How do you market your book? Here are 8 websites to do just that. I haven’t checked all of them out but Writers Digest has suggested them and I’m sure they are legit. If you have others in mind please post them and let others know. For indie authors promotion is key and the monetary value of each promotion is even more key. If we can find free promotions that reach the largest audience then we have hit aa homerun, a slam-dunk, and have found a precious foothold on the readers of books. So with out due here are some invaluable sites that do just that. Remember though, you have to fight to push your book and strive to tell everyone it is worth their time to read. PT Barnum said that there’s a sucker born every minute–we’re the suckers for writing our story, we just need an audience–so now it is up to us to sell it. Here’s a vlog to remind you to do so😉
For the last two decades, we’ve scoured the web for sites to include in our annual roundup of the 101 Best Websites for Writers, a comprehensive collection of online resources for writers which you can find in full in the May/June 2018 issue of Writer’s Digest.
Year after year, we review dozens of reader nominations, revisit sites from past lists, consider staff favorites and search the far-flung corners of the web for new additions—aiming for a varied compilation that will prove an asset to any writer, of any genre, at any experience level.
This selection represents this year’s publishing and marketing resources for writers. These websites are particularly helpful for authors looking to self publish or to build their audiences and platforms.
1. ALLi SELF-PUBLISHING ADVICE CENTER
Get to the heart of all things self-publishing at the Alliance of Independent Authors’ Self-Publishing Advice Center—with tips on promotion, rights and contracts, productivity, design
2. CREATE IF WRITING
Create If Writing demystifies the promotional and marketing aspects of the writing business. You’ll find breakdowns of Amazon’s book publishing rules, Facebook algorithms and other vital knowledge to help you grow your platform and establish a more effective web presence.
3. THE CREATIVE PENN
Find insight on self-publishing, marketing, writing and more from bestselling indie author Joanna Penn. In addition to frequent blog posts, Penn shares wisdom through a weekly podcast that’s still going strong at more than 350 episodes.
4. JANE FRIEDMAN
Speaker and former WD publisher Jane Friedman dishes on everything from publishing trends to query letters to writing advice on her blog—and via the essential industry trends newsletter “The Hot Sheet,” co-founded with consultant Porter Anderson.
This site curates articles from around the web on book marketing, promotion, self- and traditional publishing and all the necessary know-how to make your book a powerhouse.
6. PUBLISHING … AND OTHER FORMS OF INSANITY
Author Erica Verrillo curates calls for submissions, places to earn reviews, lists of publishers accepting unagented manuscripts and more. Pick an agent to query or a market to submit to from her extensive, perpetually updated lists
The title of this post should be credited, but because I have been asked, how to promote your book, so many times, I won’t, as it would end up being a very long list of credits.
So I apologise to all those who have asked me this question, but I doubt you will be upset that I haven’t mentioned you by name.
There are hundreds of free and paid ways to promote a book or ebook, but in answering the question, I will focus on the basics, and proven ways on how to promote your book to attract potential book buyers’ attention to gain book sales.
To put things into context first, here is one clear way of thinking about how to promote a self-published book.
Book promotion is designed to get people to find your book, and NOT, to find people to get your book.
With that said, let’s look at ways of promoting your book and getting people to find you as an author, and your books, of course.
1. Your book or author website and/or blog should be a .com address
Gaining organic traffic from Google or Bing search is by far the most powerful way to promote your book.
Readers who find your website or blog by Google or Bing search are much more likely to be interested in your book topic, genre or themes because these factors are what they are searching for and how they find you.
However, you really need to have a website or blog with a .com address to gain a reasonable amount of search traffic.
I am not precisely sure why a .com address works better than .net or country codes such as .co.uk, .fr or .ca for example.
While I’m not an SEO expert, I have the feeling that country code domains may be geo-targeted by search engines, so it restricts indexing.
All I do know for sure is that after having changed three of my sites to a .com domain, the resulting increase in traffic for each site has been remarkable.
I can only presume from experience that Google and Bing give preference to .com addresses.
After changing my Just Publishing Advice address to .com, my daily traffic is now more than ten times what it was before I changed, and it continues to grow organically every day.
On the same thought, free blog and websites such as Google’s Blogger, WordPress (free), Weebly and Wix gain very little organic traffic, so they are far less beneficial for book promotion.
But, they are free, and if you can’t afford a hosted website, they are definitely better than nothing to attract potential readers.
