Marketing your Self Published Book | IndieMosh
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Marketing your self published book

If you’ve self published your book through IndieMosh, then your book will be available to many, many people, bookstores and online retailers across the world via the internet - and that’s where you need to be to promote your book. Here are some ways to help you get started, in ‘price’ order:

1. Make sure that we have a photo and bio for your IndieMosh author profile!

Once we have published your first IndieMosh book, we will create an author page for you here, so if by chance we forget to ask you for your photo and information, please use the first item on this list to remind us to set you up!

We will also want to know relevant links such as your website, Facebook business page, Twitter account etc, so please ensure you send us those as well as your bio and photo.

2. Create a webpage for your book for life on One Thousand Words Plus.

If you’ve published with IndieMosh, you should have received a coupon for a free lifetime listing on One Thousand Words Plus. Please - take advantage of this! Listing on One Thousand Words Plus allows potential readers to browse inside your book, but they only get to view the text that you decide they can see. If your book mentions place names, unusual activities, famous people or objects, then be sure to select some of this text for your sampling. This way your book will be more likely to be found by search engines when people are looking for particular expressions in their search bars.

For example, one of the best listings on One Thousand Words Plus at the moment is The Story of Rex of White Way, The Blizzard King by Jim Cheskawich. Jim was careful to choose passages which refer to historical events, famous people and other terms which people may be searching for on the internet, giving his book a much better chance of being found.

The other thing to remember is that your listing is a lifetime listing. No annual renewals, no further fees, just set and forget. It just sits there, working for you, day after day.

And, if you have other books out there that you didn’t publish through IndieMosh, for a small fee you can list each of these for life, as well. Remember - the more you have written, the more likely you will attract an audience, so let the people know how prolific you are!

3. Leverage your Amazon AuthorCentral account.

If we’ve published your book through Amazon or CreateSpace, then you will be entitled to a free AuthorCentral account. If you have ever purchased anything through Amazon, then you will already have an Amazon account and can use this to create your AuthorCentral account at https://authorcentral.amazon.com/ if you haven’t already done so.

Upload a photo of yourself, link yourself to your book(s), write a bio, link to your blog and/or website and/or Twitter account- make the most of this free tool.

Readers like to know about authors, so make it easy for them to learn more! If you have relevant and interesting information there, you may get ‘followers’ who will be advised when your next title is released! And you can use your AuthorCentral to organise giveaways of your book and more.

Find out more about what you can do with your AuthorCental account here: https://authorcentral.amazon.com/gp/help

4. Leverage your Smashwords author profile.

Use your Smashwords profile page to double up on your marketing efforts. Not only can you link to where your books can be found in print (e.g. your Amazon AuthorCentral account), but you can link to your website, your Twitter and Facebook pages, plus you can add book trailers and even interview yourself. Check out Jeff Hopkins’ Smashwords profile to see how he’s taken advantage of this great tool: https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/JeffHopkins

5. Send out a discount coupon for your Smashwords ebook

If you’ve published your book as an ebook and it’s available and distributed via Smashwords, then ask us to create a coupon for you to send to friends, relatives and other potential reviewers so that they can download your ebook at a reduced price or, better still, for free. While it seems like you’re giving your book away, it won’t cost you anything but your time. In return, you will hopefully get some good reviews which may encourage others to buy your ebook.

6. Create a free Goodreads account and review other books.

If you’re a writer, you should also be a reader - especially in your own genre so that you keep a finger on the pulse of what’s exciting readers and, conversely, what’s turning them off.

If you join Goodreads, you can post reviews of books you’ve read, and then invite your Goodreads friends to read your book and leave reviews. If your book isn’t already listed on Goodreads, it soon will be!

7. Ask friends and others who have read your book to leave reviews on Amazon, Smashwords, Goodreads etc.

If your friends and/or relatives have read your book and enjoyed it, ask them to leave an honest review somewhere the book is available for sale. To review it online, they will probably need to have an account where the book is available for sale, but that generally only takes an email address to set up.

