Today, for some reason, every group I participate in online had questions posted today about self-promotion or self-marketing. This may seem like a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be. I work with Indies every day, and here are some of the things I have discovered in the last year and a half. While there ARE a million and one sites with promises to help you spread the word about your book. There are some really easy, free things that you can do without any help at all.
First, don’t be scared of using social media. It can go viral quicker than about any other marketing tool. Create a Facebook page for you as an author and for your book itself. Set up a Twitter account to tweet messages about your release date, where to find it, promotional freebies. Many people use the World Lit Cafe promotional website- you put in your Facebook fan page in a huge chart and people like your page if you like their page in return. It will get you likes, and though few of these people really want to connect, a few is much better than none. Other pluses include that it is free, it allows a group of people to see your book page, and some of the people who participate are truly looking to connect with like-minded authors.
Then, consider using TabSites to add a free promotional cover to your Facebook Page that will promote your book before viewers click through it to get to your page. Please keep in mind, when I use the term Facebook Page, I am referring to the Author Page or Community Page you have set up and NOT your personal Facebook account. Giving a like back and forth does not make you a ‘friend’ with that person.
On Facebook, there is also a VERY engaged writers’ page that has a website and Twitter account associated with it called the Virtual Book Fair (on Facebook). They have a small following of truly engaged writers. Check out the website via the link below for more information. Even though we are not associated with this site, many of the writers we work with are. This is one of the most engaged sites I have seen that is primarily focused on giving away Indie works and sampling indie writing. Visit Virtual E-book Fair.
If handling multiple social media accounts seems like en enormous, time-sucking task, I will honestly admit that it can be. I can totally empathize with the dread you can feel posting everyday online or using Facebook’s laborious scheduler (which was a welcome thing since it was worse and more time-consuming before that). Then a writer introduced me to Hootesuite. It was a life-saver (and a HUGE time-saver). Plus, it’s FREE, too. You can use a site like Hootsuite to manage your posts and automatically schedule them so they appear when your fan base is most likely to see them. It takes less time but looks great and gives you more time to write.
Social media can also be used to host online launch parties, find places to work with other Indies, and get a good crowd of writers hoping for the same thing you are hoping for working with you and behind you.I have learned more from working with Indies than working alone, and I truly believe to succeed, all Indies need other Indies to make it!
There are many other pretty accepted things to know about indie writing:
1) If you don’t give away your book for Free, make the price $2.99. It is the highest selling price besides Free. It is more than triple the sales at this price than at 99c.
2) Never use sites like Book Baby to buy your format for EPUB or MOBI. There are places like Smashwords, Amazon, and Barnes and Noble to do that for you for free. Smashwords can help you distribute (for free) to B&N, Apple, Sony, Kobo, Diesel, Baker and Taylor Blio, Library Direct.
3) Follow the rule of 3. For some reason, sales for each indie author usually triple once the 3rd book is released. I do know that 0x3=0, but this is a truly amazing turning point for so many authors. It has been proven for 2 years running that authors with 3 books sell 3 times as much. I don’t ask why, I just accept it since I have seen it over and over with the authors I work with daily.
Hope this gives you a few places to start. You can reach me, April, here at editingandebooks.com, in case I just gave you a brain overload. We are here to help you succeed! The only bad question is the one never asked.
A special thanks to Jennifer Beattie Hulehan for information on Hootesuite and Wayne Murphy for information about the Virtual Book Fair and FB launch parties.