Getting Email Subscribers as an Indie Author

Getting folks onto your email list should be your #1 priority after you’ve created some content for your website.

Why?

Because nobody can rely on Facebook’s or Twitter’s algorithms to put your content in front of your readers. Sending messages directly to your readers’ inbox is the best way to deliver valuable content and create a dialogue with your readers.

Before we talk numbers, I just want you to know that I successfully Kickstarted Knocked Up Abroad Again with a list of only 110 subscribers. They were my core group of people who I reached out to to generate momentum on launch day of my Kickstarter campaign, but I also leveraged the readers of the book’s 25 contributors.

Pulling the trigger—Sending your first email to your list

Over the years, I’ve struggled with finding topics to send my newsletter recipients. Should I send them links to my blogs? (Yes.) Should I send them links to affiliate courses or products by other people I know, like, and trust? (Yes.) What should I actually send my newsletter recipients?

In short, you can send anything to your readers as long as you are delivering meaningful content. Make it valuable, insightful, or emotional and people will open, read, and share your emails.

I feel most comfortable with sending no more than two (2) emails a month. I have enough to include in each email—blogs, podcasts, articles, etc.—and I can be consistent with bi-weekly emails.

If you’re just starting out, I’d start with monthly emails and see how it goes from there.

Be authentic. Be yourself.

As long as you offer up high-quality content that your readers find valuable, people will stay on your list.

Your readers are smart

Almost everyone knows at this point that if you register for a free webinar or e-book, your email is going onto someone’s list. There will always be folks who hop on your list for a short time to grab your freebie and then unsubscribe right away. Don’t worry about those people.

Focus on delivering quality content or insights about your writing process that will keep your readers engaged.

Ways for indie authors to create valuable freebies

Using MailChimp or Mailerlite, you can create sign-up forms and use automation to deliver digital content as an incentive to increase your subscribers.

Here are some ideas specifically for indie authors but you should use your creativity here (go crazy!)

  • Podcast about a specific topic related to a popular blog post
  • Narrated version of a short-story
  • Special interview with a special guest (video or podcast)
  • E-book with tips for your readers on a topic related to your book
  • Special access to digital content that enhances the reader’s experience with your book
  • Animated short featuring a character from your book
  • First chapter of your book with a link to purchase the full book
  • Coupon code for your book or other items you might sell
  • Anything you can think of that your readers might want

In short, have fun with your content creation and create multiple avenues for people to get onto your list. Send out consistent high-quality content, and be yourself.

Watch my video on YouTube about email subscribers here.

 

Getting More Book Reviews on Amazon and Goodreads

With only 3% of readers leaving reviews on Amazon and Goodreads, it’s no wonder that authors (both traditional and indie) are struggling to encourage their readers to leave book reviews.

Amazon and Goodreads are like the TripAdvisor and Yelp equivalents for books and many readers rely on reviews to guide them on what book they should purchase next.

Unfortunately, although Amazon acquired Goodreads in 2013, the reviews on each platform stay where they were originally placed so you need to encourage readers to leave the same review in two places. Annoying, for sure.

While I can’t guarantee that every review will be favorable, here are some tips for getting more reviews on Amazon and Goodreads.

1. Encourage your readers with every newsletter you send out

First of all, your readers should be subscribed to your newsletter (I use MailerLite but I’ve also used MailChimp in the past and have enjoyed both.) At the end of each newsletter you send out, make a strong appeal to them asking for reviews and hyperlink your request directly to your book’s page on Amazon and Goodreads.

Go ahead and say something like,

“Readers rely on honest reviews to inform their book purchases and I’d love your review on Amazon and Goodreads if you enjoyed the book. I personally read each review and really appreciate hearing your feedback.”

OR

“Without reader reviews, books will go largely unnoticed on large websites like Amazon. I’d love it if you could kindly leave a review if you enjoyed reading my book(s). For every review you leave for an indie author, an angel gets its wings.”

Or something like that. You get the idea. Have fun with it but remind your readers that you love and appreciate their reviews.

2. Add an image to your sidebar on your blog/website 

The one I have on my sidebar is a standard social media post sized graphic from Canva and it took me approximately 4 minutes to create. Clicking on that image takes my readers directly to my books’ Amazon sales pages.

You’re welcome to steal it/borrow it/modify it however you want.

3. Give books away for review

I’ve done this a few ways—handed out physical books to friends in person, ran giveaway contests on my Facebook profile to drive social media attention, and have run a free download giveaway of the Kindle version on Amazon. All approaches have their pros and cons but I’d recommend doing something where you giveaway books to people for free.

That’s right, I said free.

But Lisa, that will cost me money and sales rankings and and and…

I know, it will cost you all of that but when you’re marketing, you have to think of the long game. The more copies you have circulating in the population, the more chances you have that people will read your book. More readers equals more reviews which should equate to more people purchasing your book.

If you give away books for review purposes, be sure to have your reviewers declare that in their Amazon reviews. Amazon wants transparency in their reviews so as long as they include something along the lines of, 

“I received a complimentary copy of this book for review purposes but the opinions are my own.”

Amazon will be satisfied that your readers are providing honest and transparent reviews about your book. Don’t get dinged by Amazon! 

When I was new at this game, I was extremely protective of giving away free copies. I was like, “No way! If they want to support me they will buy 5 copies!” And that’s true to a certain extent. Your family will buy more than one copy and they will help you in so many ways, but you can also generate a lot of goodwill and loyalty by giving away copies to strangers (gasp!).

Build a loyal following. Enroll your book in KDP Select for 90 days and see what happens. Knocked Up Abroad has been on KDP Select since I launched it and it currently has 37 reviews (which I am very happy with.) My second book, released only 10 months later, has 23 reviews. It has never been enrolled in KDP Select.

Is my first book that much better than my second book? No, not at all. I think a lot of readers in the KindleUnlimited program exclusively read books that are enrolled in KDP Select. Those folks are avid readers and are more likely to leave book reviews.

I also flubbed up a bit on Knocked Up Abroad Again and that leads me to my next point…

4. Move the acknowledgements section to the beginning of your Kindle version

Kindle readers are automatically prompted to leave a review on Amazon whenever the reach the end of the manuscript on their Kindle device. If you have 4 pages of acknowledgements like I did in Knocked Up Abroad Again because you have to thank hundreds of Kickstarter backers, many readers aren’t going to flip through to the end that generates that review prompt.

Whoops.

Move your acknowledgements to the beginning or shorten them entirely and take advantage of that Kindle prompt that will do a lot of heavy lifting for you.

5. Encourage your readers at the end of your book to leave a review

Jen Mann is the New York Times bestselling author of People I want to Punch in the Throat and she has created her own publishing imprint and is a total badass. Read her work and learn from her.

At the end of her first YA novel, My Lame Life: Queen of the Misfits, Jen includes a short and sweet call to action for her readers. 

“Notes from the Author

Thank you for reading this book. I appreciate your support and hope you enjoyed it. I hope you will tell a friend—or 30 about this book. Please do me a huge favor and leave me a review on Amazon and Goodreads. Of course, I prefer 5-star, but I’ll take what I can get. If you hated this book, you can skip the review, it’s cool.”

Encourage your readers to leave a review while they are still holding your book in their hands and maybe, just maybe, they’ll leave a review for you.

Pro tip: Readers love 4-star reviews

My first 4-star review really stung. It was from someone I admired and someone I thought would give me a 5-star review without question. Fortunately, she softened the blow a bit by letting me know that she was leaving me a 4-star review.

She said, “I absolutely loved your book but I think that readers are suspicious about 5-star reviews. I always leave 4-star reviews so that readers take me seriously and that will help you more in the long-run, trust me.”

At first I thought she was yanking my chain and just trying to make me feel better about my horrible 4-star book, but now, after reading a ton of 4-star reviews on Amazon and Goodreads, I agree with her.

If every book you read gets 5-stars, then the rating loses its value.

Also, reviews on Goodreads are a bit more honest than reviews on Amazon. If you get 5-stars on Goodreads, you really knocked someone’s socks off.

If you have any tips for getting more book reviews, be sure to leave them in the comments.

Want to watch my video on getting book reviews on Amazon and Goodreads? Head over to YouTube and I’ll basically say all of these things I mentioned above but with more stories and anecdotes.  Here’s the link to the video.

4 Reasons Why Indie Authors Should Crowdfund Their Books

After successfully crowdfunding my book on Kickstarter and helping other indie authors find success on IndieGoGo and Kickstarter platforms, I fully believe that more indie authors can successfully crowdfund their books with some research and strategic planning.

The average book on Kickstarter and IndieGoGo raises $5k, but my clients raise above average levels ranging from $7k-$27k USD.

Here are my reasons why you should consider crowdfunding your book:

#1 Proof of Concept

Erin Nelsen Parekh Kickstarted her debut children’s board book and felt that the crowdfunding process proved her book was worth creating.

“Going through the crowdfunding process really made me feel like the entire project was vetted.”

If you can get more than 150 people to pre-order your book based on a sales page and campaign video, then you have a really strong message that resonates with people. Chances are good that you should create your book.

If you can’t raise the necessary funds to make your book a reality (i.e., your campaign doesn’t successfully fund), then it means that you need to reevaluate your idea, your audience, or your marketing efforts. 

Something is flawed and a failed crowdfunding project doesn’t mean your idea isn’t valuable, it just means you need to rework your approach.

Crowdfunding in a do-or-die scenario is a really good test of your book’s concept and will undoubtedly improve your future marketing efforts.

#2 Expand and engage your audience

When I launched the Kickstarter campaign for Knocked Up Abroad Again, I only had a newsletter size of 140 people and a Facebook page around 700. That was it. Scary, right?

Traditionally markers said that I wouldn’t reach my $10k goal with those numbers and normally, they’d be right. The difference is that crowdfunding isn’t like traditional marketing campaigns.

Crowdfunding forces you to create valuable content that people will want to share with their friends and family—organically—and those articles, videos, and images all have the link to your campaign on them. 

Fortunately, I had the help of a team of 5-8 contributors who developed their own blogs, videos, and graphics to share with their networks.  Crowdfunding is truly a team effort that undoubtedly results in expanding your audience.

One of the best parts about crowdfunding is that you engage your audience. 

As the creator, you provide them an inside peek into the development process of your book. They are along with you on the ride and are excited to share your concept.

This type of audience engagement is rare during the development process. Normally, writers will create a book and release it on a launch date.

Not many readers get the chance to influence a book during its development and that’s what keeps people coming back to platforms like Kickstarter and IndieGoGo.

#3 Condense 3-6 months of marketing efforts into 30 days

This condensed marketing effort really takes a lot of strategic planning and development. You can’t just throw up a campaign page and expect the backers to support your project. 

All of the marketing efforts that other authors spend over the course of the year are condensed into a very short timeframe. 

This can be exhausting, which is why all crowdfunding campaigns should end after 30 days or so.

During your crowdfunding campaign, you’ll write press releases, create videos, reach out to bloggers, social media influencers, and hopefully, get the attention of a few news outlets.

Stacy Bauer made a few appearances on her local TV news station during her Kickstarter campaign for her children’s book.

Erin Parekh’s campaign link was retweeted twice by Neil Gaiman out to his 2.72M followers.

You’re not supposed to be able to sustain this level of a marketing media blitz longer than 30 days, so please, don’t try. 

#4 Your book is funded

The best part about crowdfunding your book is that aside from your marketing budget during the crowdfunding campaign, your wallets aren’t entirely empty.

Many indie authors struggle with finding the thousands of dollars necessary to hire a quality editor, illustrator, and cover designer. As a result, their books aren’t as well made and don’t sell as well. 

Crowdfunding offers a unique proposition to readers that basically says, “Invest in this idea and you’ll get a much better product than you could’ve if I did this on my own dime.”

Believe me, people will invest a few extra books if it means they get a better book plus a few extras.

To Summarize

More authors are turning to Kickstarter and IndieGoGo to launch their books and provide additional bonuses to their readers. 

In a saturated market, it’s important to stand out.

Offering your readers MORE than what they can get if they order your book on Amazon is a real benefit for everyone.

Crowdfunding isn’t easy and it requires a ton of planning, effort, and energy on your part, but it’s very worthwhile. 

You’ll create materials that can be used to market your book throughout the year and you’ll make connections with podcasters, journalists, and bloggers who you might not meet otherwise.

If you’re interested in learning more about crowdfunding your book, I’m available to help.

testimonials
Find out if crowdfunding is right for you with this free video course

Thinking more seriously? Schedule a free 20-min consultation below

If you’re more serious about crowdfunding your book on Kickstarter or IndieGoGo, then click below for a free 20-min chat with me.

I’ve helped author raise over $150k for their books and I’m confident that I can help you.

Filling in the application doesn’t obligate either of us to work together—let’s see if we’re a good match.

Kickstarter vs. IndieGoGo vs. Publishizer

When it comes to crowdfunding platforms, you really only have a few options—Kickstarter, IndieGoGo, and Publishizer. Of course, there are other, smaller crowdfunding platforms out there, but I do not recommend those for crowdfunding your book.

Full disclosure: I have successfully crowdfunded books on Kickstarter and IndieGoGo, so I prefer those platforms over others. I’ll go over the reasons why below.

Regardless of what you decide, you first need to research the types of projects featured on each platform to find the best “home” for your book.

The average book campaign raises around $5K. If you have a larger goal in mind, I suggest you read about how Don Moyer used serial campaigns to successfully fund his creative projects.

Let's Start With The Basics

A key thing to remember: the vast majority of your readers don’t understand the concept of crowdfunding. Plain and simple.

Whenever you launch a crowdfunding campaign for your book, most of your time will be spent educating your Aunt Mary why you are crowdfunding your book and why it’s important that she shares your campaign link.

Without a doubt, she will brush you off thinking that you are begging for money, and you’ll be left feeling frustrated with the entire thing.

So, given that, does the platform you choose matter?

Absolutely.

Crowdfunding companies like Kickstarter and IndieGoGo are homes to crowdfunding campaigns that have gone viral—gadgets, gizmos, and a never-ending supply of travel neck pillows.

However, creative projects like performing arts and books have struggled to find the same success as the games and apps have on these platforms.

The average book on Kickstarter and IndieGoGo receives $5k in funding. However, there have been notable exceptions, and I’ve seen books reach over $100k.

Science Wide Open put out a series of science books for girls and leveraged their established audience from their online games to find success on Kickstarter. Their campaign ended with $136,520 (2275%). 

It doesn’t mean it can’t happen, but it’s rare. Those with wild success have already built their audiences before they launch.

Enter…Publishizer

Publishizer was invented in 2016 with books in mind and I really really wanted them to be the answer and provide an amazing platform for books.

It might because they are still growing as a company, but in browsing their current and past book proposals, I simply cannot recommend them to any of my crowdfunding clients.

Publishizer is kind of like a literary agent who takes 30% after you’ve used their platform to drum up 1,000 pre-orders of your book.

The thing is, if you can successfully garner 1,000 pre-orders for your book, you don’t need the Publishizer platform, and you certainly don’t need to give them 30% of your funds raised.

Why?

Because if you are popular on Kickstarter or IndieGoGo, you can use that social proof to get the attention of a traditional publisher. I know because it has happened to one of my clients on IndieGoGo, but they never paid someone 30% for that visibility—only the 8% in IndieGoGo and payment processing fees.

So, why automatically give a platform money for what you can do yourself?

The benefits of a community

Kickstarter has some benefits—there is a vast Kickstarter community of super backers who browse the platform and offer up their support to random projects. Since Kickstarter backers aren’t charged until the project is successful, many backers will support a project in the early stages when things are relatively low-risk for them. It’s been known to happen.

The publishing projects on IndieGoGo tends to be fertile ground for books, and they will often share popular campaigns on their Facebook and Twitter social media accounts resulting in a huge boost in your visibility to new readers.

The main problem I have with Publishizer, and I have a few, is that they will put you in front of the Big 5 publishers if you have 1,000 pre-orders, but their most successful books usually only raise $1,000-$5,000 in funds—the same average as Kickstarter and IndieGoGo.

Publishizer basically equals higher fees and lower success rates than Kickstarter and IndieGoGo.

So, in short, their fees are higher, the projects on the platform tend not to compete as well as those on Kickstarter and IndieGoGo, and the community is smaller than the other crowdfunding platforms.

What’s wrong with Publishizer?

My personal opinion is that the Publishizer website isn’t as visually appealing as Kickstarter or IndieGoGo.

Publishizer also has a bit of a “Chicken or the egg?” dilemma. Meaning that the authors who are posting on the platform are seeking funding because they don’t have an audience but you can’t successfully crowdfund ANY book without an audience.

While I absolutely love the concept of Publishizer because they are focused on books, they missed a huge part of the equation essential to all crowdfunding campaigns and book campaigns are no different than neck pillows.

You need to offer something someone wants.

Often, the authors on Publishizer aren’t offering books anyone wants and therefore, their campaigns flop. Without a funding do-or-die strategy like Kickstarter and IndieGoGo, authors aren’t motivated to push their campaigns to success. 

Wah, wahh, waaaaah.

Authors use Publishizer because they want to get the attention of a publisher—indie, hybrid, or traditional. That means that they aren’t really committed to putting out the book on their own and readers don’t want to back a book that’s unlikely to happen.

Holy horrible cycle of destruction, Batman! 

Consider the perspective of your reader (aka the backer)

Let’s look at it from the reader’s perspective. Am I more likely to pre-order a book from an author who is waiting for a publisher over one who is committed to self-publishing and delivering the book to me according to a specific timeline?

I can tell you right now, readers who are truly interested in the book and want you to be a success are going to want reassurances that you’re going to deliver the book.

The uncertainty factor that is inherent in Publishizer’s approach doesn’t send waves of confidence to the author or the reader. It’s a big shoulder shrug as to the outcome of the campaign.

Homework: After you’re done with this article, head over to all of the platforms and comb through their current book projects, and you tell me which is your favorite.

But wait, there’s more

If you have one (only 1) pre-order on Publishizer, you’ll be put on the list of service publishers—the folks who will gladly take your money to help you “self-publish” without any quality control or guidance.

No, thanks, Publishizer. I don’t want Xlibris to have my email whatsoever as they are notorious for horrible service and hundreds of writers have written reviews warning others about their “services”. The fact that Xlibris is even included on Publishizer’s website indicates that they have not done quality control for their authors.

Uh…if you’re not familiar with Xlibris or Authorhouse, proceed cautiously and read this article.

With Publishizer, your book won’t be seen by traditional publishers (the big guns we all hope for) if you don’t have 500+ pre-orders.

For Knocked Up Abroad Again, me and my contributors worked around the clock for 30 days to generate the equivalent of 302 pre-orders from 277 backers and $10K on Kickstarter.

Had I launched my project on Publishizer instead, I would’ve gotten the attention of 10-15 independent and service publishers (no big guns, sadly), but I would’ve had to fork over the 30% fee to Publishizer which would leave me with less money to self-publish the work myself if a publishing contract fell through.

If I were in your shoes, I’d take my chances and save 22% of my fees by crowdfunding on Kickstarter and IndieGoGo.

You bring the audience to the platform

Remember, authors have to bring their readers to the crowdfunding platform, so it really doesn’t matter which platform you direct them to as long as it contains enticing information, is visually appealing, and will get done what you want to accomplish.

In my opinion, Kickstarter and IndieGoGo will give you a better chance at success over Publishizer.

Now, should you choose Kickstarter or IndieGoGo? That’s another question for another day.

If you’ve created or backed a project on Publishizer and have a different experience, please let me know. I’m open and receptive to other people’s opinions.

Perspectives from Self-Publisher, Britt Reints on Marketing and Topic Burnout

I had the opportunity to chat with Britt Reints, author of An Amateur’s Guide to the Pursuit of Happiness, who was kind enough to share her insights on why she chose to self-publish and the interesting things that happen when you are marketing your book.

Why did you decide to self-publish your book?

Honestly, I didn’t even try to publish the traditional route because I was scared someone would tell me I couldn’t do it. I’m an instant gratification person, and I didn’t want to wait for a long time only to be told, “No.”

What aspects did you end up doing yourself and what did you hire out?

I hired a cover designer and a few editors. I also hired a short-term publicist who blasted out my press release to every outlet and got me on a few radio shows. I did my website all by myself and the interior formatting of my book and e-book. I used Scrivener for the writing and organization of my book.

Do you remember how much it cost to produce your book?

I can’t remember exactly, but I’d say somewhere around $1800. The cover designer charged around $500, editors $800, and the publicist was around $500.

You’ve been writing for about 12 years. How helpful was your blog in informing your book?


Well, I traveled for a year, but I didn’t write about that trip. I wrote the book that I didn’t see in the self-help genre (I cringe at the term).

