I had no clue what I was doing when I published my first full length novel in March, 2014. I knew, however, that no one else was going to promote my book. So, I had to figure it out—and fast!
What I did then … 2014
- Blog Tours
- Facebook Parties
- Facebook Page Takeovers
- Gifting Amazon eBooks
What I do now … 2017
- Facebook Ads (boosting posts)
- Amazon Ads
- Bookbub Ads
- Paid and Free Promotions
- Amazon Giveaways
- Facebook Lead Gen Ads (mailing list)
Just from my short list above it’s easy to see how things have changed. New marketing options happen everyday. Most recently the fad has been to join multi-author giveaways. This can generate a huge mailing list, but the majority of those people are just entering the giveaway for the prize. They don’t want your newsletter.
So how do you stay ahead of the game?
This isn’t easy, but networking with other authors is a good place to start. I belong to two different Facebook groups with other authors that share promotional ideas. I recommend finding a similar group, or create your own and invite your author friends to join!
Networking is the best way to stay up to date on the latest marketing trends. The odds are good that someone has already tried what you want to do. Just ask them. Find out who has had success with different promotional sites. Ask if anyone has tried Facebook Ads.
Just remember … don’t spam your author friends with ANY book promotion in your private groups. Your book may be awesome, but other author don’t want to see your marketing post on their closed loop (trust me).
Conferences can be a great way to meet other authors. If you’re new to the business and don’t know anyone, I recommend finding a local conference to attend. Just be careful which event you select. There have been a few scams lately. Do your research. If the event is new, don’t just assume they know what they’re doing.
Also, know what kind of conference you’re attending. Is it a Reader Con? A Writer Con? Or a Reader/Writer Con? And which one is right for you?
Reader Con’s are geared toward Readers … this means all the events and activities will be for the Readers. There will be panels of Authors talking to Readers about book related topics (favorite genre, steamy books vs sweet, etc.). There will be events where groups of Readers (lead by Authors or event coordinators) get together (Trope Bingo, book crafts, etc.).
Writer Con’s are geared toward Writers … this means all the events and activities will be for Writers or Aspiring Authors. There will be panels of Authors to discuss topics of interest to other Authors (How to create Facebook Ads), or industry professionals giving talks (Draft2Digital discussing Indie Publishing), or related professionals or vendors to discuss various topics Authors want to know about (ex: an attorney who deals with copyright law).
Reader/Writer Con … are a little bit of both! (or sometimes a lot of both!)
I can personally recommend:
- Indie Bookfest (Orlando, FL-2017) – Reader/Writer Con
- Coastal Magic (Daytona Beach, FL-2018) – Reader Con
- NINC (St. Pete Beach, FL-2017) – Professional Writers Con
- RT Booklovers Convention (Reno, NV-2018) – Huge Reader/Writer Con
One final note … you must have an online presence. I don’t care if you hate Facebook and can’t stand Twitter. You must have an online presence or people will not be able to find you (and your books!).
Create these for your Author Pen Name (and use them!):
- Facebook Author Page
- Author Website or Blog
- Amazon Author Central page
- Goodreads Author Account