If you’re a new indie author like me; you know that book marketing is the hardest part of the whole writing a book process. Promoting your self-published title on your own is definitely no easy task, especially if you’re on a limited budget. There are some pretty straightforward things that you can do yourself, and even authors who can afford costly marketing fees still take advantage of some of these same tactics.
Here are a few not too expensive actions that I’ve taken to help promote my new title: Skipping Childhood: A Novel (From Abused Foster Child to Adolescent Serial Killer). Once you look over these services, you may find that you’re already familiar with them, and maybe have already tried them. If not, why not check the websites out and see if they’re worth your time. I only implemented the services very recently, so it’s too soon for me to discuss the results, but I’m hopeful. All the websites listed below seem pretty reputable and should be able to provide at least some exposure for your book. It definitely won’t hurt to try the services, even it takes a while for noticeable results.
After you’ve had a chance to check out the book promotion sites that I’ve just recently tried, be sure to pay attention to what I think is another awesome idea. I stumbled across a form online that may help in more ways than you might imagine.
Try Amazon Book Marketing Services
Amazon sent me an email regarding a new (or newer) marketing feature that they’re offering to KDP authors. It basically works a lot like Google’s Adwords. You can either run an ad campaign based on keywords, or based on other books and products that relate to your own. The minimum Ad campaign amount you can start with is $100, so that’s what I did. That amount can actually be stretched over a period of time, depending on the maximum amount I want to spend per day. For instance, if you do like I did and select a 30 day period to run a campaign, that allows me a $3.33 a day budget before my hundred bucks is gone. It’s a little more detailed than that, but that’s the gist of how it works. I’ll post any results when I have them.
By the way, I had to supply some text as a caption for my ad, so I chose a variation of my book’s tagline.
Killing just ain’t right, but neither is child abuse. A twelve-year-old girl takes matters into her own hands and when she does, it’s murder!
Hopefully this will be catchy enough to make viewers want to learn more about the book. I pay for each click a person makes on specific keywords (it’s deducted from the $100), so I hope my words adequately convey what they’re searching for before they click the ad.
Check Out KBoards
For those who don’t know, KBoards stands for “Kindle Boards” and for good reason. All the forums on the website and various resources relate specifically to Kindle books. For example, I purchased the $35 service for a 1 Day Featured Book Ad. My “Skipping Childhood” related book ad will run on Tuesday, November 29th. On Tuesday When I visit the KBoards blog at:
http://kboards.blogspot.com and their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/kboards
I will be able to see my ad featured there for the day. It sounds like the kind of exposure that “Skipping Childhood” can really benefit from. We’ll see. If all goes well, the next time I’ll order the 2 day book feature for a little more.
KBoards Offer Much More
Since KBoards have so much to offer, I also selected another cool book marketing opportunity that was also economical. This was the KB Book Discovery for only $15. By now you may be thinking, “hmmm, not bad” and you’re right. For a few dollars, why not get as much more exposure as possible? Now that I’ve got your attention, I’ll let you visit the KBoards website and see what you get for this $15 service.
Consider Your Local Library
Now it’s time to consider something you may not have really given thought to for your self-published book; your local library. Hold on one moment and I’ll tell you why. The fact of the matter is, most of you savvy indie authors are probably already up on KBoards, not to mention the ever popular Goodreads, and Book Daily, two more popular sites. If you are, that’s a good thing, but the fact that they’ve become so popular is reason enough not to rest all your hopes in their services. There are just so many of us authors vying for needed attention. That is not to say don’t bother trying these or other options; it’s just to say don’t limit yourself to these.
KBoards, Goodreads, and Book Daily are options that have really become like second nature to new authors and especially two-time self-published authors (by the second time around, you know the ropes). Try them yourself and if they serve your particular purpose, great, use them again. If not, move on to the next one, but in order to do that, you’ve got to start compiling a list of options; paid and non-paid. And don’t be too lazy to SERIOUSLY monitor results. I’ll talk more about this later in the week when I share screenshots from my Amazon marketing campaign.
Now about the local library. I actually went to my local library and left an author introduction letter for the “adult books” librarian, along with a book flyer with details about “Skipping Childhood”. In it, I told her several points about my African American urban life novel. I briefly mentioned how it is a sort of twisted coming of age story about a twelve-year-old serial killer. Later when I got home, I decided to try to find some actual email contact information for the librarian. I discovered something even better on the public library website for my area. It was a form for individuals to actually Submit a Purchase Request for a particular book. Among the dropdown options to identify yourself were: “Author” and also “Patron” so that let me know it was okay to submit my own book. YAY!
There was a comment box at the end of the form, and once again, I took an opportunity to introduce myself as a local author and asked for their support. Now for the REALLY cool part. Since the form was specific to the library nearest me, I decided to search for another nearby library. I located the site and luckily, all the sites were set up the same, with the exception of having their own special events, photos, etc. I found the form to submit “Skipping Childhood” to another library. The auto-form fill even worked, so all the information just popped in, the moment I put the first character in the box. Needless to say, I got busy and submitted my request to as many libraries as I could before I got tired (50 in all). I offered to provide courtesy print and digital copies from those who specifically requested them.
I’m not sure what results to expect, but I sure felt proud of myself for such an earnest effort towards the success of my book. I realized also that if I could submit a request as the author, perhaps I could get some other locals to make the same request for my book. That way, maybe librarians will see the title is in demand, and actually stock some for their branch.
With that said, if anyone in the Southern California area is near one of these Public Library locations, you can make a request to them to purchase a copy of “Skipping Childhood” for your nearest branch. The print book will be released in January 2017, plenty enough time for them to order a few copies. Some libraries also make digital downloads available, but if you use the following information, the ISBN is specifically for a print format. All the information to make a library request for “Skipping Childhood” is below. If you live in another state and would like to do the same for this book, please check for a link to your local branches. Thank you.
Click this link: Public Library
Scroll all the way to the bottom of the page and look on the right side of page for the “Contact” link. Follow the contact link to the “Suggest a Purchase” link and simply insert the following details under the section that says:
Fill in these Suggested Item Details:
TITLE: Skipping Childhood: A Novel (From Abused Foster Child to Adolescent Serial Killer)
AUTHOR: Charm Baker
PUBLISHER: Just Charm Publishing
PUBLICATION DATE: Jan. 1, 2017
Get Innovative with Your Marketing
As you can see, this whole library option could turn out to be quite promising, even if only one or two librarians support you, they still may have a lot of influence on whether others buy or read your book.
If you’re a new indie author looking for more book marketing options, why not give these a try? When you only have a limited budget to promote your book, give your new title every opportunity for exposure that you can. Good Luck!