Many writers detest promoting their books, but it’s a necessary evil if we want readers. Too many of us indies publish our books, promote them for a few weeks, leave them to flounder and then fade into obscurity. If you’re going to be writing for the long haul, there are at least five excellent reasons to promote your books.
It’s great for visibility. This is obvious and, clearly, the number one reason to share information about your work. People are busy and there are oodles of things vying for their attention. If you don’t put your book in a position to be seen, it’s a sure bet that after release day visibility will taper off and soon the rankings will blow up to a huge number.
2. You never know who you’ll reach or who’s watching. It’s a good idea to have several graphics for your books that you can rotate on advertising platforms and social media. I’ve found many readers simply by posting my graphics in various places, on some kind of schedule.
3. It provides a mind shift. Most of us are writing and promoting at the same time. The intervals we use to showcase our work puts our brain in another gear and gives us time for fresh inspiration to take root until we sit again to write. If you like playing with graphics, that’s another way to change your mental channel to another station for a while.
4. It keeps your eye on the prize. Including promotion as part of your day helps you stay disciplined. It’s also a great reminder that your aim is to sell more stories. All of us would like to find our tribe of readers, and regular promotion helps us to gain traction one reader at a time.
5. Promoting helps expand your knowledge. Indies have to know a little bit about a lot of stuff. I now know what promotional material works for me and what doesn’t. I know what time of day I can catch my audience, I’ve found out where my ads do better, and I continue to read books that talk about the why and how of promoting and marketing.
What is the most valuable thing you’ve learned about promoting? What works best for you? Do you know you can swap/share promotional material with other authors to get the word out about your book/s? What can you do differently to promote your book/s?
I don't have any tips because I don't have a published book. But I agree that you have to promote your book if you're going to be published. It's probably the scariest part of the writing process for me. Thanks for reminding us why it's so important.
Continuing to promote is something I've dropped the ball on. Need to brainstorm some cross-promotion opportunities.
Natalie, yep, the thought of promotion scares most of us. I've learned it's not as hard as we think. The fun part for me is playing with graphics.
Alex, many of us don't promote the way we should. We can always try again as long as we have books out there.
Regular and constant promotion is so important. Books fade quickly otherwise.
It's tough for authors to find what works for them. I've tried a lot of things, but it's definitely important just to get out there on whatever social media you enjoy. I do love it when I read what other authors are doing and seeing what's working and what's not and what's trending.
So very true, Diane.
Christine, you are I agree on that. It's challenging to find out what works. I'm always learning and yes, it's good to see what other people are doing and the results, if any.
Great post. I don't have a book yet but I know it will be a great learning experience as I learn a lot with anything I do in the business of books and publishing.
For me promoting is kind of a dog paddle across the Pacific. I just keep at it, never really expecting to reach the other side. Thanks Joy!
I promote here and there, probably could do better at our lair haha Great reasons indeed.
Thank you for sharing!
I'll be honest and say I suck at promotion. I've tried all kinds of things that work for others and fall flat on my face. I've paid for ongoing promotion and seen no results from it. I've tried my own, joined giveaways, participated in tweetfests and facebook shares, and the results were abysmal, but I keep plugging away. Part of the problem is my own personal aversion to tooting my own horn. Someday, I hope I'll get it all figured out.
I work at promoting my books, but not overdoing it. A tricky balance to find. =)
Junetta, yep, we never stop learning on the promoting side of things.
Lee, I guess many of us feel this way.
Pat, yes, there's always room for improvement.
Happy to share, Heather.
Susanne, honestly, I think a little bit of everything including luck features factors in for those those are successful at promoting. It's not my favourite thing to do but I strike a balance between doing my own thing and paying to advertise.
Patricia, yes, tricky indeed to hit the right note.
I promote with the occasional Tweet/ Facebook post/ G+ share/ Pin/ Insta. I have a higher focus on promoting others, especially debut authors and other books in my main genre (Urban Fantasy).
I mention my book on my blog in my signature. And, this month, I have it on a book blog tour (which includes an Amazon giftcard giveaway).
I'm not sure I can say that any of this combination is working. But I remain hopeful.
This is a very timely blog post for me as I'm in the thick of figuring out how to promote my book. I like the idea of rotating images on social media. Cheers - Ellen
Thank you for this information.
A great post, Joy!
I'm just wondering how much time does book promo take up? I suppose it has to be done though.
It's like running a marathon. It's easy to promote a book when it first comes out, but after time it becomes more of an effort. You just have to keep going.
I just finished writing my third book and I am still figuring out what's working and what doesn't, but I definitely know more than at the beginning when I thought it was enough to publish and make a little promo at the launch time. I have tried many things, sometimes we can't know for sure. For example each time I travel and don't have time for promo as usually, I am selling more than the other days�� when I do regular promotions onsocial media (about an hour a da). I think it helped me a lot also connecting with other authors and cross promoting. As we, authors, are also readers, I am trying to read as much as possible the work of indie authors, and recently I started posting the reviews on my blog too and shout out on all my social media accounts. I still don't know many things yet but I do know that we have to be persistent and don't get frustrated if the sales are not what we would want them to be or reviews just don't come ... One day they will ��
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