Well hello and welcome to 2016. This year I’m trying something new (lots of new things, to be honest). For a start, on the first day of every month, there will be a post right here that will, if you’re willing to take action, give a big boost to your writing and publishing career over the course of the year.
Each month, I’ll give you between 29 and 31 strategies, tips, recommendations or suggestions (one for each day of the month) that will address one aspect of your writing at a time. I’m being selfish about this and concentrating on what will help me as well as you. And this month I need to ramp up book sales, so you have 31 suggestions on how to market your own books.
They work for fiction or non-fiction, short or full-length, no matter how much marketing you have or haven’t done already. I’ll be working through the list along with you, so feel free to hold me accountable/ask me how I’m getting on. Here’s what I'm planning for this month. I hope you'll join me.
Tidy Up Your Online Profiles
Look at your profile pages on social media. Do they mention your latest book? Link to your best web page, site or blog? Do you use a consistent profile pic and user name across all platforms?
Check Your Book Descriptions
Could they be polished up? Are you using all the right keywords? Do you now have editorial reviews, awards or accolades you could add to your descriptions?
See if Your Books Need Updating
Each book is a marketing tool for your other books. Make sure your books are doing their job. Non-fiction books might need a thorough update after a year or two to check for outdated information and broken links. If you write fiction you might at least want to update your “Other books by the author” section if you’ve published something new.
Optimize Your Front and Back Matter
Front matter should include details of where your readers can follow or connect with you online, including your latest subscriber offer if they sign up for your newsletter. Back matter is a chance to remind them to subscribe, respectfully request a review or share the book with a friend.
Spring Clean Your Website or Blog
Just a quick read over to make sure your content is still relevant and your links still work is great. A bigger overhaul, complete with a freshened up design, is even better.
Update Your About Page
It’s usually one of the most visited pages on your site or blog. Is it up-to-date? Is your author pic a recent one? Do you state you’re working on a book you’ve since published? Is your author bio missing important recent achievements or publications? Does your about page direct people to other pages you’d like them to visit.
Update Your Amazon Author Page
Again, add any recent awards or achievements. Tell readers where they can find you online.
Make Sure Your Books are listed on Goodreads, Shelfari, and LibraryThing
It only takes minutes and gives keen readers three more places to discover you.
Arrange a LibraryThing Giveaway
It’s a good way to get a few extra reviews and shares. Here’s how to do it.
Book a StoryCartel Launch/Re-launch And Giveaway
StoryCartel allows you to get some extra reviews and make contact with potential new subscribers. Find out how more here.
Don’t forget you can’t do these giveaways if your book is in KDP Select. In my humble opinion, it’s worth taking it out for a few weeks at the end of your next enrollment period purely to do some giveaways and get some fresh reviews.
Write A Few Social Media Updates
Make them evergreen. Include links to your blog, website, guest posts, newsletter sign-up form, Facebook page or sales pages. Keep updates on a word file to easily copy and paste over to Twitter or Facebook when needed. Don’t know what to post? Consider using my 20 Tweets for $20 package.
Write a Helpful Blog Post
Aim it at your ideal reader/book buyer. This is easiest if you write non-fiction as you can blog about your topic, but fiction writers can do it too. YA author? Blog about your top YA reads last year. Romance author? Write about your favorite romantic heroes of all time.
Some authors will be doing this every week or even every day, but not all authors blog regularly and some don't even have a blog. That’s fine. Just write the occasional post. Post it somewhere like Medium or LinkedIn if you really don’t want to set up your own blog.
Share it Far and Wide
Post that link to every social media, networking and bookmarking site you use. Email it to your list, friends and family. Share it with everyone you know.
Join Just ReTweet
It’s a great way to get extra retweets, Facebook likes and +1s on your blog posts, as well as some new followers. Find out more here.
Similar to Just Retweet, but in some ways better as you can link direct to your books’ sales pages as well as other web content. Try out Co-Promote for free here.
