The first thing an author should do when looking to write their first ebook is to pre-define who their target market is. This is not only important when it comes to writing your book, but also in helping you to focus your marketing efforts.
By knowing who your target market is and how they think, can you then use the following information to promote:
- Where do they go on the internet
- What platforms do they use
- What other interests do they have
Example: If you target market is 70 years old, then you probably don’t want to spend too much of your marketing effort on Social Media and especially on new-age media platforms like Reddit, or Meerkat.
This information can be extremely valuable as you move forward with the following tactics. So, keep them in mind as you move through this list and apply accordingly.
List of Free Strategies That a New Self Publisher Can Use:
Getting your book out there as much as possible is extremely important. The more people that see it, the more chances you get a sale. And, if you use the above information to help tailor each of these recommendations, you will see a MUCH higher Conversion Rate. More bang for your buck 😉
- Place Your Book on Free Promotion Sites: There are many book promotion sites out there that will take a link to your ebook and will submit it to their thousands of fans. In return they get an affiliate sale commission but you get Sales! Here is a list of both Free and Paid Book Promo sites to help you with this: 79+ Free eBook Promotion Sites to Promote Your Kindle Book2. Guest Post on Other Websites: A powerful method that really seems to drive a lot of free traffic to you book (and stays) is guest posting on other people’s website. As a new author, you probably don’t have your own website or a fan base to push to your books. Instead, use someone else’s fan base and provide them with great content. It’s a win-win situation. But before doing this, make sure you only write for sites that have your target market…otherwise, its not worth your time. Here is a great article on exactly who you can find worthwhile guest post opportunities and how to get them to accept your post: The Authors Guide to Guest Posting and Increasing Traffic3. Join Niche Related Podcasts: Another amazing tactic is to be a guest on someone’s blog. Depending on the focus of that particular podcast, you can talk about certain aspects and then bring up your book. The two best areas to focus on is podcasts that feature your books kind of information (example: if you wrote a Sci Fi book, then talking on a Sci Fi related podcast) or a podcast about writing and promoting books.4. Gain Reviews Tactically: A mistake that many authors make is that they ask everyone and anyone for reviews. If you don’t know, reviews help with your books rankings on Amazon and also improve your conversion rate. So, to get targeted reviews, go to sites like Goodreads and find readers who have read books that are like your book, and have left excellent reviews. Contact them, send them a free copy, or just start building a relationship with them. You’ll get a LOT out of that.5. Improve Your Reach with Social Media: Social media, if done right, is a long process and could take a lot of time. With social media, you need to provide good content and build relationships. The mistake most people make is that they just jump on FB or twitter and blow up people’s feeds with “buy my book”. This will get you no where. So, only engage social media if you are willing to put in the time, build your author authority, and ultimately create relationships. Another component though, that you can use if you like, is to join Facebook Groups that are about promoting ebooks, and drop you books there for people to purchase or download for free ( with the hope that they drop good reviews).
6. Paid Advertisement: And then there is always the paid advertisement approach. By knowing where your target market is, you can pay a small sum of money to place your ad or book in front of them. Here are a couple of places you advertise through:
- Google Adsense
- Facebook Ads
- Twitter Ads
- Reddit Ads
- Contacting particular blogs and posting
If you do decide to advertise though, make sure to check out this article on how you can figure out if your market exists on that platform and how you can gain the upper hand in the negotiations: How to Advertise Your Ebook on a Website
If You Want to Build Your Authorship and Author Brand:
The above information contains some great strategies for promoting a particular book effort. However, if you are looking to write multiple books and thus want to build your author readership and fans, then there are some tactics that you should definitely employ and it all starts with building a website.
An author website is like your HQ. It is where you can have your fans come and engagement with you and keep up-to-date with your latest and greatest.
Now, that may perhaps sound unattainable considering you are just starting. But a website created NOW, can help you to capture emails and build your readership over time.
If you would like to know more about the author website building capability, there are some excellent resources out there. But I would highly suggest you begin now. That way, your efforts on the above tactics can start to build your spring board into author popularity.
What not to do while promoting your book.
- Do not constantly ask people to buy your book. People want to choose for themselves. Offer value first and build trust. Human beings are hard-wired to resist coercion.
- Do not use an auto-responder to ask for a favor. On twitter if someone sends me a message after a follow that says “like me on FaceBook” I usually unfollow them immediately. The worst is when someone messages you and you can’t message them back because they didn’t follow you.
- Do not refer to yourself as the next “big author.” You are you and that is a wonderful thing, but calling yourself the next J.K. Rowling is embarrassing and amateurish.
- Do not think that people are obligated to buy your book. You are here to offer value to their lives, not the other way around. Arrogance does not win hearts, empathy does.
- Do not expect quick results. Marketing, escpecially online, takes tremendous amounts of time. Expect to spend 6-12 months on a social medium before seeing significant returns. Give three times the amount of favors that you ask.
- Do not publicize good reviews. Or bad ones for that matter. You are a professional. You care about the quality of your work and you respect the opinions of others. People read reviews for themselves, they do not need highlights.
- Do not insult other creatives. All creative industries are inherently difficult, but the current world economy makes this double so. Criticize, champion, and herald, but do not degrade. It will come back to haunt you.
- Do not call yourself a best-selling author. Until you have at least sold 25,000 copies in a single category. Even then, you are only a best-seller in that category. Again, this smells of amateurism.
- Do not expect to make a lot of money. The average income for writers in 2012 was $11,000. Outliers like Stephanie Meyer and J.K. Rowling skew this statistic even more. This is a passion field and only the most passionate, either about marketing or writing, will take home the big hauls.
- Do not stop writing. Finishing a book is a proud, euphoric moment. However, it’s just another rung on a writing career. Your next book promotes all of your work and your library promotes your next book. Keep going. Keep writing. Regardless of what happens in the market or in your life, if writing is in your heart, keep it beating.
I think a lot of this boils down to being a decent human being. The sad fact is that the majority of writers are guilty of at least two of these sins. These are hard fought lessons and, though it may seem cynical, will make you stand out from the crowd
If You Would Like to Know More
As you can tell, I have been in the publishing world for a while. One thing I have found is that there are lots of amazing authors out there, but they need help in marketing. As Guy Kawasaki said “I’m not a best author, but I am a best-selling author. And that is what it is all about.
So, if you would like to know more about best-selling marketing, check out my site, Kindlepreneur. Also, as a token of my appreciation, you can download my free book on Increasing Your Kindle Book Rankings. Cheers, and stay frosty!