Promoting your self published book
When I self published on kindle and smashwords, it was an exciting decision. I had previously sent it to a publisher and they wanted some changes that I didn’t want to make, so I decided to take the road less travelled and self published. It was a good decision and I’m happy I made it. I’d finished my baby and wanted the world to read it. After about two weeks on kindle I had just one sale. I did expect that as I didn’t expect overnight success. There are over half a million books on Amazon, so many to choose from. If I wanted someone to find my book it would take some doing. These are the things I did to promote my work. And I’m only just beginning to see the fruits of it.
Have a blog
Because I write under different pen names I also blog under a different name. Blogging gets the word out. You can use platforms like wordpress or blogger to get the word out about your book. When you start a blog, make sure it’s not just about your books. Write different topics of interest that could relate to your book. Update your blog on a regular basis. In the beginning I would blog everyday to drive traffic to my blog. The more you blog the more people are going to know about you. Promote other authors on your blog. Promote authors who write your genre. Have them as a guest on your blog, do an interview or whatever comes to you. Be creative.
Link your blog to your twitter account so that each time you post on your blog, your twitter account updates this. Retweet other authors as well and get involved with them. Don’t just promote your books, take time to get to know your followers.
Join the Kindle boards
This is a great place to meet authors and readers alike. There is no promoting on the writers café but you can promote your new release on the book bazaar. Hanging out and connecting and posting on the boards is great. You learn so much from other writers. Also remember authors read books too. Each time you post on this forum your book signature is at the bottom. The more your book is visible the better, they say a person needs to see something at least seven times before they decide to buy it. This is why advertisers are so persistent.
Review other books
Read and review other authors. Each time you review a book your signature will appear on the review. Eventually someone will notice and will take interest. Make sure you have an updated author page on kindle for this. The more you review the better. Write meaningful and helpful reviews. It must be authentic and not just short review that you liked the book or hated it. This will help others decide on the books as well. I believe this creates good karma, always be genuine about it.
Go on a blog tour
This is a great way to promote a new release. There are a number of good book tour sites that will help promote your book for a reasonable price. I did a one month book tour and visited over 30 blogs. This was great exposure and I found new readers this way. On your tour tell people who you are, what you like. It doesn’t always have to be about your book although your book will be featured at the bottom of the post. If you make it about the book people will be put off by it.
Promote your book for free
Smashwords allows you to create a coupon or you could just make your book free for a limited time. This will get people to notice. I did it for seven days just to get it up the ranks at Barnes and Noble. It held for a while and it allowed readers to get to know who I was.
Kindle Select Programme
Late last year Amazon introduced a new lending programme to kindle authors. If you choose to join this programme, for ninety days you can’t sell your book on any other platform, including your own website. It’s debatable whether this is a good idea or not. This is a personal choice that you’ll have to decide for yourself whether you want to do this or not. During this ninety day period you will be allowed to promote your book for free on Amazon for five days. When this happened I had books on all platforms but I tried a new release in the programme. I decided that with each new release I’d put it on kindle first then after the ninety days I would release it to other platforms. I must admit that this has been good for me. Either this has helped push my books or all the work I’ve put in is beginning to bring results. I can’t really say where my sales are coming from.
Sometimes all you’ll hear is crickets. No audience no readers. Don’t despair it will happen. I felt like that most times. I felt as if I was labouring in vain for the first five months. It takes time to build an audience, but keep on keeping on. You will get there.
Write Write Write and Write some more
Last but not least the most important thing to do is to keep writing. If all you do is write and keep writing you will find your audience. This is the only way readers are going to find out about you. You can tweet, blog as much as you like but if you don’t keep writing you won’t find an audience that will stick with you through this journey. I discovered that the more I wrote, the more people found out about me. So just keep writing, your readers will find you!