If you’re like me, then you’re an author without much of an income. It’s alright, even the best authors were poor at one time. Heck, H.P. Lovecraft died without much to his name. Stephen King was a teacher until he published Carrie. The best advice that I can tell you to alleviate this problem is this: advertise your work. Your publisher, if they’re benevolent publishers, will promote your work because they want your book to sell. They get money if your books sell so it’s only good business sense. However, they will only promote it so far because they have other books and limited time and resources. Without further ado, here are some tips and tricks that I’ve learned to help get the word out about your books.
Tip #1: You don’t need to spend a lot of money to create quality promotional material. Sure, you could spend money to do this. There are a plethora of talented people and companies out there that can and will take your money for you if you let them. Doing it would save you time that you could spend writing. Or scrolling through your Facebook feed like I do on occasion. Or you could spend five or ten minutes and have five or so images that you can share on social media that could potentially revival the images that you paid someone else to do. Plus, if you have an android or iPhone, you can create the content on your mobile device and instantly share it on social media. There are various apps that can be downloaded for free that allow you to do this. Pixabay can be used to acquire free stock images while Photoshop Express and Adobe Draw can help you edit the images. Using them is quick and effortless plus it’s all free. If you’re an author that receives little or no income from your writing then don’t spend what little money you have when you could put that creative mind to work.
Tip #2: Promote your book before, during, and after its release. Build up hype for your book by having an online release party. Create a Facebook event and block off time in 30 or 60 minute slots for author take overs. Then enlist your fellow author friends to take a slot. Those authors will then promote the event and draw in their fans into your event thus opening more people to your book. During the event, give away some free eBook versions of your book. This will encourage people to come to your online event. It’s easy for people to say they’ll come, but if there’s no prizes or giveaways, then there’s only so much incentive for them to actually attend. Doing this is also free, unless you give away a few copies of your book but that’s a minor cost. Promotion doesn’t stop when the book comes out. In order to keep the sales up, you must be diligent and keep on promoting it.
Tip #3: Participate in other above mentioned Facebook online release parties. It’s called networking people. Keep an eye out for other authors looking for authors to participate. Hosting a slot will allow you access to a new group of readers. Again, this really doesn’t cost anything other than your time and effort.
Tip #4: Ramp up your social media presence. I know, I know. There are some of you that don’t like social media sites like Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, or Snapchat. Trust me, they are a necessary evil when it comes to promoting your book in this digital age. I won’t talk about the tips that I’ve already listed because that would be wasting your and my time. What I will say is that the more followers you have on your Facebook author page or your Twitter, the more people that know your book is for sale and might potentially buy it. Also, make sure to be active on your Twitter and Facebook page. Retweet some other author’s promotional Tweet. They’ll do the same for you. If you take an hour on Sunday, or whenever you have free time, to schedule posts every day then you won’t have to worry about doing that each day.
Tip #5: Start up a YouTube channel. This one is more time consuming than all the others. This tip also assumes you have access to a reliable internet, web camera, and editing software. Most of the time a computer will come with an editing program. Most laptops come equipped with a camera. If not, then you can find reasonably priced web cams on Amazon for around $40. If you don’t have internet at your house, then record and edit the video at home then go to your local cafe and upload. Talk about your writing style, talk about your upcoming releases. You could even talk about your writing life and the struggle of being an independent author. Warning though, this tip isn’t the most lucrative and will take time to build your viewership.
These were just a few tips to help promote your work online. Hopefully they helped. They’ve helped me not only in the past but in the present. I’ve been doing these same tips to promote the release of my newest book, The Book of Mark, which comes out this Thursday.