Monday 25 November 2019

The Trials Of An Indie Author: Promotion Helps


It's been a long while since I did a piece on promotion. I mean I did one recently on social media, but that was more about the dos and don'ts, and not the ins and outs of actual promotion. I will make it clear here that I don't intend to give you tips on which sites to use because I find it widely varies depending on author, genre and age range. Even where you yourself are located can be another variable to consider. So this is not one of those listicals that will tell you where and how to promote your book. I simply don't have that information for every individual and to pretend otherwise would be ridiculous.

So what is this going to be about? I'm going to be talking about the small ways that you can help yourself, and help your promotion whether that's ads on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and the like, or simple word of mouth. I will however, give you a site to look up that has been extremely useful to me, and that is The Book Robin Hoods. On there you will find a load of bloggers from all over the world listed and you have their contact details ready to reach out. I've done it a number of times with different results, but I'm not here to talk about that, so let's move onto what you can do, in a small way, to help your promotion succeed.

I can't stress this enough because I've done this the wrong way and I've done it the right way. And the right way is to make sure that you plan your promotion well. You want to make sure that it hits the mark, and to do that you have to know what that mark is. Whether it's a release day, or a sale going on for a short period, you need to be looking into some of this stuff weeks, if not, months in advance. So you need to make sure that you plan ahead, and keep the hype going while the promotion is ongoing, and once it ends.

Along with many things, nothing much happens overnight. I know the thought generally is that you should go all out, to make sure you maximise your profit and interaction. My advice though? Start small, you don't know if this promotion is going to hit the right audience, even if you've done a ton of research (which I always recommend you do!) you don't know yet if it'll work for you. There's a lot of ways to go about promotion, and sometimes what works for one author in your genre, classification, location, just won't for another. It's not as simple as copying what someone else does and away you go. You need to be sure that this is the right thing for you, and so I would seriously recommend starting small and seeing how it goes. If you get the positive reaction, then start building up.

This might seem like it goes against what I just said above, but asking other authors not just for advice on what worked for them, but also for them to help you with your promotion is always a good idea. This can be something from newsletter swaps, to sharing in their reader group, to shouting you out in Twitter or doing a post about it on their blog. Any number of things can help with promotions, and it's always good to have the people who write alongside you in your corner. However, one thing that shouldn't need to be said, but does, always reciprocate if you can. If they let you share, you do the same. It's only fair and given that you're writing similar genres etc, your readers could very well being theirs and vice versa.

Now I know that a lot of writers are introverts, and on top of that, there's the whole cultural idea that you shouldn't be selling yourself, or anything, or bragging about what you've achieved. And while some of that is true, it's also true that you have this platform of people following you. They either do that because they like you, or they're interested in your work. So make sure that you actively tell them when you have promotion going on. They do want to know, but just don't be blasting it at them every tweet or post. Generally I'll do a post every few days, and always make sure I'm adding something new rather than just a copy of the post itself. Overall, these people do want to know things about you and your work, so use that!

So there we have it, my four points about how you can help yourself when running a promotion. I know that it's not always easy to put yourself out there, but it's part and parcel of being an author. It's not always fun, but sometimes it can really make a difference.

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