I’ve always tried to be very honest about my author’s walk. I’m a pure Indie author, publisher, and promoter. I recently solicited my brother’s help to transition my website to Word Press, my Mom and my sister have helped with beta reading on occasion, but for the rest, it’s really been just little old me. No money has always equaled hard work.
I first published in May of 2018, but I hadn’t yet learned how to promote. (Let’s be brutally honest, I didn’t know what book promotion was.) By Oct of 2019, I’d begun to make changes and focus some of my creativity on book promotion. (Mostly because I wasn’t selling any books.)
What I did First…
It started out with keywords, enrolling the books into KDP, and toying around with third party stacked book promotions. (I had originally been published wide and I may yet go back to that.) I garnered some marginal success, and people were reading and purchasing my books, but faster than I was publishing them. I learned two things from that. I needed to publish more and faster. That wasn’t a problem as I had a lot to publish.
Eventually, I moved on to crafting a FREE book promotional tool for the proverbial book funnel. But it took me a long time to discover how to make it Perma-FREE on Amazon. Also I still didn’t know how a Book funnel worked. (I still might not totally grasp it.) I had the beginnings of one, but practical application, not exactly. Then just before Covid-19 shut the world down, All my hard work went swirling down the drain.
Amazon had changed something about its algorithm. I went from earning gas money for my truck to maybe earning a dollar a month.
I re-evaluated everything. Keywords, categories, blurbs, book description, everything. I tried running ads on Facebook and Pinterest with only lackluster performance. I also began running cheap ads on Amazon ($2 a day). I reevaluated my book funnel. The FREE AI audio book was born. Check it out on Youtube!
Still Things weren’t good yet!
I reviewed my free promotional tools. (Check out my latest promotional video for A Pack Forms!) As with anything you do in this game, the devil is often in the details. I took a hard look at how I was promoting my books on social media. The blurbs if you will. They needed to get laser focused. So I placed one as an example. Readers might appreciate this even if they’ve never thought about it much.
The top line is the Hook! This is the sensationalism that catches people’s attention. (Keep it short or the reader won’t see the next part to keep reading on some platforms such as Instagram) If a book was published Wide it might read “ONLY $.99!” Money matters to just about everyone, and being honest about the price is important. Integrity!
The next teal colored lines are the blurb. It briefly describes the book. (I mean laser focus description here, not the long book description found on Amazon or the inside flaps of the book jacket.) This needs to be the Twitter-style version. You only have a few seconds before the reader scrolls by.
The red line is the call to action. It’s the point at which you request the reader to look further at the book, to consider reading it.
The neon green lines are the legal disclaimer and hashtag info that the reader notes, that help people choose your book by genre and specialization. PNR (Paranormal romance) is the genre. The happily ever after, no cheating, and ages 18 and up disclaimers alert the reader to romance descriptors that readers commonly seek. If the book was a reverse harem it might have RH, or if it was a romantic comedy you might see #romcom. These details aid both your followers and also non-followers in seeing your promotion.
(It’s okay to sneakily use them inside the blurb if it fits. Don’t over do it, or the promo fails because it becomes too complex to review in only a few seconds before the reader scrolls by. For Example, #Free Audiobook Trailers and Storyboard Previews for the Draoithe Saga by Ophelia Kee. Do you love #PNR 18+ HEA! NC! fated mates, immortals, magic, and romance? Check out the Youtube channel and see what you’ve been missing from the dream…)
The last line is the most important piece. It’s the direct link for the reader to buy the book, or in this case claim it to read it for FREE! The image above is linked as well. Just in case.
That matters too. Linking everything so that it’s not hard to get to the book that a reader finds themselves interested in matters. If it takes too long or they have to hunt the book out, they may decide it is too much work… I admit to having done this.
Behind the Scenes
The whole promoting thing is still a work in progress, but things have started to improve. It took me a year to resolve the issue, but I might have done it. My books have begun to sell once more. My bookshelf is larger than ever with more to come. (That’s important because the more you have for a reader to read, the longer they’ll likely read. If they are enjoying themselves, they’ll want more. A large backlist is seriously helpful.) AI style audiobooks are being designed and will be for sale this summer from my website. There will be more FREE books, more video books, and I’ve also begun to write a new series. The dream will soon have flipbooks and exclusive content along with swag. To everyone who has stuck with me since the beginning, Thank You from the bottom of my heart. For all who’ve only just stumbled upon the dream, welcome. If you’re a reader, please take a free book before you go. If you’re an author, I hope the teacher in me and my desire to share my author’s walk will aid you.
Shameless Self Promotion!
It’s time for me to get back to work, but before I go, I have to say, “I went hard… cover that is, and I’m ecstatic!” Draoithe: A Pack Forms is now available as a hardcover book! Somehow, that makes it all the more real. If you read, please be kind and leave your reviews. Authors love to hear from readers. If you have a question, comment, or suggestions, please don’t hesitate to drop me a line. I like to be bothered. I love to discuss my books and the whole writing-publishing-marketing indie author business. I’m no expert, but I don’t mind sharing what I’ve learned. (Blame the teacher that I am in real life.) Until next week…