I wanted to write something that discussed the topic of happiness in a way that reached more people. I wanted it to be accessible.

I saw the same themes coming up over and over again on the blog, so I knew they were universal, and I wanted people to know how to do it.

Do you consider yourself a happiness guru of sorts?

After I wrote my book and did a Ted Talk, I haven’t written. It kind of killed my writing because after writing my book, marketing my book, I got annoyed with my topic.

Being associated with my book’s topic ended up being limiting in a way. I was interested in happiness because of a personal experience I had, but I’m kind of over that and want to explore other things.

What was the biggest marketing event that went the furthest?

I definitely sold the most number of books when I was speaking at corporate events and conferences and had my book for sale in the back of the room. I could sell a lot in bulk—20-30 books at one event, so that’s where I saw the most traction.

What advice would you give others?

Hone your craft and be a good writer (and all that jazz) but know that 90% of your work is going to be in marketing your book. If you’re not good at marketing, then invest your money in someone who is.

Do you think it’s worthwhile to self-publish a book?

Writing a book is a stepping stone. When you’re done, you have a huge sense of accomplishment, and it solidifies your platform. Similar to getting your college degree, it shows that you can do a good job and finish something. You can flesh out an idea into a finished book. It’s a major portfolio builder.

What’s next for you?

I would publish again, but now that everyone is writing on the internet, I feel less inclined to put my opinion out there until I know how my opinion is different from everyone else’s. I’m still active on social media, but Twitter is so noisy. I prefer Facebook for tracking conversations.

Check out Britt’s TedX talk here: Creating your owner’s manual for a happy life

Bio

Britt Reints is a happiness expert who doesn’t believe there is any such thing as a happiness expert.

Check out her writing at www.inpursuitofhappiness.net.

Why Every Professional Should Publish a Book

Every professional should consider adding a book to their resume. As a small business owner or entrepreneur, you already control your creative ideas, budget, and messaging around your work, why not do the same with your intellectual property and self-publish a non-fiction book? 

Publishing a book can boost your business in many ways:

Increase your visibility

Small business owners and entrepreneurs benefit from having a book that boosts the reach of the brand. As a professional, your job title may change from job to job but a book is an embodiment of your expertise and knowledge that follows you wherever you go.

A lot of work you develop during your career stays with your job when you leave or change roles but capturing your novel ideas and thoughts in a book means that you can take those experiences with you no matter what job you have.

If you developed a novel approach to analytics, management, or marketing, you could record and share that knowledge in a way that better serves other professionals like you. 

Books boost your credibility and visibility as an expert in the field. You’re already the expert, so why not write the book on the topic? 

Market your business in a new way

You’ve already developed your website and services, and clients love working with you. You are a trusted member of the professional community, and you offer valuable insights in all of the work you do. Providing clients with a book enables you to stand out from the rest of the competition in your field.

Books serve as the ultimate contact card for consumers. By selling your book on Amazon, you can reach potential customers around the world. 

As the author of a book, you’ll be invited to new events, conferences, and opportunities that didn’t previously exist. Publishing a book establishes your company’s brand and garners positive media attention.

It also provides a direct line of communication with consumers and leaves behind a legacy of institutional knowledge for your business.

Capture a lifetime of experience

Many retired professionals, once removed from the daily obligations of work, want a way to capture all of their knowledge and expertise while it is still fresh. After 30+ years of experience, it often feels like a waste of all of that on-the-job experience to let it all disappear into the ether that is the first year of retirement.

Capturing the unique experiences you had during your career in the format of a book is an enjoyable project that many recent retirees don’t often consider.

What to write about?

Write about your successes, failures, strategic decisions, and insights behind the creation of your company, your business, and your ideas. What drove you to become successful? What is the backstory to your company or brand that nobody knows? 

Share your wisdom with your existing customers, and you’ll find that in doing so, you’ll end up reaching an entirely new base of clients. 

Find out if self-publishing is right for you with this free PDF, 10 Steps to Self-Publishing

[sociallocker id=”2466″]

Click here to download your free PDF

[/sociallocker]

Book Marketing Ideas

“Content is fire, social media is gasoline.” -Jay Baer

When it comes to marketing your book, you have to do what every business does—get your product (that’s your book) in front of people who might be interested in reading it.

How you go about doing that will need to vary based on your audience.

