You’ve tried putting your book on all the usual sites, getting reviews and talking about it on forums and still you aren’t getting the sales you imagined. What can you do to improve this situation? Here are ten lesser-known insider ways to publicize your book.
1. Engagement, engagement, engagement
It’s not going to be enough to rock out a load of reviews and post your book on all the usual websites. It’s akin to spreading your wares very beautifully on a market stall that nobody can see. You’re going to have to get in deep with forums, groups and reading clubs and start leaving relevant and informative comments about how you found writing your book. You’re going to have to spend time signing up to websites and learning how to comment. Soon enough you’ll see your traffic go up if you leave good information for others. Try Linkedin, KDP forums and Goodreads forums for a start.
2. Go local
There must be a ton of local fairs and markets near your house every week. Find out about special events such as Over 50s events, book fairs and school fetes. Having a stall will not be anywhere near as expensive as at a national book event, and you’ll make a local network to expand on. Offer candy, signings and free literature such as zines can draw people in to consider purchasing a hard copy of your book. Alternatively, run a “free coffee and cupcake” day at a local cafe to get folk interested in your book.
3. Twitter Amazon hashtag
There are many Twitter hashtags to consider using every time you talk about your book online (Here’s 100 of them), but adding #AmazonCart to your Amazon linked tweets means that if someone replies to that tweet, your book will be added automatically to their cart. Adding #AmazonWishList will add the book to their wishlist.
4. Giveaway Swap
Contact an author who is also releasing their book and do swapsies. You can make up a nice bundle of free books if you connect with several authors at the same time, and you can all run the news at the same time on all websites, social media and to friends. Very nice!
You can use incentives such as prizes (100th Facebook fan gets a free book etc.), signed copies and free stuff your sort of readers might like, and run a competition. Goodreads giveaways are brilliant also: just sign up to give away copies of your book and let Goodreads sort the winners. All you have to do is have hard copies available for mailing.
6. Share a teaser book
How about giving out your book as a special teaser edition, and add a discount voucher or hidden extras on your website to encourage the purchase of the full book? Extras could be a book trailer or an author interview, or another book you have written. You can send this out to your mailing list or link it out on social media. You can add it to uTorrent or Bit Torrent. You can write into your local paper and advertise your free book via a link on your author website.
To generate a Smashwords coupon, log in to your account.
- Click “Manage this book’s coupon” on the right-hand menu.
- Choose a percentage and an expiration date.
- Once you’ve created the coupon, you can access it from your dashboard.
and make it into a PDF, epub or .mobi file before sharing it far and wide. Use Mailchimp to build a really good mailing list.
7. Guest Blogging
Guest blogs are an art, but if you can find websites looking for free content or writers you can submit articles and gain great exposure. SPR for instance looks for well-written blog posts about books and writing (not a vanity piece hawking your book) with links to your work and websites added. Click here if you’d like to submit something for us to take a look at. It’s amazing to me we have nearly a quarter of a million readers a month, and yet maybe only three of these aspiring writers writes a blog post! It’s all about engagement nowadays, and carving a writerly presence online is key.
8. Promo Swap
How about mentioning your fellow author’s book launch online in exchange for them mentioning yours? It’s very easy to hook up with other self-publishers on forums and social media, and many will be pleased you chose to contact them!
9. Think tiny
Sometimes a book sale can happen one on one. Telling each individual who seems interested about your book, and then having a card with your author website on it at the ready can be a great way to sell books. At parties, school fairs, talking to staff in shops, bars, restaurants and in the doctors’ office can lead to sales. A word of warning: Don’t be a book bore. Pick your “victims” carefully, and only talk about your book if asked further about it once you intially get to mention you just wrote a book. Have a small blurb ready in your mind, pitch it, then present the card “for if you want to take a look.”
10. Think niche
Did you write a science fiction book? Hold a meet and greet at a local science museum. Got a book about baking? Give a demo in your local bakery. Contact groups and societies that are concerned with your subject matter and offer to give a talk. Sign up to HARO (Help A Reporter Out) and start to network with hundreds of TV, radio and newspaper journalists who need an expert on just about anything on a daily basis. If you are really savvy on something specific, you may well find yourself on TV!