This is #5 in our 5 part series on how to easily self-publish your own books. The information in this series is taken from Self-Publishing Tips and Tricks. You can receive your free copy here.
The best book marketing strategies
Marketing is a huge topic. Just remember that being an author is not about you. It is about your reader. What does your reader need or want?
People visit the internet and read books for two reasons: They want to solve a problem, or they want to be entertained. If you write nonfiction, solve their problem. If you write fiction, entertain them. Create the best fiction or nonfiction book that you can write.
Here are a few marketing ideas to get started.
Network with other authors
Offer to help them—don’t just ask for their help. Build each other up. Offer to help promote their books. Perhaps organize an anthology and market it together.
Do not spam Facebook or other groups with “Buy my book!” No one likes to read those posts.
Build your email list
Build relationships with readers. The best way to do this is to start an email list. You can offer a free book on your website as an incentive for them to sign up for your newsletter.
MailerLite is an excellent email service. They will collect email information about your subscribers, and they also provide you with ways to create and send emails to your readers. In addition, they provide the opportunity for you to create a landing page. The landing page includes a form a reader can fill out to subscribe to your email list. I have done this with my ebook, Castaways. Click here to see my landing page.
You can also set up auto responder emails (automated emails) in MailerLite, and they will be sent to your new subscribers. For example, when people sign up to my newsletter in order to receive a free copy of Castaways, they will immediately receive an email with a link to download the book via Instafreebie. I have set up a few more emails to be delivered over the next several weeks after they initially sign up. Some marketers recommend that you send seven auto responder emails. Currently, I have set up four to send. The point is to try to build a relationship with your readers.
In each email, include a personal story which relates to the free offer, or provide new information the reader will find useful or interesting, or include a call to action which you’d like your reader to take next. Offer them something that would be of value to them, such as another free book.
Later in the email sequence, you can invite them to become a part of your launch team. Offer the launch team your books for free forever—the only request is that they write a short review on Amazon. Receiving good reviews on Amazon is an important part of launching and marketing your book. This is one way to receive them.
Test all of your auto responders before you send them to your readers.
MailChimp is another excellent email service. It does not allow you to build landing pages yet, however. You might compare their prices and services to MailerLite’s and see which email service would work best for you.
Include a free offer in your published ebook
Include a free offer in the beginning of your published ebook. Include a picture and/or a link to download a free novella, short story, prequel to your book, or another free book if they join your mailing list. Make sure the link goes to your newsletter landing page. Include this same information at the end of your book.
Request a review
Reviews offer social proof to readers that your book is fantastic and worth reading. You’ll want to get as many great reviews for your book as you can. Reviews also encourage Amazon to share your book with other readers, which will increase its discoverability.
Request a review at the end of your book. If the reader liked your book, request that they post a short review on Amazon.
Find book reviewers online who enjoy your type of book, and ask for a review.
Give away free copies of your book
Giving away a free copy of your book is a good way to encourage readers to sign up for your mailing list. Offer them a free copy if they sign up for your newsletter. You may also want to send a copy of your book to individual reviewers so they can review your book. Instafreebie is an excellent way to accomplish both goals.
Giving away your books on Instafreebie is simple. Just create a free account at Instafreebie, and upload your book in ePub format. When you supply your reader/reviewer with the link to your free giveaway, they will be able to select the file type that they want to download (ePub, .mobi, or PDF).
Not only is Instafreebie an excellent way to give away copies of your book, but Instafreebie may also choose to include your book in their promotional emails to other readers. Please see their website for a full list of benefits you can receive if you use their service.
In addition, Instafreebie also offers readers the opportunity to opt-in to your mailing list when they sign up to download your book. For a fee, Instafreebie will also send those names to your MailChimp account, if you have one.
Here is an article by an author who uses Instafreebie and MailChimp:
Pay per click advertising
If you have money to spend, you could try targeted ads on Amazon. I started using them in December, and have definitely had some success using these ads. At the moment I am still experimenting with Sponsored Ads. I choose appropriate keywords for the book’s genre, and I also include author names (at the moment I’m concentrating on smaller or mid-list authors in my genre) in the list of keywords.
Although I have not used Facebook Ads yet, many authors say they can be very effective.
I have had some success with Google Adwords. While it is simple to get started in Adwords, it is not an easy platform easy to master. If you’d like to learn more, here are two links which will give you an overview:
For pay per click advertising (Amazon, Facebook, Adwords), I would recommend starting with a very small budget—perhaps several dollars per day. Test everything carefully to see what works, and what doesn’t. Test your cover, test ads which contain only your ad text (no pictures), and even test ads with a generic picture and just your ad text. See which ones work best. If your cover is not drawing interest, perhaps it needs to be revamped. Or perhaps the target audience is not correct. Ad copy can be tested the same way. If it is not drawing attention, you may need to adjust it to grab the attention of your audience.
For Facebook ads, many experts recommend selecting a target audience of readers who like books written by a well known author who publishes in your genre. For example, if you write historical romance, you may choose to target readers who like Lisa Kleypas or Julia Quinn.
BookBub is expensive, but if you have many wonderful reviews for your book on Amazon, you might try to promote your books through their mailing list. First sign up as an author (it’s free):
You can learn more about their email promotions and the costs here:
BookBub may soon offer pay per click ads on their website. It would be a good idea to join the site for free as an author, just for that potential benefit in the future.
The best marketing advice I can give you
Whenever possible, encourage readers to join your email list. You own your own list. Facebook, Adwords, Amazon, and all of the other sites may change their advertising strategies, and often do. Having your own list of readers is your way to build relationships with readers, and to build a true fan base.
Kevin Kelly has theorized that if you have 1,000 dedicated fans, you could make a living. Here is the article that explains this concept:
Note from the author
I hope this series has been helpful to you! I love to help authors achieve their publishing goals. If you have any questions about self-publishing, please contact me for a free consultation. Or visit our list of services at Self-Publishing Nerd. We would love to help you create the files you need to publish your book.
Many best wishes on your soon to be published book,