A guide to Book Promotion in 2019

Finding the right advice for Authors to promote their work takes more than consulting ‘the Google’ these days. I also know by putting the year in the title of this post will make it pretty much instantly out dated, but for the same reasons scholars recorded stuff back in the day, I aim to do the same, pass on my knowledge and findings to simply learn for the future (where there will be robots…) and I’m not a scholar but a proud Indie Author…

So here is my guide to Book Promotion in 2019.

First of all, much of the stuff in this post is taken from a very recent book promotion I did for my 3rd novel ‘The Teleporter’ which I made free to download via Kindle Direct Publishing. Many author folks will know that having a book for free does help, but there are so many factors as to why I got the results I did.

These results were as follows: 

tp promo results

Over the 4 days I set ‘The Teleporter’ free to download 817 people grabbed a copy! It even went to #1 in one of it’s amazon charts! 

Now let’s explore ‘the factors’ which drove this book to so many downloads…

Factor 1: Book Promotion Sites. 

Book Promotion sites are essential for spreading the word about your words existing; in fact, I would argue that telling people your stuff actually is out there may indeed be the biggest challenge any smaller time author faces and product awareness/distribution is what we are trying to achieve here! 

So as well as setting my book to be free on the dates I decided (about a month previous) I then set out to find some book promo sites who will list my book and send the info about it out to mailing lists. Many of them have certain criteria and some even charge but most don’t ask for a lot in terms of what the results could potentially be.

Here is the list of promo sites, I used this time around. Some I paid for promotions, and some I didn’t. I also staggered the promos to run on most of the days my book was free.

tp 1 year

A few years ago I compiled this list from a Goodreads group called ‘Support for Indie Authors’ a 14,000 strong collective of Indie minds who band together and share results from all sorts of indie related book stuff. I don’t contribute much to the group, I kind of just lurk… but there is a great amount of info on promo sites.

As you can see I only spent $10 this time around, and it also included an interview with Itswritenow which you can read here and yes on my spreadsheet document the heading of anniversary is in french (I can be pretentious like that, being published gives someone such licence to be…)

Factor 2: Established Reviews on Amazon and Goodreads

tp reviews

This is relatively simple, and there is no real sure fire way to get reviews unless the reader wants to leave one. But the 5 reviews ‘The Teleporter’ had at the time of it being free is a huge factor that drove downloads. People seem to trust something that’s been out a while and has a few reviews. Upon release I put this book up for free and only 35 or so people downloaded it. Sometimes a book just needs to be out there for a while. So if you were one of the people who read and reviewed it before last week, you helped sell it!

Factor 3: An established following

At this current time my following has never been bigger, and that should always be the case for anyone who is an active blogger and writer on social media (and sort of obvious). I have also picked up a bunch of new followers whom are yet to read any of my novels. So with that and combined with the book being free, many of the followers I have had recent interaction with came out in force.

How I got that following is complex and simple all at once. Firstly it takes some time to gather a good following of genuine people. Secondly you have to invest by interacting, leaving constructive comments by being genuine and supportive to others in the writing and blogging community. Be there for others in the same boat on the same voyage as you. I have met some incredible writers and bloggers by just being present on the writing community scene.

My following continues to rise as I review indie books, all books I have read this year have been indie books. Many authors will feel inclined to return the favor but that is something I never aimed for, I’m reviewing books from indies because I am one and I have to support them, plus it’s reading and I love reading.

Factor 4: Chancer’s luck #indieapril

For those who are advocates of my stuff, they will know many of my characters are kind of chancer’s and tend to luck out. They look like they are better than they actually are; why do I say that? Because I am a chancer myself and I always have been.

I thought it would be nice to put ‘The Teleporter’ up for free because its a year since publication and the last promo I did was way back in September for Open Evening. This just so happened to coincide with April and then a trending hashtag started spreading around called #indieapril

#indieapril was some genius idea by some literal genius because people started tweeting about it and their support for indies. Then they started asking for indie book links whilst my book was free! Now I normally have the luck of the three blind basta**’s but holy sh** this was an open goal. For a very long while my tactics to sharing my own book link had changed to not talking sharing it at all. So I had a field day! And ‘The Teleporter’ kicked nearly every other book’s ass, and it went up against some pretty big competition…

This is an example of what I dropped in many folks comments of the Tweet machine…

tweet example

When you are really selling something, people just need to know the important details. As you can see it’s snappy and to the point and also the truth. ‘The Teleporter’ is all of those things, apart from being free right now. Boozy undertones; it’s not all serious folks.

Factor 5: Other smaller things I did…

As well as doing all the promo things above I also put up a big ‘ol Teleporter themed blog post, saying it was free and other stuff. It drove some traffic to the blog and many of the followers of the blogging persuasion are relatively new, plus it was free so people take notice.

