Whether you're traditionally published or an indie author, book marketing is still going to be a big part of your work life once you're book's been published. The odds are, if you don't promote your book it's going to die off with little fanfare. The way to propel your book up the rankings is by promoting it -- getting your book in front of the most readers possible. If they don't know about your book they can't buy it, so casting a wide marketing net makes sense. Marketing takes many forms, all of which can be effective when they're done right. Do them wrong, though, and you've wasted valuable time and effort. Here's how to do it.
You've seen them: the authors who post their book over and over again, and you never hear from them otherwise. It's called social media for a reason. You're supposed to be social on there. This is probably the most subtle form of advertising, because when it's done right the customers don't even realize you're promoting your work. Post about interesting topics that relate to your books. Use a lot of pictures, and try for posts that others will want to pass on to their own friends lists. Limit your straight advertising posts to about 10 percent of the time you're on there.
Setting up an author blog can be a great way to stay in contact with readers in between books, but you've got to catch and hold their interest. Talk about writing. Talk about your shar pei. Talk about geocaching or crocheting. Just pick a topic, promote it a little, and you'll have regular readers watching for your next post. The key is to post regularly, whether it's weekly or every two weeks. Skip a day and you'll find readers dropping out in droves.
Your website needs to be more than a page that advertises your books. Include an author biography with wit and humor or serious credentials, review excerpts from your books, a way for readers to contact you, and ways for them to sign up to your mailing list.
Free or paid newsletter ads can be super effective, but scattering one or two around will fall on deaf ears. Readers need to see your book everywhere, on multiple sites, all at once. This gives the impression that your book is already popular and a must-buy. Schedule as many ads as possible for the same day, as soon after publication as possible.
For a long-term author career, branding is crucial. Think this out ahead of time. Figure out the type of book cover you're going to have, down to the font and background colors, and make every single cover in the same mold. Make a logo or name bar and use it on your website, your Facebook and Twitter pages, your newsletter, and even at the bottom of your emails. Keep your brand consistent everywhere you go, your books are synonymous with your brand.
Keep the Faith and May the Force be With You!