Marketing Your Book: For Beginners

Beginner’s Dive into Marketing:

Marketing can seem like a daunting task at first glance, but if you take it step by step and allow yourself plenty of time to get into the marketing groove before your book is released, you will have a much easier time of it and gain the advantage of having your very own audience ready and waiting to buy your book!

Is your thinking like mine? My goal:

First and foremost I am a writer, not a full-time marketer—is this true for you, too? Not seeking to promote myself, what I want to promote are my “books” so that people will learn they exist and, if they’re interested, read them, and enjoy the stories and characters as much as I, myself, do; to brighten a reader’s day, and take them away to another world which they can relate to and become lost within…! Affecting people’s lives—that is my goal.
So, when I first realized that taking the self-publishing route would mean I’d have to start drawing attention to “me”, I wanted to grab the nearest blanket and hide underneath it! I think there are plenty of other creative people who can relate to this. We want people to enjoy what we create, diverting all the attention to what we have made, instead of onto ourselves. Unfortunately, however, if you are taking the path of self-publishing, there will not be anybody else but “you” to let people know your book/creative work exists. You are going to need to venture into marketing; however, there are many ways to go about keeping the focus on your “books” rather than on you.—Using images related to your book for online profile photos and social media is one of many ways. But, I do encourage you to get out of your comfort zone a little and let people know about you: the better they get to know you, the more they will trust you and be drawn to the stories you write.
*On a side note: I’ve heard that for some people of faith (Christians) the idea of promoting one’s self is seen as somehow wrong, but this idea is based on a way of thinking which says all promoting and advertising is self-serving. It can be used in a self-serving way, this is true, but if your heart and intentions are in the right place: you are promoting the works God has used you to create in order to benefit others. Your priority and focus is on “others”, and not on yourself. With your heart in the right place, there is nothing wrong with promoting and advertising what you have worked so hard to create. Don’t hide yourself and your books under the lampshade, but instead take away the shade and let your bright light shine forth through the world!

Start Early—Start Now!

Every article and author I’ve received advice from has been telling me the same thing: Begin gathering an audience now and start a marketing plan.

Even though my fantasy/spiritual series has a long ways yet to go before it’s ready for publication, I should begin my marketing plan early on—getting the word out and getting people interested. This way, once it is ready for pre-order, there will already be an audience ready and waiting for it!
So, how do you go about forming your marketing plan?

Target Your Audience: Form a Strategy

It’s no easy task, but you need to maintain a balance between letting people know about your book and not over promoting yourself in people’s faces. A big turn off to a potential audience can be too much boasting about yourself or your previous accomplishments. Instead, keep it simple, keep it short, and keep it relatable.
With that being said, identify the age group which your book is targeting. Once you have that down, think about where online that particular age group is most active. Is it: Facebook? Twitter? Blogs?
Next, identify the names/pages/profiles of people and groups within these and other social media—choose those that are currently active and have a big audience.
Check and ask if they are willing to read and review a free copy of your book, posting the review on their website for all their followers to see. There are some blogs devoted to reviewing books—check these out first, and make sure they are interested in the genre of your book.

I recently joined Triberr, the place for bloggers to connect and share content. It’s one of many ways to connect with people interested in your books’ genre and find people willing to read and review for you. You can create a free account, or a monthly paid account with privileges.

Now You Have the Beginnings of a Plan. Way to go! Keep at it!

Follow these steps to begin forming your marketing plan and gathering your audience—there’s no better time to start than now. It is a slow process, but well worth the effort; and once you grow your group of fans, the less you will have to worry about marketing in the future, as their enthusiasm for your books will spread the word and market for you!

Stay tuned as I will be posting articles and blog pages pertaining to Marketing Your Book—there is a well of great information out there! I will be a guide as to what possibilities there are, as you venture into the next stage of becoming a self-published author.

If you have any tips or strategies of your own, won’t you please share them with us? We’d love to hear from you!

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8 thoughts on “Marketing Your Book: For Beginners

  1. Triberr. New resorce to work with yay! I’m currently in the prosess of marketing my first book, and I probably should have done a better job during the ‘before’ stage. I’ve actually been reading LOTS of books on the subject, mostly free kindle books on the subject. You can glean a lot of information from those books. Such as part of the marketing is having a good cover, good discription, etc. Pricing even effects your sales and sometimes a higher price is better than a lower price, because if your book is priced too low people will think your book is of low quality.
    Getting reviews is one thing I need to work on, but I currently don’t have the book on free promotion, though I do have a date set for a free promotion, which is when I might aim to get some reviews. I might start thinking of just buying the book for people so they can review it. Haha, most the money I’m getting is just from buying my own book, and buying it for my proofreaders as I promiced them. Ah, yeah.
    Anywho I’m babbling! I just wanted to explore your blog more and thank you so much for adding me to the blog roll! 😀
    Creator bless,
    Kima

