- It opens the door to meeting like-minded and talented writers who are more times than not, very generous and love offering support and promotion in return.
- It encourages more people to visit your blog. Not just for the author promotions but for your other posts as well. It also develops your other networks on social media
- It generates more interest in your own books.
A few things that are key to making the most of free promotional opportunities.
- It helps enormously if you read the submission guidelines carefully to make it easier to showcase a book more effectively. This means supplying all the information requesting in the format outlined. For example – sending all links to Amazon and social media in long form and photographs separately attached to the email rather than embedded.
- An effective promotion needs certain key elements. An Amazon link on its own with just the blurb for a book is only two of those elements. Recently I have had to say no to a couple of authors because of lack of information. Poorly written blurb, no bio, no social media links, no reviews, no author page, no blog or website and nothing anywhere about themselves. Potential buyers of a book have so much choice today that information about the author is very necessary. Even first time authors with a new book, without any reviews can still have an online footprint that adds interest and enourages people to buy their work. Create an Author Page on Amazon as one of your first tasks and make sure you update with all your books as they become available so they are in one place.
- It is also important to participate in the promotion by sharing the link that is supplied to email contacts and also across personal networks. Answering comments is absolutely vital as it encourages others to comment and certainly for some to take the next step and buy the book.
- The first question that a new author (and some second time authors) needs to ask is ‘How will people find my book amongst all the thousands of new books uploaded every week?’ Is it word of mouth, from seeing it promoted on Twitter, Facebook or Goodreads? Is it because of a blog post that you have written or another blogger’s book launch post or review? Is it because when people Google your name they come up with links to Amazon? Without any of those external prompts it may be a long wait until someone comes across your book by accident.
- There are some excellent blogs who post articles about building up your presence online and it is not my intention to make this into a tutorial. However, I have been an indie author now for 18 years and can tell you that the last four years of blogging and using specific social media sites, has been the most effective method of promoting my books.
- Even if you do not actively use social media for personal communication, you do need to have those platforms for your work. I am afraid that simply putting the book and a blurb on Amazon and waiting for people to rush to buy the book will not work. You need to have a footprint in the sand for readers to follow. At the very least make your presence felt by having a Facebook and Twitter account. Follow other authors and reviewers and share their tweets and posts until you have built up a like-minded following that will reciprocate when you need help promoting your new book.
- I now have a permanent platform to promote authors here on Smorgasbord. Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore has a number of promotions geared to continuously promoting authors on the shelves and I love the fact that so many of you are taking advantage of them. Each post is linked automatically to my social media networks and are boosted there a number of times. Once on the shelves an author can enjoy updates every four to six weeks for a new book release or a great new review, and it is a place where an author can remind readers on a regular basis about their work. The posts will also be on the blog for at least a year and can be reshared by the author on social media several time to reach their own growing audience.
If you are not in the Cafe and Bookstore and would like to know about the various promotional opportunities then here is a link.
Take advantage of my network that I have built up over the last four years to develop your own online presence and promote your work.