Hello! Here’s a painful question for a lot of authors/writers: how do you market your book? Here’s a better question, do you know how to market your book? These are common questions for self-published and indie-published authors.
If your answer to both of those was a resounding “Yes!” then your probably in the wrong place. Either you don’t need the help or won’t take it. Nothing is wrong with that, I’m not a marketing genius to be revered. If your answer was more of a “Meh”, “No”, or “Marketing?” then consider hanging around while we start to figure this out.
We know what marketing is by a general definition, but that doesn’t quite cut it. Let’s dig in a bit deeper. You can push your book, website, guest posts, etc. all day long in front of every single face you see. This will return in a few clicks, visits, reactions, or even purchases, but what did it cost?
Marketing on a large scale without refinement gets very expensive, very fast. It’s either costing you a fortune in money to pay for the advertising, or it is taking literal days and weeks away from your other priorities while you smother your social circles with your work.
We don’t want to do either of those things. Friends and family may support you at the beginning, or at each new launch, but they won’t carry you forever, especially if they feel hounded by you. Don’t chase after that person you haven’t talked to since high school to try and sell your book. I promise you, they’ve most likely seen it or heard about it.
Instead, prioritize your marketing. If you are published through Amazon then utilize there ads. I’ve had decent luck with their sponsored product advertising. It’s cost efficient and gets the word out there more than anything. Lock screen ads are another big thing if you have a kindle edition of your book. These are not the only methods but for starting off, they’ll help you learn.
Find your target audience. If you write high fantasy, there’s no sense in advertising on pages and searches that cater to how-to books. Don’t waste valuable description/blurb space trying to draw in readers who aren’t interested in that topic. Your story will fit a genre, market to that genre.
I joined Twitter a couple of years ago to promote my first book. I pushed it for all it was worth. I was on there every day. I engaged socially and only posted my book every few days. I tried pushing more and then less. You know what I found out? It wasn’t going to work because I was pitching to the wrong audience. I had about 2,000 followers when I realized that 90% of them were writers as well. These were people like me. They had their noses in their own books with a stack of TBR’s nine feet high. They weren’t going to buy my book even with all the work I put in. It wasn’t personal, it was just life.
Now, I’m nearing towards 3,000 followers on there. Most of the new followers are still authors, writers, and other creatives, but I am seeing a steady increase in potential readers. Maybe I did shoot myself in the foot initially on Twitter but it does not appear to be permanent, at least.
Find other avenues of approach while you’re at it. I mentioned Amazon, but they are far from the only means of advertising. Independent advertising companies offer deals at times that are great for checking them out or “testing the waters”. Be cautious and do your research any time that you pay someone else to advertise your work. At the end of the day know two things. First, you will always be your work’s main champion. Second, no one will be as invested at pushing your work as you. That third party company has already been paid, they’ll do what they are obligated to and nothing more.
Make a plan of action once you have chosen your media type! Don’t just throw a cover photo and buy link out on an advertisement and hope for the best. Look at how much ad space and expected returns/clicks/reads/etc. you can get for your budget. We aren’t giant publishing companies, we are independent authors who have a very finite source of spending power.
One last point, and it is an important one: the absolute best advertising that you will ever get is word of mouth. Do you know someone that has a book club or a lot of friends that are readers? It may be beneficial to swallow the cost and donate a copy or two. Don’t ask for anything in return. If they enjoy it, they’ll tell people about it. One of my friends read my first book, without my knowing, and posted about it on her social media. That generated more sales for me than many of my first rounds of advertising.
With all of this in mind, go out and market yourself and your work! Good luck and remain calm! We’ll touch more on marketing including the points below and perhaps more:
- Your own social media feed
- Paid advertising on social media/websites
- Word of mouth sales
- In-person events
Below are links to some other articles that may prove interesting to you:
Consider checking out these short stories if you’re looking for a quick bite to read: