After all the hard work of writing, editing, proofreading, and navigating the process of self-publishing, finally, finally, your book hits the virtual bookstand. Congratulations from Self-Publishing Relief! But don’t sit back and relax just yet. Whether you’re traditionally published or self-published, now starts the task of getting your book in the hands of readers. How do you effectively connect with readers who love books, target those who will want to buy your book, and boost your sales numbers? Here are smart, budget-friendly ways to connect with the right readers for your book.
Connect With Readers Who Will Buy Your Book
Goodreads: Goodreads is nirvana for readers who love books! Create an author page and connect with readers and other authors. Not only is it a good way to establish a fan base, but it’s also a great platform to give and receive book reviews. The members of targeted readers groups on Goodreads are usually very active and engaged. Focus on groups in your genre, and be sure you come across as an expert in this style of writing—this is about networking and building interest and trust, not about blatant sales pitches.
Unlike Amazon, a reader does not have to verify a book purchase to leave a review for it, and the more great reviews you receive, the better. Goodreads is also a valuable marketing tool: You can offer giveaways to readers and run contests with your book as the prize.
Local Bookstores: While getting your book on the shelves of a big-name brick-and-mortar bookstore is not easy, you may have better luck getting local bookstores to place your book on consignment. Talk with the bookstore manager or owner and ask to have a book signing event in the store. You might also consider offering the bookstore a portion of the profit from any books you sell at the event. It’s basically free money for them, so few would turn down the opportunity. Here’s how to hand-sell your book.
Facebook: You may already be on Facebook (along with millions of book lovers!), but do you have an author page? An author page lets you market your book without ever leaving your house. You’ll also have access to analytics, be able to schedule posts, and establish or build your author brand. You can build a book community, engage readers, promote your book, and announce any events or promotions. The idea is to get people talking about your book.
Twitter: People are talking about books on Twitter; there’s even a whole community known as Book Twitter! Many readers and writers are active on Twitter, making it one of the easiest ways to connect online. Since tweets are usually brief, engagement is often higher than with lengthier posts on other platforms. Make sure you use relevant hashtags, and don’t be afraid to follow new people too!
HINT: Don’t just spout out promotional tweets, bludgeoning your audience with constant sales ads—make sure you actually interact with your fans and the people you follow. You want to come across as a real person and author, not a bot. This is good advice on any social media platform, not just Twitter.
Remember, successfully selling books is about building a relationship with the right readers in a genuine way. When your followers feel a real connection with you, they’re more likely to be receptive to any sales messages. If you find your audience, you’ve already done most of the work needed to generate book sales.
QUESTION: Where else might a self-published author find and connect with readers for their book?