How to Get More Readers: Advice From 10 Indie Authors
Today we’re tapping into the great minds (and successes) of independent authors with this post all about how to get more readers.
You’re gonna want to bookmark this!
Without further adieu…
1. “Take advantage of KDP Select Free Days”
– Kathy Lynn Harris, Blue Straggler and Wendy Nelson Tokunaga, The Girl in the Tapestry, His Wife and Daughters and Falling Uphill, Robert B. Lowe, Project Moses.
Sensing a theme? The fact no fewer than three indie authors cite the KDP Select Free Days on Amazon as the ONE thing they’ve done to get more readers speaks volumes. For Kathy Lynn Harris, her book giveaway generated thousands of downloads and scores of reviews, all from people that may not have otherwise given her book a shot. This, in turn, led to boosting her Amazon sales rating to #1 in her category!
Take away nugget: Participate in the KDP Select and make it part of your overall marketing strategic plan. Learn more about KDP Select and how it can boost your sales here.
2. “Book blog tours!”
– Samantha March, Destined to Fail, Erik Atwell, Thank you for Flying Air Zoe
Author Samantha March says, “Getting reviews and so much exposure in a few short weeks really helped up my sales and get me more publicity.” Blog tours worked so well for Erik Atwell, he saw a considerable jump in book sales.
Take away nugget: Publishing guest posts on a variety of well-trafficked blogs will undoubtedly reach readers you may not have otherwise.
3. “Sponsored promotions”
– Dina Silver, One Pink Line
Author Dina Silver engaged in a sponsored promotion with Ereader News Today, a website offering tips and reviews on ebooks available for Kindles. For $100, they featured her on their website and Facebook page which lead to 800 sales in one day!
Take away nugget: Advertising can be expensive, but going about it strategically can lead to oodles of return on your investment.
4. “Nail down your key words”
– Jeff Bennington, Twisted Vengeance, Reunion, Creepy
Be sure you carefully consider and not overlook your Amazon keywords, book cover and product description. Author Jeff Bennington says getting this right is far more important than a lot of authors realize.
Take away nugget: Keywords make it easy for readers to find you. Making sure yours are strategic and well-placed will ensure people will find you and your book. Check out my post about the importance of keywords on Amazon.
5. “Twitter: It’s like networking without leaving the house!”
– Catherine Ryan Howard, Self-Printed
Author Catherine Ryan Howard says Twitter has been her ONE thing that has brought her more readers and NOT because her Twitter followers buy her books. “Twitter “friends” have led to so many other opportunities to promote my book and make a living as an author such as workshops and speaking opportunities,” she says. “Every single thing I’ve done can be traced back to a connection I made on Twitter.”
Take away nugget: If you aren’t on Twitter now, get on it. Getting an account is easy and free and can lead to big payoffs in getting more readers.
Don’t “get” Twitter? Check out this post – Twitter for authors who don’t get it.
6. “Shoot a promotional video”
– Suzannah Windsor Freeman, The Busy Mom’s Guide to Writing
Author Suzannah Windsor Freeman offers tips for other writers and wanted to give her readers a feel for who she was and how her lifestyle relates to them. Shooting a promotional video allowed her to do just that. “My husband and I set up a mini-studio in our own dining room and spend a couple of days fiddling with lighting and camera angles until we had the effect we wanted. It took some time (and several bloopers) but it was worth it.”
Take away nugget: Showing readers (and potential readers) your personality can do wonders for your following. It can let people know the “real you” and become more approachable than the headshot on the inside jacket of your book. Suzannah posted her videos on her launch page, but you can also post yours on YouTube, blogs and tweet them.
7. “Do at least ONE thing every day to move your book forward.”
– Ingrid Ricks, Hippie Boy, A Little Book of Mormon & Not So Mormon Stories
Whether you reach out to bloggers, comment on posts, develop a story angle and pitch it to members of the media, doing just one thing each day to move your book forward can do wonders for your books sales and author platform.
Take away nugget: Committing to tackling one thing each day keeps you engaged in promoting your book and is way easier to achieve than a gigantic list of “to-do’s” from your marketing plan.
8. “Increase your marketing scope”
– Terri Giuliano Long, In Leah’s Wake
Author Terri Giuliano Long found engaging in a variety of promotional mediums was beneficial to her readership because it gave key readers the perception she was “everywhere.” “I did blog tours, guest posts, participated in blog hops, gave many, many books away, placed ads and so on,” she says. “I did my best to make sure readers saw my book multiple times.”
Take away nugget: There’s an old marketing adage that says a potential client (or, in our case, reader) needs to see your message 7 times before he or she is comfortable enough to buy it. Giving readers those “impressions” will familiarize them with your book and serve as a reminder to purchase it!
9. “Throw all shame to the wind.”
– Jenny Ladner Brenner, The Dinner Party
“I threw all shame to the wind and contacted websites, businesses and blogs that target my audience and had great success.” Author Jenny Ladner Brenner said. She found many mediums were receptive to her pitches and one site in particular even featured her on a spread complete with a photoshoot!
Take away nugget: Sticking your neck out and approaching lots of people in your genre can have enormous returns. So, you may get a few “no’s” but the “yes’s” can lead to amazing things.
10. “A month-long promotional blitz”
– Lauren Clark, Stay Tuned and Dancing Naked in Dixie
When her second book, Dancing Naked in Dixie, came out, author Lauren Clarke engaged in a month-long promotional blitz that left her feeling exhausted, but happy. “I chose to do select sponsorships in conjunction with a 100 stop tour,” she said. “I did over commit, but the results have been fantastic!”
Take away nugget: Smooshing your promotional efforts into a short amount of time can raise a lot of buzz about your book. Aim for sites like Kindle Nation Daily, eReader News Today, BookBub and similar sites that reach a high volume of readers.
Do you want MORE tips to find new readers? I’ve got just the thing! 77 Ways to Find New Readers for Your Self-Published Book. It’s got 5 stars on Amazon for good reason… read the reviews! :)