Marketing woes of the indie author

The marketing nut is a tough one to crack for an independent author. I struggled for two years trying to market my books on my own.

Was I successful? Definitely not. Did I learn anything? Definitely yes!

What did I learn?

I learned that an author can write a book by themselves, but it takes a small crowd to successfully polish, promote, and sell a book.

Some of the marketing work for an independent author is actually done by the author as they format the book. Keywords can be placed in the story description and even the book title itself can be used as keywords, which can help streamline search engine results from the very beginning.

Many indie authors funnel readers to their sales page on an online platform such as the Kindle Store or Amazon. I prefer to funnel readers to my website where they can find immediately visible “Buy Here” button plus a great deal more information about the story being sought and all of my other books as well.

The toughest thing for me was learning how to create interesting “hooks” to put out and where to put them. In my case, being a fiction writer, I pulled material from my stories and posted that material on my SocNet platforms linking back to the book landing page on my website. This showed results, yes, but with very small and sporadic traffic increases.

I needed to do more, but how? Where are my readers looking for books? How do I reach them? These questions led me to the true marketing answer.

YOU CAN’T DO IT ALONE.

The first and best thing I did for my writing was to hire an editor. Seriously, the best thing. The quality of my writing improved by leaps and bounds. My editor also had established circles of industry professionals, which led me to many other avenues of information.

After a few months of investigating different writing, publishing, and marketing groups, I found there was more marketing opportunities out there than I could count. Now, I wasn’t lost without any direction to go, I was lost with too many directions to go. The next step was to trim down the many choices into just a handful. I chose a few organizations that offered more complete marketing packages including promotion services, review services, tutorial webinars, and so on.

Currently, I belong to the Independent Book Publisher’s Association, and the Alliance of Independent Authors. For marketing, I use Amazon advertising, Facebook advertising, Books Go Social/Bookpromoter.com, IBPA’s NetGalley review service, and have organized a group of advanced copy readers for my books. All steps in the right direction.

Pretty soon I was putting together effective marketing posts, increasing website traffic, entering book contests, and making connections with higher level professionals.

In the near future, I am going to step out of my marketing comfort zone, get out and hit the bricks, and try to get my books into some of the local book stores. Also sometime soon I hope to hire a local marketing service to increase local awareness of my products.

So, if you are an independent author and struggling on your own, look up “creating a marketing funnel” and you will find many websites with good information.

If you need help shoot me an email and I’ll help all that I can. theazkelvin@gmail.com

Good day to you friends! – AZK

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