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Promoting Your Book Online

A Taste of Honey anthologyAs anyone who visits this blog regularly (or even looks at my Facebook page) will know, I recently had a short story accepted into a Dreamspinner anthology.

It’s a thrilling first for me, but once the excitement wore off, I started wondering how to promote it – I mean, it’s great to be published, but what good is it if no one ever reads your masterpiece?

I’m new to the writing promotion game, though I’ve been on FB, Twitter, Google + and Pinterest for years promoting my day job.

I’ve seen some great ideas in the groups I’m a part of, including FB author interviews, page takeovers, giveaways, blog tours, and the like.

My question to you today – what have you done to promote the release of your new books or stories? And what really works?

9 thoughts on “Promoting Your Book Online”

  1. Ohhh, what haven’t I done? I start by making a promo package that includes the blurb, excerpt, buy links, author bio and stuff like that, just to have it handy. I do giveaways on sites that either have a high Alexa rating or are dedicated to giveaways (like Stumbling over Chaos) and therefore have a lot of following. I request reviews from minimum 20 review sites and they usually get reviews. Add a free banner on The Romance Reviews, list them on Manic Readers (for reviews), add them on bookshelves in appropriate GR groups under appropriate tags, announce in yahoo groups, announce it in my newsletter, announce on Twitter with hashtags, announce on Facebook, announce in appropriate Facebook groups (like two a day or you’ll swamp people’s news pages), announce on Facebook author page, announce on my Blog, update my blog pages with purchase links. I rarely do interviews or guest blogs because they feel daunting to me and I end up stop writing altogether if things get too daunting. A cover reveal on different blogs is a good idea, or just ask to have them announce the release if they don’t have time to review it (or you can ask for both – an announcement/cover reveal one day and a review at some later date).

    Basically, these are the things that work for me: reviews, facebook, and Goodreads. Twitter probably works too, I don’t really know since I don’t use it very often. If you do a giveaway, it’s often better to give away older titles (once you have them), so people will feel more prompted to go buy the new book instead of waiting to see if they win it in a giveaway.

    If this all sounds like too much work, you could buy a very cheap package deal from Pride Promotions and Will will take care of things himself ;) He’s very good at what he does and his prices are very cheap (especially compared to all the work he does!). Even if you only do the Excerpt package – which is probably the one with least amount of work – it’ll take a lot of weight from your promo-bogged-down shoulders.

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    • Adding: I take two days after every release to focus only on the promo. I’ll distribute announcements on the Facebook groups over a few days, but most of the work goes into contacting the blog sites for reviews, since I contact them individually instead of doing a mass-request. You have to make sure to read everyone’s requirements before you submit something.

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  2. I think I’ve done just about everything. I used to run a small Indie Author only tour group with another blogger so we ran the gammit of how to promote for free or really cheap. Blog tours, Blog hops, Blog reviews are all great promo, especially with Blogs that have followers in the triple digits. Facebook events that you promote for weeks in advance and make them open, then be there and be available for Q&A, you can even get other authors to come and host with you for an hour at a time, play games, do giveaways. Vistaprint does these rack cards and post cards that really look good, they have hundreds of templates to choose from and you can upload your covers, this is an inexpensive thing to buy for giveaways. Crazy Creations makes hand made jewelry and book related type items you can use for giveaways. AND, it’s all tax deductible.
    Above all, make sure you don’t forget you started at the bottom and leave your loyal fans behind. Bloggers, reviewers and readers can be bitches if you get to big for your britches.
    And while promoting try to do at least one review only tour and pay one of the bigger blog/tour sites to host a tour for you. Again, it’s not that expensive and it’s tax deductible and it will broaden your fan base.

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  3. This is an interesting question! It seems to me that it applies (almost) equally to self-publishing writers. After the initial excitement and automatic publicity which comes with a new book – it is up to the author to take it from there.
    Please feel free to set me straight if I am wrong about this :)

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  4. Guys, this is so powerfully informative! Of all things listed here I’ve done a shameful fraction, and my Amazon ratings swing from 60 000 when a couple of books get acquired to 130 000 and stagnate there when nothing gets sold.

    I know it could be worse, but it also could be better. One successful author I know has ratings of 17 000 and claims he sells 20 books a day. Now, HOW does he do that? He would not tell me, oh holy monkey balls…

    So, lets talk numbers everyone dreads so much. I know talking about “how many books a day do you sell” is like talking about your salary, but if we do not talk numbers, we do not know where do all of these abovementioned formidable efforts actually lead?

    I totally respect you all for all your effort, as I know myself how hard and time-consuming it all is. I’m probably the laziest of you all… Question, though, remains – does it work, or do we still stick to our daytime jobs for a living?

    Grace to you all from Pegasus, the God of all writers, as he loves us all equally, regardless of our financial success. Hopefully he is also gay :) I mean, there’s gotta be a gay god for us! :)

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    • A very good question! I’d love to hear some answers from other writers. As far as I’m concerned, my gay sci-fi romances are very much in the ‘don’t give up your day job’ category. I love writing them and every sale is exciting but I’d starve to death if I had to rely on the money for a living.

      This month has been good because I released a free novella – apart from the 1183 free downloads on Amazon, I have sold 49 copies of my other books – as distinct from 8 the month before!

      I haven’t engaged in any of the blog tours etc that others have mentioned, so for me, the publishing of a new book or even a new edition has been the most successful trigger for sales.

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    • I really couldn’t say how many I’ve sold without checking the numbers on my royalty statements. I don’t have time right now, but I’ll do it some day and share with you.

      I’m a hybrid, in that I publish through a traditional publisher and self publish. I’ve been really lazy with checking sales numbers in the past seven months and the royalty kind of just trickles into my accounts without me giving it much thought. I’ve gathered up a sizable sum in my Paypal account, thanks to the Black Hurricane release that sold more copies in its first quarter than the other two combined. The money I have is more than enough to pay for my GRL2014 trip and expenditure (I fly from Iceland, it’s expensive). However, I’ve earned every single cent of that money as I do all the promo myself. My publisher doesn’t do any promo, except send the books to a few review sites (which I do anyway, so it doesn’t even count).

      It’s nowhere near enough to make a living just from writing though. It’s just a bit of extra money on the side, at least for now ;)

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