If you have a website or blog, always remember to put a link to it on all your social media accounts, and add it to your email signature.
Even if you don’t have a blog, you can still attract attention by guest posting on other blogs.
Related Reading: 17 Book Promotion Ideas You Can Do In Less Than 90 Minutes
2. Social media, yeah, yeah
Social media is a must to promote your book or short stories, but it can be extremely time-consuming.
If your aim is to write and sell books, then use your social media platform judiciously because it can easily become a huge time waster.
Limit your social media exposure to only a couple of popular platforms such as Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest for example.
Don’t spend hours each day posting your book buy link, as this will only serve to drive people away.
Use social media to connect, communicate, reply and inform, and of course, hopefully, attract followers. Use it to spread your author name, not to continually advertise your books.
Think of social media as a spider web, and continue to make it a little larger every day by following some people, making new friends and extending your reach.
Concentrate on building your presence on only one or two social media sites, and not on every single one available.
Very importantly, however, make sure you use lots of image links to attract a better click-through rate for your book promotion on social media.
People are now well trained by Facebook and Twitter to click on images rather than text links, and especially so for phone and tablet users.
So, always use images to promote your book and blog posts to encourage people to read your book.
If you are spending more than an hour per day on social media trying to promote your books, stop! Limit your time and get back to writing a new book.
3. Forget that everything is for free
If you are serious about wanting to prepare and promote your book, whether self-published or published with a small press, you will have to pay at some stage for certain services.
If you are building an email list, services such as Mailchimp are only free for a very small number of contacts. As you grow, you will need to pay a monthly charge.
You might consider hiring an editor or a proofreader.
When you publish your book, you will need to select two genre categories and seven keywords. Your selection will be critical to your chances of success as these will enable readers to find your book using search on Amazon and other retailers.
You can do your research for your selections by using Amazon or Google, but for real-time access to Amazon book buyer data, you might consider using dedicated software such as KDP Rocket to make your category and keyword selection.
At the very least you should use a pro writing tool to help you prepare your manuscript.
If you are of the mind that everything should be free when marketing your book, well good luck, but making money doesn’t work like that.
Nothing much ever comes for free, especially a profit.
You don’t need to break the bank, but you should certainly consider paying for a great book cover. (How many times have I said that?)
Homemade covers are the absolute worst way to promote your book because they scream unprofessional and poor quality. If you can’t afford anything else, save up and get a killer cover.
Think of it this way.
A great cover might help sell a poor book, but a poor cover will never help sell a great book.
Great covers sell books! Homemade covers are a buyer turn off.
Remember that your book cover will end up being indexed by Google and Bing image search, so what better way to attract book buyers than with a killer book cover?
A poor book cover will fail to take advantage of this opportunity.
So forget about using your expertise in creating a below average book cover using Microsoft Word, and spend a little money on a professional book cover.
4. Buy affordable book promotion
You can’t do it all by yourself.
Most authors, especially new authors, have a small online footprint, so paying to have your book spread much further makes good sense.
There are many free and paid book promotion sites, and it is worth registering with some of them, but you don’t have to pay hundreds or even thousands of dollars for effective book promotion.
Just Publishing’s sister site, Whizbuzz Books offers very affordable book promotion for one year for exposure to over half a million Twitter users, as well as on Facebook, Pinterest, Google+ and on its website.
Yes, it’s a plug, but compared to other book promotion sites, it represents extremely good value for money.
Facebook Ads are good for launching a new book but never expect that your investment in ads will be recouped in sales.
A more cost-effective way to use Facebook Ads is to attract Likes to your Author Page. If you are a new author, investing in page Likes is a very good way to increase your online presence.
Added to the fact is that you can sell your books directly from your Facebook Page, so building up Likes is definitely going to gain more potential book buyers.
Again, invest wisely and don’t chase dreams of becoming a bestselling author in five minutes. A few hundred page Likes is normally enough to attract more free organic Likes.
For a new title, you might want to consider an online book tour. But check what you get for your money carefully before you commit.
5. Offer a free series starter
For some authors, this may mean writing a new book or two, but in today’s ebook, Internet, digital-driven book marketplace, free series starters are a proven winner when it comes to book promotion.
Never think about how many ebooks you give away as lost sales. Think about the fact that every ebook you give away is a potential means of attracting a new ebook buyer.
If your free series starter book trailer or book description grabs readers, every free copy of your book will help you sell more ebooks.
Perhaps you could offer your book to an online book club. You never know!
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