20 FREE Marketing Tips for New Authors
The day your first book is published is incredibly exciting. However, you now have to market and sell it…
This post is based on my own steep learning curve. The majority of these tips are FREE.
Begin with an E-Book
Consider having e-book format only for a few months. This will allow you to gather reviews which you can include on the inside cover of your print copies.
It is also well worth investing in a good book cover. It will pay dividends.
I launched “Watching the Daisies” on 14th November 2016 with Amazon Kindle, and enrolled in KDP Select for six months – to create free deals and Kindle countdowns.
On 12th April 2017, I launched my print copies on Amazon’s Create Space. When my six months had expired with KDP Select, I distributed “Watching the Daisies” to all the other major online bookstores via Ingram Spark.
I am able to buy my print copies direct from Ingram Spark for a very reasonable price and low postage.
Add a Link for Reviews
Invite your readers to write a review. You can create a direct link to your Amazon page at the end of your book, together with your social media links and e-mail address.
Readers are more likely to add a review if they can click on a link.
Amazon Author Profile
Remember to create an author profile page through Amazon Author Central. If you have a blog add a link, and your posts will automatically be included on your profile page.
Key Words and Categories
What words or descriptions would readers use to find your book on Amazon or other online stores?
Type in a series of descriptions, and check how many books are available within your search. Now select your key words carefully to ensure your book ranks as high as possible in your chosen categories.
I made the mistake of using single key words at the outset, but I have now amended these as follows:
- Chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia,
- Inspirational Irish memoirs and biographies,
- Self help and natural medicines,
- Diseases and physical ailments,
- Mindfulness self help and fibromyalgia,
- Solo travel India Rome Bali,
- Memoir fibromyalgia spiritual healing insights.
You can continue to tweak your key words and categories until you are happy with your results.
Do not expect readers to pay a high price if you are a new author.
Study the prices of other authors in your genre, and consider having regular offers to attract new readers and reviews.
Experiment, and find out your best price to promote maximum sales.
I decided against a formal physical book launch, but I did create a virtual launch party on my blog with Giveaways.
It created a rush of excitement, and helped get book sales flowing.
Talks and Workshops
Focus on your target market, and arrange talks and workshops for prospective customers.
“Watching the Daisies” is a self help book, full of tips on natural medicines, so I have taken a stand at a number of health and wellness days, and spoken to groups with fibromyalgia.
I have also talked to other writers at Ireland Writing Retreats. You can read about my first talk HERE.
If you are an author you will be welcomed at community projects, writer’s groups, libraries, schools…
The media are always looking for interesting stories to dazzle their readers/listeners.
I created a simple press release with a brief synopsis of my book, and contacted local media before my book launch.
This resulted in a full page spread in our county newspaper, a competition for readers, with further updates on my book, interviews on local radio, as well as a recent article in The Irish Examiner’s “Online Lives”, which you can read HERE
Research local book shops and other possible retail outlets. I have my book on the shelves of two local stores, and the shop in Donegal Airport. Keeping it local allows me to top up supplies regularly. Sales have been steady as word of mouth has grown.
I also talk to people about my book when I go shopping, in the hairdressers, among groups of friends…
I would recommend having a supply of books in the boot of your car – ready to sell.
A blog or website is an essential platform for authors.
I set up my blog in February 2016 – 9 months in advance of my book release. My blog friends have been a HUGE support, and a good number have now bought and reviewed my book.
Post regular updates on your publishing journey. You can share your editing experiences, your book cover reveal, launch party, giveaways, news of discounts, latest reviews…
I would not have gotten this far on my publishing journey without their support.
Remember to create a dedicated book page which includes reviews and sales links, plus a Contact page for enquiries.
Book Link on Blog Posts
Many people will not see your landing page when they visit your blog.
Add a link to your book at the end of each post.
This simple measure allows readers to check out your book details with one click.
Engage with your Audience
Keep up to date with other blogs, and give sincere positive feedback. The more you care and share, the more support you will receive in return.
I began a Twitter platform soon after I began blogging, and my blog posts automatically go to my Twitter and Facebook feeds.
I found Rayne Hall’s book “Twitter for Writers” incredibly helpful for navigating this new platform.
I would highly recommend having a pinned tweet with a direct link to your book, plus a link to your blog in your Twitter profile.
Facebook is another excellent platform for new authors. You can create an author page with a pinned post linked to your book.
I belong to a number of Facebook Groups including:
- The Irish Independent Author’s collective,
- We Love Memoirs with links to both authors and readers who enjoy memoirs.
Find your tribe, and you will be rewarded with friendship and support on your publishing journey.
Goodreads hosts a HUGE community of READERS.
If you decide to join, you will need to create an author profile, and add your blog link so your posts automatically go to your author page.
Goodreads also provide a platform for Giveaways, which help to get more eyes on your book and hopefully attract more reviews. You can check out who has your book on their “want to read” list or better still who has you on their “reading” list.
I participate in the Goodread’s Reading Challenge, and last year I read and reviewed 82 books. I aim to read and review at least 60 books this year, which brings me to my next tip…
Read and Review Books
Reading other books aids your writing skills.
The majority of the books I have read and reviewed this past year have been memoirs. I have also explored new genres, and learned such a lot on the journey.
If you read and review other authors books, I find you will attract more readers and reviews for your own book.
All Good Karma!
Book Promotion Sites
There are a HUGE number of book promotion sites to explore, which can seem rather overwhelming to new authors.
Sally Cronin offers authors FREE promotion in her bookstore. Sally is a gifted writer and blogger, and her generosity is legendary.
Book Bub allows you to submit your author profile for FREE. I submitted “Watching the Daisies” to this site when it attracted 25 reviews.
I add my book reviews to my profile page, and it has helped to build up my followers.
I now use BookBub’s paid ads. You can read about my first test ads HERE
Christmas is a HUGE opportunity for authors to sell more books. I have met lots of prospective readers at a number of local craft fairs. It is hard work but LOTS of FUN.
YOU are your best ADVERT, and word of mouth is ultimately one of the best ways to increase your readership.
Libraries are full of READERS.
To sell to libraries you will need to be accepted by library suppliers. There are a number of them around the globe.
Donegal’s main library buyer provided me with LOTS of sound advice. She also purchased a number of copies of my book once I had registered my book with Ireland’s main library supplier in Dublin.
Over the following months:
- I investigated each county library online, and accessed a telephone number
- I telephoned and learned the name and e-mail address of the librarian in charge of buying books
- I forwarded an e-mail introducing myself as an author, including a brief synopsis of my book, ISBN, and suppliers.
“Watching the Daisies” is now on the shelves of a good number of Irish libraries.
Enjoy the Journey
Marketing and selling takes TIME and ENERGY. You will need to pace yourself to avoid burnout.
When the time is right, you will be ready to write your next book!
If you enjoyed this post you might also like my next post 5 Awesome Marketing Sites for Authors
Brigid P. Gallagher is a retired natural medicines therapist, passionate organic gardener and author of “Watching the Daisies- Life lessons on the Importance of Slow,” a holistic memoir dedicated to the art of mindfulness and healing from debilitating illness.
She lives in Donegal, Ireland – an area of outstanding natural beauty.
Categories: Self Publishing and Marketing