I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Shameless self-promotion. Self-promotion should be shameless. There should be no shame in advertising yourself, selling yourself and promoting yourself at every opportunity if you want to be seen. Of course this should be appropriate. I mean, taking over the PA system in your building to announce your book is on Amazon for ninety-nine cents this week only may be a little over the top.
When it comes to promotion there are both free and paid options available. You can pay anyone to do anything. Offers come in all the time for people to “buy” and review your book for cash, or you give them your book for free and they’ll write a review, or you can pay them to advertise and promote your book across a number of websites and ‘favour’ it.
Being short of funds, like most of us are, we often only have free options available. Some authors will spend money on a cover designer or editor (I make my own covers too), but aren’t sure what free options are available to promote their work.
Facebook – rather than mixing business with pleasure, you should create a page off your main account. One that can be open to the public and people can like you and follow you on. If people are only able to “follow” you, unless they’re you’re friend, they can’t usually like and comment on things. If you have this kind of page off your Facebook wall, you can post from it, to it, as it, and have a page just devoted to yourself as an author. Some people do this as their book, which seems a little strange to me, but each to their own. You can then see likes/unlikes, shares, how many people the post has reached and so on.
Twitter – this is a fast paced thing. You can promote yourself every couple of minutes here and it gets washed along in the flood of tweets along with all the other people who are doing the same thing and/or commenting as an individual about the world around them or commenting on news/current affairs/celebrities. Sometimes they retweet you to their followers and the whole thing goes up and down (See ‘Why are you following me?’)
Google Plus – most people find Google Plus too confusing to locate what they want. I don’t have much experience with that, but it can be worth a try.
Instagram – they say that pictures speak a thousand words. Ads in the form of pictures can fly around fast on instagram and lead people to where you want them to be.
On both Twitter and Facebook there are wonderful people devoted to promoting you for free. They ask for nothing in return and just want to help the indie authors out. Who are these people? Well for a start there’s Readers Gazette who advertise your books on Twitter and sometimes on Facebook. There are book blogs on Facebook like Booksmacked, Late Night Books and Reviews, Indie Authors & Book Blogs, Ab Fab Book Blog (just to name a few) who promote indie authors through ‘pimp’ posts and competitions and events. And they don’t charge anything. There are also groups you can join to promote your books, although these are frequently full of authors only, and you may not reach any readers within the closed group.
If you’re way back at the start and haven’t even finished your book yet, then you should probably check out Jo Michaels (<click there) blog and do all the steps I missed in terms of marketing and promotion and actually do it all in the correct order. That is, have people interested in your book before it’s even released.
Now that my books are already out there, I have no shame in promoting myself. Self-promotion should be shameless. PS. Buy my books, they’re great 🙂