After reading this excellent post on Jane Friedman’s blog from guest author Deana Cabinian, it gave me an idea to list 6 things that I will or won’t be doing in 2018 to promote my books. I’ve ascended a tiny bit of the learning curve after nearly 5 years of writing experience, and so I thought I’d share what I’ve learned so far:
1. I won’t be paying to take part in any more writing competitions.
Free ones maybe, if they’re well known, but I haven’t found that book sales increase significantly after winning 1st, 2nd or 3rd place in any writing competitions suitable for self-published authors that charge a fee for entry.
2. I will be checking https://www.blasty.co/ once a week.
Sales increased after I deleted over 1000 sites which were advertising free downloads of my books.
3. I will be focusing on writing and re-blogging interesting content on my WordPress blog to attract more readers, rather than spending valuable writing time on other social media sites.
Apart from Twitter, my main blog here on WordPress seems to be the most successful of all my social media sites in terms of interacting with other bloggers interested in my posts and who subsequently may or may not check out my Amazon author page afterwards or subscribe to my newsletter. My monthly free short story competition on WordPress is gaining interest, and I hope this will continue. I will be spending less time on Facebook, and I have already deleted Instagram.
4. I won’t be foisting my books in front of people’s noses and saying “Buy my book!”
Ya wanna know why? Well…it’s because nobody gives a shit! I was contacted by the Development Department of a film company recently without any prompting from myself, who found one of my books by searching via keywords. They found A House Without Windows ‘riveting’, and have passed it on to their directors for an opinion. Therefore it seems the trick is for authors to focus on the right keywords to bring their books to the attention of readers/industry professionals who are searching for a particular subject.
5. I won’t be taking part in any more multi-author events unless I can be sure that there will be enough people attending.
Ordering books to sell, travelling to the venue, and getting posters, flyers and business cards printed all comes at a cost. What’s the point of doing this if only a handful of readers turn up? No point at all as far as I can tell…
6. I won’t be offering any of my books for free.
Putting books up for free somehow devalues them I think. Just my opinion, but I don’t think it’s a very good idea.
So there you have it. Promoting my books in 2018 is going to take a different path than the one previously trodden. In short, my new promotional path involves not shoving my books into people’s faces and instead will focus on gaining more readers by writing blogs that they might find interesting, and continue re-blogging suitable posts from other writers and sharing their short stories in my monthly competition. Somewhere in amongst all this I might even be able to find time to work on my latest novel – you never know!