In a world with millions of books, it's hard to stand out from the crowd. How can you be remembered by readers? Maintain a career? Well, here are a few tricks!
1) Have a great cover. If you know you are a terrible cover designer, hire help! If you have a nack for it, then do it yourself. Whatever the case, it needs to look professional.
2) Work on your craft. Don't look at your book as a business product, look at it as an experience for readers. Meryl Streep is arguably one of the best actresses that has ever lived. But she admits to constantly working on and improving her craft. She sees it as a lifelong career, where one is always striving for perfection.
3) Post like a person. Post interesting content on social media, don't just spam them with posts of your work. Get involved in culture and society. If they see you as an interesting person, they'll think your work must also be interesting.
4) Money. Price your work reasonably (think about the length of the book, and the time and effort you put into it). Also, think about your target audience.
5) Be smart. Take the time to devise a marketing campaign, don't just wildly throw tweets and posts out there without a plan. It willl turn out disastrous. Not great at marketing? Hire a pro who knows how to get your book out there!
6) Reliability. Get powerful quotes from other authors for your book cover and manuscript. This adds legitimacy. If you are lucky enough to get a well-known author with millions of readers to review your work, and they like it, that book and your other books, will rocket into the charts.
7) Perfection. Never release your work until you are satisfied with it.
8) Run a giveaway. Simple enough. But not all authors do this. Confused as to how to run a giveaway? Head over to Youtube, or the internet. There are plenty of useful guides out there on running a successful giveaway.
9) Be one-of-a-kind. Aim to write original and engaging content in your work. Write what you care about. You should be excited to write, not dread it. If you look forward to waking up every day and getting to work, that's a good sign that you are writing with passion and not monetary agendas.
10) Hire an editor. So many authors go at it alone, without so much as hiring a proofreader or editor. This doesn't look professional and is offputting to the reader.
There you have it. Jump out from the crowd. Be different. Be unique. Claim your audience.
An author's website is a crucial marketing tool. It not only allows readers and other interested parties to head over to your site and check out the content, it enables you to secretly promote your work in various ways.
1) Blog Banners:
Have a blog, post interesting content regularly, and alongside the content, have banners for your publications. TIP: Professional looking banners!
2) Book Page:
Have a page with all your publications, and of course, links.
3) News Section:
Keep readers up to date with your latest releases, keep them informed, and this gives you an opportunity to mention your current releases also.
4) Samples and Teasers:
Offer your readers a sample page, where they can read some of your work for free. If you are doing your job right as an author, and give them an enticing section from one of your books, they'll head over and buy a copy.
5) Free Book with Newsletter Signup:
A great way to build your author platform, and get your work out there, as well as build your subscriber list! Gift them a free PDF book upon signing up to your newsletter. More than likely, they'll read the freebie, and head over to actually purchase your other books.
Entice them even more. Have a page where readers / reviewers have left excellent comments about either you as an author, or a book in particular.
7) Book Trailers Page:
A professional book trailer to advertise one of your publications is an excellent way to allure a potential reader.
8) Pop-up Promotion of Newsletter or Sale:
As they click on to your site, set it up so that after a minute or so, a pop-up brings to their attention, either your newsletter (with a freebie) or your latest release (which may be on sale - influencing a purchase!)
Search. Engine. Optimisation. Go to the settings of your site, and each individual page, and add tags to the site and each page. By doing this, you'll make your site more discoverable by engines searches. Thus increasing your potential for higher book sales.
There you have it. Utilize that website of yours!
Besides marketing campaigns and using promotional services, there are some secret ways to promote your book. Caution: use in moderation!
1) We all have Twitter right? Well if you are an author you should have! Plenty of readers on there. But also there is something known as FollowFriday (#FF). Where a post on Friday can have many people tagged in the conversation and it is socially acceptable. You can choose a link to your blog, an interview, book promo, and tag potentially interested people. TIP: Don't always have links to your books because word will spread and soon people who you tag won't even bother favouriting or retweeting. They won't even click on the link. When it comes to content on Twitter, share a wide range of material. From quotes, news, inspiration, images, personal details, hobbies and other author's books. Don't always self-promote, it gets old fast!
