Once a book is completely finished with cover, formatting and all the uploading to all the various sites is done, the real hard work begins.
Most writers will agree, writing they can do. Selling themselves and making their name into a brand that people trust to write well is entirely another matter, especially in this shifting age of ebook self publishing and reduced numbers of paper sales. So far my approach has been these things.
- Social networking
- Blog reviews
I think Social networking has become a big part of promoting anything these days and to a large degree goes without saying. Also covered which ones of those I’m using in a recent blog here.
A lot of traditional publishers have adopted a model of pricing where they price their ebooks above or the same as their paperbacks, in a few cases even as much as their hardbacks. ebook readers are savy though. They know that it doesn’t cost the publisher or author anything to sell them an ebook. There is no printing, storage or anything like that. There are a lot of readers that refuse to pay more than $3-4 for a ebook. There are even some readers who won’t pay more than $1
Pricing the book right is, therefore, imperative. Most authors are pricing full length novels of 5ok+ words at $2.99 with shorter novella’s and poetry being around $1.99 and short stories being $.99
This has been one of the most time consuming for me but potentially the most rewarding (assuming you’ve written a good book). I’ve found there are several ways to go about getting these.
Trading with other authors by giving each other free copies of your book in return for theirs. This works well if you are happy to read anything you are given and can do a good review. Has the potential to mean people give good reviews when they don’t want to, however, out of fear of getting a bad one back. It can also lead to good opportunities of working with other authors though and is sometimes the most rewarding way of working and helping other authors.
Searching for book reviews of the same genre can also be effective but can be time consuming, as it’s usually best to take a good look at the blog and check if they accept self published ebooks and are right for your book etc. Blog reviews are one of the best types of reviews you can get these days, however, so the time investment is completely worth it. Their reviews will stay on the internet forever (most of the time) and will continue to drive traffic to your books long after you have moved on to other books.
While lots of giveaways can be expensive they are a great way to get people to take notice of your reviews from blogs as well as your own blog. Everyone likes something they can get free. If your blog is well designed and interesting those new viewers can sometimes turn into long term fans.
This one kinda goes without saying too. The best direct way you can get your own brand and name out there is to write things for people to see. Blogs can be the quickest most cost effective way of doing just that.
You do have to make sure your writing is good though. It’s difficult to get people to come back if you are not helping or your posts are full of spelling mistakes and grammar errors.
While all of the above is useful to get sales, the best way to promote yourself is to write good books and to keep writing. If you write well and have patience and perseverance you maximise your chances of having other people talk about your work and spread the word.