There are a number of ways to market fiction effectively and it can honestly be one of the most difficult and expensive aspects of being a self-published or indie author.
Here are some simple things you can do to help sell your books without purchasing any ads:
A Great Cover
People really DO judge a book by its cover, so make sure yours is as good as anything you would see on a store shelf. Hire a freelancer at Fiverr.com to turn your vision of your cover into a work of art. You can also purchase pre-made or custom designs from CreativeParamita or Deranged Doctor Design. CreativeParamita has designed all of the covers for me Kiss Series. Aren’t they beautiful?
A Great Blurb and Teaser Copy
The “blurb” is what goes on the back of the book. It is a short promotional piece that may consist of the books synopsis, reviews, and positive praise regarding the book and/or author. The teaser copy can be on the back as well, or on the first page inside the book (you can put the blurb there too). These pieces of content are designed to encourage the browser to purchase the book and read more.
A Great Author Website and Webpage
Be proud of your work and showcase it on your site. Also make it a place where you are accessible, and interact with people through comments, questions and so on.
See Yourself as a Brand
Brands like Coke, Nike and McDonald’s all have a unified marketing plan, in which every ad or other material build on the brand’s image and reputation. In a similar way, see your author name (or pen name) as a brand you wish to present in a certain way, and don’t want to damage or dilute.
If you want to write a different genre, create a different pen name and website or blog for it. For example, writer Nora Roberts is a brand synonymous with romance, and J. D. Robb, her second pen name, is synonymous with mystery and suspense.
I very clearly have branded myself Kiss Series with red, pink, white, and black colors and Lipstick Kiss marks. I use these in my Instagram posts when posting about The Kiss Series, if I am not using the book covers. All of my book covers also tie in together with women in dresses.
And while I also write non-fiction books, they are under a separate pen name to keep the brands clear.
People always wonder what it is like to be a writer. Give interviews and post them at your site.
So far, I have done two interviews. I did one for a college paper back when I first released The Faithful Kiss and one for a podcast.
Attend Publishing Conferences and Writing Groups in Your Genre and Geographical Area
People do business with people they like. Attending live events and networking with publishing professionals, other authors, and aspiring authors, can lead to all sorts of promotional opportunities. It also makes you more visible and shows you are someone who cares about your craft.
Giving things away may seem an odd way to make money, but “giving back” to new writers or donating your profits to a worthy cause can create a lot of goodwill and show you are a good person, not just a “greedy author”.
Join Writer-Related Organizations
Romance Writers of America, The Author’s Guild and so on can all help raise your profile.
Leverage Social Media
Have a social media account for your writing at all of the top social sites, such as:
Keep fans up to date on all your news.
Create a Facebook Contest
Contests are a great way to grab attention. I will be holding a contest and giveaway in a couple of months to help garner excitement for the Kissed with Power: Polly’s Story (Book 2.5) book release. Everyone loves competition and free stuff.
Give a Webinar
Host a webinar about how to become a better writer and give attendees a special discount on your books. You can do this through PayPal or create a store for yourself at a site like Gumroad.
Get Book Reviews
As soon as your book is done, start gathering reviews for it. They can really make a difference when it comes to sales.
Organize Book Signings
If you have a paper book, organize book signings at bookstores, your local libraries and so on. These events are so much fun. You get to meet fans and talk about books. What could be better?
Follow these marketing tips and see your sales increase as a result.
Write On, Writers!