Being a self-published author requires a lot of work. As self published authors, we have to take on the burden of putting out the kind of advertisements big companies do for other authors. Of course we can hire marketing specialists, but either way figuring out how to get it done is on us. Putting this work in is what separates us from people who published books and successful authors.
Indie authors who become successful with their works have mastered the art of developing a fan base, marketing, and consistently appealing to their fan base. These can be some of the hardest, most frustrating things to do; especially when you're just starting out and you haven't built any of these things or skills.
If you don't know already, I have a book coming out in April: Behind the Blue Elevator. While I am already a 3x author, this book is very special to me. It's the first work of fiction, specifically psycho-thriller, that I am putting out into the world. As I transition from a nonfiction author, to a fiction author, there is a lot more work required to ensure this book is as successful as I want it to be. So here's what I'm doing:
Create a Website to Generate a Mailing List
Of course you're reading this blog right now, which is on the Hustle Write Publication website. Having this site and blog allows for me to generate an email list. Whether it's a business you use to promote your work, a blog you write, or an author website. You need something to generate a mailing list. This allows you to reach out, via email, to those who are most interested in what you have to say.
Those who subscribe to your mailing list are the once who will most likely stay updated on things you have going on, and purchase new works you have in the future.
Social Media Marketing
I went on Fiverr and had a number of promo photos generated of my book. This allows me to show my book in different ways each time I post it, so that people don't feel like they are seeing the same thing over and over. I use these images interchangeably and make posts at least 3x a week on my own page. I will also make posts a few times on my business page (since it is a writing related business), and will also post a few times in different groups relevant to the book.
I would advise to be careful about the groups you post in though. Not all FB groups are created equal. Some have harsher members than others. You also want to be mindful of any rules prohibiting self promotion. You'll also want to do a little research in the group first. How likely is it that you'll get interaction with your post? If there are a lot of promotions and no one ever likes, shares, or comments, that group probably isn't the best.
Bonus tip: When it comes to FB groups, join groups with the intent to interact and connect yourself, don't just join to promote your book without interacting with others.
Run A PreSale
If you haven't noticed, Behind the Blue Elevator is actually on presale on my website. While you can run pre sales on sites that will distribute your book, you make more profit and have a better chance at long term engagement when running the pre orders from your own site. This allows you to generate information for your mailing list, and again the profit is much larger. Click here to see how I have the pre orders set up, feel free to order a book too!
Virtual Book Tour
This is the first time I am doing this, but I knew I had to with this book. I'll be going on a virtual book tour prior to the release date of the book. I'll be featured on different blogs, podcasts, magazines, YouTubes channels, and IG lives to discuss my book. This puts you, the author, in front of many different potential readers.
A virtual book tour allows you to maximize the potential for exposure for your book, and when your pre orders are set in place through your own blog or website, this helps build that email list.
Have A Unique Book Launch Party
I've spent time interviewing so many other indie authors who have had amazing book launch ideas. Of course most of this was pre COVID, but still be as creative as possible. This time, I will be creating a buzz around my book by partnering with a local ice cream shop owner who will be creating a signature treat specifically for my book, which will be available an entire month before my book launch. I'll then have a small get together at the ice cream shop, which we will both live stream on social media to gain more exposure.
These are just a FEW of the ways I have started to create a buzz around Behind the Blue Elevator. This is also all PRE launch date. The work doesn't stop at the launch date! There is still work to be done once the book launches to gain new readers.