Previously, I shared 7 tips for ebook marketing, specifically for self-published authors. But there are so many great suggestions for this topic that today I’d like to do a follow-up post. What else can self-publishing writers do to market their ebooks?
Here are 7 (more) tips:
- Create an author website
With social media, it’s easy think that you might not need a website, but keep in mind that even a simple site will allow you to display much more information about yourself and your books than a social media profile. You can use it to showcase your biography, news, events, frequently asked questions, fun extras, and more, not to mention all of the material you can include about your books. Plus, it’s important to have a simple contact page explaining how someone can get in touch with you. You can also provide links to all your social media profiles in one place, integrate a blog if you want one, link to retailers selling your books, and have a one-stop URL to provide potential readers and contacts. A professional website is a career essential.
- Don’t include pricing or URLs on the cover
I’ve seen some self-published books that list the price or a URL directly on the cover itself, but this often looks unprofessional. Plus, many retailers want their books to display tastefully, and won’t approve books with promotional materials on the cover itself. The best covers are simple and traditional—artwork, title, and author’s name only.
- Consider KDP Select
Amazon’s new KDP Select program is another way of getting your book in front of readers, and while it isn’t the best option for everyone, some authors have found success with it. This program will allow your book to be offered for a free period to Amazon Prime members. And while that may sound like a lost sale, you might be able to hook that reader for future books, especially if yours is the first in a series. Plus, Amazon counts it as a “sale” each time the book is borrowed through KDP Select, so it will help your sales numbers too.
- Create a book trailer
This is definitely more a suggestion than a requirement, as book trailers don’t work for every book (and a poorly made trailer may be worse than none at all). But there are certain markets where book trailers are useful. Middle grade and children’s books, in particular, are great markets for this—teachers and librarians love to show kids trailers to get them interested in the book (or so I’ve been by teachers and librarians). A simple, clean trailer is also easier to create than you might think; I know authors who have whipped up something creative yet simple just using iMovie. So, before you write off a trailer as something too complicated or expensive, try watching a few trailers for books in a similar genre as yours and see if that sparks any ideas that you might be able to bring to life.
- Study the bestsellers
Familiarize yourself with the bestselling titles and authors in your category and genre and learn from their example. What do their covers look like? What do their titles sound like? How does their description read? What kind of promotional material or marketing techniques do they use? Make notes of their tactics, and see what can be applied to your own work.
- Announce on Amazon’s forum
Many authors forget (or are unaware) that Amazon’s forums include a “Meet Our Authors” forum where you can introduce yourself and your book. You don’t want to be too overly promotional here, since anything that looks like spam isn’t likely to catch anyone’s attention. But a polite, well-written message with a brief description of your book might garner interest, and interacting with others is another way to find readers.
This is perhaps my number one tip regarding all marketing—promote other authors’ books! Leave a review for a book you loved. Talk about books you’re excited for on social media. Chat with other book lovers, writers, and bloggers. The writing community is an incredibly supportive one, and the more you lift up other writers, the more you’ll receive in return. And if a writer does something to promote your book, be sure to return the favor.
What do you think? Have you marketed an ebook, or do you plan to in the future? Are there any tips and tricks I missed? Let me know in the comments!
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