Monday 26 August 2019
5 Tips For Promotion - The After Process
5 TIPS FOR PROMOTION
I've just passed my fourteen years as an indie author, and while I'm still very much a small fish, I have been doing this for a while and starting to learn some good ways to get the word out about both my books, releases and just me in general. Part of being an author, especially indie, is developing your brand (piece found here) and part of it is knowing that you can't do everything. But when it comes to promotion, you know you're going to have to, usually, spend some money. But it doesn't have to be a lot, and it doesn't have to be at all depending on how big your social media count is and how early you started building your platform.
So, as someone who's only just, after many years, reached 1K followers anywhere, what do I have to offer you? I'm being upfront that I don't have a huge following because I don't want it to seem like I'm talking from a place of massive success when actually, I'm not. I'm known in some circles, but I'm not in the grand scheme of things. So what's worked for me, and why do I recommend it? Let's get down to business!
#1 - BLOGGERS ARE YOUR FRIENDS
I learned this early on, but I didn't have the network that I do now. For that I highly recommend two sites. One is free to join and the other has a small cost every month, but leaves you open to forging friendships and connections that are invaluable. On top of that, they offer marketing plans, e-press kits and all of the like. So, the first one is The Book Robin Hoods. Founded my author, MC Frank, it's a way for both readers, bloggers and authors to meet in the middle. You can request to join the site and from there make a whole heap of connections. You will have to do the work, but that's the point of it all. It's also free. There are some restrictions, such as no erotica, but for a young adult author, that's not a problem. MC Frank is always looking for ways to help other authors and this site is a treasure trove!
The second one, with a cost of $35 a month, is Storiad. They offer you a quick step marketing plan that actually is very detailed and allows you to work out what you need to be doing. There's also the e-press kits which you can customise and use everywhere. They have a massive database that allows you to narrow down your searches. You can friend people and make connections with other authors in your genre, and it gives you a place to start when all else fails. I've found it very helpful and it's one of the reasons that I've stayed with the company even though that $35 was, for a while, a bit too much for me.
#2 - TRY IT AND SEE
I'm talking about ads, whether they be on Amazon, or Facebook, or Twitter, or Instagram and all the rest. I'm a member of a lot of author groups on Facebook and while some of them are more authors yelling: BUY MY BOOK at each other, others will help you work out how to make the ads work for you. I've done Facebook ads and not had much luck. This was a number of years ago and I'm told they're better targeted now. I've also done Instagram ads and had more luck with those. If you try something, do your research to make sure that you're using the right keywords for your target audience and also the right kind of post. It can all make the difference between a successful campaign and one that falls flat. That said, if you do try it and it doesn't work for you, don't feel like you have to keep doing it because it works for other people. Different strokes for different folks, y'know?
#3 - SET A BUDGET
This is a big one for a lot of people. I don't have a lot of spare money and what I do have I don't want to pour too much into advertising. A lot of my progress has been made by sharing and reaching out to bloggers, but that doesn't mean that I do no ads at all. I just make sure that I set a budget, and here's the thing, I stick to it. I've been planning to start look into Amazon ads and I'm hoping that it's something that I can find will work for me, but again, gotta do the research first. But if you're worried about pouring money away, work out what a decent budget is for what you can afford and make sure that you stick to it!
#4 - DON'T BLAST CONSTANTLY
This is one mistake I think a lot of newbie authors make. They have a following on Twitter or any other social media (though I see it most on Twitter) and all they do is post buy tweets. They don't talk to people, they don't engage. They just post tweet after tweet about how this book is for sale and here's a link. Some even go as far as auto-dm'ing you and asking you to buy their book. This is a HUGE turn off for readers. I've unfollowed, and muted people who do this because it's not nice. While it may sound like a good idea, it's not. You'll end up being unfollowed or muted and the silence will speak for itself. It also won't really generate sales because no one cares about your book because they don't know who you are behind the blasts. The occasional post about your books are fine, especially around releases and the like, but every tweet is too much!
And finally, #5 - GIVE AND TAKE WORKS TOO
It can be something where you've made friends with other authors in your genre. I have a ton of author friends who also write YA, and between all of us, we've managed to do some cross-promoting. Whether that's me reviewing their books, or them including mine in their newsletter, it's a way to help each other out. That's why The Book Robin Hoods and Storiad are such important tools because it's not just bloggers and readers, but other authors too. It gives you a chance to make some connections and friends and have some help with promotion that you can reciprocate. You don't always give, but you also don't always take and you'll find yourself with some people who have your back, like your work and are willing to share.
So there we have it, my five tips when it comes to promotion. As I said above, I'm not a huge fish, but I'm learning as I go and getting better at it all the time. Lemme know in the comments if you have any tips!
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