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.
So, recently Amazon has added a feature for its KDP authors: paperback. And while they don't as of yet have the additional features that Createspace offer, it does make it more convenient and in my opinion, when it comes to formatting, Amazon was much easier. But that's just my opinion. And Amazon does promise to add the same features that Createspace offers in the near future. As it stands though, Amazon does not offer print proof copies (only digital PDF or Word downloads). They don't offer author wholesale yet. So if these two are a deal-breaker for you, maybe stick to Createspace until Amazon ups their game.
However, I have to say, the ease of adding a paperback option on Amazon for the first time, was a pleasant experience. Your book's already there. Just a click and answer some questions, make some choices on price and royalty and upload a print manuscript and print cover, and you are good to go. Below are my tips to make this experience just as easy for you as it was for me.
Format, I uploaded a docx file, which worked perfectly. Be sure to follow the instructions on the site for margins so no text gets cut off.
Also, a quick list of things to check:
- page numbers
- chapter headings
Furthermore, I'd double - maybe even triple-check - the front and back content.
- copyright and disclaimer
- dedication page
- 'other books by' page
- author bio
Check for typos, and that the layout looks good.
The cover. For the cover, you'll have to do some mathematics. I know, I hear your sighs. But I promise this isn't algebra or trig. This is a simple formula. Basically add the number of pages, by a certain figure, this will get you the right spine width. In terms of height, that's pretty easy. You just decide on the layout size you want, and you'll have to add a tiny margin. Check the KDP site for exact figures and more specific directions.
Finally, the legal stuff. If you've used a cover designer or artist, you don't need to worry so much. Credit them, and they assume most legal responsibility. But, if you are designing your own covers, which I do, you'll need proof of image downloads and/or purchases. I use Shutterstock and Canstock for images. Unless they have changed their terms, you can use the image for unlimited digital downloads, but once you read 500,000 print purchases, you'll need to buy an extended license.
Also, don't forget to have proof of purchase / or download, and a license for the fonts used. There are fontsquirrel.com and 1001fonts.com who I've used. Save and download the 'open font' license to cover yourself.
Additionals: you can put the ISBN number at the front of the book, in the copyright section, if you wish.
Once all this has been checked. You're ready to hit publish, after deciding on a price and so on. I wish you all the best!
*I am not a lawyer/solicitor, so please double check with a professional when it comes to legal matters*
Here we go, 10 ways to market your book without spending a penny!
1) FREEBIE. Set your book as free and use several FREE promotional services. Yes, I hear what you're saying, how will we make money? I would only suggest doing this if you have several books out. So they get one for free and hopefully enjoy it so much they are compelled to purchase one of your other books.
2) Newsletter. It is free to sign up for Mailchimp or newsletter services, but is invaluable for authors. Work on building a list of genuinely interested readers, so you have a direct way of communicating with your readers! Offer something free for them to join. Their email address is valuable, they won't just join any newsletter, you need to give them incentive. For example, I offer a free guide to self-publishing when authors/writers sign up to my free writing and marketing monthly newsletter: http://wesleysauthorpromoservice.weebly.com/
I do have another newsletter for my horror readers and offer one of my bestselling, award-winning books for free when they sign up for monthly emails of all things horror.
3) Promote into Facebook groups. DO NOT SPAM! Promote every once in a while. Use copywriting to form a powerful text promo, have a professional banner or cover, and a clear message of why you are promoting. Do you want readers? Sales? Reviews? etc. Use your common sense as to how often to promote in that group. If there are only a few readers/authors, don't promote too much. If there are tens of thousands, you can promote a little more often.
4) Use #ff. On Twitter, every Friday, there is something known as FollowFriday. You can use the hashtag #FF and tag followers in a post. Why not use that and post something about your book? Don't be too salesy, post something interesting about the book or how it was created. This will get better results.
5) Be social. It costs nothing to talk with other writers, and when the opportunity presents itself, mention your book. Don't be too salesy, again, just mention in a way that you are proud of it. Or something interesting about it.
6) Blogger. Offer a free copy to a blogger who reviews books in your genre. Preferably one that already has a huge following. Free exposure, free review, and hopefully paid sales as a result.
7) Library. Give a free copy to a library. Insane exposure to hardcore readers that still go to the library. Also, it will be placed in the correct genre, focusing on your core target audience.
8) Optimize. Optimize your site, blog and even social networking pages! Trust me, it will take a few hours, but will be worth it. What is the point in having a blog or site if it is lost in the millions of sites on the web? Make it discoverable by adding labels to pages, site descriptions, images and so on. Look into this, it is worth it. I will try and blog about this very soon as it is something I get asked about quite often, that authors seem to struggle with.
9) Banners. Drive traffic to your site by means of an effective marketing plan, and have plenty of banners of your books on there, with the price clear and a tagline clearly explaining what the book is about, in a nutshell, and suggest the genre so there is no confusion. Again, it is about making the purpose of that ad clear, along with the interested party.
10) Link it up. It is free to put your book on Amazon, Nook, etc. A world of millions of readers. Not enough authors take advantage of this! At the end of your book, ask for a review in a polite professional manner. And give a teaser from another book. And mention all your releases. And mention your newsletter with a signup incentive. They have spent their hard earned cash to buy your book, they are interested, they go to the end so they must have liked it, so use this to your advantage guys. Make every book link to another one. So they end up buying one of your books, and be given teasers and mentioning of your others, leading to a buy-buy-buy strategy! Multiple sales, maybe a new subscriber to your mailing list, and some reviews. It amazes me that still, so many self-published authors don't do this.
There you have it folks, I hope you found that blog helpful. If you have something you would like me to blog about email: email@example.com
Feel free to check out my other blogs: http://blogpostsforwriters.blogspot.com/