Authors and Marketing
by Claire Ridgway
If you’re an indie author, then you’re not just an author, you are also a publisher, publicist and entrepreneur. Nobody else is going to market your book and you can’t rely on word of mouth unless you’re the next E.L. James or J.K. Rowling. Of course, you can just sit back and do nothing, but good luck with that! Please let me know how you get on!
“Marketing” and “Sales” are often viewed as dirty words and I have heard of authors who don’t bother with “marketing” because they feel that their book is good enough to sell itself and therefore doesn’t need any extra help. This is crazy thinking, in my opinion. Just look at TV commercials – we all need supermarkets, but they still advertise, don’t they? They know the importance of marketing, of getting the word out and keeping their brand at the top of your mind. They don’t start their business or open their shops and then rest on their laurels, they work hard on reaching customers and keeping customers
Do you believe that your book is good? Well, I hope so, because if it isn’t then it really shouldn’t have been published in the first place. If you do feel that your book is good and should be read and enjoyed, then it is your duty to get the word out. Sales and marketing are simply about making a connection between your book and potential readers, not conning people or losing your integrity.
So, how do self-published authors market their books?
Well, Tim and I have just interviewed over thirty successful authors for our book Interviews with Indie Authors: Top Tips from Successful Self-Published Authors and some of the ideas that kept cropping up were:
- Blogging in your subject area – For example, I’m an author of Tudor history books so I run a Tudor history blog. When my first book was released, I simply blogged about it and sent an email to my subscribers.
- Advertising – Paying for advertising on Google, Facebook, Goodreads, Kindle book sites, book blogs etc.
- Using social media – Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and your own author website.
- Doing giveaways and competitions.
- Writing more books – That way, when you’ve got a reader hooked they can finish one book and move straight on to your next.
- Using KDP Select promos and/or playing around with pricing to find a price that your readers are happy with.
- Communicating with readers/fans – Readers get a real kick out of an author responding to them and may well tell their family and friends how nice you are and how good your books are.
- Writing a quality book in the first place – Have it professionally edited, pay for a quality cover and never stop trying to improve your writing. Make your readers happy and they’re more likely to spread the word about your book.
There are so many ways to market your book and I’ve also found taking part in a virtual book tour (or blog hopping) beneficial, so be as creative as you want to be. Just don’t press “publish” and then feel that the world owes you a living, because it doesn’t. The work doesn’t stop then, it’s just beginning!
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INTERVIEWS WITH INDIE AUTHORS