The time had come. I have two books published and I am part of a niche group that is not really interested at all in reading romance novels, let alone share my posts about it, or about anything else I write. It is an extremely tough crowd. As a result, I have only had a few sales. So here I was, I slayed the dragon that was writing a book, I beat up the demon that was learning how to self-publish and I achieved success by having two self-published books on Amazon. Now what do I do?
I willfully admit I was at a loss as to what I needed to do to promote me and my books. So what’s the next best thing for a girl to do? She goes to Facebook and looks around for groups of people that are wondering the same thing. The best thing that I learned first: I am not alone! There are so many new authors out there struggling with the same problems as me. Not that I like to capitalize on anyone else’s misfortune, but I was grateful to find them! I found a few Facebook groups and the members there have been immensely helpful in giving out advice and sharing many other blogs about how to market and promote yourself and your book. The biggest factor, and I should have known this from all my experiences in my niche group, I needed to brand myself. Honestly, I figured after all the years I spent branding myself in my niche group and promoting my website and my blog for this group, I would not have to do anything more. Why? It was because I already wrote a book in this niche group. I was already an established published author, so why would I have to go out and do that again just because they were romance novels? Well silly me! I found that I needed to go out there and brand myself as an author for romance novels and get to work on promoting myself and my books.
So, I did it. I went on Amazon and created an author profile at Amazon Author Central. I then went to Goodreads, and updated my profile and added my new books to it. The next stop was BookBub, and I created an author profile and added my books there too. I created a Facebook author page that was separate from my personal page and that niche group. I already had a website in my niche group, so I used one of the pages there for an Author page that has links to all my profiles, all my books, and a resume of all the work I have done prior to writing books. The last step I took and why you are reading this now is I started my own author blog. I am sharing my journey in becoming an author and this blog is dedicated to that point where I am at now, learning all I need to do to promote myself and my work. In the meantime, before I get back to writing my third novel, I have entered two writing contests and I am going to submit a short story through one of the groups that actually publishes collections of short stories from the group members, which I thought was a pretty cool idea. I am excited for this challenge, and hoping I can have a little success to help get my name out there and noticed.
Now I am going to share with you the groups that I joined on Facebook and some of the links to blogs that have some great information about promoting yourself and your books. I did receive permission from all the blog owners to post links to their pages, and I thank them once again for agreeing to let me share their information here. I hope you gain some valuable insight to the process with my blog here today and it helps you on your path to becoming a successful published author. Please note that you have to join the groups before you can view anything. There will also be some questions for you to answer prior to your approval being completed, so be patient once you submit.
This was the first group I joined and now it has over 33k members. It has a lot of advice to share for new and not so new authors. It is also a great forum for everyone to ask questions, ask for advice or to have people read your work and offer critique or help if you want it.
This group is the one where I have received the most advice from and it is where a lot of the information in this blog comes from. The members of this group are very willing to help in all aspects of writing, editing, publishing, reviewing your writing if you ask, help you choose a book cover, and generally provide answers to any questions posted. It currently has over 37k members and the posts are very frequent.
This last group is for anyone to share their work, whether it is a link to your new book, a link to your blog, or just to post the link to your author page to share and to have others connect with you. It currently has just short of 8k members, but there are a lot of posts from authors sharing their work.
The first site that I saw with information on how to promote my book was called: 30 Things You Can Do Right Now to Promote Your Book, by Amrita Chowdhury. The first two steps she mentioned were to start up an author website and to start a blog, which I went and did. It wasn’t as hard as I initially thought it was going to be. Oddly enough, I have had a blog for two years now in a niche group, so I don’t know why this part intimidated me, but it did. Here is a link to her list of advice for new authors to promote their books:
This blog was another one that I came across that had a lot of insightful advice on how to promote yourself and your work. It is by Cathy Presland at AuthorUnlimited.com and it asks: If there’s one question that is eternal and ongoing in our author community, then it’s how to sell more books. It is crisp and concise with lots of great and sometimes very imaginative ideas. Here is the link to her blog:
May Dawney has put together a no nonsense blog about marketing yourself and your book. She starts it off by saying: Marketing. Within the author community, it’s a dirty word. Within the reading community too, by the way. Marketing doesn’t have to be a dirty word, and here’s why. It is a great read not only about marketing your book, but creating a brand of yourself as an author. Here is the link to her blog:
Joanna Penn at TheCreativePenn.com also has a great list of advice that she shares with her readers about: Sell More Books And Reach More Readers. How To Market Your Book. She even has written a book about it if you are interested in reading more, along with a bunch of other books dedicated to the writing, publishing and marketing subjects that we all struggle with. Here is the link to her blog full of great advice:
Author Rick Brown recently published a book entitled: Kiss my baggage fees! How to be a savvy travel hacker: Travel like you have a fortune without spending one.
Book Link: https://www.amazon.com/Kiss-baggage-savvy-travel-hacker/dp/1979599785/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1511054339&sr=8-1&keywords=kiss%20my%20baggage&dpID=51RZs3Yw8YL&preST=_SY344_BO1%2C204%2C203%2C200_QL70_&dpSrc=srch
The book itself offers the reader information on how to master the art of travel hacking and travel like you have a fortune without spending one. More importantly, I wanted to share the list of ideas that Rick has created to market and promote his book for sales. Obviously his book is related to the travel industry, so he has thought out some pretty interesting ideas on working in that industry to tap into some hidden sales potential. I am sharing the list because there are plenty of other writers out there who may be interested in trying out a few of his ideas. It reminds us to think outside the box when it comes to promotion. There are many avenues out there that a writer can travel to ensure successful marketing of themselves and their book.
The list goes as follows:
Look into retail locations like AAA, luggage and travel stores, travel agencies, airline book stores and independent book stores, UPS stores, hotels/motels, Costco, local cafes, Vegas vendors, trade shows, local events, weekend markets, and flea markets. On your website, use Paypal Integration and videos. Promote your Etsy page on Pinterest, and also promote on YouTube. Utilize coupon sites such as Groupon, Living Social and entertainment books. Use affiliate networks such as Clickbank and JVZoo. Utilize online retailers such as Amazon and Ebook websites. Also consider using classified sites such as Craigslist, eBay and Gumtree. One could also do interviews for local magazines. The Mobile Apps feature in Facebook Marketplace can help, along with creating a Facebook page. Other sites to consider for more advertising would be LinkedIn and Instagram. He also suggested using Rangeme.com, which helps sellers find buyers in big name stores like Walmart and Target.
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