Okay, you’re in for a shock. Google ads, Facebook boosts, Twitter ads, Instagram, Linked IN, Goodreads and Amazon reviews may not be working for you.
As a self published author you are against thousands upon thousands of other self published authors around the world who are doing exactly the same thing for their marketing.
Entire companies and self publishing publishing houses make money from hapless writers because it’s an easy way to qualify their efforts. They do this via the analytics of well placed ads on your website, blog page and online bookstore that could demonstrate thousands of hits every day. Irrespective of whether these result in any book sales, with figures like that anyone being paid for it can still market themselves as “successful promoters”.
This isn’t to say that the above is useless. You absolutely do need social media, a website and you will definitely need to be on Kindle and various other ebooks including Goodreads. But technology and culture have changed the game. The modern person is bombarded every time they go online by adverts trying to make them buy something, so much so that people just don’t bother anymore unless they have a reason to. You need to affect them offline to really catch their eye and their imagination. If you eventually want to be paying your bills by writing, then try the following.
- STAND FOR SOMETHING.Whatever it was that made you want to write a book in the first place can be a guiding light that will attract people to your work. If you have a cause that you believe in, become an ambassador for it. If that is standing up for victims of domestic violence, building houses for the homeless- or perhaps going onto the other side of the scale and being a voice for capitalism, socialism or the death penalty, whatever it is that you believe in is worth fighting for. Don’t be afraid to say something after you’ve put it in a book, fans demand it.
- MEET YOUR FANS. You don’t need to be an epic speaker or a celebrity to meet your fans. Whether you have five or a million fans you’ve got to meet them and let them see you in person. This opportunity to engage with them is important. It is saying, “Yes, you read my book but I am interested in your story.”
- DO SOMETHING OFF THE INTERNET– Alex Scarrow, the best selling author of TimeRiders often remarked on how useful he found engaging with an audience, live at book readings, signings and events where he could meet his fans, answer their questions and share his excitement about his work. I have known some writers who have paid their bills just by sitting next to a pile of their books on a busy street in a city and asking people to talk to them about their work. The guts to do that is almost enough in itself (or, you know, ask someone else to do it for you).
- GET SEEN BY YOUR FANS. So important. Get seen by your fans. If you write science fiction and you’re not going to rallies, events and Comicon and telling everyone who has ever bought your book to meet you there then you are missing a trick. Social media works especially well when you’re shared by someone you don’t know but who knows you (ie. A fan). Be a self promoter off of the internet at events that your fans go to.
- ENTER COMPETITIONS, GO TO SEMINARS AND EVENTS. Bit of repetition here but worth mentioning. Never underestimate the power of being involved in a competition for your writing. Even if you have no chance of winning, they are usually connected to events where fans and writers come together and it will always be worthwhile.
- SPEND LESS TIME READING LISTICLES AND “HOW TO” ARTICLES. Spend less time reading lists and articles about “How to” and get busy. These kinds of articles are useful but not as useful as actually getting stuck in. Pick one of the above and focus on doing it, just get busy, get off your butt and start hustling. Pick one of the subjects above and get to work, focus on it entirely. Stop trying to gain education and look to get experience. The secret to having a best selling book- hustle your ass off and enjoy doing it.