2) There is a similar thing that can be done with Google+. When you share a blog post you can tag as many communities or people as you please (but again, don't overdo it).
3) Also I have found that subtly discussing your book on your personal social networking accounts (Facebook, Twitter etc) can be rather effective. But you have to say something about the themes, something comical or that you are happy the first draft is almost complete. Or when it's published, say something personal, entertaining or humorous about the book.
4) Locating where your readers are mostly likely to hang out online and socialize with them. Don't blatantly self-promote, build a relationship so they trust that you write quality material. Even suggest your blog where they can read samples from your work or free short stories (ONLY IF THE OPPORTUNITY ARISES!)
5) Use free short stories. Promote short stories with the intended purpose of giving readers in your genre a free read. But place ads on the blog or site where the story is available, as to advertise your work. And if they enjoy the story, chances are they will buy at least one of your books for the right price.
6) This is one you've no doubt heard a lot, but have more than one book available! If you haven't published any books yet I would wait until you've written at least three. Then when they buy and finish one they can buy another from you. In the meantime you can be churning out a fourth and fifth. If not they will move onto another author and probably forget you even exist.
So, you can't afford an editor? are you going it alone? Or you want to make your editor's job easier? As an editor myself, here are my suggestions.
1) Font and structure:
It is important that you choose a readable font for your readers (and / or editor, proofreader, betareader).
Equally important, don't forget those pesky paragraphs. Basically, if something changes, start a new paragraph! Nobody likes huge chunks of text, even the most dedicated bookworms among us.
2) Overused words:
We all have them. All authors have a word or two that they know they use far too often. This is okay, if they are aware of this. They can add it to the list of things to look out for when going through the editing stages. Not sure what your words are? Ask a friend, family member, or better yet, fellow author, to read your manuscript! Tip: you can search for words in Word to see how many times you used them. Commonly overused words are: very, great, good, bad, that, had, was.
Your book opens with a flashback. A blue car crashes, killing the protagonist's husband.
Later in the story, the man thinks of his late husband, and how he died in their red car. Wait, what?
You must know your story inside and out. If there is anything you think could mess you up and cause an inconsistency, make a note of it as you a) write the story, and b) edit the story
4) Flow and pace:
You want to be in complete control of the book's flow and pace. So, the story should flow evenly. Depending on your genre, you should mix normal but interesting scenes with mind-blowing / scary / tense / thrilling scenes.
The pace should be different in each type of scene. Long sentences for a slower, calmer, perhaps character-building or significant moment, and short sentences for a tense, exciting, unnerving, on-edge part.
this is so simple, but most of my clients are guilty of missing words that should have an apostrophe:
- isnt / isn't
- havent / haven't
Another little tip, check you are using the following words in the right context:
- where, were, we're
- they, there, they're, their
- was, were
I hope these editing tips are helpful. For more marketing and writing tips, check out our author blog:
If you are really struggling with marketing and want sales & author recognition. Check out our thriving service that has created many bestselling books!
Or if you are in need of an editor, but can't afford the high prices, we have affordable, professional editing from $100 - $650. Dependent on the level of editing required, and the length of your manuscript. Take a look:
These ways sound simple, hence the title. But don't underestimate their power!
1) Reviews. And no, I don't just mean tonnes of positive reviews, but a mixed basket. A book with nothing but 5 star reviews looks fake. A book with mainly 4 and 5, but a few lower, looks genuine. So if you've just had your first 1 star review, don't worry. As long as the overall rating is above 3, you're fine. The lower ratings add legitimacy to the 5 stars!
2) An effective marketing campaign. Don't just promote willy-nilly, have a plan! If you don't your book will suffer. If you're unsure how to go about making a marketing campaign, check out my other blog: http://blogpostsforwriters.blogspot.com/2015/07/18-steps-to-successful-book-marketing.html
3) Teasers. Give away some of the good stuff! Find the most enticing few pages from your upcoming release, and make it visible online, and promote it. If the teaser is good enough it will compell pre-orders and downloads.
4) Give it away for FREE. By giving something away for free, readers can see if they like your book and writing style. More often than not, they will go on to buy your other releases, given that they are priced reasonably.
