You have to put a little work into effectively marketing your books. It can be absolutely exhausting! But it's also absolutely important. Here are my six marketing tips to (hopefully) make your life a little easier.
1. Build a Mailing List - If you don't have one, you NEED one. This will allow you to keep in touch with your readers without having to pay to reach them like you often have to do on social media sites like your Facebook Fan Page. Giving readers an incentive to sign up for your list, like a free book or exclusive content can be a great help. Equally as important...you have to utilize your list! Don't just let it sit there, collecting dust. And don't be shy about sending them stuff. They signed up for a reason. If they decide it's not for them, they can always unsubscribe. I, personally, use Mailchimp, because I like the way it's set up and I can integrate it with Instafreebie. There are other options out there, but I'm not as familiar with them. Ask around and find out what your author friends are using.
2. Use Instafreebie - When running a give away to gain subscribers, to say thanks to your subscribers, or simply to find new readers, Instafreebie is a great option. It allows you to give away a title for free, and has a lot of great options to help you along the way. You can set a password so the giveaway is contained to only those you provide the password to, you can make it public, you can integrate your mailing list so readers sign up in order to grab the freebie.... Lots of options that allow you to give away books while retaining control!
3. Learn to love Facebook Ads - I'm begrudgingly adding this one to the list for a number of reasons. First, Facebook Ads, when done right, can be incredibly powerful tools. Second, if you want your stuff to be seen on Facebook, even by those who Like your page, you're going to have to bite the bullet and deal with Facebook Ads. Third, they can be a great way to find new readers. All of that said...I have a love/hate relationship with FB Ads. They can be a total pain in the ass, with FB approving and disapproving ads with no rhyme or reason. I've had an ad for a New Adult book with NO sex denied because it was "sexual". I had to appeal, and FB was like, "Our bad!". I've had an ad approved, had it start running, and then midway through, FB disapproved it. Again, I had to appeal, only for them to be like, "Our bad!". This is particularly infuriating if you're running an ad for a time-sensitive sale or giveaway. BUT... FB ads really can be worth the hassle. Play with them. Learn to use them. Learn to love them. You need them, as much as it pains me to say that.
4. Sign up for CoPromote and Triberr - To help others find your content, consider signing up for a service like CoPromote or Triberr, both of which allow others to easily find and share your content. In exchange, you find and share relevant content from others. I used Triberr for a long time, but don't have as much time for it now. Instead, I use CoPromote. I've had a lot of success getting my content seen, have grown my followers, and I've found a lot of great content myself.
5. Schedule a Bookbub Campaign - Bookbub is expensive...let's just put that out there now. You also have to meet certain criteria in order for them to feature your book. But if they do, the return on investment is absolutely worth it! Curiosity Quills has run Bookbub campaigns for FADE several times with really great results. With their help, FADE sold over 4k copies in a matter of days. It also increased sales for FALL, the second book in the series. I cannot say enough how worth the expense Bookbub can be!
6. Gather Book Reviews - Gaining reviews for a title is an incredibly important element of book marketing. Build a list of reviewers you can contact when a new title comes out, or when you're running a Review Tour. Ask your readers to post their reviews to Goodreads and Amazon, even if those reviews are short and sweet. This is important, not only because other readers want to know what people think of the book, but because you have to have a certain number in order to use services like Bookbub, or for Amazon to add your books to the emails they send out. That said, you have to take the good with the bad. You will get negative reviews, and they won't always be nice about why they hated every single thing about your book. You have to learn to roll with the punches and let it go. Seriously. Let. It. Go. Don't email someone who hated your book and try to change their mind or tell them why they're wrong. You're going to cause bigger problems doing that than the review caused in the first place! Everyone is entitled to his or her opinion, even when we don't necessarily like them or agree.
What is your go-to marketing tip? What has worked for you in the past? I'd love to know!