Promoting creative works of art is a challenge for artists, filmmakers, and authors. I have been fortunate to help hundreds of creative geniuses promote their works of art and I wanted to share some tips for those of you who may have a book concept in you that needs to be released. There is a way to become a published author, and you can do it yourself!
First a success story.
Ella Carey, author of the Paris Time Capsule Series, came to me just after she self-published her first novel. Little did she know that the steps she took to launch her career as an author and to release her book on Kindle, all by herself, allowed her the strategy of success that would lead to a print publishing deal and a series of bestselling novels to follow. Her latest, The House by the Lake, was released just this past October and shot up to bestseller ranking immediately. So proud of her! (Learn more about her story on her website at www.ellacarey.com)
Without giving all of Ella’s secrets away, as they are hard-earned, I have recently begun a book promotion campaign for a new client with a non-fiction/self-help book, and the research is fresh in my mind, so I’m sharing! Remember, each and every marketing strategy is unique to the project, so it is best to educate yourself and learn from others and begin testing what works best for your book promotion. Google is amazing for research.
Here’s a few Self-Publishing Pro Tips that may help you on your journey.
- Amazon is amazing. For free and to everyone you can post your book for sale, as a hardcover and as a digital book via Kindle Publishing Direct (KPD). Via Amazon’s Creative Space you can offer print on-demand hardcover books. So within no time you can be a published author.
- Reviews. Your most important goal now is to increase your Amazon reviews, hopefully, 5-star reviews. It’s a step process. 1) The better your reviews, the more likely someone will select your book out of the millions available. 2) The more people that download or buy your book, the better the odds of becoming eligible for bestseller status. Bestseller status has many variables. Rankings are done on a daily basis, amongst various categories. So by watching your analytics closely, on one particular day you could easily rise to the top 100, the top 10 and even #1.
- Friends and Family Reviews. Organic reviews are fantastic and so validating as an author, but just launching you will need to prompt the reviews. First, ask your friends, families, co-workers, and fellow writer friends to log on to Amazon and post a review. It’s absolutely free and only takes a few minutes of time. It’s even better if they buy a download or physical book as you make money but more importantly the review posts as a “Verified Purchase” adding some validity I think. Here’s a sample of a 5-star verified review for my client’s book Rock Bottom and Back.
- Goodreads Reviews. As an author you need to immerse yourself in the world of books by following other authors, joining support groups to learn best practices and to help one another. Goodreads.com is just that community. It’s an online portal for book lovers from all over the world. Many consumers use the portal to find reviews and discover the next book that they want to purchase and read. You can also use this group of 55 million members to provide a review on your book. Goodreads “Kindle EbookGivaways” provide an opportunity for an author to provide a free download to a fellow book lover who promises (code of ethics) to provide a fair and honest review in return for the free download. Goodreads is owned by Amazon, so the review goes straight to your Amazon book page. Don’t worry about giving your book away from free. The inherent results are so worth it! Remember, you need reviews! The cost is $119 for 100 e-books (physical book promotion also available but you have to pay for the printed book and shipping). Well worth it.
- KDP Free Days – For one week every quarter you can run a promotion on Kindle, that provides your book for free. In return, you increase your reviews and build the awareness of your book as you can cross-promote the promotion on various free book portals. I found this site helpful. http://www.paidauthor.com/best-ebook-promotion-sites/ in providing a listing.
- BookBub Featured Deal. There are multiple online discount book portals but Bookbub has proven to be the top for promotions. Bookbub will provide your book at a discount for one day to a designated category reaching millions of people with their daily email alert. It’s not cheap but mostly always pays off and you will get your money back and then some. https://www.bookbub.com/partners/pricing. S Bookbub is very selective on the books they choose to promote and only 10% of submissions get accepted. It’s a very big deal for an author to be accepted! The best way to be considered is to have plenty of reviews, 5-star reviews. Remember, reviews are SO important. The other trick is to submit over and over, changing categories (one at a time), until they accept you. Here are the submission guidelines. https://www.bookbub.com/partners/requirements
- Bestseller status – once your reviews are increased, and your sales increase and you become a bestseller, Amazon will help you promote yourself even more by “if you liked this book you may like…” and bestseller highlights, etc. Amazon wants you to become a bestseller and that’s why they create so many categories and sub-categories to give you a larger chance of obtaining bestseller status. And they offer paid and free bestseller rankings. Driving a lot of downloads in a quick amount of time also helps as the algorithms used to compute bestseller are updated by the hour. So even if you are #1 for an hour, you can still tout that you are a bestseller! Hopefully, you will stay on the charts for weeks and weeks and weeks. Just like my friend Ella
Best of luck my friends, and let me know if I can be of assistance.