Self Publishing Marketing Strategies that Work.

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“The End.”  You have finally written those words and you recline back with your Cheshire Cat grin feeling like you have reached the summit of Mount Authorship: your manuscript is ready to be unleashed on the literary world.  


All authors have lived for this moment and the feeling of artistic pride and relief that you did it, and yet this is not end, but the very beginning of an arduous and often frustrating journey: marketing your self published book.


While we applaud the fact that publishing is now so accessible, the downside is how do we make our Kindle book shine within a tsunami of literary flotsam.  How will our readers find us?


There are no end of groups, websites, blogs and networking opportunities, but do they work and is it worth paying for services that offer to send out press releases about your book to their thousands of ‘supposed’ subscribers.  A foolish or naive author and his/her money will part ways many a time at the promise of exposure only to feel disappointed and ‘rinsed’.  but they should listen to what the been-there-dun-that’s have to say before they spend a penny.  


Marketing your book is about your faith in and enthusiasm for what you have written – Selling is Believing.


Speaking as an author the KDP Select program where you are able to give away your kindle book for free on 5 days per 3 month period offers a free and exciting opportunity to get exposure and get your cover seen and blurb read by thousands of potential fans plus the added buzz of ‘ranking’ on your free day.  Books that do well on their free download day are promoted by amazon direct to readers via email and this is an opportunity money cannot buy.


Author Alan Annand agrees, “I gave away one of my books free for a year, which provided necessary exposure and lots of positive reviews, so hopefully there’ll be a trickle-down effect to my other books.”


Authors should never forget the local angle: make friends with managers at local books stores, they may order copies of your book in and put them on display or even invite you in to do a talk and a signing.  Wherever you go keep a flyer or bookmark with your cover on and give them out when you get chatting to stranger on the bus, walking the dog – it works!  Do not underestimate how a personal connection can nail a sale – 


Rick Quinn from Alaska has exploited the local angle to great effect, “I use social media and word of mouth along with some internet sites to get my work noticed and reviewed.  I have just scratched the surface and feel anything you can do to get noticed is, or can potentially be powerful. Now that I have 2 books I use the first one at times to get a reader hooked and they almost always get the second one on their own.”


Getting reviews is vital to your credibility as an author and any review that you can beg steal or borrow is gold bullion – encourage friends and colleagues who enjoyed your book to get online and review it on amazon.  Preferable get as many reviews as you can prior to your first KDP free to to maximize your downloads.  Honest reviews are far more credible and even negative reviews can actually help give a reader and overall picture of what you write.  Rick Quinn, ” Know that not everyone will like what you write, that is hard for me. Books have to be about the most subjective medium out there and you will hear things that discourage you.”


Blog posts about your book and interviews can boost your ego and are great to plonk on your facebook author page, but they take precious time organizing do not sell books as Paul Landes discovered, “I prefer to focus on getting a decent review from one mainstream or newspaper reviewer as that can make you and is worth a thousand blog posts.  Landes has sold 9000 copies of his first book and unlike many self published authors he made very effective use of book signing and talks at local bookstores, “60% of my books have sold online and 40% have sold through independent bookstores. Both of these require a tremendous amount of time and they take away from my ability to write.” 


And how effective is facebook?  Annand, “I owe a lot to Facebook and my community of astrologers and writers. I blog a little but intend to ramp that up to seek more readers/subscribers. I freely give interviews to those who ask. I send out promotional emails.”  Facebook is far more effective when your novel is non-fiction or has an obvious hook.  Annand writes thrillers featuring a detective who uses astrology to solve crime creating a very dynamic hook.  Geographical locations, very specific genres and novels that  have a strong slant ie politics, activism or paranormal create opportunities to find fans on facebook and twitter.

Twitter is an increasingly string area to find readers who are likely yo enjoy your books – twitter users are progressive, au fait with technology, likely to have a Kindle and not prone to harbor any reservations about Indie Books.

Local press and radio interviews are easy to come by in the US and UK, however unless linked to a signing, give-a-way or another press campaign they are unlikely to move books.

All this said, your number one marketing tool is your cover!  Make your cover count: be bold, do not be obscure, use images and colours that resonate with readers of your genre.  Take a look a the trends for covers in your genre and see how you can mimic the themes, colours and graphics; if you can successfully do this you will tap into teh subconscious, split second choice making mechanisms in the readers’ mind.

Fore more about getting reviews click here


( — November 23, 2013)  —