It can be really hard promoting your book, especially if it’s a one off. I’ve heard more than once the saying: “The best way to market your book is the write a second book” and I have to agree.
Writing and publishing a second book (or even better: a series) is the sure fire way to expand visibility for your brand of books.
With tens or hundreds of thousands of self-pubbed titles published every day as writers we have to get creative and importantly keep writing and producing titles. The more entry points to your titles the better, which brings me to the freemium or permafree model as it’s better known in book publishing circles.
If you’ve been ebook publishing for any period of time you’ll know that the Amazon Kindle Select programme isn’t half as effective as it used to be. For those who don’t know this is where offer Amazon exclusivity and you can promote your book free on Amazon for 5 days out of every 90. Getting a lot of downloads would increase your visibility on Amazon and push your sales rank up. But those days are gone, unless you can get tens of thousands of free downloads but even then I’ve heard this be now completely ineffective.
The strategy I’m adapting is to be available on as many ebook/book platforms as possible. You can get great coverage with Smashwords but as mentioned in my last post Speedy Publishing can get huge coverage including the big ones (Amazon, Kobo, Nook and Apple).
Once distributed you can sit back and wait for the money to roll in right? Wrong! Unless you already have an eager audience or the rub of the green you still have to build your author brand on the web, build a relationship with your audience, get an email list going (and make sure you offer a nice carrot) as well as a myriad of other traditional book marketing strategies. Pretty daunting.
However you can offer bite sized preview of your book, a short story or the first book in your series for free (permanently) then you may find a steady stream of customers providing they dig what you’ve produced. It gives them a chance to sample your work and if you’ve done a good job, hook them into your world. This isn’t about taking anyone for a ride – you’ve providing value in your work and readers get the benefit.
I have done this with a pen name series and am just finishing up a short story to help get eyes on what will be a thriller series.
The next step is to make this permafree.
Upload to Kindle Direct and price as low as you can (0.99c) then publish either through Smashwords or your usual methods and make it free. Once it is available on other platforms at the $0.00 price you can then prompt Amazon to pricematch down to zero via a request link on your book product page, or just let their spiders find your book free naturally (although this might take a while).
Obviously you’ll want to list your other titles with links in the back of this permafree book. (So Amazon links to the titles on the Amazon store etc) You can only do this if you directly publish to the platforms of course. The rest will have to be a generic ‘Search where you purchased this’. Let me know if you have any better solutions, I’d be interested to know.
Catch you next time..