A few days ago I received an email from someone I don’t know pimping her new self-published book. This irritated me beyond irritation because that tells me this author (a) likely lifted my email address from a listserv I participate on through one of my chapters which is NOT cool, (b) signed me up for her newsletter list with no way to unsubscribe, and (c) sent me an email pimping her new mystery and, if she knew me personally, she would know I don’t read mystery.
Please don’t do this. I marked it as SPAM in my email. Plus if you’re lifting people’s email addresses to pimp your book hoping to get sales, all you stand to do is really hack off those people. This is akin to adding people uninvited to your personal Facebook groups. I think this bothers me about as much as receiving emails from strangers asking me to buy/review their books.
We all want to sell our books and hawk our wares, but the key is to do it in the right way. Starting out is harder than anything and finding your niche audience even harder. Sending random emails to people is only going to ensure those people who you’ve now irritated will not buy your books.
So here are some suggestions on how to properly market your book:
1. Social media, of course, but sparingly. It’s a fine line to walk on too much promo because you risk annoying people to death with your BUY MY BOOK links. No one wants to see your book cover twelve times a day in their Facebook feed.
2. Blog tours. Don’t tell me blogs are dead because if they really were, then blog tours would be dead, too. There are plenty of blog tour places where you can get a review AND pimp your book. Yes, you will likely have to pay for them, but it’s a business expense. Write it off on your taxes. Here’s some places you can try: Goddess Fish, Enchanted Book Promotions, Bewitching Book Tours.
3. Submit your book for reviews to review sites. Find the appropriate review sites for your genre and submit there. Make sure you follow their request guidelines. Do your homework and make sure you submit with the proper amount of lead time. Fresh Fiction, RT Book Review, Night Owl Reviews, The Romance Studio are good places to start.
4. Start your newsletter list and ask people to sign up. Never, ever sign people up without their permission. It’s just bad form. And on that same topic, never share their email address with anyone else. Not even your bestie. Also bad form. Share exclusive content with your subscribers and give away free stuff to them and them only. Make ’em feel special.
5. Buy ads. There are plenty of places that sell ads but my favorite place is The Romance Studio. When they have ad sales, they do it right. Look for the deals where you can get 5 ads for the price of one. You can bank them and use them later and they never expire. Also join as a member and you can promote to your heart’s content.
6. Do a giveaway. If your book is in print, you can do a giveaway on Goodreads. You can also do a giveaway on Library Thing and even in your newsletter, on your Facebook page, etc.
And that’s all I can think of for now. Are you an author and have some tips for getting your name out there? I’d love for you to share them here.