You've written a novel and maybe you've even published it. You know your work has just begun, for the marathon of marketing is already underway. You need people to see your book in order to buy it. You need people to state how great your book is in honest, detailed reviews. You need people to see how amazing both you and your work are in order to want to buy more of it. Then you need to advertise this to the wider community.
There are hundreds of places where you can do these things – you can even pay a media consultant to do it for you, if your budget runs to such things. If it doesn't…that's where I can offer some suggestions. Right, I'll go through the points above and answer each of them for you.
1. You need people to see your book.
I am absolutely in love with blogs for getting the word out about my books. Not mine, but other people's blogs. In my online wanderings, I stumbled across this particular gem:
Bit'n Book Promoters are a team of passionate, friendly and feisty individuals who are here to help you get your books out there. They're all authors and know how hard it is to get books noticed, so they want to give a helping hand to others like themselves.
They provide book promotions, reviews, author interviews and kindle freebies. Their blog mainly focuses on reviews and author interviews and detailed book promotions. Both their Twitter and Facebook pages provide book promos, updates and links to what they're doing on their blog. They also regularly post kindle freebies only available on their Facebook page, along with pretty book & film quote boxes, which they design themselves. Yes, they do all this for free.
2. You need people to review your book.
I was really lucky and stumbled across a group in Goodreads that offered a review exchange – Book Review Depot. Not a case of, “You review my book and I'll review yours,” but a group where there's a list of books to review and your book goes on the list, or the waiting list, as the list is capped, once you've completed five reviews. Books only stay on the review list until they've received ten reviews, when they get bumped off by the next book on the waiting list. I admit I was fairly sceptical as to whether this group would succeed, but the group has generated more than 400 reviews in a few short months and their numbers are growing. One of my books, Water and Fire, hit their review list last week and I've already received three honest reviews for it.
3. You need people to see how amazing your work is.
Now this is a hard one. Amazon tried to overcome it with their KDP Select program, letting authors give free copies of their books out. Smashwords does the same, though they don't require exclusivity for it. Basically, what you need is a web-based platform where your work is freely available – ideally, where people can see it on their smartphones, tablets and computers. I have two suggestions here.
First is Wattpad. I started uploading Nightmares of Caitlin Lockyer there when it was a draft and was absolutely thrilled when it hit 1.3 million reads in October. That's the draft, mind you – the published version is naturally far more polished.
Wattpad is wonderful in that it allows you to upload short stories and poetry through to full-length novels, which people can view on their phones through various apps or on their computer. It's so easy to read what's on Wattpad that it's no surprise there are more than 20 million members worldwide – almost the entire population of Australia.
Another site like it is Widbook, which isn't as popular, nor easy to read on your phone. The advantage of Widbook is that it allows you to include pictures and video in your book. I've used this to include background videos for Ocean's Gift, though my most popular book is the short story version of Water and Fire, which has been in their Top 5 books on both their Top and Most Popular lists.
4. Advertise it to the world.
There are a lot of paid advertising services out there – from individual blog ads to mailing lists like those at Bookbub. The prices…well, today I'm just mentioning one free one.
The Fussy Librarian. It's an email ad service, like Bookbub and its less expensive brethren, but for the moment, it's free. Even better, if you help them build their numbers by posting about them on Facebook before your book is featured, they give you a free ad to use in the future, when they start paying for their services. Now, Nightmares of Caitlin Lockyer is due to be featured on the 15th November with them, so after that I can tell you how successful it is!
Any other free book marketing tips you'd like to share? Or do you have further information on the free services I've mentioned above? Please let me know in the comments!