5) Low prices. All your books should be priced at $3 or less. Preferably less. No one would shed a tear over a couple of dollars on an ebook when they probably pay more for a takeout coffee. But if you price your book like the big players such as Stephen King or Dean Koontz ($20 - $30), you won't sell many. You can only do that when you have established a serious author prescence, and even then, you are isolating readers who can't afford it. I like to price my books low so any reader, regardless of their financial background, can enjoy my books.
6) Work with a blogger. Get a blogger to feature a review or teaser from your book. Preferably one with a large following in your target audience (genre).
7) Leave it to the experts. Use a promotional service, preferably one with a newsletter that goes out to lots of hungry readers!
8) Interact. Don't just mindlessly promote. Make it your mission to go into a group relative to your book's genre 'romance readers', 'horror readers' and interact with other authors and readers. And ONLY if the opportunity presents itself mention your books. But don't appear like a spammer or typical self-promoting author. The best way to do this is to mention something first about another book, then yours, then finish on theirs. THIS IS IMPORTANT! For example:
'I love that cover, it is fab. I can really feel the emotions of the book, and the colours are greatly used. It reminds me of the cover my designer made for my book. I bet that book is awesome, gonna have to add it to my to-read list!' And whenever you can, genuinely do add it to your to-read list as you should be in a group relative to the genre in which you write, therefore the genre in which you SHOULD read! Mainly, this is about having fun and interacting, don't go in with the mission of mentioning your book or it will be obvious and act as a reader-deterant.
9) Content Market. Write short stories, articles and so on, all relative to your book or genre, and promote them. This will seem less like marketing, and more like wanting to share an article for the readers.
10) Piggyback. Take a look at your favourite author, and see how they go about launching a new release. DON'T COPY, but rather get inspiration from them. Perhaps a book trailer, cool banner, advance reviews etc.
Authors starting out, and sometimes seasoned authors struggle with this tricky concept of producing a marketing plan, or marketing campaign, whatever you want to call it.
So I am going to very briefly, but effectively, give you some examples of what you can do in a marketing plan.
1) Give out advance review copies (ARCs) to bloggers who will run your review during the release of your book. Make note of these links so you can promote them intensively for your book launch and even afterward to keep the sales going!
2) Reach out. To radio shows, podcasts, anywhere that you can discuss your book to a new audience, and again, promote your appearance.
3) Launch. Put together a book launch party on Facebook or Goodreads just to make people aware of when your book is released.
4) Pre-Order. Put your book up for pre-order and let people know.
5) Word of mouth. On social media, let people know that your book will be released on a certain date. Ask contacts for retweets, mentions etc to increase awareness.
6) Pre-Reviews. Get reviews before book release. Now Amazon won't allow this, but Goodreads will! List the book on Goodreads a month before the release, send out to reviewers, and when they have read it, assuming they enjoyed it, ask if they wouldn't mind posting reviews/ratings on Goodreads.
7) Collaborate. Do a short story collaboration before launch. Work with an author in your genre on a short story and promote it. You are tapping into the other writer's loyal readers, and they are tapping into yours, win win!
8) Contact Papers/Magazines. Any publication that you think would be interested in mentioning, reviewing your release, email them. Don't hesitate, just do it. The worst they will say is an incredibly polite 'no'.
9) Press Release. Put together a press release. Look online and there are links of how to write a press release.
10) Promote Press Release. Generally promote it, but there are websites online that will feature press releases for FREE. But some do charge so do your research!
11) Do A Blog Tour. Give away snippets from the release for bloggers to feature on their blogs, being seen by the blogger's audience.
12) Book Trailer. Make a book trailer, or pay someone to do it. And yes, promote it.
13) Profile. Change all profile pictures on social media to the book cover for the upcoming release, building a hype.
14) Cover Reveal. As soon as you get the cover back from the designer, or you finish making it (clever you!) do a cover reveal to your readers.
15) Reach Out! Contact other authors and ask for mentions to your book. But be polite, and don't assume they will say yes.
16) Newsletter. Put together a newsletter, build a subscriber list, mention to them when the book is available to purchase. And remind them on the release date.