The important things are that they:

  1. remember that reviews should help people decide if this is the sort of book they want to read. It’s not about the hard sell, it’s about describing the book so a person can get an understanding of what the book’s about (without spoiling the storyline!). For example, if the book is a fantasy book involving werewolves and maidens, say, you wouldn’t focus on the ‘psychological relationship between the different species’ as this would lead people into thinking it was a book about the psychology of relationships. Mention it in passing, sure, so that they understand that the book is about more than just werewolves and maidens, but don’t try to sucker in people who are going to be cranky when the book turns out to be something other than they expected
  2. don’t re-write the book. You should have some form of synopsis as your book’s description, your reviewers don’t need to retell the whole story
  3. don’t leave really incredible bells and whistle reviews with 5 star ratings unless the book really, really deserves it. Brand new books with out-of-this-world ratings and reviews generally look suspicious and don’t get sales
  4. do describe the feelings they got from the book, and the sorts of themes explored in the story or the narrative, and what they did and didn’t enjoy about the book
  5. do leave an honest review. If there’s something about the book they don’t like, it doesn’t hurt to mention it along with all the good stuff - this shows that the review is more likely to be authentic and not a friend or relative trying to drum up sales

8. Create a free blog website using Google Blogger or WordPress.

If you’ve got more to say than just the book you said it in, then why not create a free website in Google Blogger or WordPress? For a small annual fee you can add your own domain name.

With sites like these you can also add static pages to your blog, so you can promote your books there, with purchase links to Amazon, Smashwords etc.

Use your blog to visit other blogs - invite people to be guest bloggers on your blog and then accept invitations to be a guest blogger on other people’s blogs. Always make sure to include a short bio such as ‘Mary is the author of “My Night in Paris”, now available on Amazon’ etc.

9. Create a free Facebook Business Page.

Facebook isn’t just for keeping up with friends, it’s also for talking with your fans, for building or joining a community of like-minded people.

Facebook Business Pages protect your fans’ information from each other, so they can safely interact with your page without non-friends being able to see their private details or their non-public posts.
To create a Facebook Business Page, our recommendation is that you create an author page, rather than a page for your book, because when you release subsequent books, you’re going to have to make additional pages, or promote them all on the page for your first book!

If you add the word ‘author’ or ‘writer’ after your name in your Facebook Business Page, this will help people differentiate between your private Facebook persona and your public one, and also make it easier for you to keep tabs, too!

To create a Facebook Business Page visit facebook.com and in their Help menu search ‘How do I create a page?’ Be careful to ensure that you create a page, and not a group!

10. Purchase a custom-built website.

If you’re not that technically inclined to build your own website or blog, then consider paying someone to create a website for you. Visit our Experts page to find a website designer or programmer, or feel free to use someone you know.

Whoever you use for your website, make sure that they add links to where your book is available for sale and to your social media sites (Facebook, Twitter etc).

11. Enter your book in awards programs.

If you have released your book as an ebook, then the best place to submit it is The Global Ebook Awards. They have only been running a couple of years but the Oscars had to start somewhere, too, and movies were a new medium once upon a time. So make sure you consider entering these awards for the ebook version of your publication. Yes, you have to pay an entry fee, but there are very few awards programs around where this isn’t expected. Think of it as a marketing fee - especially if your book wins!

Look around for other suitable awards, too. If you’re a first-time novelist, there are awards for those. If you’ve written a book exploring local history, you’ll find awards for this sort book, as well. Use your search engine to find places you can submit your book to!

12. Get your cover updated with any award wins!

If your book is nominated for an award, becomes a finalist or wins an award, let us know so that we can update the online cover image with an ‘award sticker’. Like a bottle of wine with competition medals printed on the label, it helps your book stand out from the crowd.

13. Write more books and publish them.

Yes, we know this will help keep us in business, too, but if you look at Dan Brown’s career, it was his fourth book, The Da Vinci Code, which caught everyone’s attention, not his first three books. However, once everyone had read The Da Vinci Code, they went back and started buying his first three books. Like so many overnight successes, it took him several attempts, and several years, to hit pay dirt.

14. Use different price points for your different publications.

If you have managed to write a lot of things, then publish them under different price points, giving your readers an option. It’s important to have some shorter works out there in ebook format for free or for $0.99. These books still need to be of the best quality you can produce and representative of the quality of your longer works, but a collection of short stories, or a novella or two, will help people see if they like your style. Then you can look at charging higher amounts for longer works. If all your works are the same price, people will be less inclined to buy any as they won’t know which ones to risk their money on.

15. Never stop learning.

You need to keep abreast of two things:

  1. the genre you write in
  2. the self publishing industry as a whole.

The internet has changed the way we do things, and with incredible speed. Jobs exist now which didn’t exist five years ago, so it’s important to make time each week to read blog posts and news reports on what’s happening in both the industry in general and your field of writing. This will help you keep on top of your writing career!

There are many more things you can do, but these are the ones within most people’s immediate grasp.

If you have done something inexpensive and not too difficult to achieve which worked for your book, we’d love to hear from you. Please send us an email via the contact page so we can share your tips with our other authors!