Top 7 Promotion Tools For Indie Authors - Indie Pub It
Continuing on with the theme of “tools for indies”, here are the top seven most effective strategies and tactics for promoting your books and selling more of them. If you’ve bought into the social-networking-is-god myth, this list will be a change of pace for you.
#7 Your Book’s Price
Thanks to the Amazon/Hatchette squabble, there is a meme out there these days that if big authors like Patterson are not available, then the readers will be upset.
Actually, if Patterson isn’t available, they’ll buy another book by another author that is in the same general genre. They won’t be upset at all. For many casual readers, who buy paperbacks at airports, or browse through Amazon, the absence of Patterson titles wouldn’t register at all.
For the same reason, if a reader is presented with two very similar books, one at legacy prices and the other at indie prices, both authors unknown to her, then the reader will buy the lesser priced indie title.
Your book price is directly controlled by you. The price you place on your book will, likewise, directly influence your sales.
It pays to experiment, price pulse, and keep track of sales, until you know exactly where the sweet spot is for your books. It really makes that much difference.
Because so much has been written and discussed about pricing, I won’t go into great detail here. If you’re thinking about pricing for the first time, do research it. There are many others who have provided fabulous wisdom about pricing, elsewhere.
#6 Free Days / Select Promo Days
Related to your book’s price, offering the book for free for a short while, and making sure as much of the world as you can reach knows about the promo, will help sell more copies after the promotion is over. Amazon has the Select program, which is the only way to drop your book to free for a short while. Most other distribution platforms allow you to drop the price to free and back up again, or else provide coupons or discount codes.
This is a particularly effective strategy if the book you offer for free is the first in a series or collection.
#5 Your Book’s Back Matter
The very first page after the reader reaches The End should be a page advertising the next book in the series, with a live link to where the reader can buy it.
If you don’t have a next book in the series, yet, or it’s a standalone book, then advertise another of your titles in the same genre.
This is the perfect time to sell your reader another book – they’ve just finished the one they have and are (hopefully) replete and satisfied with the quality of your story and eager for more.
#4 Your Website
If you don’t have a site yet, to blog or not to blog is a nitpicky detail that should be beneath your notice for right now. The most important thing for helping sales along is a list of your books, with live links to their buy pages on every single platform you use.
Likewise, if you have the site, but all your books are not listed, make getting them up onto your site a priority.
I’ve lost count of the number of author sites I’ve visited where finding a list of their books is next to impossible. The current book is often front and center, and for legacy authors, this is usually the only book that counts – their backlist is often unavailable. But for indie authors, whose books are always and forever available, every single book you’ve ever published should be:
on the site,
with links to buy pages everywhere, and
easily found from the home page.
Make it as easy as possible for readers to browse your backlist and then click through to buy, because your backlist is where the bulk of your monthly revenue comes from.
#3 Your Newsletter
You need some way to capture the email addresses of readers who have read your stuff, and like it enough to want to know when the next book is coming out. That is the primary purpose of your newsletter.
I make life easy for myself: My newsletter is a bald, simple new book announcement list. No filler, no gossip. Nothing but new book announcements, which saves me a ton of work and keeps things streamlined and simple for the readers.
These are the readers who will push your new title up into the best seller ranks in the first few days and weeks of its release. They’re also the ones who provide the reviews that help sell the book to brand new readers.
#2 Your Book’s Cover and Meta Data
The cover, the back cover blurb and everything that goes into the product description on the distributor’s buy page, build an indelible impression in the buyer’s mind when they come across your book.
Pay for a great cover, learn how to write blurbs properly and how to bury your hooks in them. Research and study how product descriptions work to hook the reader into buying.
You only get one chance to impress a reader long enough to keep them on the page for a few minutes more. Once you’ve made them pause from clicking through to the next book, then the reviews and the price will do the rest.
#1 The Quality of your Book
It doesn’t matter if your cover is fantastic, a badly written or badly edited book will leave a very bad taste in the mouth of the reader. You only need a couple of stinky reviews complaining about typos or formatting problems, or a weak story, for sales to be impacted.
On the other hand, a fantastic story that is well written and perfectly presented almost sells itself. It certainly will generate that magical sales ingredient: Word of Mouth.
There are many more strategies and tactics that help sell more books and none of them have anything to do with traditional marketing and PR. However, no tactic will be effective if these seven strategies are not first put into place.
Columnist: Tracy Cooper-Posey writes erotic vampire romance series and hot romantic suspense. She has been nominated for five CAPAs including Favourite Author, and won the Emma Darcy Award. She published 35 titles via legacy publishers before switching to indie publishing in March 2011. She has published over 40 indie titles to date. Her indie books have made her an Amazon #1 Best Selling Author and have been nominated four times for Book of the Year. Byzantine Heartbreak won the title in 2012. Tracy has been a national magazine editor and for a decade she taught romance writing at MacEwan University. An Australian, she lives in Edmonton, Canada with her husband, a former professional wrestler, where she moved in 1996 after meeting him on-line. Her website can be found at: http://TracyCooperPosey.com.