Marketing can be a tricky aspect of self-publishing. On the one hand, there’s really no limit to the amount of money you can spend doing it, but there are a lot of ways to be ineffective.
Below are a few guidelines I’ve learned from experience and heard about from other writers on creating effective marketing campaigns.
Videos give people excuses to send other people to see the video. There’s a chance that a video can go viral, but it has to be a good video. I’ve seen a lot of book trailers that just show words animated on the screen, and that’s not going to cut it. If you’re an author looking to do a book trailer, I’ve heard good things about Red14Films.
Buy Google Ads.
I don’t have much experience with this for my self-published books, but I’ve talked to authors who pay between $25 and $75 per month for Google AdWords, and have seen some success.
Promote Free Books.
Use the power of free to promote other books. You can use freebie promotion days on Amazon, or set the price of your book to free on Smashwords. Many authors have found that by pricing one of their books at free, they see sales of their other titles increase significantly. However, keep in mind it is also important to be offering high quality books, that are both well-edited and properly formatted.
Write down a list of marketing ideas. These can include guest blogging, offering free copies of your book to individuals, groups, and forums (in hopes they review it), and participating in reader groups online. But don’t get overwhelmed. Instead, chip away at your list, with two to three manageable tasks per day. In the long run, it will pay off.
Tweet, But Be Smart About It.
Don’t spam or tweet too many times per day (some authors say that three tweets per day is enough). Also, don’t go overboard on hashtags in a tweet, and don’t only tweet about yourself. Once you build a following, they will start tweeting about you.
Instead, share interesting articles and industry and local news. You can also use Twitter to promote special offers (though no more than once a week), and get in direct contact with your readers. You can set aside times for author chats, or Q&A sessions, or Answer & Ask Questions. You can also set up Twitter accounts for your main characters and “talk” to them.
The best Twitter accounts add value, by adding to a conversation and being useful to followers.
Lastly, and most importantly, never stop writing. The most successful authors have multiple books out, and many of them are part of a series. Once you have multiple books out, you can go back to the freebie marketing tactic and price the first book of a series free or at a low price to attract readers, and hopefully hook them so they read the rest of the books in the series.