I’ve been reading a lot of threads and forums lately dealing with the topic of marketing your book. It seems there are a lot of “newbie authors” out there in this relatively virgin explosion of indie publishing and many can’t understand why their book isn’t selling. When asked if they market and promote their books most do say yes, but often complain of the time it takes in a world where we all have limited time.
Well, here’s a hard truth. To be a successful indie author you have to market your books as much if not more than you spend time writing them. It takes a lot of hard, persistent work to get noticed in a publishing sea that now includes more than a million new published books yearly. Competition to get reader’s attention is a hundred times harder than it was just three years ago.
But it is not impossible.
With the internet, the exhaustive task of promoting your work is now accessible to even the most introverted writer. No longer must writers sit in nearly empty bookstores peddling their signed wares or go out on long book tours just to get a little recognition; that recognition can now be achieved at home. It can be done! You can get noticed! But it ain’t easy.
Internet marketing does sell books. I’m living proof. A complete unknown three years ago, I’ve since sold thousands of copies of my books to absolute strangers. I’m not getting wealthy by any means but there is an inner peace and nirvana by knowing people enjoy the imaginary worlds I’ve created. I also spend an average of two hours each day marketing my books. It’s tough to find the time, believe me, but I do it.
Blindly spamming and pushing your book over and over on social media only turns readers off. You come off seeming desperate for anyone to buy your book. I used to pay for website book sponsorships with mediocre results and have placed sample chapters of my books on hundreds of author sites that promise tons of exposure. That worked to some degree, but it was not worth the hours of drudgery downloading material in comparison to sales. Then I discovered the secret to gaining an audience.
The proper way to promote your book is to build a readership through online discussions and joining groups. Respond when a reader emails you. Get involved in discussions other than about your own work. Get people interested in you by being interesting online. Your audience will grow in time. Marketing on the internet WILL sell your book, but you have to do it properly. And you have to have patience. If you tell a great story and let the world know about it through discussion readers will buy what you’re offering.