As I promised in my post from last week, I’m doing a post on book marketing. As an indie author, I don’t have a large marketing budget (or any marketing budget), a staff to do the work, or some high-powered PR firm working on my behalf. What do I have, then, that I can use to market The Gemstone Chronicles and try to make readers aware of the series? This is where the book marketing confusion sets in! Book marketing is a lot more than posting links and pictures of your books (like this):
In this post and subsequent posts, I will try to relate the things I have tried and things I want to try. I’ve never been on any of the bestseller lists, so I may not have all of the answers (OK, I may not have any of the answers), but here goes!
First, don’t let the idea of marketing scare you! There are many different forms of marketing, so it’s not like you have to get out there and knock on people’s doors or make cold calls. The internet is a great resource for finding readers or finding advice on how to find readers. There are sites that you can pay to promote your books and there are sites that offer free publicity. There are blog tours, your own blog, your friends blogs, Facebook groups, Twitter, and a ton of other options.
With all of the choices out there, it can be overwhelming. To try to make some sense of it all, I’ll try to break down the categories into manageable chunks! This will be the first of a few posts about book marketing options. There are books written about book marketing, so I certainly can’t cover them all in a few posts, but I will try to give an overview.
Let’s start with Facebook. The first thing I recommend is that you create a page for your book. I also recommend that you keep it separate from your personal page. Use your book page to promote your book. Find other authors in the same or similar genre and develop relationships with them. Visit their pages, leave likes and comments, and share and like there posts about their books. Don’t do it gratuitously, do it sincerely.
They will help you in return, but no one likes a fraud. Don’t send out post after post screaming for people to buy your book. Just like telemarketing, it is annoying and will turn off potential readers and friends! Here is the link to my page on Facebook. It probably isn’t the best example to use, but it will give you a general idea of what I am trying to demonstrate!
Another great thing about Facebook are the great groups out there! There are groups that allow shameless self promotion and there are others that allow limited promotion and still others that don’t allow promotion at all. Many of these groups are closed groups, meaning that you will have to request to join the groups, but they are definitely worth it (IMHO)! The groups that shows as closed groups require permission to join. Some of my favorites (with links) are:
Book Review Depot (closed group)
Clean Indie Reads (closed group)
Authors, Reviewer, & Book Lovers (closed group)
I’m sure there are tons of others (and I’m a member of some of them), so you have to find the groups you feel comfortable in and become active in the groups. You can learn a lot and meet some really great people, so give it a try!
Goodreads is a great resource for both authors and readers. The site is basically a giant book club with millions of members. For authors, there are lots of different options to promote books. Similar to Facebook, you can join groups of members with similar interests, find groups that allow book promotion, offer books to readers for review, post reviews, and many other activities. Goodreads even has a walk-through for authors to give them ideas about how to use Goodreads for book marketing and promotion. As with Facebook, join groups, participate, and grow your network of readers and writers. You can meet great people at Goodreads, find great books to read, and maybe learn a thing or two! You can find me on Goodreads here and I welcome new friends!
Twitter is the place to do microblogging. On Twitter, you can tweet about anything as long as it is 140 characters or less. You learn to become very creative to fit what you want to say into 140 characters. Hashtags are a must in Twitter, so learn to use them well. For authors, hashtags are great to get retweets of your tweets, but like everything else, don’t just hammer out posts that scream “BUY MY BOOK!” That will turn off potential followers (who are potential readers). Instead, get to know other authors and readers, tweet about them and their books and reviews, and occasionally post tweets about your own work. I’ve found that the more you help others, the more help you receive, but again, I urge you to be genuine about it. Book marketing is hard enough, but being insincere can make it a lot harder! I can be found here if you want to connect with me on Twitter! Some of my favorite hashtags are #BYNR (Book Your Next Read), #CR4U (Clean Reads for You), #amwriting, #IAN1 (Independent Author Network) and #thegemstonechronicles.
iAuthor is fairly new to me. On iAuthor, you create on own advertisement for your book(s). It’s free, which as an Indie author without an advertising budget, is great. The site gives you an option to add your books to existing themes, or you can create your own theme. Themes can be just about anything. For example, I have two adverts on iAuthor for Book One: The Carnelian and Book Two: The Amethyst. They are in multiple themes including Indie Books Looking for Reviewers, Books from a Series, Children’s books that will also engage adults, and Books by members of the Independent Author Network.
As an author, you get a dashboard that shows you where views of your adverts activity occurred and will help you tailor campaigns where you are getting the most activity. I like that you can follow authors, like covers, read samples, like and follow themes, and many other things. Give iAuthor a try!
I’ll stop here for this post. In the next post of this series, I’ll discuss blogs, the Independent Author Network, Kindle, KDP, Kindle Unlimited, Kindle Select, and a few other things, so stay tuned! Hopefully, by the time I’m done, we will all learn some new things about book marketing.
If you are an author, what book marketing techniques do you use that work for you and what hasn’t worked? If you are a reader, how do you find books to read? What is your opinion of Indie authors and their books? Leave me a comment and let me know!! I always look forward to comments and shares!