You’ve written a book. You’ve got it all the way through production, either with the help of a traditional publisher or on your own, via self-publishing.
And all that seemed like plenty of effort, did it not? You’d think that you could now lie back in the warm sun of adulation as readers flocked to your books and asked you intense questions about just how you found your inspiration.
And then, you know. Reality.
If you have a traditional publisher and you’re lucky with them and the book, then things really can be like they were in your dreams. Huge retail distribution. Big sales. All that adulation. But even for traditionally published authors, those things are rare. The situation for most of us (and I’m a hybrid author, both traditionally and self-published) is that we see our books – our beautiful, published books – languishing a long way from the happy sunlight at the top of the bestseller charts.
So, what to do? There’s a lot you can do, in fact, and some of the tools are very potent indeed.
So here’s the top dozen things to try. Some are more complex than others. Some cost money. Some are as free and easy as winter rain. So let’s explore. We’ll start with stuff that’s easy, cheap and relatively low in effectiveness … and move up the ladder to stuff that’s harder, but more potent.
1. Post Something On Your Blog
You have a blog, right? Preferably integrated into your own website that has a domain name of the form yourname.com. If you’re not yet there, well – you need to get there. A decent looking website just is necessary these days. These things can be put together for almost nothing these days, though if you’re serious about your career, I think you’ll do what you need to do to create something of quality.
In any case, use your site to tell a story. Don’t sell at the reader. No one loves to have stuff shoved at them. Your best bet is to tell a story that engages in some way … and then make it unbelievably easy for readers to buy your book if they want to. That means creating easy, obvious links to your Amazon page, at the top, front and middle of your piece.
Need to set up a website? Here’s how.
2. Create Author Profiles On Amazon And Goodreads
Readers hang out both on Amazon and Goodreads. Both sites want authors to claim their profiles.
Use a photo that feels personal. Write a short bio that feels human and engaged. If you want to reference your favourite authors (ones writing in a similar field to you, of course), then do so.
These things won’t create readers overnight, but they are part of any modern author’s armoury. Basically, you must do them.
Having said that – don’t misdirect your attention either. I have yet to meet a professional author who thinks that being active on Goodreads is a good way to spend time. It isn’t. You need to create an attractive profile there, then leave it. Spending hours engaging with the community will not create sales. Advertising on Goodreads is a simple way to lose money.
Create a good-looking author page following Amazon’s own recipe.