When you release your first book, there’s a lot to think about, a lot to remember, a lot to learn – we get it! And while we do send emails out with ideas, we know that you may not be ‘in that space’ at the time we send them, so here’s a summary of mostly free or inexpensive things you can do to help promote your books. They won’t all apply to your situation, but hoepfully there’ll be some ideas here that will be of value.
Have you updated your various author profiles with the release of your new book or in light of any other recent changes? If not, here are some sites you might need to check to see if your author profile is up-to-date:
While you’re logged in here, find your author profile in a new tab here: https://indiemosh.com.au/our-authors/ and check to see if it needs to be updated. If you do need to update it, then go back to your Author Dashboard and click on the Edit My Author Profile button to do so. Don’t forget to add a headshot or avatar if you don’t yet have one – people like to know who they’re going to be reading! And don’t forget to add your social media links and website URL, too – backlinks to your website are always handy to have.
If you’ve released any of your books as ebooks, then you probably have a Smashwords profile. Click through from any of your ebooks on your author profile page to reach Smashwords, then click on your name below the title of your book to view your Smashwords profile. If it needs updating, then log in and do your best!
If we manage your Smashwords profile for you, then please send us an email at email@example.com with the correct text and/or photo to replace what’s there.
If you’ve got an Amazon account (or even if you don’t!), it’s easy to create an AuthorCentral account here: https://author.amazon.com/ Once you have your AuthorCentral account, make sure you ‘claim’ your books – using the ISBNs is generally the easiest way to do that. Once you do that, then people will be able to click on your name on Amazon and see more about you, including a list of all the titles you’ve published. An AuthorCentral account is great for linking all your titles together in one spot – if a reader has enjoyed one of your books, then AuthorCentral can help them find more! Plus, it can work as a mini website for you, too – upload photos, links to blog posts and see your sales ranking. As examples, this is Jenny’s AuthorCentral account here: http://www.amazon.com/Jennifer-Mosher/e/B00BO1OCTY/ and this is Ally’s here: https://www.amazon.com/Ally-Mosher/e/B009QBSA4W/
This is like Facebook for both writers and avid readers. You can create a Goodreads account here: https://www.goodreads.com/ and then once you’ve got a reader/user profile, you can add an author profile by following the steps here: https://www.goodreads.com/author/program
If you already have a Facebook account, it’s not hard to add an Author profile. The difference between your Facebook profile and a ‘business page’ is that your personal profile allows you to add ‘Friends’ – people who can see details about you and your other Facebook friends (depending on their privacy settings). On your ‘business page’, people will ‘Like’ the page, rather than being a ‘Friend’. This still allows them to interact with the page and each other, but gives them privacy from other ‘Fans’ of the page. We also recommend that you set up your ‘business page’ as an author page e.g. Jennifer Mosher, Author, rather than setting up a page using the title of your book. If you happen to write a subsequent book, then you’ll need a second page for the next book and then you have to manage two pages. And should you write a third book …!! If you do already have a Facebook profile, then you can learn more about adding a ‘business’ page for yourself here: https://www.facebook.com/help/104002523024878 and here: https://www.facebook.com/help/282489752085908/
Giving talks and interviews
Giving library talks and talks to groups who might be interested in what you’ve written about is a great way to spread the word. What group of people might be interested in what you’ve written? How can you reach them?
Also radio and podcast interviews can help you reach a wider audience. What podcasts or radio shows might be interested in interviewing you to entertain or educate their audience?
Or, become an information source for a journalist. Have a look at SourceBottle and see if there are any journos looking for a specialist in your topic of interest: https://www.sourcebottle.com/
If you wish to run a promotion on the ebook version of your title at any stage – even long after it’s been released – we can create Smashwords discount coupons for you to share with friends, followers and fans. Just shoot us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know:
- which book you’re planning to promote with a discount
- what sort of offer you’d like to make e.g. 50% off the ebook, or make the ebook free
- how long you’d like to run the discount for.
We’ll set the discount up and send you the codes to share on your website or social media. Please note that we can’t offer ebooks for free on Amazon – the best we can do is reduce them to 99 cents. But if they get wind that the ebook is free elsewhere, they will often price-match it.
Your own website
If you have your own business or you plan on writing quite a few books, then it can be worth investigating establishing a website if you haven’t already done so. This does not need to be complex, but having an author and/or business profile out there can make it easier for people to find you, work out if they like what you have to say (or not!), and then buy your books if they do like what you’re about. You don’t need to retail books directly from your site, and in all honestly, it’s probably not worth all the hassle and expense of installing a payment system, buying books, packing and shipping them – let the book retailers, the specialists, do that. If you use your website to talk about the thinks that connect you with others, the people who are most likely to be interested in your books, then that will be a better investment for you. If you’re interested in having a website built for you, consider reaching out to Ally for that service: https://allymosher.com/
Speaking of investment, a website is like a brochure – it goes stale over time. So you will have to make sure that you check it at least once a year and update it if need be, assuming you don’t use it to run a blog etc.
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These are some of the simplest, least expensive ideas for you to ‘get marketing’ with. We will add more over time, but the above list generally only requires an investment of time (with the exception of establishing your website and annual renewal fees, of course). You don’t have to do everything on the list – start with one, see how you go. Come back a few weeks later and perhaps do another. Small steps taken often will get you there faster!