How to do Book Marketing as an Indie Author
They say writing a book is extremely hard. That part is true. What they don’t tell you is that just because you wrote something, doesn’t mean people will read it. The harsh truth is that a big part of the battle and the difference between a bestselling hit and a dud that nobody reads is the marketing.
Even the best author won’t succeed if she can’t get the book into the public.
Start with a marketing plan
The bare minimum you should put together after you write your books is a basic marketing plan. Figure out your target audience and places you can go to reach that audience.
For some, it may be book tours. For others, it may be PR. In some cases, advertising or influencers will be the best path. Scary stories often do really well with influencers because there have strong hooks.
Every book has a target demographic, even if you’re open to anybody reading it. If you are targeting everybody, then you are really targeting nobody.
Free Ways To Promote
As most authors aren’t sitting on mountains of cash, here are some basic free ways to get some free marketing. Not all these tactics will work for everybody, but it’ll be a good start.
1) Try promoting on social media platforms
For sites like Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, or Pinterest, look for good hashtags and engage with influencers in your space. The more you talk to people, the more people will take notice. Don’t spam! Post organically and try different content formats (like live video for Facebook) to see what works.
2) Post on dedicated writing communities
There are a number of popular reading apps, poetry sites, and writing apps. Try posting there and interacting with the communities. You’ll often see a nice bump in readers who will eventually buy your book. Post a snippet of your stories, not the full book. You can find a full list of writing communities here.
You might even be able to get creative on some writing sites. Maybe try getting people to create fanfiction of your works. Perhaps you can run a flash fiction contest. Get people to write short stories around the theme of your book. The important part is to try to get the community involved. The more involved they are the better.
3) Try PR
Find a list of local press writers who might be interested in covering your book launch. Maybe give them a free copy of your book. Try sending them an email and seeing if they’d be interested.
Newspapers, blogs, and journals are all looking for more traffic, so if you have a good story for them to share with their readers, they’ll promote your book for you.
Do not get a PR firm. They are very expensive and at this stage will waste your money. More on this on Commaful.
You can also consider doing a press release. You can submit your press release to PRWire for more reach (involves a small fee).
Short love stories tend to do well with blogs as there are many book blogs specifically targeting love.
Paid Ways To Promote
Amazon and Facebook have great ad platforms for promoting books. There are many great tutorials but the key is to run a lot of tests. Don’t stick to one advertisement or visual. Try a lot of ideas and see what sticks. Find the ones that work and put your money into that. Use Canva to create your visuals and then promote away!
You can also try influencer marketing if you know that your demographic follows a specific influencer. Influencers with less than 100k followers will likely be your best bet as larger influencers will charge an arm and a leg to work with you.
By writing a book, you’ve already put yourself in a small class of people. It’s hard. But no to really stand out, put your marketing brain to work and crank that marketing plan out!