How to Promote Your Book: Tips & Tricks

So you've learned all about book promotion, but you're still wondering about the nuts and bolts of how to promote your book.

Here are some concrete tips for you.

Implementing Your Marketing Plan

  1. First, don’t assume everyone in the world wants to read your book. Do your homework, and identify your target audience. Consider your book’s brand personality: Is it male or female? Humorous or serious? Edgy or conservative? Discover your ideal reader’s demographics, lifestyle and culture. Then create a persona representing your target audience. Once you’ve done that, it will be easier for you to find those potential readers, both online and offline. Hint: Check out social media, and find out who is following authors with books similar to yours.

  2. Consider a freebie launch of your book on Amazon. It can speed up the process of adding "also boughts" — the books that appear under yours on the sales page — to your page. Not only might your book might end up on those other authors’ pages, but the launch freebie may be a good way to get initial reviews. This works especially well if you have more than one book because readers who like the freebie will come back for more.

  3. Couple your freebie launch with a "sponsored link" or paid-for promotion on Facebook. That way your post will appear more frequently on other feeds than it would without the “boost,” expanding the audience that see it (and, ideally, acts on it).

  4. Write letters requesting testimonials/endorsements from professionals in the field you’re writing about. Explain why you are asking for their endorsement in particular and why you think the connection makes sense. Include a synopsis of your book. Make it clear that they can use their own words, but send a sample endorsement as a timesaver. Send a copy of your book to those who express interest.

  5. Consider the book club crowd — and sweeten the deal for them by offering to discount copies of your book for them. You could add a Skype or in-person Q&A session. Did you eliminate a beloved scene from your book? Can you write a short story using your book’s characters? Offer these items as book club bonuses.

  6. Develop relationships with other authors in your genre. You can support one another when your respective books come out; you can swap guest posts and interviews, and provide support on social media. You can review their books on Goodreads, Amazon and even on your own blog. Write an endorsement for your counterpart — one more way to get your name and title out to the public.

  7. Choose the right categories to list your book on Amazon. Don’t simply choose "romance" or "mystery." Drill down into the subcategories, such as "romantic suspense" or "amateur sleuths," which will have fewer titles to compete with.

  8. Become a best-selling author. If you can get your connections to buy your book on Amazon on a certain day during a limited number of hours, you could drive your book to bestseller status, at least for that one day. One day is all you need for bragging rights.

Bottom Line

To be a successful indie author, first you have to write a good book. Then you have to promote it, because your target audience can’t buy a book it doesn’t know about. Once you’ve successfully marketed your first book — write another, or craft a series. Each new title generates more name recognition — and more sales for your previous book or books. Readers who like your first book are likely to scoop up your entire series. They’ll also be your adjunct sales force. Word of mouth, after all, is still the best form of advertising.


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