It’s no secret that self-publishing is a rough time, marketing included. With my series, it took me a long while to grasp matters, and I still am learning quite a bit. I’ll share my experiences on here, and perhaps it will help you. My series hasn’t taken off quite yet, but people generally provide good reviews and feedback. There needs to be more hype, and social media is super important. Here’s some tools I’ve utilized on my journey.
New Release Hype
People adore new releases, and I hadn’t taken advantage of this with my first books. Live and learn, however. It’s best to hype up your book on social media, in the platforms you’re a part of, as much as you can prior to the book release. If you have the funds, searching for a New Release package might be fruitful. I have a package set up from Written Word Media, those who run “Freebooksy” (I talk about them below). This will get the hype for my new book coming out early. It’s also important to give away “Advanced Reader Copies” if possible, in a limited amount, so you can get early reviews on websites like goodreads.
Written Word Media – Freebooksy/Bargainbooksy
Freebooksy and its sister (under the same company), Bargainbooksy, are useful tools when you’re running a promotion on your book. I’ve run free book giveaways for Red Viper and The Dancing Crow, which have had mixed success. It’s better to have a long gap between your free promos so you can get the most out of your giveaway. When I did utilize this tool for my books properly, I gave away over a thousand books and ended up on the #1 spot for Amazon on some of the rankings.
The end result were a few more ratings, at least, and reviews, which helped. By the way, if you get a book, free or otherwise, and read it? Please leave a review! It’s super helpful. Anyway, one thing to note if you utilize this is to NOT make your sequel free as well. I made that mistake and regretted it. When you promote one of your books, interested parties might look into others of your series, and you’re giving yourself less support if you’re providing all of your books for free at once. Trust me… after giving away tons of books, you’re lucky to get a few ratings, maybe one or two reviews. That’s the case for mine, at least.
Why do it then? Well, promotions are a good way to get the books out there at least, and word by mouth can be a powerful tool if it hits with the right person.
I utilize my twitter quite often for book promotion. If you’re able to set up a bunch of scheduled tweets for your book promotions, particularly on the weekend, you might get some hits, especially if you are utilizing your marketing materials. However, don’t just hype up your book. Engage with other writers as well, share your thoughts, tidbits, and other things. No one wants to be just advertised to all of the time, and it’s important to show your personality, too. Build a network, connect with other writers, and share your thoughts on various matters in the #writingcommunity. Share about your characters! Your fans might want to know, and you might attract more fans.
Running a Blog
Things like blogs (hey that’s me right here!) can help get your voice and writing out there too. For example, I utilize this blog sometimes to write short stories, be it canon to my series that wouldn’t quite fit in the novels, or horror shorts. I also write helpful things for other writers, and my thoughts in general. Sometimes, I go as far as to write somewhat controversial articles that contain strong opinions, like the one about ‘virgins & purity being a toxic trope’. The important thing is to be genuine with your writing! You’re going to want your voice to sing through, and if you want to help people (like me), you need to actually give useful advice. The more people are exposed to you and your writing, the better, and you can make someone’s day or help their career.
Animated covers are a good way to give your books some pizazz, as you see here with mine. I bought my animated cover from Morgan Wright, who is extremely skilled at this type of media. It is eye-catching and a good way to bring attention, getting people to wonder exactly what goes on in your book. Sometimes, you can even add music to the covers, depending on the packages.
Book trailers, purchased or otherwise, are good for a little taste of your book. I created mine for Cobratongue University: Professors & Kings not too long ago. Whether you’re making it or commissioning it, you can set the tone with proper music and footage. Make sure what you use, however, is stock footage that you have the rights to! Otherwise, it would come into conflict with copyright. The program I use definitely has plenty of stock I can choose for my videos, which is super helpful. I might even offer trailer services myself sometime in the future! They take a while but are very fun to make.
Ah yes, it was the bane of my existence not too long ago, because I was somewhat afraid of being on camera all the time. Which is ironic considering I have a youtube, but that’s beside the point. I feel like tiktok is all the rage, and it’s ‘easier to go viral’ or ‘get out there’ on it. I have a tiktok as well, which I utilize to meme my vampires for little tidbits of my lore. I also use it for gaming memes, but that’s my hobby. “Booktok” is a kind place, and giving your thoughts or advice could help people, like a blog. If you want to show your face, it will help you be a bit more personable as well.
#IndieMad is a new hashtag, like #pitmad, but where you hype up your novel. Various events will occur through social media, and more information can be found on their website here. You will pitch your novel on that day, and interested parties will retweet & comment.
Well, there you have it! This is a short list of helpful tips, and doesn’t have everything valuable on it. Perhaps it could help some indie authors, however. I found this article particularly helpful when I was starting, and have had mixed results with some promotion sights. I haven’t had success with BookBub, but that’s something super tough to be accepted for, as well as expensive.
Make sure you set up on goodreads, however, so people can review your book on there too! If you have questions, feel free to @TheRealDesastr on twitter or respond to this article. Cheers and I hope this helps!