1. Get A Paid Promotion. Buying advertising is the easiest way to get exposure for your books. And while Bookbub is the big dog in the ebook world, there are a number of good options. Here’s a rundown for you:
-Bookbub (www.bookbub.com) No Minimum Review Count Listed, but 20+ reviews recommended
-Pixel Of Ink (www.pixelofink.com) No Minimum Review Count Listed, but 20+ reviews recommended
-Ereadersnewstoday (www.ereadernewstoday.com) Bargain 99 Promo, Minimum of 10 Reviews
-Kindle Books And Tips ( http://www.fkbooksandtips.com/) Minimum of 10 Reviews
-Book Blast (http://www.bookblast.co/) Minimum of 5 reviews
How do you get those reviews?
-Librarything Member Giveaway (www.librarything.com)
-Goodreads Giveaway (www.goodreads.com)
-Story Cartel (www.storycartel.com)
2. Offer A Free Book. I’ve found the best route is to go permafree with either a prequel to your series or with the first book in your series. Other than a Bookbub promo, having a permafree book is one of the few ways to gain exposure on Barnes And Noble, Apple, and Kobo.
–Note: A free book could be a complete novel, novella, or even a short story. The point is to give readers a taste of your writing and hopefully they’ll like it to come back for more. Also, although not necessary, I’ve found much better success with offering freebies as part of a series. Readers tend to be much more series dependent than author dependent.
The free strategy is also the best way to build a mailing list. And make no mistake, building a mailing list is the best way to bulletproof your career. Seriously, go to www.mailchimp.com or www.aweber.com and start a mailing list now. Post a link to your mailing list sign up page on your Facebook, Twitter, Blog, and Amazon Author Central profile. To entice people to sign up for your mailing list, you can offer a free story, novella, or book.
–Note: For best mailing list practices, check out my previous post on the subject: http://ebookmarketingpodcast.blogspot.com/2013/08/ebook-marketing-secrets-part-2-mailing.html
3. Cross Promotion. Marketing is a tough job, so the more help you can get, the better. Not to mention no two authors have the same audience. So by the mere act of teaming up with other authors, you’ll reach eyeballs you normally wouldn’t have access to.
What are my best cross promotion options?
-Chapter Swap. This option is pretty straightforward. Find one of two authors that write similar material to you and trade sample teaser chapters in the back of each others books. I did a three author chapter swap that worked out quite well.
-Multi Author Boxed Set. This one builds on the chapter swap idea and takes it to the next level. Get a group of authors together (I’ve seen anywhere between three and ten) and create a mega boxed set. The beauty of this is that the more authors you can get, the better exposure. These boxed sets can be short stories, novellas, or even full novels. And once you have the collection together, there’s a good chance you can get picked up for a book blog promo, which will maximize your exposure even more.
-Create a niche blog/page/feed. This option is the slow burn option. Create a blog, Twitter feed, or Facebook fan page for your niche whether it be Dystopian, Steampunk, Sports Romance, or what have you. Post links to other people’s books in your genre. You’ll slowly build up a following (not to mention some great pay it forward author karma). Then when your following gets big enough, start mentioning one of your books every week or so. It’s a win win for you and your fellow genre authors.
4. Try out new Categories/Keywords. A lot of readers only search for books in their corner of the ebook universe. That means that if you publish only in the same two categories on Amazon, you’ll miss out on potential eyeballs. You can branch out in a number of ways–either move your already published books to new categories to try and reach a new audience, or fan out your categories with the release of each new book.
For example, if you have a four book series, you can reach as many as eight different categories from your KDP dashboard. Not to mention the other categories that can be added through keywords.
Then of course there’s the option to try out niche categories. You can check out my post on category selection here.
How do I get extra categories through keywords?
There are a number of categories that are inaccessible directly through your KDP dashboard. Things like galactic empire, superheroes, sword and sorcery, colonization, and the like. But by putting in those categories exactly as they appear in the Amazon categories list, sometimes Amazon will grant you a third or even fourth category for your book. This can add some serious extra exposure.
Also check out our blog post: Amazon Keywords and Categories Explained.
5. Write another book. This is the tried and true piece of advice. The major obstacle keeping most authors from more sales is a lack of visibility. But with each new book you release, there’s a better chance of people stumbling upon your material. Also, with the right mailing list, you can get immediate sales with each new book you put out. So get busy writing.