Mittwoch, 29. Juni 2016

Autor Advice: Marketing without money

There is a simple rule in economics: "you can't make money without investing money".
Which means, even if you have written the best book in the world, without investing money and/ or  time (and yes, time = money) no one will know it exists.
A snow ball effect doesn't come into action without the very first snowball.

Every indie author faces the same dilemma: "without money, how can I invest money?" Well, you still have time. Of course, the problem here is, that the time you invest into marketing is the you could spend writing. However, if you don't have money on your hands to hire specialists, such as PA's (personal assistant OR promo assistant - there is a difference!), editors, proofreaders, publicists (which often do the marketing for you) and consultants (who often help you with your marketing strategy), you will have to do it all by yourself.

So, what will help you spread the word without spending money, but time?

1. Social Media

Nothing works without social media, so as an author you should definitely have a Facebook account, a Facebook page (aka a like page), a Goodreads account, a Twitter account and an Author Central account on Amazon. Other media like pinterest, instagram, tumblr, and google+ are helpful, but might be too many to maintain. 
It's important that should you have drawn the interest of a potential reader to you that she or he can find you easily.
I will post something more about this topic later this year.

2. Groups

There are countless groups on Facebook that can help you spread the word about yourself. Make sure that you have some groups that are specific for your genre and some that have a larger numbers, such as: 
https://www.facebook.com/groups/promotebooks/
https://www.facebook.com/groups/449778365159385/
https://www.facebook.com/groups/sinnerspimp/
https://www.facebook.com/groups/bookpromo.review/
https://www.facebook.com/groups/571135069563269/
https://www.facebook.com/groups/147716185430164/
https://www.facebook.com/groups/293274040774984/

Share a new post from your like page into these groups once per day or every other day.

3. Facebook Friends

Most people know that online friends are not equal to real life friends, but they can still be a force to reckon with. If you don't want to mix up your private life with your personal one - which I would always advise - create a new account with your author alias.
When you have found a few groups that are focused on your book genres, go through the posts of these groups and befriend people who are active. Don't go for a hundred people a day, ten are better. Why? Because, of course, it's still up to the person whether she or he will accept your friend request, or not. If too many people decline, Facebook will warn or bloc you from that function, so, patience.
If people have things like "PA", "Blogger", or "Review(er)" in their name, you can be sure that they will accept you. These are openly supportive people.
Do not swamp people with messages or "thank you" posts and don't instantly ask them to like your page. Some people might be offended by that!
But you can invite these friends to your takeover slots!

4. Event Takeover slots 

May it be on Facebook or Goodreads, attending events as an author hosting a takeover slot, might be the most interesting and often very effective tool to get your book out there. Most online events don't cost you a thing for a 30 minute or one hour slot, and usually they are more efficient than making your own event!
Once you have a bunch of friends, you will receive invitations for events. You should take the chance and check them out. If they fit your genre, request a takeover slot!
Important: there are events that ask you to pay for a takeover slot. This is rather out of the ordinary. Other events ask you to donate money for a large price - which will draw more guests - or donate ebooks. Those usually are very active events.
If you don't know what to do during your takeover slot, just watch a few other events, and you will get the idea what to do.
You should always ask people to like your page and follow you on other social media platforms. You can make this a requirement for an ebook giveaway. (Remember: do not sent an ebook file to a normal email-address, if you don't know the person, because it might get pirated).
Also: invite people to join your Street Team

5. Street Team

A street team is a group of people that are willing to help you promote. You announce promotions and releases prior to the public announcement in your Street Team group and ask them for help.
Don't forget to post more private stuff, too. Give your Street Team members the feeling that they are special - because they are, they promote for you for FREE.

Street Team Members wanted: https://www.facebook.com/groups/467064490105753/

6. Free Newsletters

There are many newsletter services out there that cost money, from $5 to $500, but they are worth that price. Unfortunately only a few of these services offer you to promote your book for free.

Of course there is my very own Kindle Erotica Newsletter, which is free.
and these are as well:

http://ebookshabit.com/for-authors/
http://bookscream.com/authors.php

However, since you can submit for free you don't have any guarantee that your book will show up in the newsletter. Also, those newsletters usually expect you to offer your book for a sale price.

7. Bloggers

Bloggers are the author's best friends, which is why you should always treat them as such! These are the people that love to write about books and promote them. Remember: their time is precious, too, so avoid sending them long and detailed messages or requests. Cut to the point and wait for their answer. They always will respond, but it might need some time, so, be patient!
If a blogger is willing to support/promote/help you, try to make it as easy as possible for them!
Some bloggers have their own promo blogs, which means that by posting in these groups your post might end up on their blogs; others have request forms; many ask you to send an email, instead of a message - in that case you can get more detailed about your request.

8. Review(er)s

Reviews are important, good reviews are invaluable - and with "good" I don't necessarily mean four or five stars, but those who explain their ratings and help others decide whether to purchase your book or not without spoiling it. A review with bad rating can help avoid getting even more bad ratings, because it might turn away readers that would feel the same about your book.
Which is why: reviews are a good marketing tool! Especially if you find reviewers with a huge following! Approaching these reviewers (who might also be bloggers) has to be just as respectful as approaching bloggers: don't flood them, don't copy and paste the message (it might make them feel used), and be patient!
The more reviews you have the more reach your book with have. On Amazon you need a certain amount of  +50 words reviews to show up as "people also viewed".
In order to get reviews you will have to give away ebooks for free. There is no way around it. Reviewers that lend your book through Kindle Unlimited are rare gems. But the least you can do in exchange for them spending their time on your book is give it to them for free.
Important: check out the profile of potential reviewers, there are peole out there that take your book and you won't ever ear from them again!

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