In my lecture, Identifying and Connecting with Your Ideal Reader, I walk you through how to define your reader and think about where you can find them on the internet and in real life. (Click here to head to that lecture.)

Your marketing strategy for 25-35 year old women who are interested in yoga and aromatherapy will be slightly different than another author’s strategy who is targeting men between the ages of 55-65 years who are American classic car enthusiasts.

While the messages will differ depending on your ideal reader, you can still reach them in similar ways.

Here are a few ideas to market your book:

1. Book reviews on blogs

I guarantee that someone out there has a blog and is enthusiastic about your book’s genre. It’s up to you to track them down and make the connection.

Google your fingers off and create a list of potential book review bloggers and start contacting them with a friendly request for a book review.

You’ll need to send them either an e-book file or physical book for their review. You must give your book to reviewers freely and don’t even hint to them that you are looking for positive feedback.

According to Amazon’s book review policies, you cannot solicit positive reviews in exchange for a free copy of the book. Authors cannot incentivize or compensate reviewers in any form.

Ask the blogger to copy/paste a version of their review on your Amazon sales page and Goodreads when they are finished and ask them to let you know when the review on their site is live so you can share their blog post far and wide on your social media platforms.

If it helps sweeten the deal, you can offer one physical book for them to run a reader giveaway. They’ll run the promotion and send you the mailing address for you to ship once the giveaway ends.

As always, be genuine, be grateful, be nice and you’ll go far.

2. Let your voice be heard! Podcast interviews

Similar to your blogger outreach, you should repeat the same process for various podcasts. Hop on iTunes and start searching for pods related to your topic.

If you’re going to be a guest on podcasts, you need to know a few things:

1. Get a decent microphone. Sure, you can do it with your ear buds, but really, a nice microphone makes a huge difference and it’s not that expensive.

I use the Blue Yeti Microphone and I got it at a discount during a Black Friday sale. Get the foam filter that goes over the head so we don’t hear every spittle and click. Your listeners will thank you for spending an extra $7-$9 on your equipment.

If you find yourself on more than two podcasts, it’s time to invest in a microphone. Who knows? Maybe you’ll start your own podcast…storytelling in the author’s own voice is always nice to hear.

Whenever preparing for an interview, remember to relax. It’s just a conversation. Prepare some talking points around why you created the book, your inspiration, and what you want readers to take away from your book and let the words flow.

The more you do, the better you will be at interviews so do some mock interviews to calm your nerves.

3. Take ALL of the pictures. Share on Instagram

Someone who does this really well is Lola Åkerström who created an Instagram account for her book, Lagom.

 

A post shared by LAGOM Book (@lagombook) on

Readers send her pictures of her book in their house and she reposts them on her Instagram account. 

The end result: a stunning display of creativity and engagement with her readers around the world.

Seriously, follow her and do one better, buy her book here.

4. Put things in motion with a moving gif or video of your book

Want a high-quality image or video of someone reading your book but you don’t have any models around?

You can head to websites like Placeit.net and create a mockup of your book.

This can turn into a rabbit hole so don’t get lost. Get in and get out!

Here’s an example of a one that I tested out.

Buuuut, if you want to DIY it, which you might, you can create your own by animating your own book cover images.

Here’s an example of what I did for my Knocked Up Abroad books. You can see it on my homepage here.

Steps (super easy and free):

1. Take some flat lay pictures of your book(s)

2. Make the scene somewhat interesting

3. Make slight changes between snaps

4. Animate them using iMovie OR do what I did and create an animated slideshow using the Elementor WordPress plugin on your site.

5. Join a few marketing groups

There are TONS of other ideas for marketing your book—this is only scratching the surface.

For more ideas, I recommend reading Book Marketing Made Simple by Karen Williams and joining marketing groups on Facebook.

Internet Marketing for Authors and Books

and 

Marketing Across the World if you’re looking to connect with international entrepreneurs.

I’m in both groups, so come in and say helloooo.

6. Blog in your own words

This one is the most obvious but I almost forgot to mention that you should be blogging and continuing to put your ideas out there.

Add a link to your book at the bottom of every blog or in the sidebar widget of your site to encourage your readers to read more.

Put the link to your book everywhere. Make it easy for readers to find you.


Okay! That’s it for me. If you have any questions, let me know in the comments.