Sunday, July 29, 2012

6 Great Indie Book Marketing Tips

Indie Book Marketing Tips

by Sandy Penny, writer, editor, intuitive marketing consultant

As I've been working with a self-published book author to market her book, I've been learning a lot about indie marketing.

1. You may be snubbed by the bookstores who only want name brand authors/publishers.

If this happens, you'll have to get creative and find other places to start your book signing tour. Is there something in your book that relates to a product, a location or a shop or restaurant? If so, contact that establishment and schedule a book signing event that will help their business as well as yours.

With Dawn Ireland's mystery novel, Hot Chocolate, I started with chocolate shops in the area where the book takes place. And, I contact the event's managers for the bookstores in the neighborhood where the story takes place. In every instance, I looked for why someone would be interested in the book and approached from that direction.

2. While looking around on the Internet for mystery book sites and membership groups, I found that many of them were excluding self-published authors as well. What's up with that? Don't they know the wave of the future is self-publishing? Don't they see the opportunity to affiliate with online marketers and get paid for the book sales?

When I recognized that a void existed in indie mystery book marketing sites, I created one. I built a site, monetized it with Amazon links, and enlisted authors, readers and bloggers from linked-in, Twitter and Facebook to provide me with recommendations for books they love, books they've written and mystery blogs they write. This cut down the time it would take me to find them all. It also allowed me to fulfill one of my missions, to help other authors get published while building a platform for my future work. It also gave me new resources with whom to share Dawn's book. You should at least have a blog for your book that shares insider info on the book, or just snippets from the book and links back to the sales page. People love the backstory.

3. Set up talks at local venues. Again, find organizations that might have something to do with something in your book. If your hero belongs to the country club, schedule a talk/book signing at the country club. If your hero is a teacher, speak at the local teacher's organization. Step back from your book and look at it from a marketing viewpoint. Who would be interested in the subject you've written about? Then, go in that direction. It does not have to be a traditional book signing. Go for something interesting that will draw more people. In the instance of Hot Chocolate, what could be more fun than an evening of chocolate and murder?

4. Find festivals and seminars that are good companions for your book's subject matter. Get a booth, or volunteer as a speaker on a subject related to the book or the research you did or something that fits their criteria. Then, you can sell/sign books after the talk while you discuss subjects you're already interested in.

5. Make up beautiful bookmarks with your book buying link or book blog link and distribute them to local bookstores, especially those that are heavily selling your genre. Even if your book is not in their store, they won't be able to resist a beautiful bookmark. Instruct them to give one to every purchaser. That way, those who already bought your genre books will see your book link. You can buy cheap ones through Vistaprint online. Or print and cut your own if you're so inclined. There are so many beautiful royalty free images online these days.

6. For digital readers: if you have people who do most of their reading on a digital devices, offer to send them a signed card that is imprinted with the book cover and personally signed by you when they download the book. This sets up a more personal connection with your readers and increases the chance of their purchasing your subsequent work. Everybody likes to feel like they know a celebrity.

OK, that's enough for now. Keep writing, keep publishing and keep sending me your new mystery book links, your favorite mystery recommendations, and your favorite mystery blogs:

Click the book cover to get your FREE copy from Amazon. 
It's a big help to those who want to self-publish.