|Knowing and Doing are not the same thing.|
Kayelle Allen here. When it's my turn on SNSD I like to offer writing advice or share info on marketing. This month, I have some excellent advice from seasoned author Michelle Hughes. I'll get out of the way and let you see for yourself.
We won't waste your time with all the reasons you should be promoting your books, instead let's jump right in and tell you how to do it. The decision to market your work is your choice alone, and these aren't the end all ideas, they are beginnings. We won't walk you through step by step, but we will give you the knowledge to take the path that can't hurt when it comes to selling more books.
Tags are important no matter what book site you're selling from. If a reader is interested in a certain topic they will type in a tag to find the information they are seeking. It's a busy world out there, and most people are looking for shortcuts, so make sure to tag your books with information that makes sense. On Amazon you are given the choice to add 15 tags to your book, use them wisely and use them all! Think about what you would be searching for if looking for your book and add it as a tag.
It's very important to remember on Amazon that if you tag in the
it will not cross over to the other sites, like UK Amazon. You have to go in to
each site and tag individually. We've noticed several authors who have tagged in
the US but when you move over
to the UK
they have nothing.
All authors would like to have a book in the #1 spot of their favorite popular category, but realistically that's not going to happen for everyone. Getting to a bestseller spot on Amazon helps increase the visibility for your book so choosing a category wisely can help promote your book. There are many categories available for your book if you take the time to look. And example of this, we had A Night at Tears of Crimson in the Paranormal Romance category (which is tough to get a top number in), we decided to re-list in Gothic and made a bestseller list. This actually increased views of our books and gave us more sells.
See what alternative categories are available for your books. Check the ranking of the #100 book in the bestseller for that category and see if it's an obtainable goal in the near future. If it's not, consider changing to a category where you will get more visibility.
Auto Tweets & Hashtags
We won't argue the point on whether this is what you should do, instead we'll tell you it's what we do. It's your choice, this is something that has shown very visible sales results for us. If you choose to use this function you have a 24/7 marketing campaign going on with only a minimal effort one day a month. The key to this is to have a set of 50 tweets that you write out and add to your auto-feeder. We use www.feed140.com and if you choose to use it our affiliate code is x0BpRgIVvxm0AsgD since this service is now invite only, you will need that code to access.
When you write out your tweets, we suggest you leave room for others to retweet them and since there are only 140 characters allowed for tweets using 120 characters means getting the most impact with the fewest words. This is where hashtags come in. Hashtags can help you reach readers that may not be following you, which makes this very important in your marketing strategy. Twubs.com will allow you to register your own hashtag and find out which ones are most popular at the moment. We suggest you take the time to research this, the results could be amazing.
Some hashtags that we use weekly are #WW (Writer's Wednesday to give mentions of authors we like) and #FF (Follow Friday to mention all those people we want to thank or influence). There are several popular book hashtags and it would take pages to list them all but here are a few: #bookgiveaway #books #fridayreads #amwriting #SampleSunday #kindle #nook #smashwords #Amazon that should at least get you started.
Social Media Tools
One of our favorite tools to use for book promotion is Pinterest. The thing we like about Pinterest is the ability to share book covers. This works very well if you blog, each post we do gets pinned to the Pinterest board. You can also do a search there for book and friend others who post book pins. Definitely a service worth checking out.
StumbleUpon is another site that we've used for our benefit. Again, this works very well with blogs and every post we create is added there and on Google+. To make this easier for us we've added a nifty little tab to our blogs thanks to Spice Up Your Blog, if you haven't discovered this little gem then take a few minutes to look over the site. There are tons of gadgets there to help make your site easier to share and more visually appealing. Sharing your site means more readers find you and that's a great way to sell books!
Blogs And Websites
Readers need a place to go to find your work in one central location. Your blog or website is your cyber business card, and you should think of it that way. When readers stumble across your site they should be looking at a professional representation of you, the author. Make your books visible and keep your content updated. Remember these readers may not know you and they are going to judge your work by what they see on your personal pages. Make them professional, and give them a way to reach you easily. Brand your site by making it unique. If you're writing about Romance, fit the theme of a romance writer if you're a Horror writer, give it a dark feel.
A great way to share your blog posts is to join Triberr this blog share program will allow your posts to reach a much larger audience than you could on your own.
Share Your Book Everywhere
Promotion and Writing are what we do for a living, and it's all we do. That being said we spend time daily looking for new places to post our books. The more places we can put them in front of readers, the better chance we have of selling books. Most authors have full time jobs and can't afford to spend that much time promoting, so we suggest you take the free time you have and search for new places that will allow you to post your book. It may seem random but on a daily basis we search Google with terms like "share your book here" and follow those links to see if we can actually give a link or a blurb about the books we are pushing.
Again we could spend hours listing every single place we post our books, but this post isn't long enough for that. We are giving you a few places where you can share your book and hope that you'll continue with your own research. There are literally hundreds of places to post your book and we suggest posting them to every site that will allow it. Below you'll find a few places that allow you to post your books.
Those links will give you hours of places to add your books, but don't stop there! Keep searching because these only scratch the surface.
Facebook And Twitter
Creating a great author page for Facebook is a wonderful idea, and you can add new books to your wall and share information. There are so many great articles about how to do this that we won't try to reinvent the wheel here, but we'll leave some links for your to follow below.
We touched on Twitter earlier but wanted to also recommend that you take the time to make your Twitter profile as professional as possible. Like your blog or website, Twitter should also be considered a virtual business card. It doesn't have to be fancy, as long as it brands you as an author. An example of how to do this is Michelle Hughes on Twitter you'll noticed that it's not fancy it simply has an author picture with the name. The other important thing there is to make sure your Twitter profile gives a direct link to where you are selling your books. We're giving you links for how to make a professional Twitter landing page below as well.
Facebook Fan Page Creation
Twitter Background Creations
I hope these ideas get your mind flowing on ways to promote your books. There is enough information in this post to keep you busy for weeks. Remember that it's up to you to promote your work. The greatest book in the world still has to be seen to be found. You make the decision on whether or not your book sells. Being a writer these days means also being a promoter, unless you can afford to pay someone to promote for you.
We love getting your feedback. If this article has helped you please tell us about it and pass it on to an author you know that could use a little help selling their books. Please feel free to share this post on your blogs or pages as long as you post it in it's entirety. We would love a link back! Tears of Crimson Books is dedicated to helping authors. Sharing is definitely caring, so please share!
Kayelle Allen is a best-selling, multi-published, award-winning author. Her unstoppable heroes and heroines include contemporary every day folk, role-playing immortal gamers, futuristic covert agents, and warriors who purr.
Unstoppable Heroes Blog http://kayelleallen.com/blog