This post, by James Moushon, originally appeared on The Self-Publishing Review.
So you just created your first book and you’re done with the editing. You have someone lined up to help you with the formatting and to help you upload the ebook to the online retailers.
You’re an indie author and you’re going to self-publish. The ebook will be available for anyone in the world to buy. Look out Patterson and Hocking. Your Romance novel is in a hot genre. It won’t be long until you’re helping find someone to play your lead character in Hollywood. It’s the author’s dream.
One of the first things you realize is that you’re not alone. There are hundreds of authors in your same position with that ‘must read love story’ and they are all fighting for the reader’s attention.
The next thing you realize, you didn’t start marketing soon enough and there is no one to hold your hand while you do it. You will find out quickly that trying to sell your novel is a full time job.
The first big decision: Do you go the social media route or do you hit the pavement?
Do you try to build a large social network or do you rely on the online retailers, word of mouth and a website to do the selling for you.
There are a lot of questions and the answers aren’t easy to come by.
The Paper Route
If you are from the old school and you’re trying to adjust to online marketing, going Indie presents some problems. Your sales will rely directly on your marketing approach and you find out quickly it is going to be a long journey.
There are a dwindling number of book stores and there are no publishers helping you will drive. The covers and the blurbs are up to you or someone you engage to write them.
Your book may get great reviews but your challenge is to get someone to read them and then buy your book.
There is no shelf space limit to worry about. In fact, the problem is just the opposite. The shelf space is limitless and so is the number of authors, all trying to find a way to attract readers to their book.
The Need for Speed – Online Marketing
You are how competing in the online world and the Internet Super Highway speeds up the whole process. Readers can buy your book 24/7, if they can find it.
This approach is what I call the Conventional Online Method. You self-publish your book and post it at an online retailer’s site. In turn, they provide the reader/prospective buyer with information, so they can make a buying decision. That may include reviews, star-ratings, book descriptions, your author profile and a bestseller tag, if you’re lucky.
This is, in itself, a passive approach to marketing. You need to use more of the Internet to make your presence felt and to sell your books. There are many things you can do at this point to draw attention to yourself, as an author.
You can create an author’s blogs and have an Internet site with contact information. You can conduct giveaways and promotions or participate in book tours. You can provide your readers with free content and samples of your work.
There are a lot of things you can do online to promote your book.
The web is a vast arena for the Indie author. If you look hard enough you will find book trailers (live movie trailers), videos, pictures and other promotional material marketing books.
So you are all set up. Now how do you get readers to look at your book and buy it?
Now the Fork – Enter Social Media