I will soon be ready to publish my novel. This will be a great achievement, but it’s just the beginning. If I plan on selling the book, my next step is to market it. If I don’t market my book, no one will know it’s available, which means no one will know how good (or bad) it is. I have to market my novel so that people will know about it and hopefully, be encouraged to buy it. Below are some ideas I have on how to market a self-published novel.
Keywords & Tags – Make sure that when you set your book up on its self-publishing platform that you use proper keywords and tags to identify your book. If your book is sci-fi, use the keyword sci-fi. Also consider the subgenre. Is it a space opera or is it cyberpunk, time travel, apocalyptic, hard science fiction, or another type of sci-fi subgenre? Is it for children, teens, or adults? Here is a good article about keywords for those of you planning on self-publishing on Amazon or CreateSpace – https://chrismcmullen.wordpress.com/2013/10/03/createspace-kindle-keyword-and-category-tips/
Multiple Publishing Platforms – If you publish your book on Amazon and/or CreateSpace, keep in mind that your book will only be sold on Amazon’s site. If you want your book sold on other sites, then you need to contact those other sites. By the way, if you self-publish on Smashwords, Smashwords automatically offers your book for sale on multiple book sites (as an e-book only, but e-books are currently outselling physical books and this is not likely to change).
Your Own Website – It’s so easy nowadays to set up your own website and/or blog. WordPress, Wix, and others allow you to do it for free. However, building your own website isn’t enough. You have to market it too. For a website, you have to consider SEO marketing. For a blog, you need to post regularly and about topics that would attract visitors who would be interested in your novel.
Social Media – Consider a Facebook fan page for your novel. Consider a Twitter account. Depending on your genre, you may even try Pinterest, Instagram, Snapchat, and others. Just be careful about spamming. You don’t want every single post to be about your novel. For example, sci-fi writers can post about new tech, new sci-fi authors, new tv shows or movies, and so on.
Paid Advertising – Advertise on social media sites such as Facebook or Twitter. Also, consider advertising on book selling sites. Amazon has such a service, as does many other book selling sites.
Local Events – One of my writer friends pays for a booth at local comicon events. Depending on your genre, you may also consider Renaissance festivals, gun shows, home shows, lawn & garden shows, art festivals, and so on. Keep in mind that sometimes booths at these events are rather expensive. I’ve seen booths cost as much as $500 for just a three-day event. It might help to have other paraphernalia for sale. My writer friend also sells t-shirts with art from his book covers on them, mugs, calendars, etc.
Book Signing – Ask your local coffee shops and books stores if you can do a book signing event. Be sure to advertise locally on Facebook groups, radio stations, your town’s website, and wherever else you can think of that would attract people appropriate to your genre.
Get Legitimate Reviews – Don’t ask your friends. You need to find the right sources or your reviews will mean nothing. Here is a good article that explains why – https://davidgaughran.wordpress.com/2017/07/19/when-reader-targeting-goes-wrong/#more-4479.
For legitimate reviews, try contacting websites that sell books to see if they do book reviews or if they know someone who does. Try bloggers who regularly review books of your genre. Be cautious of paying for reviews. Their reviews can come across as being biased. This doesn’t mean that you can’t pay someone for their time, but you will want to check out their previous reviews. If they always give good reviews, then no one will take their review of your novel seriously. You risk a bad review, but if your work is good enough you can balance it out with several legitimate good reviews. Besides, even bad reviews can get you publicity. Do you know how many bad reviews the Gothic horror novelist Stephen King gets? Lots.
I hope this list gives you some ideas on how to market your self-published novel. If you have any other ideas, feel free to share.