17) News. Have a news section on your website and be very clear that you have an upcoming book and when it is available for pre-order and to purchase.
18) Imagery Is Everything. Make or pay someone to produce some bold, professional looking banners for your book. Look online at what authors are putting on their banners. I will be blogging a list of what to feature on banners, where to get images, or where to find people who will do a fantastic job for a reasonable fee. So watch this space! Or you can always subscribe to our newsletter if you so wish, we email monthly, including writing & marketing blogs and links to help other authors. You also get a FREE EBOOK 'HOW TO SELL THOUSANDS OF EBOOKS':
TWO CRUCIAL THINGS TO REMEMBER WHEN BOOK MARKETING:
1) Be super polite and understanding.
2) Do anything and everything that will build a hype.
Oh and use your common sense. If on Facebook you only have 50 likes on your author page, then promote every so often. Whereas if you have a Twitter account with several thousand followers, you can promote more frequently. Don't spam, that will give people a bad impression of the book before it's even released!
Hi all, due to the success of '18 steps to a successful book marketing campaign' and authors/writers asking for me to write a part 2, I have decided to do just that. I hope you enjoy! Feel free to comment with any subject matters in the publishing/writing industry you'd like me to blog. I always strive to help fellow authors/writers in any way I can.
Okay, so to start off, we have:
1) Merchandise! This has multiple benefits, and I will be writing a blog on those benefits within the next couple of weeks, so keep checking in on my blog. But essentially, you can give merchandise out to promote your books, run a competition and have these as the prices, and so on.
2) Make your book available for pre-order. Before it's release, try and get as many pre-orders as possible. This will put your book ahead of others being released around the same time, as it already has sales so is more likely to receive reviews, and a domino effect in sales. Just trust me on this!
3) Business cards. WAIT! I hear you cringing, believe me, I've been there. But if you are a social person (like me) hand out business cards to anyone who is interested. Ask to put them in book stores, libraries, comic book stores, or anywhere you think they would be suitable. Tip: on one side have an author headshot with contact details (social media icons), on the other have several of your book covers.
4) Create your own word of mouth! Just talk. Seriously, don't feel like you're bragging. Everyone has a job, and most talk about their jobs. Being an author is something to be proud of. So when asked what you do for a living, say it with pride. This often leads to interest, and more than likely they'll ask what you write, and if they like your genre they'll ask for more details (this is where a business card or even merchandise comes on handy). Tip: keep business cards on hand, and cheaper promotional material. Obviously don't go giving out tonnes of expensive merchandise. Things like key rings or stationery aren't too expensive, and most people use pens and pencils. Everytime they use it they'll be reminded of your books. And a friend of theirs may be intrigued by the pen/pencil and lead to a conversation. This is essentially creating your own word of mouth!
5) Create chapter booklets. Basically, create a short booklet of your first chapter with instructions on how to purchase it at the back, as well as your other releases. If they liked the chapter then more than likely, if the book is reasonably priced, they'll buy it!
6) Create a page sample. If you don't have time to do number 5, then just print out an enticing sample. It only needs to be one page, with the book cover and details of how to purchase on the back.
7) Character posts. I recently incorporated this into my campaigns, and it works very well. Don't just flood social media with self-promo posts about your books, think outside the box! For example, for a horror/mystery I wrote, I used this as a less obvious way of promotion:
'Meet Veronica, she likes walks on the beach, kisses, and killing. (Link to book, and book cover)'
8) Behind the scenes. Again, a subtler way to promote is to give readers/followers insider scoops. How do you come up with your ideas? Characters? Do you have a strict method? (These are the questions I always get asked when strangers find out I am a writer - If you always get asked a question, use that, and answer it in a post on social media. Even better, comment with something you always get asked to help other authors/writers who are reading this blog). Also, use images with every post! Image posts have a much higher engagement rate through all the thousands of blogs I have read.
