Marketing for Dummies

Okay, first…you’re not a dummy. But marketing is a daunting task for most authors. How much is enough? How much is too little? Am I doing the right thing?

Below is a list of some very basic and free (or fairly cheap) marketing tools.  Some of these you may already be doing. Newer authors might not be aware of the opportunities to self-promote. Don’t worry, we’ll have some more in depth marketing advice for you soon.

Make sure you have a Goodreads profile and link your books. Thank reviewers for their reviews and / or their time—even bad reviews. Say thank you. Be polite. Be professional.

If you haven’t set up your Amazon Author Page do so. Link all books to your author page. If your eBooks and Print books are not linked, you can contact Amazon and they will fix it for you. Under your Amazon Author Page you can add deleted scenes, book extras and book details. (Click on your books tab, then on the book cover –it will take you to the proper page.)

Blog Hops

Guest posts

Submit your book to Book Reviewers (about a 15% return). P.S. Follow the instructions!

Twitter parties

FB parties

“Like” events (Facebook)

Giveaways (You can use rafflecopter or like programs to track results and gather fan contacts.)

Virtual Book Tours ($35 and up per week, usually closer to $50, some sites offer up to a month or monthly promotions)

Use #hashtags wisely on twitter and facebook. Overuse just clutters your posts.

Tweet buy links on twitter but don’t over-tweet ads – they’ll reduce your followership.

Charity drives (donating books for a couple raising money to adopt.)

Sign up with blog tour companies to host other authors – this drives traffic to your blog and increases your exposure!

Cross promo with other authors. The writing community is vast and there are very friendly authors out there who will be happy to swap promo spots on blogs/websites.


Guest Blogging

If you cannot afford to purchase an actual website, try to at least buy your name (i.e. so that no one else can put up content under your name. Domain purchases are fairly cheap. If you can afford your own website, put one up. Keep it updated.

Release day parties—these are time consuming but effective for drumming up excitement for your new release.

Blog Talk Radio shows. Search by genre and contact them for a spot near your release date.

Most importantly – you get sales figures monthly. Track what has been effective. When you see a sales bump, take a look at what marketing efforts you’ve made in the last month or two. This should help you determine what is working for your audience.