Indie Author Marketing Tips

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.

Press 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.



Thank You Indiegogo Campaign Supporters

In June, I created an Indiegogo campaign with the hopes of reaching the minimum amount needed to self-publish my novels with professional formatting and covers. I was overjoyed when friends and fans of my first novel, The Alliance: Bloodlines, rallied together to fund my campaign in just three days! The initial goal of $500 was met and exceeded.

Thanks to the amazingly generous people listed below, I was able to fund the republishing of Bloodlines and prepare the sequel with better quality.

Thank you again for supporting me on this journey! Updates are coming soon!


The Alliance: Bloodlines and Drakon will be published via CreateSpace and available on Amazon later this fall, and a cover reveal will be planned for later this month.

Laura Dickerson

Michael Cesario

Laura Mazerall

Tisar “T33407” Smith

Marco Zuviate

Mason Pruett

Cindy Chan


Jerry Buckholt

Stuart Griffin


Jeffrey Meyer

K Doster

Ryan Marshall

Book Cover Design Tips

If you’ve been following my FB and blog, you already know about my Indiegogo campaign which was funded to help cover costs of self-publishing. Part of the campaign funds were allotted for the cover art for book one and two of my Alliance series.

Prior to the campaign, I spent a lot of time researching and brainstorming to give myself a plan for the covers. I needed to have an idea for series cohesion, a possible budget, and I needed to choose concepts appropriate for my genre. Basically, I needed to right the wrongs of my previous self-publishing adventure. I already covered some of this information in a previous blog post, so click here to get info on planning covers for genres and series.

Okay, so you know your covers need to fit the book’s genre and you need cohesion for a series. Now what? Let’s get more specific.

Find a designer within your budget who has a great portfolio and testimonials. You can even research those books on Amazon to see if they are real. Basically, do your homework.

Make contact when you find a designer you like. From that first email/message you can see how long they take to response and if they seem professional. If you are working on a series, don’t forget to ask if they offer discounts for multiple books. Not all designers will advertise a discount, but I’ve found many who were willing to offer me one when I inquired.

If you are on a really strict budget, there are some designers who offer premade covers at a much more affordable price. This can be a great steal if you can stumble on a premade cover that fits your novel. They usually update their premade selection, so bookmark a designer’s site if you like their work even if you don’t currently see one to fit your story.

Make sure you also do research on design rules. For example, your cover needs to translate well when reduced to a thumbnail size. The book might look good to potential readers in a store, but remember many customers will be browsing sites like Amazon. Your thumbnail image is important whether it’s print or ebook.

You should also understand what makes a good layout for a cover and this includes the importance of a legible font. I cringe when I see indie books using some really odd and hard to read font. A good designer can help you avoid these mistakes, but it helps to know the basics yourself. Again, do your homework.

I hope this information is helpful to some fellow indie authors. Stay tuned for my next post discussing a plan for self-publishing on a budget.

The Alliance: Bloodlines for 99 Cents?

Have you purchased your copy of The Alliance: Bloodlines yet? Amazon will have the ebook format on sale for 99 cents from May 14th at 8 AM PST until May 21st at 8 AM PST. Don’t miss this great deal! Still not convinced? Read the five star reviews on Amazon and Goodreads! Some examples below.

The story is suspenseful and moves well. 

This book is in a similar genre as Laurel K. Hamilton and Kim Harrison, written in a present day setting and with strong female characters.