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Promoting your self published book

Updated on January 21, 2012
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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.

Join Twitter

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.

Be Patient

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!

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    • lin8t profile image
      Author

      lin8t 3 years ago from United Kingdom

      @Homeplace Series thanks for your comment. Good luck with your blog tour.

    • Homeplace Series profile image

      William Leverne Smith 3 years ago from Hollister, MO

      Thanks for this great hub... my book blog tour is scheduled. Hope you can stop by:

      http://drbilltellsancestorstories.blogspot.com/201... ;-)

    • lin8t profile image
      Author

      lin8t 4 years ago from United Kingdom

      All the best with your novel Melovy

    • Melovy profile image

      Yvonne Spence 4 years ago from UK

      This is really helpful for me because I have a novel on Kindle and . I have just really started to promote it recently and so will try some of your suggestions. I have not got involved in the Kindle boards so I am interested to see you suggest that is useful - I had wondered. I may give it a go.

    • lin8t profile image
      Author

      lin8t 5 years ago from United Kingdom

      You are welcome Mona Germain, I hope this will help you on your writing journey. I wish you all the success with your poetry book and thank you for the comment.

    • Mona Germain profile image

      Mona Germain 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Thanks for this honest and helpful advice. My poetry book is being self published--in process so this is going to be useful It is a brand new area for me. Like hubs! LOL

    • lin8t profile image
      Author

      lin8t 5 years ago from United Kingdom

      Thanks for the comment Angela, I'm glad that this info is useful to you and others. I hope it comes in handy for you and thanks again for voting up. :-).

    • lin8t profile image
      Author

      lin8t 5 years ago from United Kingdom

      Thanks Enlydia for your comment. I'm glad that you found this information useful and I hope it helps. All the best with your ebooks.

    • Angela Blair profile image

      Angela Blair 5 years ago from Central Texas

      Whoa -- now this is information I can really use. Thanks so much for writing on this -- and excellently done Hub, as usual! Voted up. Best, Sis

    • Enlydia Listener profile image

      Enlydia Listener 5 years ago from trailer in the country

      thanks for this useful information...I just e-published three books this month, and am in the process of the what to do next...rated up for useful.

    • lin8t profile image
      Author

      lin8t 5 years ago from United Kingdom

      Hi alocsin thanks for voting up and for your comment. Getting a book in front of readers takes doing but hard work pays off as I've discovered. All the best with your writing.

    • lin8t profile image
      Author

      lin8t 5 years ago from United Kingdom

      Hi book bella and thanks for commenting. Self publishing now is so different from what it used to be. Almost everyone I know got a kindle this Christmas. At lunch time, in trains people use phones and reading devises. Many people I beginning to make a living off their writing now. :-). As for my books I write under different pen names to keep it separate from this work and other work I do. Hope you understand and good luck with your writing.

    • lin8t profile image
      Author

      lin8t 5 years ago from United Kingdom

      Thanks for your comment jami l.pereira and thank you for voting up, I'm glad you found this informative.

    • alocsin profile image

      alocsin 5 years ago from Orange County, CA

      If I ever publish another book, these sound like excellent things to try. Voting this Up and Useful.

    • book belle profile image

      book belle 5 years ago from Iowa City

      Thanks for posting. I've been thinking of trying the self-publishing route myself, and I'm trying to gather more info. It's great to hear your story. What is your book?

    • profile image

      jami l. pereira 5 years ago

      Very informative , thank you . I voted up and interesting . welcome to hp :)