Wouldn’t it be great you could just write and not worry about the business of selling books? The explosion of self-publishing has made book publishing possible to new and creative talent, but a big question for indie authors remains. What’s the best way to market and publicize a self-published book? Top on the list are building a presence on social media, implementing ad campaigns, and obtaining reviews. To some extent, a self-published writer’s time and budget will determine the plan, but learning what to focus on and deciding whether to buy marketing and promotion services can be hard.
For writers who are making these decisions for the first time, I’m wondering what experiences other indie authors can share. So I’m starting a discussion about some specific marketing services listed below. What has worked best for you? What would you do differently?
- Social Media – do it yourself or hire a publicist? We all know how time-consuming social media is and let’s face it – you either like doing it or you hate it. But for writers who do enjoy being on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc., is it still better to have someone else do it? Many indie authors wear a lot of different hats and time is a limited resource.
- Advertising on Facebook – do people read and engage with these ads? I know a lot of people who use ad blockers. Do you?
- Creating a Facebook Page for Your Book – seems like a good idea, despite my frustration with Facebook. Can you create a page that is not connected to your personal account?
- Advertising in Publishers Weekly – Does advertising here help give your book a push in the right direction?
- Obtaining Reviews – as a book blogger, I’m sensitive to the need for indie authors to get reviews. Asking someone to review your book is hard to do! What are your strategies?
- Buying Reviews – you can purchase reviews from Kirkus but they are expensive. It’s great if you get a positive review, but is it worth the risk of getting a bad one?
- Book Stubs – these little plastic cards display your book cover on the front and offer a free copy of an e-book on the back– they sound fun but unless you’re on a book tour, how helpful are they?
- BookGrabbr – this online tool invites your social media followers to share your book with potential readers by offering a preview as a reward or the whole book (a “grabb”) to certain followers. Sounds clever. Has anyone tried this?
How many hats do you wear? Do you like social media? What other marketing methods have helped you sell books?
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