Tuesday, 10 May 2011

How do you Promote your Novel?

For those of you who don't know, I've written a paranormal romance called Hidden. I uploaded it to Kindle just under a couple of months ago and, to my surprise, it started selling. Most of the initial sales were to friends and family (thank you!), but when the friends ran out, complete strangers started to buy it. I've sold almost 200 copies to people I don't know. As an unknown author, I don't think that number is too shabby. I've kept my pricing modest, but not too low at $2.99. It's not any where near Amanda Hocking levels or even Jake Barton, but it's exceeded my expectations.

However, it does freak me out on many levels. I swing between: they're all going to hate it, to, wow! 

I don't know how people are coming across my book. Are they searching on Google or Kindle? Is it being recommended? I'm trying to cover all the bases so far as promotion is concerned, but there doesn't seem to be enough of me to go around. Here's some of what I've managed to do in the way of promotion so far:

I've tagged my book on Amazon. Not just the odd keyword, but I've really tried to think how people might search for my type of book. Like: 'vampire', 'paranormal romance', 'supernatural' - those are fine for my genre, but if someone's searching for a book, they might also type in: 'books with vampires' or 'vampire ebooks'. Also, I looked at the more successful books in my genre and copied their tags.

I occasionally chat on the forums - Kindleboards, Amazon, Goodreads etc - without promoting my book every two seconds. This is really hard to do (for me anyway). I always want to talk about my book, but it would probably annoy them if I were to constantly shove my title in their face. So I try to hold back and just chat, have a laugh, be helpful and hopefully, other forum users might check out my profile and book.
Note to self: I must be more active on the forums.

I'm a lazy blogger. My new resolution is to share my publishing experiences with other writers. And if this has the added benefit of raising my profile, then it's all good!

The more links you have pointing towards your website/book page, the better your search results will be on Google. So try and get your links in as many places as poss.

This is a great place to have a profile. You get a book page like this and you can apply for an author page, like this.

I also use the 'Listopia' function and have added Hidden to the relevant lists. Eg: 'Best YA', 'What to read after Twilight' etc. I'm hoping this will boost visibility.

Try to get a few good reviews on Amazon/Goodreads/ Smashwords etc. If you know someone who's read your book, plead with them to put a review up for you. Most people who browse for books like to know what other people think and it could definitely sway them to buy yours. There are also a lot of book bloggers out there who will write an honest review in return for a free copy of your book. I've compiled a comprehensive list on Twitter called Brilliant Book Bloggers.

I tweet my latest reviews, releases etc. But that can get tedious for others, so try to intersperse your tweets with some sparkling wit and interesting news. Or, if you're anything like me, the odd rant/moan.

I've given Hidden its own Facebook Page where I can keep people updated about new books in the series, new formats, trailers etc. Once I reached 25 fans for my page, I was able to choose which name I posted with: Either Shalini Boland or Hidden (Marchwood Vampire Series)This gives you the added benefit of posting on other Facebook pages using your book name and image.

This list isn't anywhere near finished yet, but I'm dying for a cup of coffee, so I'll carry on later ...

UPDATE: Sorry, it's taken me a few weeks to finish my coffee, but I'll revisit this soon x