There are a lot of bumps with being a self-published or an independently published author. The ones that I have worked with or known from blogs and friendships have always had to face some sort of difficulty, whether it be in terms of finance, time management, or becoming overwhelmed with the whole monstrous job of making a book happen.
Aside from those, a lot of authors face difficulty with promoting themselves. They’re all on a budget, a lot of them work full-time jobs and have families, and a lot of them aren’t sure where to start with marketing. There are tons of cheap, easy, and fairly quick ways to promote yourself, whether you are established or not. Publishers will even look at these things when considering your book and a potential marketing plan. It’s a bonus when sending in your manuscript to have an established fanbase because it means that the marketing team doesn’t have to start from scratch.
The first thing I recommend is a blog. That’s probably pretty obvious to most of you since you all have one already, but just having one isn’t enough. You need to post regularly, interact with other bloggers, and keep your audience interested by posting relevant content. Too much self-promotion and you will overload your followers by seeming too desperate. Too little and you will find that your audience strays from your project. Find a happy medium and tell your followers about the new, exciting, and big information. Blog tours are also a great idea once you are published.
Social media is also a big one. This includes Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Google+, etc. By the time I am done writing this post, there will probably be 5 new platforms about to launch. Pick the ones that best suit you and your work. Post regularly, but try to make one or two posts from outside sources to match each one about your own news. You don’t want your fans or followers to be interested in your book alone, you want them to be interested in you as a writer.
Contests don’t get enough love. If you are looking to increase awareness, your Facebook page likes, the number of followers on your Twitter account, or even just traffic to your site, contests are the way to go. When I run contests for clients, I post them not only on social media, but on national contest websites such as Red Flag Deals. You can run contests for a low price or even free, depending on the platform you want to use, and you can add a feature that makes the entrant have to “like” or “follow” prior to filling out the entry form. Not only will you gain traffic and increase your numbers, there’s a good chance that you will also have at least a few people buy your book because they are interested in it.
The last one that I will recommend today is the good old fashioned newsletter. Whether you send it straight from your own gmail/hotmail account, it’s still a great way to keep your fans in the know. They’re free, easy, and get to the audience that hasn’t felt the need to create a social media account. They’re a nice way to keep in touch with your fans and create an easy way to post all of your news for the month at once. You should write a little about your life as well, because it will reinforce that you are an individual that can relate to your audience.
Which ones do you use for yourself? Are there any others that I haven’t included that you want to mention?
PS: HAPPY LONG WEEKEND!