No matter where you publish, you must create a plan to promote your book! Just because you have a wonderful manuscript, doesn’t mean the world will be able to find it. With social media and all the bloggers, websites and reviewers available today, you don’t have an excuse not to, however, it can seem overwhelming deciding where to begin. For the basics you must:
- Have a website. There are many ways to create your website with lots of free platforms but you should check out whether those free websites will be found by search engines such as Google. If not, pay someone who knows what they are doing to create a website that has information about you as an author, a page about the book, and your social media contact information (at a minimum).
- Get on social media (Twitter recommended) and post consistently. It should be engaging content about all sorts of things including your book, but also can be about you, your hobbies and other subjects near and dear to you such as dogs, kids or charities, etc. Make sure to grow your followers so you expand your reach.
- Get some reviews for your book. It can be difficult to get your friends to give your book reviews even when they make a promise. Keep trying to get new ones and look to the Internet to find bloggers and people who like to review books.
Good reviews sell books. The more reviews you have the better you will look to the reader. You also want enough reviews so that you look legitimate and that not just your friends and family posted reviews. You can ask all your friends to post reviews but if Amazon finds that they are “friends”, Amazon may take down the reviews anyway.
A good way to get reviews is to reach out to other authors (check out their websites, find them on social media, look for Facebook Fanpage Exchanges). They may be more sympathetic to your plight and you may want to exchange reviews for each other. Join writing groups that help one another out.
It can also be very disheartening when you repeatedly ask a friend to post a review and they keep forgetting or when a stranger blasts your book. Anyone can be anonymous behind a keyboard so don’t take it to heart, but remember reviews are all part of the business of being an author!
Being at a writer’s meeting a few weeks ago and hearing that one of the writers had snared a contract with a “real” book publisher made me wonder. They were congratulating her on the contract and in my mind, I was thinking about dollars. Traditional book publishers pay royalties of less than 15% and then only pay them every six months after any returns from bookstores are received and deducted from the royalties and paid on the “net” price after distributor discounts. Continue reading