You just published a book and ask what’s next?
For independent authors, the true test of perseverance starts on this stage: marketing. Even well-known authors must promote their books. Big publishers spend 80% of their marketing budget on 20% of their top sellers because they are sure that they will get a return on their investment. The other 80% of their list get 20% of the budget. And yes, every indie author should consider themselves an entrepreneur, or better yet, “authorpreneur”. Once the book is written and published, the author becomes an advertiser, a promoter, and a marketer. A self-published author has to rely on his own and work his way out. However, advertisement and promotion entail some costs. But don’t fret because here are some ways independent authors can advertise their book for free:
1. Mention the book in your email signature. You send out emails everyday, so why not use your email signature as an advertisement? Write something like: “Grab a copy now of my book at” then state the link where the reader can get a copy of the book.
2. Use the power of your social media account/s. Word of mouth over Facebook and Twitter pays off. Utilize your more than a hundred friends on Facebook plus a few followers on Twitter. Encourage them to spread the word and look how your marketing strategy trends. Aside from Facebook and Twitter, there’s Pinterest, LinkedIn, BookLikes, GoodReads, and a whole lot more. Use them and make some noise across the worldwide web.
3. Join a niche group. They say that birds of the same feather flock together. Promote and discuss your common interests and take the opportunity to promote your book among peers.
4. It pays to have a website. You don’t need to be a computer geek to create one. There are some sites that allow you to create a website for free. You can customize the background, theme, layout, etc. Use the website as a hub of your numerous social media networking accounts, show off your book and writing portfolio. Promote not only your book but yourself as an author.
5. Write a press release about the book. There are a few PR sites that allows you to post press release for free. Create at least 3 press releases that span once a week or once every two weeks until word about your book comes around.
6. Write an article or a blog about the book or how the book came to be. You have something to say because you’ve done something which other people may learn from. Show people that you’re a subject matter expert.
7. Talk about it. Don’t just rely on the written word. Promote your book in some workshops, open book gatherings, book clubs, book fairs, etc. Everybody wants to meet an author so grab that opportunity to advertise.
8. Give away a few copies. Everyone wants something free. Yes, giving a few copies doesn’t hurt. Promote it via social media, in your website, in your talks, and raffle off a few copies to the audience.
9. If you have creative hands, make bookmarks to go with the books. More so, how about a business card cum bookmark? Or an image of your book cover printed on a sticker stuck at the end of a big paper clip? Use your imagination; think outside the box and who knows? Your idea might be the best marketing for your book.
Now that you’re a marketer, take note of everything you do. Start a spread sheet, create a color coding system of what works and what doesn’t. No two books are alike so what works for one might not work for another. Never totally delete an idea at the start. After you’ve released 5 to 7 books you’ll have a better understanding of how to launch a book, plus you will have a fan base building. Then you can start deleting ideas that are weak or don’t work.
Issa Bacsa has just released her mystery thriller, Number One Fan, and she’s currently practicing what she preaches.