I recently came across this article about how Indie authors promote to each other and how it needs to stop. I agree with it. Marketing isn’t about posting to the people in the same boat as you. It’s about connecting with your readers.
Sometimes, I feel like marketing is the worst thing in the world because I’m a shy and reserved person. I cannot sell ANYTHING. I even tried selling makeup once… Yeah, that wasn’t a good idea. It’s certainly the hardest thing to me about being an author. I can give you a story any day, but when it comes to finding people to buy my books, I feel alone, lost and completely idiotic. But, I can connect with people given the chance.
Isn’t that what writing is about? Connecting with people. The way I see it, people want to know more about you as a person. If they’re interested in you, they will want to check out your books.
I’m no marketing guru. Seriously. But I’ve learned a thing or two along the way. Well, I like to think I have anyway.
Here are some things I’ve learning.
1. Stop slamming people with the same description of your book, and stop posting it ALL DAY LONG! Use Twitter and Facebook to your advantage, yes, but use it to ENGAGE with your followers and friends.
Sure, I advertise my own books, my interviews, etc, but I also use it to help people with their books, interviews, and all as well. I’m usually pressed for time, but when people talk to me, I try to talk back to them. It may not be an instant reply, but it’s a reply nonetheless. Take time to thank others for helping you, help them get their books out (if they’re authors), and if they’re readers, reviewers, or just plain followers, try to talk to them and know their likes.
And try to join groups that has something to do with you novel. Maybe setting or a certain reading group. It can’t hurt to try, right?
2. Use cross promotional efforts. Help others and others will help you. Find groups that actually want to HELP and CONVERSE instead of those groups where it’s all promotion. 9 out of 10 times, I hide those posts from my view because I get sick of them. Find friends. If you become friends with someone, they’re going to want to help you out. If you spam them, they’ll just walk away from you. I know this because I do. I know it’s important to get the word out about your books. How else are people going to know about you unless you’re socially active?
3. Remember that writers are readers too. Sure, we know how important advertisements are to us when it comes to picking out books, but what do we listen to most in search of new books to read? Others’ opinions. I’d much rather read a review or hear from someone about how great a book is. This goes back to readers.
But how do you find readers? Good question.
4. Find people who have the same likes as you but aren’t exactly writers. I have a lot of author friends that I love! But, I can’t just promote my books to them. I have to gain a readership by friending or following other people as well. But most importantly, you have to ENGAGE in some type of conversation with these people. Make sure that they know you’re a person instead of someone simply searching for sales. Build friendships. Those are priceless anyway.
Again, I’m no expert, but I like to think that I’ve learned a thing or two along the way. This is what I’ve learn. What have you learned about marketing and self-promotion? Any bloopers to avoid?