Friday, 22 March 2013

Effective Promotion For Aspiring Authors.

Question: When do you start marketing and promoting your book?
Answer: As soon as you start writing it.

Building a potential readership will also add momentum to your efforts especially on those days when the blank sheet of paper or computer screen just stares defiantly back at you.

Question: How do I start building a potential readership?
Answer: Social media.

Don’t make the big mistake of trying to engage with every social media channel out there. Take one at a time. Always remember your first priority is to get your book written.

Question: Which should I choose?
Answer: My first choice would be Twitter.

I know I wrote an ebook on why and how authors should engage with Google+ but Twitter is the easiest place to find and build a following who may well be interested in reading your book. Google+ is a great place for communicating with your established followers but your first priority in terms of promotion is to locate that potential fan base.

Question: Why Twitter?
Answer: Because the least amount of effort will produce the greatest results.

Finding followers on Twitter is relatively simple. When you follow people, usually around 30-50% will follow back.

Question: Who should I follow?
Answer: People who might be interested in reading your book.

The more focused you are the more effective your results will be. Don’t take the shotgun approach and follow anyone. Your time spent on social media networks should be limited so make the best use of it. Allocate 30 minutes a day to build your follower base. If you are a writer of Science Fiction type in the names of your favourite authors. Many are sure to have a Twitter account. Once you find one click on their list of Followers and follow them yourself. Obviously don’t follow those who are selling totally unrelated products or offering services of some kind. Don’t ignore other authors though, especially aspiring writers who are always anxious to read and compare the ‘competition’s’ work.

Question: Are there any do’s and don’ts I should know about?
Answer: Most definitely.

Restrict your following to a maximum 50 a day. After a fortnight you may have around 200 followers. You will be following 700. Occasionally you may want to prune back the number you are following but who are not following you back. Tweepi is a free service that allows you to flush those people who have not reciprocated. It is a very useful tool as it indicates just how many tweets they send and how often. For example I tend to ‘flush’ those unfollowers who have not tweeted for a month or over as it suggests they are not very active.

Be warned Twitter takes a dim view of people who ‘aggressively’ follow and unfollow large numbers of people and may well suspend your account. Keep within my guidelines and you should be fine.
The biggest DON’T of all is one I commonly see made on Twitter. Please don’t try and sell your book directly from your Twitter account. There is no bigger turn off. 

Question: Once I have built a list of Twitter followers what should I do with them?
Answer: Engage with them.

People join social network sites primarily to interact with others. They like receiving useful information, having comments made on their tweets, being retweeted and being entertained by amusing or thoughtful Tweets.

“But isn’t the whole reason I built a following in the first place to promote my books.?”

Absolutely, but there is a right way and a wrong way of doing it. I recently ran a campaign that took me about twenty minutes to set up. Within a couple of hours over 200 people had downloaded a sample pdf of an extract from my book. The sample included a link to my Google+ Community entitled ‘Billy and The Pit of Shadows. You’ve guessed it! The community is built around the book I am currently writing.

Just think, in a matter of hours my work was being read by a large number of people and this from a relatively new Twitter account with less than 400 Followers! I replicated the campaign with exactly the same results and this was not an account specifically dedicated to my book’s genre. It worked!

“OK so what is this campaign?”

If you want to know the details you have to join my community on Google+. I will be sharing it freely with my members along with any other ideas I discover that work. 

“What’s the catch?

No catch. I believe in being upfront and honest. To me one of the negative aspects of Kindle publishing is that writers are so desperate to get their books into other peoples hands, or Kindle’s, that they give them away for free. Free implies little or no value. Listen people, ‘the workman is worthy of his hire’. Don’t devalue your work. I will never give any of my books away for free. 

“But you just said. . . "

Let me qualify. I will give information away for free but not my novels. Hopefully when I provide information that is genuinely helpful I create a degree of trust with my followers and members. When my book is completed I hope they will have received so much of value from me freely that they will be prepared to invest a little something in return by purchasing my book. Of course I would much prefer that they bought my book because of the buzz I have created via campaigns like the one I am about to share with them.

To join Billy and The Pit of Shadows Community CLICK HERE



  1. Love the pic:) Great interview post too:)

  2. Hello dear, I followed your blog and subscribed to it. I wish you to subscribe to my site as well kindly. Your blog is wonderful and very informative. I consider it like gold. I joined google friend connect and as well as entered my email address. My id is Aleeza.