I don’t like to mention Facebook because I personally think they are assholes mostly, they are one of those Robocop level corporations who are probably reading this while sharpening Zuckerbergs terminator liquid metal style axe for a hand, hey Mark (waves slowly). I did put up a less than £10 boosted post. It may have helped sell a few copies and definitely a paperback which was someone I personally know so the results are inconclusive. My following is pretty good on my page, you are more than welcome to like it, link to the side somewhere over there >>>>>

Bonus factor: A back Catalogue

I currently have 4 books available which I got published in 2 years, that’s some high revolutions, foot down on the gas type of sh**. I’ve worked my ass off to get those out there and now I have, people take it seriously. It’s true when they say the more books you release the better chance you have, trust me, you got to churn out them stories!

cropped-4.jpg

Results:

The main result is the amount of times the book got downloaded, but there are also longer term results which are still coming in. Kindle Direct Publishing also track page reads (a bit creepy I know) and these are the most recent figures of people reading:

PAGES READ

You can also see somebody has taken on ‘Darke Blood’ also, good on ya, I’m liking that book more and more these days…

There has also been a new review of ‘The Teleporter’ via Goodreads!

tp goodreads rev

Conclusion:

If you’re an indie looking to get more reads, I recommend going free to download for a little while, the first thing I will say is that you are not whoring your stuff out, you are giving it to the world to enjoy and discover. I don’t do this for a living, maybe some day I will, but until then people can read my stuff for free.

Prepare and take your time, spend a few pennies and do the research in finding promo sites and creative ways to get the word out. Take a leap and you’ll never know unless you try.

Thanks for reading and thanks to everyone who downloaded ‘The Teleporter’. Rock and roll man!

 

A guide to book promotion

The thing about life and doing stuff means that sometimes you gain experience. And to be more specific, when it comes to writing books (I currently have 2 published with 3 in the pipeline) I have learned all sorts of crazy, funny and sometimes important things. I’ve dabbled many times in sharing my experiences all things publishing and this post is indeed another branch from my resources section.

This is my guide to book promotion…

First of all the results I got from my various endeavours is subjective and dependent on a lot of things. This includes: the type of book you are promoting, the state of the market, timing, pricing, quality of product and how it looks, how many reviews, yada yada yada.

A lot of things have to align pretty well for any book to sell, even thought there are snake like marketing tactics to trick people into buying things. You wont find any here, just honest experiences, ideas and tactics.

STEP 1 

Firstly you have to decide what you want. For me personally and my two books, I wanted people to know they existed, quite simply. Thousands of sales would be great but I realistically want to shift enough books just to know they are being read. A majority of 2017 I spent trying to figure out the best way to promote both of my books and truthfully my sales were god awful. (Basically near to zero).

I went from near enough nothing to a maximum of 600 plus sales in 1 day! Hell we even hit number 1 in the occult charts at one point. And there’s no proven secret, you just need to do your homework and that’s the next step.

STEP 2 – RESEARCH 

Now where did I do my homework? Goodreads!

image

There are hundreds of discussion boards/groups amongst the grand depths of goodreads full of mostly up to date and historic information. One particular group I joined; ‘Support for Indie Authors’ is packed to the rafters with stuff. And for the first time in my writing life, I knew I wasn’t alone.

This group is full of not only valuable tutorials but it is run by people who have been there just like you, their books haven’t sold either and they discuss it, vent and share. This is the wonderful thing about the modern age we live.

There is a section dedicated to book promotion, and so I got to work deciding how I would go about promoting my books. I wanted people to know my product was there so how would I do that?

I was willing to part ways with some money, not a lot mind, say around £50. How would I know my money was being put to use, I consulted the discussion boards where people tell you results and now here I am.

STEP 3- DECIDE 

I put together a short list of promo service providers. Websites and companies who specialize in promoting books via websites and mailing lists. Some of them promised over 10,000 eyes would look over their newsletters alone. I made contact with ones who looked genuine; many of them have a process such as a form making it all the more easier. I will list my results further down.

STEP 4 – IMPLEMENT 

I timed my booked promotions with a view to eventually give the e-book of Open Evening away for free. I enrolled in KDP select for both books and set up dates for them to be free (5 days in a row). (I only intended Open Evening to be free but Darke Blood was also for a time). Everything was organised and so I waited for the promo dates to roll by.

STEP 5 – TRACK SALES AND RESULTS

Book sales began to trickle in. And so here are the results and who I used:

Before books were free: 

Book Doggy – Cost $10 – Book sales – 21 (not bad huh?)

Bargian Booksy – Cost $43 – Book sales – 21 (somewhat pricey compared to above..)

Fiverr – Cost $5 – Book sales – 3 (Probably not worth it again, but lesson learned)

The 5 days my e-books were free:

Bookwerm – Cost $10 – Book sales – 10

And then things went a little crazy, by day 2 I had sold 83 books and then that number kept growing until my final day of being free. Open Evening was downloaded 629 times. We hit number 1 and many post downloads came in after! oe 1

So there it is, Open Evening officially arrived and I was only just touching the surface in terms of promotions. But this is the beginning.

The good thing about kindle is that you can also track pages read, and so here are my results…

people are reading

As you can see people are reading my book. Which is what I wanted from this, just to let people know it exists. When it comes to promotion of books, the job is never done. And there is always someone who has been in your situation.