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Kima Prince!
      Yes, I recently discovered Triberr too! I created my own Tribe, which you can feel free to join in, title: “Christian Fiction”. There are lots of good articles I’ve found tweeted by indie publishers and creativeindie on everything you need to know in the book business! It’s a lot, so I’m trying to gather everything I learn together, here, on my blog to make it easier for people and myself 🙂 You should consider putting your book into smashwords. People, like me, who don’t have a kindle will then be able to purchase your book through other retailors (and it makes you as an author look better, having your book spread about in many different places). Many people I know do not have the time to go online and find my book, so I’ve agreed to order copies for them and then mail or hand-give it to them and they can just pay me then. Maybe you could do something like that with friends and relatives who don’t seem to get around to actually buying your book 🙂 You should think about putting it on paperback through createspace–hand-held books are so much easier to hand out to people and I think it grabs their attention more. I read an article describing how the human brain is instinctively drawn towards 3-Dimensional objects, which is why stores like Amazon have 3-D interactive images of their books that move when your cursor touches them–it gives us the sense that the book is a real object and for some reason that makes it more appealing. I hadn’t thought of doing a free promotion–that’s a great idea! You’ve given me something new to consider!
      Thanks so much for writing in! And you’re very welcome ^_^ I’m glad you enjoy my blog. If you find anything I could improve on, please let me know 🙂 I’ll be posting some new marketing stuff either today or tomorrow, so stay tuned!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Kindle has a wide variety of free apps for the PC, Mac, iPhone, Android, etc so you don’t need a Kindle to buy a Kindle book. I have been having a feeling that many people don’t realize this [I tend to forget that it’s not always normal to be as techy as I am] so I’ve been considering posting on my site and social medias reminders that you can get the free Kindle apps if you don’t have a Kindle.
        As for Smashwords/Selling Book at Other Retailers: I have learned of Smashwords through my studies of making a kindle book/marketing an ebook. I actually have an account, but I’m not sure if I’m sold on the idea of using Smashwords. I haven’t studied how they work well enough yet but from what I gather they give you a bit less royalties for your work, but they do help you distribute your book everywhere. I decided to just publish my first book on Kindle, and take advantage of KDP Select, for a while before eventually putting books at Smashwords. I’m new to everything so I didn’t want to confuse myself much. Tho, I figure I will eventually publish my books on Smashwords, but I think I will be still doing the Amazon book version myself, even if I have Smashwords.
        I have a question for you, that perhaps you know the answer to: Does Smashwords allow you to list your book as ‘free’ and that price will reflect even on Amazon? Publishing directly with KDP the lowest I can actually sell a book is .99(Where is the cents symbol on my keyboard?) and the only way to list it free is through KDP Select promotions [which limit you to not distributing your book elsewhere] and that’s only for 5 days out of 90. So I was wondering if Smashwords, as a distributor, had a way you could make your book Free on all the stores?
        Question 2: Do you really only get paid every three months through Smashwords? Kindle won’t pay me until after 60 days of the end of a month I make sales (every two months, which I have guessed that eventually, that will allow me to be getting paid every month if I make sales every month, but I believe I read on Smashwords that they only pay out quarterly, which is every 3 months. One of the reasons I didn’t jump into Smashwords is that, and why, if I do join smashwords, I will manage my books on Amazon myself, because from my understanding, Amazon pays more often.
        Eitherway, thank you for your time 🙂 It’s funny, I found you on iAuthor site I believe, not realizing we had anything in common, and it turns out we’re both Christians, writing fantasy, and learning the world of self-publishing and marketing! Crazy, eh?
        Keep up the bloggin’ and Creator bless,
        KittyMarie ‘Kima’ Prince

