It’s easy (or at least easier) to develop a pre-launch marketing campaign for a variety of reasons: your excited, your readers are excited, plus there is a slew of information out there online about how to plan and execute a strong marketing campaign for your release.
But what do you do one, three, six, or nine months after your book has come out and all that initial buzz has worn off?
It might be easier than you think to keep that momentum going (at least until your next book comes out) if you follow some of the below strategies.
We’re used to seeing discounts on older books, but the bonus of being an indie author is that you can apply discounts to any of your books — including new releases.
If you’ve published multiple books, you could promote this discount for your new release in the back matter of older books. Indies often use this tactic in the lead-up to a book launch, but it’s also effective post-release.
People have mixed opinions about lowering their prices.
The debate between $0.99 vs $1.99 has been going on for a while with some authors arguing that a lower price is better as readers who are unfamiliar with the author are more likely to purchase a book at this price, while others argue that lower prices mean you need to reach/find more readers in order to make the same money you would selling fewer books at a higher price.
How cheap you go totally depends on which module of self-publishing your author business is based on and how many books you have in your catalogue.
If you’re a rapid release author, selling ebooks for $0.99 is perfectly normal, if you’re a slow release indie, you may want to stick with $1.99 (or higher!).
Whatever dollar amount you decided, the important thing is that you know how long your discount will run for.
Will it be one day, two day, or three?
Once you’ve got that handled, be sure to promote the new discount on your social media pages, author website, and your newsletter.
#2 Recruit more reviewers
In the led up to publishing Every Time He Dies, I emailed 150 book blog reviewers.
For validation, not for me but for the reader.
ETHD was my debut release and as a way to convince readers to take a risk and buy my book, I knew they had to be able to read at least some reviews.
Reviews are vital to a book’s early success, but their value continues long after their release. The more reviews a book has, the more appealing it will be to readers. Reaching out to reviewers and encouraging your readers to post their reviews in the first few months following the release will help drive sales later.
In fact, offering a limited time discount can also lead to an increase in reviews, but there are other tactics you can take to improve your ratings and review count.
Consider contacting the top Amazon reviewers for your genre and emailing them a free digital copy of your book. These reviewers are experienced, and therefore are more likely to write a genuine review – quickly too!
You can find these reviewers by browsing through books that are similar to your own and by looking for posts published by readers who have the Top Reviewer badge.
From here, you can check out their profile page, have a look at the other types of books they’ve reviewed, and then send them an email (provided they’ve included their contact details!). If you need some help drafting your email, check out my post here.
#4 Make the First Three Chapters Free
If you haven’t used this tactic in the lead up to your release, I urge you to give it a try now!
Offering a sample of your book on your website for free is a great way to entice new readers, particularly those who may be unfamiliar with you and therefore hesitate to purchase your book.
There are several ways you can do this, but the easiest way is to create a PDF file and to providing either a download link on your site, or you can upload the document to a page on your site.
On the final page of the sample, be sure to include the links to the product page for each retailer from whom the book is available.
#4 Paid Advertising
If funds allow, consider running an Amazon, Facebook, or Bookbub ad campaign.
Before you start throwing your money around like you’ve already won the lotto, be sure to consider who your audience is, what platform they are most likely to be on, and take the time to learn how ads for each of these platforms work.
It’s also a good idea to research the psychology behind advertising and to see what strategies people in your genre are using right now.
Finding a free picture online and slapping some sales text on it in Canva is a great way to throw your money away.
#5 Target Email Campaign
If you have an email list, go back and check the open rate for the emails promoting your latest release around the time of the launch.
Here, you can create a campaign that will specifically target subscribers who opened these emails – indicating that they were interested in your book – and you can send a new email that gently reminds them about your book while inviting those who have read it to write a review.
Next, you can target all the subscriber who did not open these emails. And you know what you should send them? A free sample of your book of course!
#5 Marketing opportunities
Publishing guest posts about your book, or the writing, marketing, or publishing process is a great way to reach new readers.
You can easily spend hours finding and then contacting reputable sites for guests posts, but you can also allow publishers to come to you.
Have you heard of Help a Reporter Out (HARO)?
This site connects reporters with experts which allows business, brands, and artists to share their story. When you create a free account, you’ll receive up to three emails a day containing media opportunities you could be quoted in.
Of course, you can also customise this feature so that you only receive the opportunities relevant to you.
While online and digital marketing is great, don’t forget your local journalist and publishers! As a former journo myself, I know how hungry reporters for a fresh story.
To read more about how to reaching out to your local media, read this blog.
#6 Make the most of current events
Within the first six months of your book’s release, consider how you can stylise your marketing in accordance with specific holidays or events. For instance:
- Compare your novel to relevant TV shows that are currently ‘hot’ and target their audience.
- Do a marketing campaign focussing on the romantic subplot of your novel around Valentine’s Day.
- Promote your cosy mystery during winter or your chick lit novel during summer.
You could also consider running a discount sale to take advantage of timely news events, we all know how well ebook sales did during the start of lockdown …
While all of these strategies will help keep the beating heart of your novel alive, one of the best ways to ensure your success as an indie author is to keep on writing.
Seriously, you don’t want to be that guy promoting that one book he publishing twenty years ago …
Having a long and strong backlist is what will get you that Caribbean beach house, or at least pay half of your quarterly electricity bill.
Now, I’d love to hear from you. What did you take away from this blog, which tactic are you going to implement, or do you have some of your own strategies that you’d like to share? Leave a comment below and tell me all about it.
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