As an independent author, promoting my books is always high on my list of things to do. One of the easiest ways – and sometimes the most overlooked – is promoting within your published book.
In print books, you can often find a list of other books by the author. This is a smart thing to do as it directs satisfied readers to your other books. With e-books you can go beyond just listing your other books. You can proved hyperlinks directly to the purchase pages. And if you don’t have a ton of books to list, you can even include thumbnail-size covers.
Note – this works if publishing directly through Amazon or Barnes and Noble but not when publishing through Smashwords. Because Smashwords distributes your book to many retailers, they do not want links that will be directing readers to other websites to purchase additional books. According to the Smashwords’ Style Guide, you should only provide an external hyperlink to a personal home page, blog or to your Smashwords author page. (Similarly, when publishing through Smashwords, you shouldn’t ask for a book review for a specific retailer.)
With the ease of updating already published e-books, you can easily go back to your older books and update your list of other books available.
When making a hyperlink, don’t just type the link in the text. Instead, use MS Word’s “Hyperlink” command to create reliable links. Highlight the word, right click on it, select hyperlink. A window will come up in which you can paste your URL address where it says “address”. This way the title of your book is the link but the reader won’t see the long web address.
Another popular feature at the end of books is to include a sample chapter – often from a book that is yet to be released. In an e-book, if you are including a chapter of a book that is already published, you can include a link that takes the reader right to the buy page. (This works well for my short story which is an introduction to my trilogy.)
Another idea that I have seen suggested is to list the books of another author at the end of your book in the sort of “If you enjoyed this book, you might also enjoy these books from (Author’s name).” Or of course you can include a sample chapter from their book with the buy link. The idea is that you would do this for an author and they do the same for you allowing you both to broaden your readership.
No matter if you only list your books or if you include a sample chapter, make sure you don’t miss this easy – and FREE – way to promote your books.