You have finished your book. It has been professionally edited and proofed. You hired an expensive cover designer to make the perfect cover that is both professional and eye-catching. You’ve done all the important things at Amazon and Goodreads, making author pages at both places.
You made a professional Facebook page, you are blogging once a week, you’ve joined twitter and use TweetDeck or Hootsuite to schedule tweets, and check it every day and sometimes retweet interesting things for other folks you are following. You’ve even joined Pinterest and Instagram.
This all good, but even so, after the first rush, sales have dwindled off, and now you are at a loss of what to do to increase the visibility of your work.
Some folks join mutual promotion groups on Facebook. I have found them to be more aggravating than helpful as I get spammed by the same two authors daily–they are nice people, but they have no sense of how irritating that is. People on Facebook lose interest when they see the same books all the time.
Also, I have found the “99 cent boost groups” to be not as beneficial in the long-run as they promote themselves to be.
I’ve not figured out the magic key to gaining traction rapidly, but I do know that my Goodreads ad pays off in terms of sales, as when I receive more clicks on the ad, I sell more of those books.
Writing short stories and publishing my work gets my name out there, and each time I publish a chapter of the Bleakbourne on Heath series, on Edgewise Words Inn, I see a jump in sales. From what I can see, the only way to get your author name out there is to publish your work.
Shaun Allan has had great success getting his name out via WattPad, as has Paul Coelho. Yes, you are giving your work away, but it introduces YOUR work to potential readers who will buy your other work–and these two authors’ sales are excellent.
Asking other authors to promote your work is not really a good idea, because they have their own work to promote, and your agenda doesn’t always mesh with theirs.
If you have been out in the indie world for any length of time, you may have observed this scenario: Author A, charming and talented Facebook friend, asks Author B to be a part of their personal fan-club, working to get Author A more recognition. Author B does not have time for that–he is trying to get his own name out there. The author who was ‘recruited’ is shocked, and saddened that a friend has so little understanding and such a lack of respect for his work that she would expect that of him, but he doesn’t want to be unfriendly and thinks “well, maybe it’s only this once.”
But it’s not only the once. It’s a never-ending stream of “push my book, push my book.”
When he realizes he is being used as her personal assistant and free publicity agent, he refuses, as he feels that she has no respect for him as an author. She has a temperamental fit and unfriends him. He warns his other friends to beware of that author. While her rudeness may have been unintentional, it was a bit of an eye-opener to those who know her casually, a clue about her true character.
I’ve seen that scenario unfold several times–sometimes talented people are supremely egotistical and only associate with others if they will gain something from that association. Once they have achieved what they wanted, they have no further use for their ‘friend’ and quickly move on to more important pastures.
I try to stay away from toxic professional relationships, and believe me, the opportunities for that are plentiful in many author groups. When I like another author’s work, I would love to see that author succeed. If we are friends and they need a signal boost for a new book or an event, I will gladly tweet and perhaps mention what I like about their work on my blog. I will even mention that they are having an event, and will be signing books.
But I will not be their private publicity agent.
So even though you desperately want to increase your visibility and sales, you have to be careful how you go about it. For indies, this is the sort of thing that has to flow two ways–Author A must support Author B as much as he/she expects Author B to support him/her. Boosting the signal is a real bonus, and if a friend does this for you it should be reciprocated.
So do yourself a favor: post short stories on WattPad, and keep submitting to magazines and anthologies. Success is rarely an overnight thing–it is the culmination of the long hours and efforts you put into it.
Read METAMORPHOSIS on WattPad.