The ABCs and 123s of Self-Promotion For Independent and Self-Published Authors Part 3
If you haven't read the first two articles in this series you will want to go back and them here on Evan Carmichael:
The ABCs and 123s of Self-Promotion For Independent and Self-Published Authors Part 1 and Part 2
And if you want to become a self and or independently published author and don't know how to begin, you will want to read my article:
How to Independently or Self-Publish Your Way To Fame And Fortune In Six Easy Steps
A Step-By-Step Guide, Explaining Exactly How to Self and/or Independently Publish Your Book Online
Now to continue with the ABCs and 123s of shameless self-promotion for book authors.
Now the time has come for you to step out into the big bad world and begin promoting your book. Before you begin, you need to know that the possibilities are endless and even if I listed every one of them here, half-a-dozen or more new ones would still crop up before I finished typing this sentence.
#10 Social networking is a must! That means--at a minimum--set up a Google Connect Profile, Facebook and Twitter account, and make a mini bio for each one that links to your blog/website and your direct sales page for your book. Important Note: Be careful here and do not violate any terms of agreement with the hosting website. Direct promotions that seem to be nothing more than a sales pitch are frowned on by many hosted third party applications.
#11 Set up several Google email alerts:
A: One for your name in "quotes"
B: One for your "book title"
C: One (or more) for keywords relevant to your topic. For example mine is for "Regency Romance" then with my morning coffee I browse through the various blogs and website results that Google picked up within the past 24 hours and write several "good" topically relevant comments--which is turn gives me a link back to my own blog from a website that is topically relevant. Also, if the blog features the "Follow with Google" widget, you can--with a single click--establish a free link back to your Google profile, which in turns contains one or more promo links for your book and a link to your own blog.
#12 Become a guest blogger. Many of the people operating blogs or websites on topics similar to yours are also trying to promote their own books or affiliate links. Quite often, they are happy to have a guest blogger step in for a day and take over the job of providing unique content as search engine fodder. If they don't approach you--after you have made a "good topically relevant" comment on their blog, ask them if they would be interested in switching duties for a day and invite them to be a guest blogger on your blog.
#13 Many blogs and websites offer contests and prize packages as a way of inviting and/or soliciting good "search engine fodder, unique content comments." Promote your own book by offering to add something to sweeten their prize pot. Or... Hold your own contest, the prize can be something as simple as a free copy of your book in exchange for the best comment, to money, or better yet a unique item that speaks to the theme of your book.
#14 Enter contests that will help you promote your book. Writing contests are a natural fit, but their are other--less time consuming--options available too. In my morning trek through my Google alert results I found a contest for a LOL contest (Laugh out Loud) where you caption a photo or other graphic with your own unique take on the action. This one was Regency themed and since I have lots of Regency era graphics from the public domain on my computer, I was able to quickly and easily come up with a dozen different potential entries. To get the most bang for my time and efforts I then posted them on the official LOL website (which included a link back to my blog), and put up a blog post on my own website asking for visitor's opinions on which ones I should submit, and finally did a photo album on my Facebook account asking my friends--and friends of friends--to give me their opinion. Even if I don't win, I've gotten a lot of mileage out of the hour I spent customizing these graphics and making them into little historic cartoons.
#15 Write press releases for your book. There are numerous sites online where you can post your own press releases. I did some two years ago for a new website that I was opening and they are still out there popping up in the search results for my chosen keyword terms.
#16 Offer a free copy of your book to reviewers and offer to do an interview with the author for them. Keep in mind that they are hungry for unique, topically relevant content and if you provide the material to be reviewed and write the interview for them, you've done their job for them.
#17 Don't forget to court your hometown media. Competition is tough for traditional media. Having a locally known published author do an interview for them is a great boost for their credibility as well. Also local TV and radio stations are looking for local people to interview, and what better topic than a local author who blazed a literary trail for others to follow.
The same is true for you local bookstores. Sales of printed media is down so if you have an If you have an ebook you can burn it to a cd in pdf or epub or other formats (or put it on a thumb drive) and do a book reading / book signing / book sales event right there in the store.
#18 YouTube. Figure out some angle whereby you can promote your book on YouTube. Depending on the type of book you've written, possibilities include author interviews, how to demonstrations, or even a mini movie using live actors, stop action animation or a jazzed up PowerPoint style presentation. Remember though, music, comedy and shock value videos seem to have the best chance for going viral on YouTube.
There are literally thousands of ways to promote your book, the important thing to remember is that is will not happen without time and effort on your part...so go ahead, write your book, set out an plan of action for promoting it and then get started. As Sun Tzu the warrior philosopher said "A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step."
Smiles and Good Fortune,
Teresa Thomas Bohannon
It is not wealth one asks for, but just enough to preserve one’s dignity, to work unhampered, to be generous, frank and independent.
– W. Somerset Maugham (1874 - 1965) Of Human Bondage, 1915