital footprint.
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