I get flooded with ‘please read my book’ and ‘check out my new book now’ requests on various social media and online forums.
So I thought it might be a good idea to scribble a few hints for new self-published authors.
I was so tempted to title this list of hints ‘Don’t annoy people before they have discovered your book’, but I won’t.
Instead, I’ll settle for this.
1. DO NOT direct message people on any forum asking them to read your brilliant new book.
It’s a guaranteed method for really annoying people, and poof, there goes a bundle of potential readers or book buyers in an instant (message).
2. DO engage with people on social media.
The rule of social networking is to make contacts, make friends, make fans, make buyers.
Don’t ever think there’s a short-cut to this formula.
3. DO have a blog and a website.
These are the most suitable places to promote your book buy links and book reviews.
But make sure you have some wonderful content as well, to show off your writing skills.
Yes, your writing skills need to be front and centre.
Readers are very selective so they will never just click and buy your book without a very good reason to do so. Attract their interest in your writing.
4. DO NOT pretend.
Be yourself no matter what. You’ll only succeed if people are interested in you because you are genuine.
5. DO be careful about how you respond to reviews.
Perhaps thank book bloggers, but directly and not in the blog’s comments.
You can click yes to ‘Was this review helpful to you?’ for an Amazon review, which helps add a little weight to a good review.
However, never respond to bad reviews, no matter how upset you may be.
Leave them alone and ignore them, as any reaction from you will only inflame, and directly harm your author reputation.
6. DO NOT try to flood the Internet with your book.
It’s flooded already, so who will notice you?
Be targeted and know your potential market. (I know mine, but that’s my secret!)
You could always invest a little in book promotion. Here are some book promotion sites that you could consider.
7. DO use bookmarking sites and social media to promote your blog.
A well written and topical blog post can potentially go viral.
This is the very best way to get some real attention, but be careful. Don’t overdo it.
I post most days, and perhaps once a month a post really goes mad. Be patient and again, write well.
8. DO learn how to format anchor text in your links.
Nothing looks more amateur than posting a web address link like this.
It should look like this: Get One Last Love Here.
Or more preferably, your link should be embedded in an image, like this.
9. DO NOT write clichéd short bios on social media sites and blogs.
You’re supposed to be a writer.
If you can’t write an original bio about yourself, give up writing and take up pottery. Or at least hire a copywriter to do it for you.
10. DO be patient.
Most overnight successes take about 30 years on average, so don’t rush it.
Learn to walk before you start running.
Now if you’re still reading, there are, of course, a lot more do’s and don’t’s to book promotion, but this short list will get you started.
Use your head and think before you jump.
My golden rule is: how would I react if I came across myself and my book marketing?
Simple, but effective.