I made a decision at the beginning of the month to go flat out on the promotion of Flight Into Darkness (http://getBook.at/FlightIntoDarkness) because doing nothing or waiting for someone else to help was not an option. So, I thought I’d summarise what I’ve been doing over the past few days. Links will be found in earlier posts and I won’t add them here.
Someone told me that there are three things you need to do to sell books:
3. Publicity and Marketing
I went into a lot of detail about uploading the books to Amazon KDP last year and won’t go over that again except to say that it’s important to get the details right, especially on your author’s page. It’s also worth getting the formatting perfect because formatting errors are as irritating to the reader as typos. OK, your books are up on Amazon. The trouble is that no one knows that they’re there. So you need:
1. A static website with URL links to the appropriate Amazon page and links to Twitter and your Facebook account.
2. An active blog where you can be active as you want, linked to Twitter and Facebook. The advantage here is that every blog is tweeted so you are active on the Twitter community but it is not overt promotion on Twitter. People will discover your blog via Twitter and hence go to your books.
3. A Twitter account. More on this below.
4. A Goodreads account as an author and reader.
5. Amazon KDP countdown promotions.
6. Get on Alan Kealey’s Indie Author News: http://www.indieauthornews.com/
Twitter and Goodreads are essentially communities. Twitter is simple and powerful but easy to abuse. Goodreads is a site for people who love books and is a little like Facebook but with a lot more people making sure that you see what you’re interested in and participation is easy. It has 25 million members.
Coming back to Twitter, it’s very easy to use it for shameless self-promotion although this is apparently frowned upon. However, a vast number of people are doing just that, on the basis that if you shotgun the world, some of your buckshot will find its target. There is automatic retweeting software which a lot use. If you are on Twitter a lot, this is irritating but if, like most people, you dip in and out, I think it’s probably OK. Initially, I avoided self-promotion on Twitter but found that I didn’t really have much else to tweet about so I more-or-less stopped using it. Now I’m doing self-promotion (but not too shamelessly) and mixing it with blog tweets, retweets and normal tweets if I’ve had a good review or if I’m in a good mood, etc. The benefit of getting more deeply involved in the Twitter community is that you get more followers and the more followers you have, the more people will see your tweets but this does not happen overnight. I’m still working on it. Tweeting about reviews and general progress is OK, of course.
Regarding Goodreads, you need to get into the Author program and I’ve recently blogged about that. As with all communities, the more you engage, the more people will know who you are, the more real friends you’ll get and the wider your word will spread. I think it’s called marketing.
Using Amazon’s promotion tools is straight forward as long as you remember that separate promotions have to be set up on Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk. Remember that if you have a 99 cent promo, readers can leave reviews but if you have a free promo, they cannot. Good reviews are the lifeblood of marketing. They mean that people who have never heard of you will be tempted to buy your book. If you’re lucky, you reach a critical mass and then the book sales take off. If you’re very lucky.
The final one is one I’ve yet to try and that is Alan Kealey’s Indie Author News, http://www.indieauthornews.com/. There are a lot of these promotional gurus around but I’m advised that Alan is one of the good guys. To get good promo with him does cost you, however, but it’s not a lot and I will do it when I have a bit more dosh.
So, you see, writing the book really is the easy part!