As a self-published author of e-books, all of my marketing has been done online. I do not have physical copies of my books, so there is nothing to send to reviewers or ask bookstore owners to buy.
So you have written a wonderful novel that you know readers will love to read. But being a self-published author your job doesn’t end there. In order to be successful, people must know about your novel and the only way to do that is to market it (and yourself).
Every author should establish an author website or blog as places readers can go to learn more about the author, his or her books and what work is currently in progress. Now, I suggest you make an AUTHOR website and not one for a specific book or series. It is much easier to keep just one website up-to-date, and it allows the reader to easily find ALL your information in one place.
Be sure on your website (or blog) to include a brief author bio as well as a way to buy your books even if it is only a link to a major retailer. For other dos and don’ts of an author website, check out my blog – Tips to improve your author website.
In addition to a web page, you might consider doing a Facebook page and set up a Twitter account.
Many authors disagree on whether you should use Twitter as a marketing tool. Some authors consider it to be spam to send out self-promoting tweets. Well, I am not one of them. I think there is nothing wrong with tweeting about your latest release or blog post. But (and this is important) you do NOT want the only thing you tweet about to be all about you and your great book. Join conversations. Tweet about other interests. Tweet about other author’s successes too. If you do decide to use Twitter, consider using a few programs designed for Twitter users such as Hootsuite and bitly.
One of my favorite hash tags to tweet about my own books is #SampleSunday and #TeaserTuesday where you let readers know where they can find excerpts of your books. What better way to introduce new readers to your books than by giving them a “free” taste?
Joining author groups such as Author’s Database or Independent Author’s Network can offer not only author support but allow readers to find you on these sites. World Literary Café is also a good place that offers many ways to promote your novel.
You can use reading groups such as Goodreads to help build a network with other booklovers but these typically are not places to spout off about your books. In fact doing so will turn readers off to you and your books.
There are of course many other marketing options out there for authors – some of them paid and some of them free. The key is to try as many different ones as you need to find out what works for you and your books. Remember that no one will buy your book – no matter how great it is – if they don’t know it exists.