Good afternoon, Arrowheads! Back in November, I posted a semi-rant entitled I Hate Book Marketing. Up until the time I wrote that post, I was trying and failing to get my book *out there*. Months have passed since then, and guess what? Part of the time, I’m still trying to get my book *out there*! But, now I’m at peace with it. Over the last few months, I’ve learned some valuable lessons about book marketing that I’d like to share today.
Indies Need Goodreads
One of the major platforms I overlooked when Can’t Beat the Heart of a Carolina Girl was first released was the value of Christian Goodreads friends. The Indie Christian author scene is a very welcoming and supportive community on Goodreads, and many authors (as well as readers) are willing to help support you by exchanging reviews, beta reading, alpha reading, and participating in helping promote your book. Before I got serious about my involvement in contributing to this community on Goodreads, my book only had one or two To-Reads. Now, about four or five months later, that number has grown and I’ve received several reviews. I’ve also met some pretty amazing indie Christian authors and have read/reviewed/promoted their works too. Don’t overlook the power of Goodreads!
You Don’t Have to Live on Social Media
I know, I know. I just said you should use Goodreads, and now I’m saying to spend less time on social media. Well, it’s best to balance it out guys, or you’ll likely become super anxious to be noticed like I was before. Please realize that you don’t have to pretend to be like the other authors you follow to gain your own audience. Please know that God made you unique for a reason. Some people aren’t going to like you, some people will disagree with your opinions and your creative choices in your writing. But, that’s okay. Take your follower counts/audience stats lightly. Remember all the readers you know personally who love your writing. Social media is a huge distraction from reality AND your writing, so try to limit it and enjoy life!
Scheduling Blog Posts
If WordPress didn’t offer the scheduled blog post feature, there would be no way that I’d be able to post twice a week at precisely 4:00 pm. Being an author is my part-time job, so I have to work contributing to Authoring Arrowheads around my full-time job and other commitments. To achieve this, I’ll scratch down my posts on loose leaf paper during the week *waves from loose leaf paper on June 11th* and then sit down at my laptop when I have free time (mostly right after work, or on Saturday mornings), and type everything up. Sometimes, doing this will allow me to be a month ahead of schedule, which is beyond helpful when life gets busy!
Ask for Pre-Release Reads/Reviews
LOL at 2017 Allyson for thinking I didn’t need to ask for reviews. I thought reviews would just magically appear on their own! *Shakes head in disgrace* As a result, I didn’t get my first Goodreads review until 11 months after CBTHOACG was published. Yes, you read that right! From observing fellow authors on Goodreads, I’ve noticed that asking readers and authors to read and post reviews before the book’s release is an amazing way to build hype. These are genuinely sweet people willing to help promote one another, so don’t be afraid to ask. (I’m also willing to help y’all! Just hit up my contact page! 🙂 ) This also leads me to the next topic…
BLOG TOURS ARE AMAZING!
As y’all can tell from previous posts here on Authoring Arrowheads, I love helping out with blog tours. I just started signing up for tour stops this year, so I’m still fairly new to all this. Nevertheless, blog tours are good for quite a few reasons: 1) They promote other authors, 2) You often receive ARCs, which are awesome, 3) The author’s blog/website will most likely link back to your website/blog and promote your post, thus reaching their audience as well. Plus, they’re tons of fun to participate in! With that being said, my first blog tour, The Carolina Girl Relaunch Tour, will launch next week, and I’ll post the official schedule soon!
Leave the Cover to the Pros
*Nervous laughter* For CBTHOACG‘s initial release, I paid no attention to all the articles I read on cover design when they said to seek professional help. I was like “nah, I’m low budget and I got this”. No, I was naive and I did NOT have it! Thankfully, over the past month my sister, who is majoring in graphic design, has taken my original design and remade the cover… which you’ll see on the tour! 😀
Well, those are all the lessons I’ve learned in my first year and a half of book marketing. I’m by no means an expert and still have much to learn, but I pray this post will help someone avoid the pitfalls that made me stumble!
For more posts on Self-Publishing, browse the category here! 🙂