[Wesley kindly sent us this article to help indie authors with book sales. -Brandon]
As a bestselling author, I am giving away 14 ways that can help indie authors sell more books. They have all worked for me, and they will work for you, with determination and creativity.
1) Facebook. Several billion active members, a percentage of which are avid readers. Having a Facebook account and using it, are crucial for book sales. Join as many book/reading groups as possible, and promote often. But be careful not to spam. Utilize hashtags, and share videos to boost your author platform.
2) Twitter. Again, home to billions of people, and readers. The main promotional tools Twitter offers are hashtag searches, trends, and #followfriday. Always use hashtags, in every post. Keep on top of trends, tweeting about them. And every Friday, tag your latest followers in a tweet, and you could even attach a link to your book/blog or a freebie.
3) Linkedin. Now Linkedin is a professional networking website, I personally don’t think it helps a tremendous amount when it comes to promoting. However, there are tonnes of author/writer groups that can provide invaluable information. But although there may not be many obvious readers on Linkedin, let’s not forget, authors are readers!
4) Pinterest. A statistic recently informed us that there are millions of active pinners, pinning their passions to billions of boards. Also, majority of pinners, are willing to spend money. That is the only social networking website, that guarantees a large percentage of pinners will be prepared to spend cash. So make boards for your books, tips for authors, marketing blogs and so on.
5) Newsletter. This can seem daunting at first, but it is essential. Personally, my sales are incredible around the end of each month (when my newsletter goes out). Because people who make the choice to subscribe, are clearly interested in you as an author, and the genre in which you write. For example, I am a horror author. So I promote my releases, upcoming interviews, any other news about me, as well as blogs for authors, reviews of other author’s works, and all things horror from horror movie reviews etc.
You can subscribe to my newsletter to see what I feature by going to my website: wesleythomashorrorauthor.weebly.com.
6) Book launch parties. A fantastic tool on Facebook, which allows you to create an event celebrating the launch of your book. I suggest doing this every few months, when you release a new book. You can post into the event: advance reviews, teasers, cover reveals, and competitions.
7) Freebies. This can be frowned upon, and many authors don’t see the point in giving a book away for free. But this opens your book up to a much wider network of readers. And chances are, if they liked the free book, and your other books aren’t too expensive, they will purchase more of your work. With any luck, posting reviews as well.
8) Reviews. Which leads onto my next point, getting reviews. Your book having mainly positive reviews is crucial in the decision of readers considering purchasing your book. There are may ways you can get reviews, from approaching bloggers and reviewing websites, to asking fellow authors for a review swap. However you go about getting reviews is irrelevant, but you need reviews.
9) Book trailers. Now some authors may struggle to find the relevance as it is not a movie your selling, it is a book. But trailers help in many ways: building a hype, giving something visual to look at, read snippets of reviews, read teasers from the book, and with music and effects make them excited to read the book.
10) Professional covers. Don’t skimp on the cover. No matter what your budget, save money to use a cover designer. They don’t have to be expensive, you can find cover designers on Fiverr.com and online. Some freelances charge $30, others a lot more. But as long as you don’t attempt it yourself, unless you have access to editing software, a huge gallery of images, and many font choices. And also have a flare for design. Otherwise, let the professionals handle it. It can seem tempting to minimize any costs possible, but cover design isn’t something you should skimp on.
11) The same goes for promo banners. You can again purchase these on Fiverr or attempt them yourself. Banners should stand out, and feature a snippet from a review, the book cover and bold font and imagery.
12) Blog teasers. Blog samples from your work and promote the heck out of it. It is something free for readers, and they will often want to read the rest if the content is compelling enough. So choose a great chapter or few pages, and blog it now. And join blogging communities and reading communities on whichever blogging platform you choose, so you can share the blog with them.
13) Do exactly what you’re doing. Research! On a daily basis save blogs to read about all aspects of the publishing industry. Listen to podcasts, read articles, soak up as much information as you can. And here’s an extra piece of advice. Put together a writer’s manual. A list of links, blogs, articles and anything else that will be useful to you as an author. They can be about marketing, cover design, blurbs, editing, reviews, converting manuscripts, publishing and so on. This will act as your go-to guide.
14) One last tip is paid advertising. There are thousands of promotional services out there that will get people talking and hopefully buying your book. If you have the budget, I would highly recommend doing this. It saves you time marketing, because while they promote your publication, you can concentrate on writing the next book. I happen to promote for authors as part of a business I started last year and now have a team of marketers and reviewers, which has grown dramatically. To see the services I offer, click here: wesleysauthorpromoservice.weebly.com
There we have it. My tips on how indie authors can sell more books. I hope other writers/authors find this helpful.
Facebook: Wesley Thomas Horror Author