Yes, it’s possible, even for Indie publishers.
My book, Cold Coffee and Speed Limits hit #6 on Amazon’s “Hot New Releases” Parenting and Family Humor category. It was released less than a week ago and I don’t have any major publishers or big-time book reviewers backing me. For brief shining moment, my book was in front of Whoopi Goldberg’s and Jim Gaffigan’s! It’s updated hourly.
I published my first novel through a traditional small press publisher (so yes, someone bought it and I signed an actual contract), but when it was time to put out my second book I decided to do it Indie-style–on my own.
Here’s what I’ve done–and it’s WORKED.
1. I promoted my book on social media for the last 6 months. I used Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest the most.I’ve been posting little teasers on my Facebook posts.I created a Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest page for my book. It’s free advertising. I chatted it up to my friends, who also chatted it up with their friends. Word of mouth goes a long way!
2. For the last year, I’ve been blogging. This has cost me nothing but my time, although I have invested in a nice-looking template and a few other goodies. Blogging has helped establish me as an “expert” in my field as well as given me material for my book. In addition, it helps my “Google-ability” or my social media presence. I don’t blog JUST about my book (nobody wants to read just commercials!), but it’s one of the topics I cover. I’ve also gained readers who are interested in my blog about parenting teens, so naturally many of these same readers are also interested in buying a book about the same topic. If you spend time giving people valuable information (or inspiration, or entertainment), they will come back for more.
3. I had a professionally designed cover made. When I was working on my draft, I had a really cute picture of my son and his girlfriend for the temporary cover, then I asked my friend Josh Kennah who’s a pro in graphics and marketing to help me. I paid him in ENCHILADAS, people. I mean, they’re pretty good enchiladas, but I know he was on the losing end of this deal. A professionally designed cover sets you apart and gives you an edge.
4. I recruited people to help me. In exchange for an Advanced Reading Copy (ARC), readers promised to 1) give me HONEST feedback 2) tell me of any spelling/grammar/continuity issues 3) write a short review and 4) help me promote my book on social media. It’s a cheap price to pay, AND I placed excerpts of the reviews in the beginning of the book so that people who were just checking it out might be motivated to KEEP READING. This cost me nothing. When my book was released, I asked these guys (as well as others) to go on Amazon and post a review there. Reviews (even less than 5 stars!) add a legitimacy to your book.
So remember, PLAN AHEAD. You don’t have big bucks for promotion, but you do have to spend some time. It’s all worth it to see your book on the list!
Get Tina Coleman Bausinger’s book Cold Coffee and Speed Limits today!