Re-Publish A Previous High Performing Post To Another Platform
Re-purposing content that promotes your books or drives traffic to your site is worth a few minutes of effort. Try LinkedIn, Medium, BlogHer, SheWrites or a site in your niche that allows users to set up a blog on the site (I’m thinking about sites such as Do You Yoga or Matador Travel).
Send out a Newsletter
If you have subscribers, but rarely send out information, try and rectify that. Start by sending out an email about a new book, or a book that’s on sale, or just a new blog post you’ve written. Don’t have a list? Start one (companies like Mailchimp and Aweber make it super easy). And consider sending an email to your friends, family and other contacts.
Brainstorm Ideas for a New Freebie for your New Subscribers
What would your ideal reader enjoy getting for free? A report on the non-fiction topic you write about? A short story featuring the characters from your novel? Start outlining a digital gift that you can tempt new subscribers with and send to your existing list.
Make Some Graphics Based On Your Book
People love sharing images and infographics on social media. Can you make an infographic based on your book? Or put some quotes from your book on to images?
Consider a Book Trailer
They’re particularly effective for non-fiction. I love this one for The Therapeutic Aha! You can post them on your site, social media, your Amazon page, YouTube, and other video sharing sites.
Run a Giveaway
For your own book, or even others in your genre. See how author Derek Murphy is reaching YA readers and gaining subscribers by giving away other authors’ books.
Invest some Time and/or Money in Your Marketing Education
I have a marketing based degree and I still do regular online courses and read new books about marketing, as the field is changing (and new opportunities are emerging) all the time. I’m a student of Kristin Eckstein’s and highly recommend her Market Your Book course.
Today I’m going to go over some of the materials in that course and maybe dig out and re-read a few of my favorite books on marketing, such as Rise of The Machines: Human Authors In A Digital World, Sell Your Book Like Wildfire or Let’s Get Visible: How To Get Noticed And Sell More Books.
Offer Your Book for Review
You can offer a free copy to friends, followers or subscribers. Mention you have review copies when you're on social media, in your Facebook groups, and in your newsletter. Reviews sell books. You can always use a few more.
Reach Out To a Book Blogger
Preferably one who specializes in your genre. Offer them a guest post, an author interview, or that book I mentioned above for review. In fact offer them all three and see which works best for them.
Schedule a special offer or discount
Consider a Kindle Countdown, a few free days or just a 20% off coupon or offer. Make it time limited. Get your words in reader’s hands. (Remember giving a book away for free is only a valid marketing technique if you have other books for readers to buy when they discover your amazing writing for free!)
Post an excerpt
Post a chapter (or just a single tip or quote) from your book to your blog, or on LinkedIn, Google+ etc. If you’re in KDP select remember to keep it to less than 10%.
Book a Paid Ad
On a site such as BookBub or Author Marketing Club. If you can’t spend out right now (it is January, I know) at least set a budget for the year as to how much you can set aside for paid advertising over the next 12 months.
Reach Out To a Relevant Blogger With a Guest Post
Write about your area of expertise if you write non-fiction, or your writing process if you’re a novelist. Writing a guest post for free is a valid marketing strategy, but many sites pay for guest posts, so consider pitching them too.
Promote Any Previous Guest Posts
Often we write a guest post and forget it. But it’s still there, complete with your bio and links. Share it on social media again. Tag the person whose site or blog it is published on.
Promote Your Old Blog Posts
As above. Old blog posts often promote your books (or they should). Re-share them, or link back to them from your new blog posts.
Write a New Book
The best way to sell your books is to get readers of your other books to buy them, share them and recommend them. The more (quality) books you have out there, the better all your books will sell. Use the last day of the month to draft the outline (or at least brainstorm the concept) for your next book.
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This post is part of the Goal Setting For Greatness link-up, brainchild of Vicky Charles. Click the image below to check out her site for more goal setting inspiration.
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