Probably every list you’ve ever read on how to sell more books lists the title of this article as either step 1 or step 2, and it’s a big load of youknowwhat!
You know why?
You are not the best of judge when it comes to determining how amazing your book is. In fact, what you think of your books doesn’t even matter in the long term. The only thing that matters is what your readers think of your book.
Now, let me just break this thought up right here. I said – It doesn't matter what you think of your book, but it does matter when it comes to promoting your book. You, my author friend, have to love your book enough to spam the everliving fuck out of it across all your social media channels because if you’re just starting out, you don’t have any readers. Your book is solely going to sell off the quality of your book cover and your book overview. Those better be amazing.
What does this all mean?
It means that every single article that you’ve read on book promotion (even some of mine) are full of a lot of horseshit.
So what are the damned steps to promoting a book?
Step 1: Finish Your Book and Publish It!
- Yep. You gotta have a finished book in order to go any further. Just get it done and out. The fastest way to do this is to selfpublish. This also gives you the ability to completely control the book, because here’s what happens. You publish your book and all of a sudden, you find typos, formatting problems, wording problems. When you selfpublish, you can fix all that shit almost immediately. When you go through a traditional publisher or gasp a vanity publisher (We’ll publish your book and get it into alllll the bookstores), you may never be able to fix it.
Step 2: Spam the Everliving Fuck out of It
- You’re going to hate this one. You have to turn all your social media accounts into author accounts. Put your books in your picture header. Get your author photo as your avatar. Then, schedule those posts. No one can be on 24 hours a day, so get a good social media scheduler. My favorite at the moment is Woop. This is unlimited social media scheduling for free. They do, of course, have paid plans that are a little more robust, but when you are just starting out, you probably don’t have $30 a month to spend on a social media scheduler, like the overpriced and severely limited Hootsuite.
Step 3 – Go After Readers
-Now, let’s go after those coveted readers! Or, let’s put it another way. It’s time to go find reviewers. These are people who will read your book (FOR FREE, do not pay any reviewer to read your book! If you need to know why, you can read it right here.)
There are two ways to go out and find those reviewers. You can do all the legwork yourself, or you can hire a company, like Brand Shamans, to go find those reviewers for you. This is the only thing you can pay for when it comes to reviews. You can pay a “headhunter” basically to go locate those reviewers and send emails. If the reviewer is interested, the “headhunter” sends a copy of the book, usually a PDF, to the reviewer. At this stage, the reviewer reads your book and posts reviews on their blog and Goodreads!
You probably won’t get Amazon reviews this way. Amazon reviews are more or less impossible. The reviewer has to buy a copy of the book and have spent at least $50 on Amazon in the last 12 months. Amazon is also really nasty about reviews. If it even smells a hint of “paid review”, you and the reviewer are in deep shit, so the best course of action is to probably ignore the possibility of an Amazon reviews at this point. Hopefully, you’ll be able to attract enough readers that Amazon reviews happen organically, assuming the guy or girl that bought your book spent $50 on Amazon in the last 12 months.
Step 4: Choose Your Advertising Platforms
-You have to have a little bit more money for this. Yes, I know, you just paid a book reviewer headhunter a couple hundred dollars. Yeah, it hurts cause you are now $200 in the hole, but since you did your own writing, editing, formatting and your own book cover, you’re actually about $2,000 to $10,000 ahead of every other author that paid for those services. Congratulations, you can now spend that ‘saved’ money on ads/book promotion.
- Amazon Ads – Sponsored ads right on Amazon. These can get pricey, so watch your daily totals. If it’s above your monthly budget, pause your ad.
- Goodreads ads – These are prepaid. You choose the amount you want to spend, and your ads stop running when the account reaches $0
- Facebook ads – You choose the dollar amount, which basically pays for X impressions of your facebook post. This is hit or miss at best. I’ve never had good luck with this. Facebook will promise 1,000 to 3,000 impressions over 24 or 48 hours (however many days you chose), and you’ll see 300 impressions. By the way, those 300 impression will cost you the full amount that you specified, which means you are probably going to feel very cheated.
- Twitter Promote mode – This is a prepaid $99 a month. It’s a subscription. You tweet and twitter chooses up to 10 posts per day to “promote”. You do not have control of what Twitter chooses, but this is pretty automatic, and all you have to do is tweet 10+ posts a day. I recommend scheduling 15 to 20 per day to maximize exposure. BTW, since Twitter is choosing random posts, you’ll want to limit random babble. You don’t want Twitter to accidentally promote – My cat puked on my carpet OMG!
Now, pray or hope or whatever you do that your books sell. At this point, you’ve done everything that you can affordably do to promote your books.
Read More from Stacey Carroll
THE BLOODDOLL FACTORY Kindle Edition
An unemployed male nurse lands a job at a reproductive clinic only to learn the babies he is helping to create are being sold to the local vampire population.
After being unemployed for a year, William finally receives a call to come into Elite Surrogates and Adoption (ESA) for an interview. The sterile white interior does nothing for his confidence as he’s led to Sadie Jones' (HR manager’s) office where she proceeds to question him about his job experience and reproductive knowledge.
It all goes well in this paranormal medical romance until William realizes that he’s going to have to “perform” for the job. Fifty dollars an hour would help him catch up on his mortgage and get his wife to stop nagging him about the bills. However, using his own semen to propagate the reproductive cycle is more than a little weird. After considering the job and the busty HR manager, he agrees to continue the interview.
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