        Liked by 1 person

        • Yes that’s true! I’m glad the app is free, that should make it easier for many people. I think for a lot of people though, my self included, if a book isn’t available on the platform we use most we can easily forget and lose track of it. People’s day-to-day lives are busy and if you don’t grab their attention right away and have everything conveniently set up for them, they will move on to the next thing–they’re not trying to be mean, it just happens in this busy non-stop world we live in. 😦
          BTW, to make cents symbol: http://fsymbols.com/signs/cent/
          I have been hearing from many people that you can have your book on kindle Amazon without using KDP Select and then add your book to smashwords as well. I have not done this yet myself, but am considering it for the future.
          Smashwords has worked well for me in reaching people outside the US. You do receive a high royalty when your ebook is purchased through smashwords, but if it’s through B&N and others it will be lower. But for me, even as most people buy my ebook through B&N I’m still happy with the royalty. One trick you could do, after opting out of KDP and using both smashwords and kindle amazon, promote on your site the links to your kindle version instead of smashwords. This way, people will go to your kindle version, but if they don’t have a kindle and look your ebook up on B&N they’ll see it there too and buy it–a purchase you otherwise would have missed.
          Okay, now onto your question 1: You can set your ebook to be free through smashwords and every retailor, like B&N. However, KDP and kindle is a whole separate thing. You would have to get out of KDP select, and then on your dashboard for kindle version set it to “free”. I have not used kindle for my ebook yet, so I’m not too familiar with it yet, but I know that unless your ebook is among the top-selling numbers on smashwords, smashwords will not put your ebook on amazon or have anything to do with amazon for you. So to summarize: yes, if you set your ebook to be free through smashwords, it will be free through all its distributions, except for amazon. Hope that helps!
          Question 2: Smashwords payment is quarterly. You can read their faq on the subject here: https://www.smashwords.com/about/supportfaq#Royalties But really, if you consider smashwords as a way to get the purchases you otherwise would have missed out on, I feel it is worthwhile. Plus, I really like how they are devoted to helping the indie and self published author. No hidden fees or trickery. Everything is left for you to decide as the author! I can even make my ebook free for libraries only, if I want, while still keeping my original price everywhere else.
          IKR? I’ve been thinking that same thing! Yes, it was iAuthor. I saw the cover of your book and it gave me this feeling that it was a sweet and safe book to enter into my “fantasy/spiritual theme”. It’s amazing how God works! I’m so glad He brought us together!
          You keep up the good work, too 🙂
          God bless

          Like

  2. True. I guess I really should look into Smashwords then! Will have to read up on that today. Stalk the Smashwords website some more.
    Yay! Cents symbol. I figured there was a code thing for it.
    Ah, yes. Basically use Smashwords to get the readers I wouldn’t have gotten before. Sounds good, and that was what I had been thinking.
    That’s just it, from what I can tell, KDP’s lowest allowed price is 99¢ I’ve read elsewhere there’s a way to cheat the system by putting your book free everywhere else, then having someone complain to amazon that they found a lower price and they’ll put if for free, but I’m not one to cheat the system.
    Wait? Smashwords doesn’t put your book on Amazon if you aren’t a top-seller? O.o I thought (they advertized) that they’ll distribute pretty much everywhere though.
    ‘Sweet and safe’ Maybe for most of our beliefs it’s ‘sweet and safe’ but what happens to the charries I think they would argue different. I have a habit of killing off and/or burning down something in my first book of any series (I just realized that I kept true to my habit of burning something in Badlands Fantasy o.O I didn’t even realize I kept that habit). Read my Creator’s Armor comic and you’ll see what I mean. I’m not morbid though, when I kill off/burn down it’s for the plot. Bwahaha…*ehem* I like happy endings though, so everything works out in the end. I’m not one to kill of main charries often. I’ll say that much. *can’t say much without giving hints of spoilers!*
    Goodness, I love being able to chat with someone about this stuff XD Not many I know are authors/writers and living in a new state I’m still trying to get to know people. It’s hard when you are inclined to be shy rather than to be extroverted. With all the blabbering I do online though you’d think I’d be better at ‘real’ life conversation. I find though that people find it easier to talk on the internet than ‘real’ life.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I didn’t know that was possible, but yeah I wouldn’t want to cheat the system either 🙂
      After I published my ebook, I noticed it wasn’t being distributed into Amazon and so I did some investigating in the faq and read this:
      Status of Amazon
      Although we have a distribution agreement with Amazon via their Kindle Direct Platform, they’re unable to receive our entire catalog until they create a bulk upload facility. In the meantime, we’re only distributing a few hundred titles to Amazon out of our catalog of over 250,000. We understand that many Smashwords authors would prefer the convenience of consolidating their distribution to Amazon via Smashwords, rather than uploading direct to Amazon. If your book has earned over $2,000 at Smashwords and you would prefer to consolidate your distribution via Smashwords to Amazon as opposed to uploading direct with them, please click the “support” link at the bottom of this page and let us know you’re in the $2,000 club and would like to be considered for our distribution to Amazon.
      So that’s how things are as of now.
      Sorry, when I said “sweet and safe” I meant no rated R scenes and stuff–I should have clarified that.
      I just read your Creator’s Armor comic yesterday! It brought many smiles and I’m looking forward to more!
      Oh yes, I think many writers and creative people (myself included) began quiet and little introverted while young. But I must say that becoming an author has forced me to break out of my shell 🙂
      Haha, yes, online and “real” world are 2 very different things! But maybe being an extrovert online is the next step towards becoming extrovert-like in real life? We can hope! But as with anything, practice makes perfect–and that goes for developing extrovert-like qualities too. We can still be introverts, but when the need comes we can quick put on our “extrovert capes” and face the world! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

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