You have the prefect book, well written and interesting, properly proofed and copy-edited and you have uploaded it to Amazon, Apple, Kobo etc. Now you just sit back and wait for for the book to rise up the bestseller charts and the money to roll in, Right? Wrong! Unless you are extremely lucky your book will need promotion and marketing. Remember that companies like Amazon publish thousands of books every year and it can be easy to be lost in the crowd.
No book becomes a bestseller without some sort of promotion and advertising. This is the big advantage that traditional publishers have over self-publishers, they have marketing departments and money to promote a book. This does not mean that the self-published author cannot have a bestselling book. It just means that it requires effort on the part of the author and it need not cost a lot of money.
There are lots of ways to let your intended audience know that your book is available and improve sales. Below is a list of possible marketing options that you may want to consider.
When promoting your book please do not ignore the traditional methods such as local bookshops, local radio interviews, local Newspapers and local television – even go national with all of them if you can. But as most people will not have the contacts that will get them interviews etc on the older media by far the best ways are electronically.
Your own Website
Your own website is the key to all your online marketing efforts and is essential nowadays if you wish to be successful – your readers will expect a website. If you’re considering publishing a book and becoming a part-time / full-time writer, having your own website is almost an absolute ‘must’ these days. By creating and maintaining a professional website, you have a focus for your marketing and social media strategy. Ebooks by Design can provide you with a well-designed and attractive website. Check out our Website page for details.
A blog is one of the most powerful and versatile tools you can have on your website. By regularly posting about topics relevant to your books, you can build a network of dedicated readers who will spread the word. The benefits can be endless. Your readers may share your posts with others who in turn may go to your website and tell others. You now have an ever increasing circle of people that are essentially doing your promotion for you.
According to recent surveys, the majority of internet users regularly use social media like Twitter, Facebook, Google+, or LinkedIn. Facebook is another essential nowadays and if you link your website to Facebook you will get traffic both ways. Set up a Twitter account and see if you can get some followers. If you share your blog posts, tweets, talk and answer questions with your community on your Facebook page, you will find that once again you are building an ever widening network. These things can feed upon themselves and grow.
Contact websites that promote and are about your subject matter and see if they will write reviews of your book. If they have discussion forums let other users know that you have a book out (do not forget to include links to your website/Facebook page/Amazon etc) – invite them to post their reviews on the website and on Amazon etc. Perhaps offer to write articles about your subject that they can include on their website. See if you can advertise on the site.
All of the retailers will have sections on their websites telling you how to promote the book on their website. Ensure that you fill out the Author page with a photo and information about yourself – most of the retailers have one.
A good way to improve your rankings on the Amazon site is to get people to write customer reviews for your book – send out review copies and ask them to write an Amazon review. If you are part of KDP Select you can promote your book by giving it a way for free for a short time period. It all helps to get the book noticed. Amazon have some tips on marketing for the Kindle here.
Do not neglect your local library. Many allow author reading / signing sessions. They are also a good way to get in touch with local book-reading clubs – if you contact them and send them review copies of your book they could spread the word for you.
Clubs and Associations
If your book is about a specific subject – there will a club or association somewhere that is set up for it. The easiest way to find them is online, but you could also get magazines that deal with the subject and you will find lists of clubs, associations etc – contact them and perhaps provide a sample to get them to check it out.
You can also advertise in appropriate magazines – remember the reader is already interested in the subject otherwise they would not have bought the magazine.
Perhaps an interesting way to promote your book is Google AdWords. If you set up an AdWord account linked to your website and then make an Ad for your book that links directly to the book’s page. You can set your budget to suit yourself and also target specific times and countries. It will also appear on websites with the relevant content who have signed up as a Google affiliate. Google AdWords can really work but you really need to research it and plan your campaign.
An affiliate is someone who likes your eBook (or product) and wants to tell others about it. They sign up as an affiliate and after doing so, receive a unique affiliate link which they use when mentioning (promoting) your eBook. If someone clicks through that link and purchases the eBook, the affiliate receives whatever commission you have set.
Sign up with Goodreads – this a large website where the readers recommend books. It is really recommended. Many potential readers base their buying choices on Goodreads recommendations. Once again though use the help pages and forums to check out what you can do so you can get the best out of it.
The above are just a few ways to promote your book there are many more – perhaps if you have a local school nearby and your book is a Children’s book you can get it read as part of the schools reading lessons etc – there are always opportunities if you think and look for them.
Please remember that when promoting your book it will require effort and research on your side – this is why PR companies are still in business because many authors do not have the time or will to promote their book successfully.
The main thing is that it takes effort on your part to promote your book – you have to put yourself out there.