Monday, February 15, 2016

Indie Life: Easy Marketing Tips

One of the hardest parts of being an indie author is the marketing aspect. Even those with experience struggle with finding new ways to spread the word about their books. So here are a few tips/tricks/things I do to expose my books to different audiences. Sometimes it works. Sometimes it doesn't. But these are cost-effective ways to spread the word!

1) Instagram. I LOVE this app more than any other. There are all kinds of great bookish tags that I like to look at, such as #yalit #bookstagram and #GayYA. Teaser quotes are a great way to build a little hype before publishing, so I suggest making your teasers instagram-ready (aka square-shaped). You can use these same images on Facebook, Twitter, and other places. If you're not into all squares, just do two or three for Instagram purposes and vary it for other sites. Here is an example of my #FREE promo for Chasing Forever Down:


2) Buffer. This is a new tool for me, and I love, love, love it. Because I work a day job, I can't always be online to interact, promote, or hit the times when most people are active online. But Buffer allows me to be online when I'm not. I schedule posts for Twitter and Facebook via Buffer to share teaser images, pre-order links, blog posts, and even retweets of my friends' posts. The only downfall is that Buffer's free version only allows 10 items at a time to be saved, but for $10 a month, you can add up to 10 accounts, which allows 100 items per account to be saved at any given time. For me, it's worth the $10/month investment. (Other options are or HootSuite, but I prefer Buffer)

3) Bookish memes, such as Teaser Tuesday or #1LineWed. Teaser Tuesday is one of my favorite things. I try to do at least one longer teaser either via my blog or as a special bonus for my newsletter subscribers. But this is where you can use those Instagram images or post to Twitter/FB/Pinterest. One Line Wednesday is something I've just started participating in on Twitter, but you never know when that one line will catch someone's eye. You can also use #ThrowbackThursday to pimp out old blog posts.

4) Announce your KDP Select freebie or permafree book. I think a lot of people just leave a permafree book to do the work on its own, hoping people will grab it because it's free, but in all reality, those books still need some promotion too. There are a ton of sites that allow you to submit your free e-books once every ninety days for NOTHING. No money required for an ad (although some offer paid features as well). It is a little time-consuming, but if you run a Google search for places to submit your free e-books, you can save links in a Favorites folder or in a spreadsheet so you'll have them all next time. Take one night every 90ish days and submit your free book to all these sites. It's always worked for me!

5) Set up a newsletter! I personally use MailChimp for my newsletters, but this is a great way to stay in touch with people who love your books. I always send out a release day newsletter, but I also try to fill in the gaps between releases with exclusive teasers, giveaways, and other fun things that I can create. I like to offer ARCs and sneak peeks to my newsletter subscribers because they are your most loyal readers. MailChimp is free to use (up until 2000 subscribers, I believe), and it's definitely worth it to keep in touch with your readers.

Do you have any other easy/cost-effective marketing tips? Something that works for you? If you have one and want to share, feel free to add it in the comments below!

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