If you're reading this then...congratulations! You have finished a book, and have possibly already even published your work.
The next phase that every Indie Author must enter into is marketing...but don't worry, you don't need to be on every TV show and on the cover of every magazine to make a great impact with your book.
Just a few little things can make all the difference.
1. Plan a pre-order day
The Amazon charts are updated every hour so being #1 only means that you have sold more books than any other title in your category over a short period of time.
Shhhhh don't tell anyone!
In order to reach a high chart position on Amazon you need to sell as many books as you can over a short period of time so having all of your family, friends and fans order your book on the same day will drastically increase your chart position and launch you into the algorithm. Much more than if all of the same amount of people bought your book over a week or month period.
2. Consider press & PR
Press & PR doesn't need to be an incredibly large expense and simply a small press release about the birth of your book can grab the attention of many journalists and magazines who are always looking for content. It's also good to know that it's not just your book that is interesting to journalists but also you and your story. Think about why you wrote the book and what you overcame to do so? Do you have a social cause or mission in mind? And does your book sync up with anything that is happening in the world news right now?
3. Register with Amazon Author Central & Book Bub
Amazon Author Central (AAC) is a page that Amazon provides for every published author (who have ISBNs) and is a great marketing tool for all books. Having an AAC account will improve your visibility in search results, allow for you to track sales more closely and allow for you to give more information to the reader about yourself and your book.
BookBub is very similar and is a discovery service for books and authors. Readers can follow you as you give them live updates on your book launch journey as well as being directed to places where your book is on special offer / discount.
4. Create a pre-order page and special offer
If you have a website then creating a page that is just about your book is a fantastic hub for potential readers and also serves as a marketing resource for the media. Be sure to include information about your title, links to where it can be purchased and a possible special offers for those who purchase your book. For example, do you have a free download for those who buy your book or do they get to belong to an exclusive online group?
5. Who can you interview? Who can interview you?
People are far more likely to buy your book if they see and hear in you in person. Blogs and the written word can only do so much. Do what you can to get in front of your readers to discuss your book by being a guest on as many podcasts and webcasts as you can. But don't limit yourself there, start your own podcast or webcast where you can discuss your book and invite professionals that you love to take part with you. Even if you don't want to speak with professionals, speak with your friends and family, anything to get more people to see and hear you in the flesh.
6. Plan a book signing at your local bookstore
Believe it or not, bookstores are often thrilled to have a local author visit for a book signing event. This serves two purposes: a great event to celebrate your book with friends, family and fans but it also encourages a brick and mortar bookstore to order in your title. Granted, over 70% of book sales are online now, however, it definitely doesn't hurt to have your book on the shelves of your local Barnes & Noble, Waterstones or Independent Book Store.
7. Plan a launch party (online or in person)
This is the fun one. Throw your book a party. After all, you have spent months, if not years, working on it and it deserves an introduction to the world. Ever since the COVID-19 pandemic more and more launches are happening online and this is great because people can attend for all over the world. Plan it a few days after your release so you can be sure readers have received their copy and throw a party like no other. Simple tasks for the party (online or in-person) include having somebody interview you about the book, share a short excerpt, lead an exercise/ activity/ meditation (if you are a self-help/ spiritual author) and allow time for a Q&A!
8. Send promo copies to influencers and other people you love
This one can sound scary but it's really not. Identify approximately 10 people online that you love and adore. Maybe they are in your field or maybe they just share content or have a mission that resonates with you. Beautifully wrap up a copy of your book with a personal note and send it to that person. Don't do this because you want or expect anything but simply because you want to gift this person who inspires you with your book. Chances are, they will share a photo, post or story online about receiving your book or even reach out personally to thank you, which ends up being incredible promo for your book - however, seriously don't do this one for any gain but to simply gift your book to your biggest inspirations.
9. Consider facebook/ amazon ads
Running adverts can be daunting and boring but thankfully is a sure-fire way to reach more people by simply identifying their interests online. Create a great add about your book or maybe even a short video (consider including your pre-order page in the add) and apply just $11-$15 a day (approx £8-£11) for just one week. This small amount of push can drastically increase your visibility and open you up to new lifelong fans who have been desperately waiting for a book like yours to be published.
10. Ask for *5 Star* reviews
Don't be shy and ask your friends, family and fans to leave a 5 star review of your book on whatever website they bought it on. Don't stop there and celebrate every 5 star review by copying what the review said and reposting it online (maybe even create a great graphic about it) and let everybody know how much people are loving reading your book.
11. Have fun with it all. There is no rush
Finally, let me ask you this question...when was the last time you bought a book that was available for pre-order, or did you more likely buy a book that was released weeks, months or even years ago? Too often, as Indie Authors we put too much pressure on the launch and neglect the lifespan of our books. Chances are, your book will still be relevant in 18 months time (and even longer) so you have much more time than you think to shine a light on your work. Don't stop after launch week, apply the steps above slowly an surely and you will see great results for your work!
A book launch is a marathon, not a sprint and you can only expect readers to be as excited about it as you are. So, say a prayer, drink some water and commence on celebrating your incredible achievement of becoming a published author.