Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Advice to Newbie Indie Authors

As a blanket rule I have begun only "fanning" authors that I have read and am actually a fan of on Goodreads. The readers on this sight are savvy people and they are serious about their book reviews and who they choose to fan. As an author you can lose face with them if you try marketing ploys like fanning other authors indiscriminately. You must also NEVER outright suggest they read your book. Don't even hint at it. Some of them are nice and just ignore you. Others will unfriend you and tell their friends how annoying you are. 

I know it's a big thing to spend a lot of time engaging other authors. Don't. Some time is fine, but not the majority of it. Engage potential readers. Who do you write like? Go to that author's page and friend request their fans, those people obviously already enjoy that style of writing. DO NOT solicit to these people either. Take an interest in their posts. Be sincere. Respect their intelligence. 

Secondly, a book giveaway is the best thing you can do as a new author. List a giveaway, it can be small. Five books. Blog about it, post links to your blog on twitter with the hashtag #bgrt #bookgiveaways. In two weeks my unknown book gathered 1100 entries. Be relentless, be engaging. Drink a lot of caffeine. 

If you have $30-40 to spend create a carefully targeted and worded Facebook Ad. Do you have a Facebook Page? You should. Not a profile, a page. You can advertise your page to drive up numbers but often times people will like your Facebook page and never buy your book. That's a waste of money. I run one ad for Barnes and Noble and the other for Amazon. Make sure to include the price, that way people already know what they'll be spending and you don't waste any clicks (it's pay per click). For targeting, again, list authors similar to you, this also helps ensure that you'll have people who are a good fit for your book clicking on your ad. 

It takes time. It's frustrating, I know. Hang in there. Don't throw your energy into things that don't work. These readers don't care if you have a zillion fans, they care if you write well. I use to do the tag my book and fanning other doesn't work. Do a giveaway, run an ad on goodreads or Facebook (which is really cheap, just make sure to set your overall spending limit AND your daily budget so your ad doesn't run off with your wallet). The best advertising is free. Word of mouth. Get those first, excited readers and you'll slowly be off and running! Blog, facebook, twitter, everything. And somehow find time to keep writing and revising. When you don't have the big bucks to dump into big, flashy ads that are constantly running, YOU have to be the one that is constantly running. Make sure you're spending your energy wisely. 

And do not try to hop on the coattails of other indie authors. It's rude.

Good luck.

No comments:

Post a Comment