As writers, we have to understand the phrase, “If you build it, they will come,” does not apply to us or our books. If we want sales, we have to work harder than we worked to write the damn books.
So, how do we do that?
Buckle up and I’ll explain!
You won’t find one exact formula for success. Try different options and combinations for marketing your novel until you find one that works for your books.
There are two important things you must remember:
First, make sure your quality is there. If it’s not, go back and splurge for professional editing, formatting and, cover design. Trust me, I saw a bump in sales by releasing second edition of my first novel with professional quality. The sales bump wasn’t anything huge, but it was much needed progress. If you need help with how to generate the extra income for this, please check out my guide to self-publishing on a budget.)
Second, keep writing. Nothing sells book one better than book two or three. People are more likely to invest in a new title when they discover the book is part of a series. They won’t have to wait for the next book. They can binge read all the titles you have available. Many authors state they didn’t see significant sales until they were four or five books into a series, so don’t get discouraged with book one, two, or three.
Okay, still with me?
Now we’ll talk about how to promote your current publications.
Know your keywords
You need to be savvy with keywords when publishing on Amazon/Createspace or anywhere else. Here are some helpful links to finding your appropriate keywords. Here is a guide I found for Kindle keywords to help you out.
Update your Amazon author profile
If you’re on Amazon, make sure your author profile is update. You can find tips for making the most of your profile here.
Update your social media accounts
I would assume that anyone trying to be an indie author would be social media savvy. Facebook, Twitter, Pintrest…whatever. Make sure those accounts are updated with your current bio, book info and such. Also, make sure you’re not being spammy with your promotional posts.
Send out ARCs
Advanced Reader’s Copy or Advanced Review Copy is a tool for generating a buzz and getting early reviews to entice readers at launch. Reach out to book bloggers and offer ARCs, but make sure you’re offering a polished manuscript. Don’t send a draft!
Find marketing sites
Research popular book marketing sites such as Bookbub and check their requirements for advertising. Some sites require a minimum number of views, some are free, and some are paid ads.
Perma-free first book
Some authors found success making the first book in a series perma-free. Readers who find value in a free book will generally buy the next one to keep reading the series.
I haven’t tried this myself, but I’ve read many success stories involving pre-orders. I plan to offer pre-orders with this year’s holiday release.
Creating a press release can be an easy way to have your book information ready to hand over to any bloggers or sites willing to promote for you. Initially, I found press kits to be overwhelming because I had no idea what I was doing. I found this helpful guide here and maybe it will help you too.
Make use of giveaways on sites like Amazon and Goodreads
They are pros and cons to each one, so try them all or see which ones best fit your budget. I like Amazon’s Giveaway options because they do all the work for you! Unfortunately, you pay full price for your book plus shipping costs, and with Goodreads you can buy books at your cost and ship yourself. So, part of your decision might boil down to whether you prefer to save a little time or a little money.
You also want to consider that the people who could win your Amazon Giveaway might not be a bookworm, but assuming if someone enters the giveaway on Goodreads, chances are very high that they are a reader likely to review.
I hope you find this information helpful. As you try combinations of these options, try to gauge how well your book sells with each. Measure which price points and promotions work best, so you’ll have a better strategy for the next book release. Remember, lack of success isn’t losing, it’s a game of learning. So, make marketing your novel a game you aim to win at.