9) Hashtags. Honestly, don't underestimate hashtags. Use them wherever possible. You'd be so surprised how many people and readers search for things on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest etc. Make it easily findable for your core audience. Example, I am a horror author, so for a book promo I will use the following hashtags (as well as individualize for each separate book promo):
#horror #book #author #toread #reader #bookworm #horrorbook #horrorreader #novel #ebook #99cents #offer #amazon #scarybooks
(Think of yourself as a reader - and if you are a good writer you should be an avid reader! - and imagine what you would search for. I think of before I became a writer and how I would go about finding my next read)
10) Why not poll? Whenever you are talking to a friend, family member, stranger, acquaintance, and you know they love reading, ask how they go about finding their next book, what does it take for them to leave reviews, why would they sign up to a newsletter? etc.
11) Freebies. I know this kills authors, but giving away freebies is a fantastic marketing technique for so many reasons. Print copies especially. This is even better when you know that the reader in question loves your genre. If you have given them a free copy they'll most likely really appreciate it and leave a review and mention it to other readers.
12) Speaking of free copies, give them to libraries! Again, an excellent marketing technique.
13) Back book promotion. I cannot stress this enough. Make it so that when a reader finishes your book they go straight to 'Also by (author)' to see your other releases. This considerably heightens your chances of having them check out your other books. Because, chances are, if they made it to the end, they enjoyed it. Take advantage of this by persuading them to check out other books by you!
14) Continued advertising. Does your book cover designer have a website? More than likely they will feature your cover on it, but double check. If for some reason it isn't, ask to have your cover put on their website. Don't feel rude, you pay them, and if you use them all the time, you have even more right to ask this. The same goes for your editor, see if they can feature a book promo on their website.
15) Post at the right times! http://blogpostsforwriters.blogspot.com/2016/02/when-what-and-where-should-authors.html
16) Make your blogs of sample chapters or teasers, easily shareable with social sharing icons.
17) Make an infographic for Pinterest, perhaps cartoons of your characters or something relative to your book. Infographics get insane pins and shares!
18) Ask friends and family to share for you. And I mean friends and family. Don't go asking strangers to promote for you. This is annoying and unprofessional, and will give them a negative impression of you. So only close friends or family. You could even ask them to think of anyone who they know enjoys the genre in which you write, or reading in general.
There you have it folks, I hope you found that blog helpful. If you have something you would like me to blog about email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Feel free to check out my other blogs: http://blogpostsforwriters.blogspot.com/
As five of my books have made the bestseller list on Amazon, in over five categories. Two of which have been bestsellers continually for over a year. I felt it would be nice to share the secret to my success. You may have heard of them, but now hopefully you will fully utilize them. So pay attention!
Okay, so here we go.
1) Categories. Choose the categories for your book accurately and carefully. This one simple step can help you rank!
2) Book Cover. Now this is to grow sales and if you make the bestseller list, to maintain your place in the top ten. Have a brilliant, eye-catching cover, that stands out from the rest.
3) Blurb. Again, this is nothing new, I am just stressing the importance of a book's blurb. You cannot rank without sales, and you cannot get sales without a good blurb.
4) The Price. I know some authors may despise the idea of giving away their work for only 99 cents. But you need to get over that. You will sell a lot more copies at a cheaper price, and make more money than if you priced the book at $5.00. Attempt 300 - 500 pages.
5) Market Through All Social Media: FB, Twitter, Pinterest, Linkedin, and of course Google+ to get and secure your place in the bestseller list. You can always hire professionals. I practice what I preach, or more specifically, sell. Because this system works so well for me with every book I release, I started a business. Now me and a team of authors/marketers help authors get sales, reviews and readership from as little as $49. The thriving business is in its third year. Check it out, if you're interested:
6) Good Reviews. Now don't panic if you get bad reviews, all authors experience this. Just check out Stephen King's books on Amazon, and you will see the harsh criticism he receives. And that man earns millions every year. But try and get some good reviews, approach bloggers etc. I have a blog on how to get book reviews if you're struggling:
7) Have Your Manuscript Professionally Edited!
Editing can be expensive, from $1,000 to $3,000 usually, but it is crucial. If there are tonnes of typos or grammar mistakes, it can be very offputting for your reader. Of course, if you don't have several thousand for editing, we offer very reasonable packages, starting from ONLY $100.