Publishing an ebook worldwide does not guarantee that your potential readers will know about it and find it. Without fine-tuning your marketing, you might not reach the readers you want to reach. Don’t worry: ebook marketing should not be expensive, nor complicated. This article is presenting you with tips and tricks everyone can try to market their ebooks. This is our starter list: ten things every new author should try to market their ebooks.
Read our checklist to learn how to stand out in a market filled with books similar to yours. But hey, remember: there is no golden road. What works for one author, does not definitely work for another. Try different things, experiment, and see what works for you. And, most of all: be creative! While many people hate marketing, it is so much more than cold sales. You are not trying to sell people something they don’t want; you just want to reach your readers who want to read your book, they just don’t know it yet.
(Ebook Marketing Tips for Beginners: The Starter List was updated on 14/05/2018.)
1. Fill in your metadata correctly
This sounds basic, but we are not afraid to say it: use your book metadata page. It is not only you who wants to sell their book, but also the stores: but they can’t help if your book is incorrectly categorised or your keywords are not filled in. Selecting the best category for your book and adding the correct keywords could mean that your book comes up in searches more often.
How to find the best category? Check your favourites in the genre, and see which category and keywords they are using. This way, the stores will make intelligent connections between your book and the books of others. It will show up in searches even when your readers were searching for another books. Be relevant and find the niche-est group possible. However, don’t push it too far: adding keywords to your title or subtitle is generally frown upon. Stores do not like authors who are trying to “trick the system”. Use the keywords field for keywords, the description field for description, etc.
We write a lot about managing your metadata correctly. Check out our metadata webinar where we talk about how to make the best of your title, subtitle, cover, description and categories - to reach the readers who’ll truly love your book with our ebook metadata mastermind, Zsofia Dedinszky.
2. Ebook marketing superstars: the review bloggers
Nobody can sell your book as well as a satisfied reader. Reach out to bloggers and ask them to write reviews about your book. Of course, it requires some previous research in the blogger world. Look for the pros of your genre, build relationships, make friends. It does not work from one day to the next, but it is worth the effort. They can give your book relevant, unique and human-written reviews. Finding the right reviewers and building fruitful relationships with them is not easy.
3. Create an author page on Goodreads, Amazon and Facebook
Readers love to communicate with their favourite writers on social media. It does not matter whether you are traditionally published or not. Publishing companies also trust their authors to establish their presence on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. You don’t have to be everywhere, but find the places your ideal readers will most likely hang out. For example, popular poet Rupi Kaur has started her writing career on Instagram, establishing a strong presence before publishing her book of poems. Engaged readers may not only buy your books, but will talk about your books with their friends, and become faithful followers for a lifetime. (We all love our favourites, don’t we?)
4. Register your book on Goodreads.com
Don’t wait for somebody else to add your book. You can already create your book page on Goodreads while your book is only out for pre-sale. The Amazon-owned Goodreads is the social platform for books and ebooks. At Goodreads, readers are able to find new books and get more engaged with their favourite authors and books. Do not miss your chance to get discovered by new readers!
5. Collect reviews
If you already have a fan base, you don’t forget to keep in contact with them. Encourage your readers with small contests and giveaways to write reviews, or spread the word about your book. The more people know about the book, the more people will buy it and read it. Ask your reviewers to cross-post their reviews if and where possible.
Welcome all positive reviews and don’t feel discouraged by the negative ones. You can’t please everyone.
You can send review copies from PublishDrive via iBooks or Google Play Books. Read here what to do.
6. Write a blog
You are a writer. Your possible readers have the right to know how you write. Writing a blog could not only be a great option to become a review blogger or an expert on your field yourself, but can be used as a powerful ebook marketing tool. Don’t be afraid to share excerpts of your book or share insight of your creative writing process. Your readers will love it.
7. Quote your book every day on different platforms
Readers love short quotes from books that they can share on social media. Creating Twitter or Facebook friendly “picture quotes” could not be easier with Canva: just select a background and add your text. Then use the power of social media to get these short quotes to more people by simply posting or tweeting them. You can be funny or emotional: find the best tone that works engaging the most people.
8. Build your own email list
Getting people to subscribe to your email list could be tricky; but providing them with relevant content without becoming annoying is even trickier. With everyone getting tons of spam and irrelevant sales email every hour of the day, you don’t only have to think about how to get those email addresses, but also what to do with them.
Email is the cheapest solution to market your books and a bulletproof way of reaching your readers. But how to get email addresses? Well, you can build your own website and simply ask them to sign up for email updates (and put the link in the book) or organize contests where they have to give you their email address. Remember: don’t sign up anyone who does not want to be signed up. With the new GDPR coming live in May 2018, make sure to follow not only common sense but data protection regulations.
Once you have collected the email addresses, use an email app such as MailChimp or SendGrid to contact your readers. These apps let you send different mails based on customer behaviour and filter your email database. Design email newsletters and send it to the right people. You can provide your previous buyers with coupons, organize webinars, online book releases via email. Don’t forget to check your statistics every now and again to see if your wording or strategies need changing.
9. Let your readers ‘write’ your story
Sometime the best ebook marketing strategy is to simply let others talk. Let your readers take part in the creative process! If you release a second or third part of a series, you may ask your readers their opinion and let them vision what could happen. Can’t decide between two blurbs or two covers? Ask your readers. Don’t know if you should kill a character? Your readers do.
That makes your readers more involved in the book creation process could end up in terrific results.
10. Use paid online advertising such as Google Adwords, Facebook Ads etc.
If you have a budget for ebook marketing and advertising, use Google Adwords or Facebook Ads. The advantage of these campaigns is that you can’t accidentally spend more than your budget. Before actually setting your ad, try conducting a keyword research. Then design your landing page, and set your target market as specific as you can. It is unlikely that you’ll get it right at the first try, but that’s okay. You have to test and measure what works for your users. Start with 4-5 different ads at the same time with A/B testing to find out what works and what doesn’t.
Google Adwords helps you be found by your potential customers when they are searching (googling) for something you can offer. Facebook ads are more suitable for showing your potential customers what you offer and encourage them to engage. You can run both marketing channels simultaneously, however managing too many channels at the same time can result in a lot of money and time spent ineffectively.
Ebook marketing could feel overwhelming, especially if you look at yourself more like a writer than a salesperson. But the tips above do not involve any SEO tricks or running long campaigns with a lot of material. To learn more about how to effectively promote your ebook on social media, we recommend that you also check out this article.