And each of those books to some varying degree get promoted. The first time indie author sits at home looking at the numbers that never seem to move on the sales charts wondering what the hell is wrong with the world when his/her masterpiece just doesn't seem to be selling. It can be discouraging.
The truth is the most wonderful piece of fiction ever written, whether it be romance, urban fantasy, erotica or mystery-thriller may go for years completely undiscovered because it gets lost in the sea of other wonderful (and not so wonderful) works of other authors.
Take heart writers, even the most seasoned of writers kept writing before their books became hits, and again truth be told, most of us will never become full time writers. That is the dream, that only if enough readers got their grubby little hands on OUR book, our lives would instantly be changed.
Vegas-trips baby! Ok, that might happen. After all, there has been no better time in history to be an indie writer. There are millions of readers looking for the latest and greatest read and one day that read: Might. Be. Your Book. But that said, whether you are an indie writer or have had the greats of the publishing industry smile down on you from their heights, YOU are still responsible for promoting that one of a kind masterpiece.
The purpose of this little piece is to put together some of the best and worst ideas in promoting your books. And yes, I am guilty of using 100% of ALL the worst ideas. But I am getting better. So here goes.
As of the date of the writing of this article, there still is no faster way to promote your book than social media. However, it is quickly becoming passe as Facebook begins tightening the screws on us all in an effort to get advertising revenue. The organic reach to those who "Like" your author pages is shrinking in single digit percentages. All so you will pay them to advertise to people who don't give a crap about reading your book. It's a fraud. It is an out and out con to pay for advertising on Facebook. Does that mean you abandon FB? Stop Tweeting, twittering or whatever they want to call it? NO!
Indie authors are notoriously broke. If we weren't, we could pay for those slick ads online. But we can't. So to get at least a minimal impact to find new readers (for free), social media is still your best bet. So how do you promote your books on Facebook?
1. Find Groups of Readers, Authors and Bloggers. Join them! But don't be an Asshat! What is an Asshat you ask? An asshat is someone who spends 100% of their time promoting themselves and never makes an effort to help another author. If you help others, they will help you. And if they don't, they are Asshats! If you are daily posting a link or ad for your latest book on every f*&^%&* group page you join, then leave as if you were never there, that is being an asshat. (And yes, I have done this before. I don't anymore.)
Read, enjoy and promote other authors in your genre! They in turn will do the same for you. Be ready for disappointment as there are quite a few asshats to work through to find a real street team and partner in crime.
2. Attend events that interest you, but for f^&* sake don't create seven events a week, damn, we've all got day jobs and can't be at all those events! PS - If you say you are going to attend, then be there! Share it with your followers, Tweet, post and repost for others' events!
3. If you expect people to 'like' and 'share' your posts, 'like' and 'share' theirs! It's only polite.
DON'T BE A TWAT ON TWITTER!
One of the essential rules on Twitter is treat others' tweets the way you want your tweets treated. In other words, Re-Tweet! Use your favorites options and "favorite" some tweets. See I didn't understand the "favorites" for the first several months I was on Twitter. I was afraid to choose a 'favorite' because I thought to myself, "what if a better tweet comes along?" So there are no 'limits' on favorites. You don't get like 10 and you have to choose which of the thousands belong in your 10.
Here's the key. Twitter never stops!
It doesn't matter whether it is 8am, 8pm or 3am, the tweets come and they come fast! You can't keep up with RT others' tweets unless you are tweeting 24/7 and how is that sequel ever going to be written if you are staring at an endless stream of memes and pithy sayings? Easy, it won't. You need help!
That kind of help exists in using free tools to help you gain a following. One of those tools I have used with great success is RoundTeam.co which will automatically RT for you. Now, you don't want to RT trash. You don't want to RT EVERYONE! That's ok, you can only RT those people you put into a Twitter list. Let's say for example, you want to promote other authors works. Great! Put all of those authors into a list on your Twitter page. Entitle the list, Romance, Mystery, Erotica, etc.
If you write romance, create a list of romance authors on your twitter account, link your free roundteam account to that list and everything those authors tweet will be auto-RT for you! And keep in mind, when you add a new follower to a list, they get a message that you've added them to a list and the title of that list. So please don't name a list, "I don't know where the f&^* to put these people" list. That would make you a twat.
A word of caution here! This does not negate your obligation to interact, to favorite, to reply to messages and in general keep up what you are doing now, only with far better results and far less time. Use the 'filters' to make sure you aren't RT conversations or other things you don't want to. I add everyone who participates in my Promote UR Book Events to that list. So far, everyone has ended up getting 100+ new followers per week.
Now you may be asking yourself why I want a bunch of writers on my RT list. The answer is simple, who follows writers? Readers. And yes, I have a Twitter list entitled "Avid Readers" too. I have to work my way through helping 100 writers to get maybe ten readers, but there isn't a limit yet on Twitter followers, so I'm going to keep it up!
SINCE THE ORIGINAL PUBLICATION OF THIS ARTICLE, THE MUCKETY-MUCKS AT GREMLN.COM HAVE DECIDED TO NIX THE $6.00 A MONTH PLAN FOR NEW SUBSCRIBERS. GET THE UPDATED IDEAS IN THE SECOND VERSION OF MY BOOK, PROMOTING YOUR BOOK ON FACEBOOK AND TWITTER!
That is the extent of my marketing budget right now. It is well worth it. If after reading this article, you would like to follow me on Twitter, I am @gunnaralawrence. send me a message to be added to the list, you add me to your roundteam/twitter list and we will both be a team in promoting each other and all those who come after us.
After doing all this, I do not promise that your sales will increase. (Although a few of my authors on the list did report this to me.) I do not promise that your books will inspire a movie, television show or theme park.
What I will say is this, it will free up loads of time for you to work your day job, finish that sequel and keep your dreams alive.
I leave you with these rules for Twitter:
2. Follow back - unless it's a bot or someone you just aren't sure about, and I have plenty of those.
4. Interact - You can't auto-favorite or auto-engage others, but the time you spend doing so will be drastically cut down.
6. NEVER, NEVER, NEVER, NEVER pay for followers on Twitter. You don't need ten thousand bots following you. They don't RT, they don't buy books, they don't have fans that will lead to your finding more readers. Bots are the plague. Treat them as such.
7. Favorite - if you like a post, favorite it! If there are a bunch of "Mentions" in a post and you are one of them, "favorite" that mention!
8. Be polite. Are there stupid people in the world? Yes, don't argue with them, ignore them and they will lose interest.
10. Build your Twitter lists, subscribe to others' lists and organize your followers and followees.