I get flooded with ‘please read my book’ and ‘check out my new book now’ requests by email, contact messages, and on social media platforms.
So I thought it might be a good idea to jot down some hints on how to market your book for new self-published authors.
I was so tempted to title this list of hints ‘Don’t annoy people before they have discovered your book,’ but I won’t.
Instead, I’ll settle for this title.
Ten Do And Don’t Hints To Promote Your Book Politely
There is no science or guaranteed formula for successful book marketing.
But there are some actions you can take that can have either a positive or negative effect.
The most essential factor in promoting your book is to understand how people will react. If you tell them to buy your book, you stand almost no chance of success.
You need to create a lot of interest to attract readers. It is not an easy thing to do in a crowded market.
But to help you, here are ten of the basic do and don’t strategies to get you on your way.
1. DO NOT direct message people on any forum, asking them to read your brilliant new book.
It’s a guaranteed way to annoy people. You stand to lose a lot of potential readers or book buyers in an instant (message). One to one messaging is not the way to sell your book.
The rule of social networking is to make contacts, make friends, make fans, make buyers.
Don’t ever think there’s a short-cut to this formula. When people discover you on social media, they will take an interest – if you engage and communicate with people.
3. DO have a blog and a website.
Your blog or website is the most suitable place to promote your book titles, book trailers, your buy links, and book reviews. It is a little bit like having your own book store.
But make sure you have lots of wonderful content as well, to show off your writing skills.
Yes, your writing skills need to be front and center. You could post some short stories that you can then share on Facebook.
Maybe you could start building a mailing list to let your readers know about your new articles or free books you might offer.
Readers are very selective, so they will never just click and buy your book without a very good reason to do so. Attract their interest in your writing.
4. DO NOT pretend.
Be yourself, and be honest, no matter what. You’ll only succeed if people are interested in you because you are genuine.
There is no point in telling people that you are a New York Times bestselling author when you have only sold three copies of your book. It is not even an exaggeration. It’s simply not true.
5. DO be careful about how you respond to reviews.
When you write a book, you want to get great book reviews. But be careful how you react to them.
Perhaps you can quickly thank book bloggers, but directly and not in the blog’s comments.
You can click yes to ‘Was this review helpful to you?’ for an Amazon review, which helps add a little weight to your good review.
However, never respond to bad reviews. No matter how upset you may be, you will never change a reviewer’s mind.
Leave them alone and ignore them. Any reaction from you will only inflame or create an argument, and directly harm your author’s reputation.
6. DO NOT try to flood the Internet with your book.
The Internet is flooded with books already, so who will notice yours?
Learn how to define your potential market and target this niche with your book promotion. (I know mine, but that’s my secret!)
You can always invest a little in book promotion. Here are some book promotion sites that you could consider.
A well written and topical blog post can potentially go viral.
This is the very best way to get some real attention, but be careful. Don’t overdo it.
You can use Facebook and Twitter. But Pinterest is another platform that is ideal for promoting books.
I post most days, and perhaps once a month, a post really goes mad. Be patient, and again, write well.
You can also use guest posting on other blogs to show off your writing skills and attract a new audience.
Nothing looks more amateur than posting a web address link like this. ‘https://www.amazon.com/dp/B007L5C424’
You need to learn how to add links to text and images that will help you attract clicks.
You should put a link to your book that looks like this: Get One Last Love Here.
Or preferably, you can use your book cover as a link. You can embed a link in an image like this.
You’re supposed to be a writer. Use your imagination when you write your author bio, and avoid overused clichés.
If you can’t write an original bio about yourself, give up writing and take up pottery. Or at least hire a copywriter to do it for you.
10. DO be patient.
Most overnight successes take about 30 years on average, so don’t rush it.
Learn to walk before you start to run. It takes time to attract attention and build your author platform.
If you’re still reading, there are, of course, many more ways to improve your book promotion. But this quick list will get you started.
Use your head and think about how people will react before you try a new online promotion idea.
My golden rule is; how would I react if I came across myself and my book marketing?
You can’t sell a book to anyone using pressure and direct methods. You need to create interest in you and your book, and then wait for people to buy it.