I’ve been writing fiction professionally since 2013. Along the way, I’ve learned a few things about book promotions—specifically marketing eBooks.
A couple key factors to keep in mind:
- Writing for the general population is a mistake.
- Marketing eBooks over your paperbacks is by far more effective.
- Even traditionally published authors need to build their platform (fan base).
- Indie Authors are required to act as the CEO of their brand and oversee all aspects of their business.
Be Genuine. Be You.
There are plenty of articles and books on how to improve your writing. An author should always look to better their craft—not unlike any artist, athlete, or professional. While topics to make you a better writer are rampant, articles on how to sell your fiction are not so prevalent.
“I’m focusing on marketing eBooks here because as you’ll see, for an indie writer there’s no money in paperbacks.”
I have found the following approach to be successful:
- Use Your Books to Sell More
- Learn to Better Navigate the Amazon Jungle
- Leverage Online Tools and Social Media
There’s More to The Story Than Your Story
Leverage the obvious. Make your book sell more books.
Use Your Books to Sell More – Marketing eBooks 101
Your book is the most critical marketing piece in your indie author promotional toolbox.
In 2013, there were ~2,100 books published each day, according to a January 8, 2013 article with Forbes.
With the ease of self-publishing, it’s critical that your book doesn’t lose its chance on the first impression. People do judge a book by its cover. Don’t cheap out or design your cover yourself. Or, as I’ve often heard, “I have a good friend who knows how to…”
Engage with Your Readers
Readers love to hear from authors. Reach out to them at the end of your book.
Additionally, don’t be afraid to request their help. Your call-to-action message should be a genuine “ask” for what you want the reader to do next: Buy more of your other books, leave a review, visit your blog, or other things.
Be specific. Don’t inundate them with too many options. Pick one thing and ask them to do it. If they liked your story and find that you’re a real person, many will want to help.
Navigate the Amazon Jungle
People go to Amazon to find fiction, not so much to Google. Amazon has its own algorithms. Take advantage of them.
For fiction writers, don’t worry about your blog or website getting search-engine traffic. Focus on your books climbing up Amazon’s charts. Why Amazon? Simple. It’s the biggest source.
Go to the Kindle Store (eBooks) and play around with keywords related to your story. Amazon will populate relevant “phrases” that have recently been searched. These are a goldmine of opportunity to help readers find you.
Review some of them: Are relevant to your story? Are they selling well?
Place these in your Amazon book description’s keywords, your books synopsis (if appropriate), and in your Amazon Author Central page with them.
Use Social Media and Other Online Tools for Marketing eBooks and Promoting Your Brand
While Amazon may be king right now, don’t assume that will always be the case. Same for Facebook and Twitter.
Amazon doesn’t give you the customer’s name or email. You have no idea who buys your books.
Think of social media as a means to build traffic and create your sales funnel. Capture your readers through a mailing list service like MailChimp.
You need to know your reader by name. Get their email. It’s the most effective way to let them know about your next book.
Summary for Marketing eBooks
Success in the indie-publishing space isn’t about just one thing. Promoting your book to a specific niche is critical, but not everything.
Focus your efforts in the areas with the greatest return: eBooks, Amazon, mailing lists, and building your fan-base funnel.
Be adventurous. Don’t be afraid to discover, learn, and try new things. Most of all be genuine.
If you need more information, feel free to contact me.