At the January meeting of the Ancient City FWA group, Mandie Stevens and Tawdra Kandle, the owners of PromotionalBookTours.com joined us to engage in the conversation of marketing indie books for success. Many worthwhile points were made during the hour presentation and Q&A, including of course, the most important element: write a great book! Marketing and promotion are just things we need to do – don’t dread them, but do them smart!
Some key thoughts I though particularly worth restating here are:
- Don’t make a major investment in your time and money until you’ve completed three books. With Book 1, limit your promo/marketing efforts and spend your time writing book 2. As we’ve all heard many times before, genre series sells.
- You can begin to establish your social media identity with book one and grow it.
- Build a newsletter for your fans – let them know you appreciate them.
- Participate in online events. eBooks are going to represent the bulk of your sales and larger royalties.
- Social Media Tips for Success include: being genuine in your tweets and posts; mix your social media types; post 2-3 non-self promoting posts for every 1 promotional post; be willing to be visible with the social media outlets. This is where you will build your brand the fastest. How do you want to be perceived? What’s unique about you, your books, your characters, your setting, your products? Build your brand out of that knowledge.
- Build a plan: Failure to plan WILL be a plan to fail. To maintain and grow your brand and presence, be prepared to plan 30-60 minutes per day for your social media work. Tools like Hootsuite can help you to write once and post to all.
Many indie authors distribute their books through aggregators like Smashwords, for instance. One that’s newer and allows for preorders and fast turnaround, is DRAFT2DIGITAL.COM. Check them out – clients really liking the results of working with this company.
Face to face opportunities that help to build buzz and promote your brand:
- Conventions: You ARE your brand when you attend events like conferences, books signing events, etc. Get on the panels if you can; engage people at every opportunity; look for book festivals where readers/fans will be present
- Coastal Magic Book Festival, Daytona Beach, FL (February)
- Amelia Island Book Festival, Amelia Island, FL (February)
- Indie Bookfest, Altamonte Springs Hilton (October 2016)
Note from Nancy: Check out this site for planning events you may want to attend –