I have self-published the first part of my novel, but I don’t know how to promote it aside from using review sites and Amazon’s own promotion services. They honestly don’t work. How do I get readers to find my book and purchase it?
Have you tried uploading the summary/ links to the books on Goodreads? They have a lot of communities there in which people are willing to review/ promote your book in exchange for a free copy (digital or paper format) which could help get it out there for others to buy afterwards
Edit - I took a book at the Amazon page and I feel part of the problem (for the paperback at least) could be your cover - it doesn’t quite seem to fit the dimensions of the book and doesn’t tell me an awful lot of the story. I’ve noticed with my Wattpad books that changing the cover lead to a spike in reader count - this could possibly work for you as well? (I’m not sure where you got the cover from and I’m sorry if I’ve offended you/ your designer in any way)
I’m concerned about “first part.” Have you broken a single novel into multiple parts? Serial novels don’t work as well on Amazon as they do on Wattpad. Why didn’t you wait and publish the entire novel?
Welcome to the club. The hardest part of self-publishing is marketing. I wish I had the answer.
In my case, I built a following beforehand. When I release a book, I notify them. It works ok, but not great. I built the following by offering free stories over the past 19 years. (Sorry, but there aren’t many overnight successes.) But most of those people only want free stories (similar to wattpad). I’m hoping the more books I publish the more traction I’ll get. That is, if someone finds one and likes it, they’ll look for others. For that reason it’s important to have an author profile on Amazon’s Author Central.
You need a good cover. You need a good blurb. You need a good title (I overlooked this and found out afterwards that if someone searches on my title they’ll get gazillions of others before mine. And some titles don’t even match the title exactly. For example, I have a book called “Last Kiss.” If you search on that, “The Kaiser’s Last Kiss” will come up before mine.) I assume the tags are important as well for people searching.
As to buying ads, others here have said it doesn’t pay until you have at least 3 novels available. Related to that, I also have another problem. I write different genres under different pen names so, for example, my “Last Kiss” novel was not advertised to the followers I mentioned earlier. That experience made me focus (for the moment anyway) soley on the other genre. So keep that in mind too.
Don’t think of it so much as “marketing”, as some of the techniques I’m learning in using certain communities as leverage:
You should already be a fan of the catagory or target audience you’re wanting to promote to, thus it’s simply a matter of participating in discussions about other works in that field, because presumably you’ve read those as well.
Then it’s simply a matter of waiting till someone asks if you have something you’ve written, because you’re knowledgeable about the subject, so that you’re not just posting your book links to promote.
I’ve gotten much more leverage this way.
Note however what I’m not saying: don’t buy a whole bunch of books, just make sure you’re an actual fan of the audience, so you don’t “Spam” them.
It’s a novella so you have tied your hands with regard to many advertising channels. There’s little point in marketing with only a single novella out as you will struggle to get a positive ROI on any ad spend. If it’s a serial, get the next instalments out and if it has a cliff hanger (ie: the main plot is not resolved) you need to make it clear in the blurb.
Personally I would be looking at the cover and blurb as a starting point while you get the next instalments out.
I do think marketing can be done on a budget, but you have to look at marketing an an entirely different way, and not just marketing: basically learning to work with the community you’re already a fan of. Having the right connections.
For example, I like Light Novels and Manga. It makes the most sense to me, to try to leverage that audience for support and marketing, than trying to market myself in a genre I wasn’t already reading to begin with.
For you that might be Science Fiction, specifically Post Apocalyptic.
Be vary careful about Discord communities in general though, as I’ve had people give advice there, that’s completely counter to my own goals as writer: they were advising me to do Harem covers, when I do Literary Tech Memoirs.
That’s the golden question, isn’t it: how do you get your book to rise out of that morass of textual excrement we call the modern book market? There’s no secret about the basics:
- Compelling story
- Excellent command of the written word
- Perfect editing
- Seamless formatting
- Professional cover design
- Intriguing blurb
- Accurate keywords
- Precision targeting (when you advertise)
- Multiple books available, preferably in a series
- Lots of good reviews
Do you have these yet? If not, I wouldn’t be surprised if no one’s buying.
@SkyeSweven I have edited your post, as links to your own story are not allowed, nor are links to sites other than Wattpad.
Thank you for your understanding
Lina - Community Ambassador
Facebook and Twitter are good to use. Be active! There’s also Instagram.
Do you have a blog? If you do, then you can use it to talk about the process of writing your book, the characters, and whatever else related to your book.
Like some other people have said, having a good cover and great editing helps. Edit more than once! People stop reading because of too many mistakes.
Everyone is posting great, detailed examples.
So I will state the Umbrella that they all fall under: GET YOUR BOOK/YOUR NAME AS PUBLIC AS POSSIBLE.
I had no idea who you were before this post. I had no idea you had a book for sale before this post.
That means that the more you are out there on the internet, the world, etc. the more people will see you. The more people see you, the more chances they have to buy your book.
That’s: Social Media | Goodreads | Amazon | Youtube | Blogs
Be active, and not just promoting your own work. Be social. Be a salesperson
I highly recommend watching some of Jenna Moreci’s videos:
Overall, I do know of a few ideas:
This is something that Alexa Donne has said in some of her videos, where creating bookmarks for your book is not only cost efficient, it really does help in sales. Find someone who creates bookmarks, paste your cover to it—maybe a quote—and then distribute them as you please. You can sell them to people, you can use it as a giveaway item within social media, you can hand it out to people as a “business card” type of deal. If you run into any readers or other writers (who, most likely, are readers) they would appreciate the bookmark anyway. We all love bookmarks.
- Author website.
I don’t know if you have one, but it’s a good idea to invest in an author website because potential readers would like to see where all the magic may happen. It’s a place where people can find you if they need to contact you—this can be for any reason, such as potential readers/reviewers, or people looking to do business with you.
Find a BookTuber (readers on YouTube) who may like your book—this could be someone who reads in the genre or has read something close to your novel. Then, get in contact with them and see if you could give them a free book in exchange for a free review on their channel. You may not have a sale from giving your book to some people, sure. But they’re not going to give your book a review if they have to buy it. But if they do get to review your book, then you’re looking at some good, potential sales. Many BookTubers have thousands to hundreds of thousands of subscribers, so it’s safe to say that you will see something (great, not great… that depends) on your revenue.
On a side-note, you also want to try to do this for bloggers as well. Try to find book reviewers that create blogs so they can place it there as well. Or look for someone who does book reviews on Goodreads.
- Get on social media.
…if you haven’t yet, of course. A huge part of marketing in and of itself is social media. Be a part of Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, even YouTube. Do something to get yourself out there. Make other bookish friends, specifically those that have similar interests to you. YouTube is probably the best place to try and grab the attention, but it can also be hard as well, so it’s not meant for everyone. Just know that it’s an option.
- Book trailer.
Having a book trailer can truly grasp a reader’s eye. They can also go all over your social media so everyone can see! And no, I’m not talking about a book trailer we have on here where someone compiles a group of photos, gifs, or videos from the internet and puts it on a single video, then calling it a day. This is something where you need to spend money on with a professional.
- Become a blogger.
Many writers are bloggers, so it can be a useful way to bring the audience to you. You can talk about anything—between random, real life stuff, book reviews, writing life (hacks, and whatnot), and or more.