Having published nine novels now, I’ve got a little bit of a handle on book promotions and what’s worked for me. Now, I should begin with a disclaimer that your mileage may vary. There is no silver bullet for promoting a book; if there were, we’d all be super rich. But here are my top 5 tips (note: geared toward the self-pub crowd, where you have all the control, but good tips for all)
5. Give yourself enough time to build buzz pre-release
This one is tricky to balance, especially depending on your release schedule. But at a minimum, Amazon gives you the ability to put your book out there 90 days prior to release. If you aren’t taking advantage of preorders, then you should give it a try.
Why give yourself pre-book buzz? Well, a lot of bloggers like to promote coming soon or newly released titles (though the occasional backlist gets their attention). If your book is finished 90 days before release date, then you can give those bloggers an advanced copy for them to review. Because the book is available for purchase (preorder), customers can take an action on it.
4. Don’t be shy
If you’re self-pub, nobody is going to promote your book but you. Reach out to people, engage them in conversation. Build relationships. Stockpile favors and goodwill from other authors and bloggers. That way, when you’ve got a release, you can cash in on those favors.
This of course means that when you aren’t releasing a book, you’re promoting others, which is also called “being part of the bookish community.”
3. After release, lean heavy on the eBook ads
Every 90 days, I run a new eBook ad on one of my series (I rotate between them so I’m grabbing one nearly every month). If there was such a thing as a silver bullet, this would be the closest to it. Generally, I make back the money I pay, and there’s always the lingering visibility boost.
2. Get out from behind the computer
I attend 1-2 conventions per month and it’s the best way to get out and make real fans. People I meet for five minutes at a table in Indianapolis turn into life-long buyers of books. It’s hard work, and you’ve got to get beyond your awkwardness about selling things to people.
1. Write the next book
This one is a no-brainer. The next book in a series sells the previous books and new series sell backlists. Now that I have nine out, with my next release ending my second series, I can slow down a little bit on releases.
My experience says that it takes three books for a series to take off, and I’m still waiting on that “make a living” checkmark, but we’ve hit the “break even” point.
About Spells and Sorcery
Spells and Sorcery (Lexie Carrigan Chronicles, #1)
by S. Usher Evans
Publisher: Sun’s Golden Ray Publishing, LLC
Publication Date: October 4th 2016
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
You have magic.
One sentence, three words, four syllables. Enough to change my life forever. And I’m not talking about the whole spells and sorcery thing.
Lexie Carrigan thought the weirdest thing about her was she preferred watching documentaries and reading the newspaper to reality TV and Twitter. But on the eve of her fifteenth birthday, her aunt and sisters drop a bomb–she’s magical.
Now the girl who never made waves is blowing up her nightstand and trying to keep from wreaking havoc on her school. When a kind stranger shows up with all the answers, Lexie hopes he’ll be able to help her control her newfound powers. But Gavon may not be as kind as he seems, and soon Lexie finds out that being magical is the least weird thing about her.
Spells and Sorcery is the first YA fantasy from S. Usher Evans, author of the Razia series, the Madion War Trilogy and Empath.
About the Author
S. Usher Evans is an author, blogger, and witty banter aficionado. Born in Pensacola, Florida, she left the sleepy town behind for the fast-paced world of Washington, D.C.. There, she somehow landed jobs with BBC, Discovery Channel, and National Geographic Television before finally settling into a “real job” as an IT consultant. After a quarter life crisis at age 27, she decided consulting was for the birds and rekindled a childhood passion for writing novels. She sold everything she owned and moved back to Pensacola, where she currently resides with her two dogs, Zoe and Mr. Biscuit.
Evans is the author of the Razia series, Madion War Trilogy, and Empath, published by Sun’s Golden Ray Publishing.