I have an excellent topic to discuss with you all today. In my Fantasy Writers group on Facebook, a member asked for marketing tips. When I gave them the following suggestions, they claimed “it was more work than writing the book itself, but thanks anyway.” If you plan on being a true author, the first thing you’ll understand is you can’t just write the book and be done with it. You have to market that book for the rest of your life in order to make any money from it.
Without further ado, here’s the list of suggestions. It’s more effective if you do all of them, but as a beginner or someone with limited time, you can pick and choose what works for you. It will still be very effective.
1. Personal website. Everyone I know who is a successful author has their own website. They use it to update their readers on their book releases, deals, and tidbits of information to keep their intrigue until the next book comes out.
2. Blog. In order for your blog to be successful, you need to post at least 1-3 times a week. Anything less will rapidly lose your audience. I’ve been blogging solidly for seven years now on WordPress. That’s more than long enough to figure out the more you blog, the more traffic and followers you get. When you don’t keep up with it, they lose interest.
3. Facebook ad/Newspaper ad. Do both. Try setting up a $5 ad on Facebook and see how well it does. I assure you, you’ll get at least 30 new Likes and 1-5 book sales. That more than gets your money back and everyone on Facebook will still be talking about it when the ad goes away (through sharing).
4. Do R&Rs (read and reviews). There are several websites where you can pay to have hundreds of people R&R your book. The cost of this is very small considering a higher number of reviews will make new readers purchase your books.
5. Have a mailing list. The people who follow you have e-mails. That’s how they see you’ve made a new blog post or published a new book. With this in mind, set up special announcements directed at them so they know you care about your readership and don’t just send out mass updates.
6. Advertise daily in Facebook groups designated for advertising. You should always join several groups that allow you to promote once (or more) a day within the group. Most people post all of their links in one post. Don’t do this because it’s overwhelming. I find myself skipping over all of those because it makes the person seem desperate and to be honest, I don’t have time to sort out the links to the sites I actually use to follow people. No matter what book link you share, always include your author page link. Even if you don’t accumulate any sales, you’ll at least accumulate several Likes.
7. Go to your local book stores and leave business cards/personalized bookmarks. This option is harder for introvert authors or ones that are very busy with the day job and families, but there’s no excuse to not do this. Eventually, you have to get out of the house or have a family outing. Stop by a local bookstore, speak to the manager, and just drop off a handful of cards, bookmarks, or flyers.
8. Ask your local bookstores/libraries to host book signings for you. While you’re at that local bookstore or library, ask if they’ll host a book signing for you. Always offer to order and bring copies of your books on your own if they seem dubious about letting you have a signing. It usually convinces them because it costs them no money and you only need a small table in the corner, but it gets their store traffic.
9. Hire a marketing business. The most obvious option is just to hire a marketing company. Within your budget, of course!
10. Word of mouth. Word of mouth is the strongest marketing strategy in order to obtain lots of sales. People are more likely to trust their friend that your book is amazing, versus believing an advertisement you clearly paid for.