Self-published authors face an uphill battle when it comes to marketing and selling our books.
The stigma that self-published books face is a tough one to shed. And, to top it off, most of us don’t have much help promoting our books. So selling self-published books is a challenge.
I have a Twitter account with a few hundred followers, a Facebook fan page, and a blog—all of which I maintain on my own. It’s a lot of work for mostly little results, but I finally stumbled upon what works. Excerpts and samples are the key to keeping my sales going.
It started when I got a tweet from one of my followers that read something like this: I read an excerpt of Tell Me You Want Me and I loved it! I can’t wait to read the rest. Similar Facebook comments started appearing, and I realized that to prove to readers my books are good, I need to get people to read them.
There are lots of places to post an excerpt.
- Your author website or blog is the best place to start.
- If you have a Facebook page, you can post excerpts in the notes section.
- Amazon and Barnes & Noble allow excerpts on your book page.
Websites like the ones listed below allow you to post excerpts:
Page99Test: www.page99test.com Post page 99 of your novel. Get feedback and includes a buying link.
Twimagination: http://twimagination.com/ Post short writings. Link to your Twitter account.
Worthy of Publishing: http://www.worthyofpublishing.com Post entire chapters. Get feedback and includes a buying link.
Samples are another way to get your book in front of readers. Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Smashwords all give readers the ability to download a free sample. Book Buzzr http://www.bookbuzzr.com/ allows you to specify which pages a reader can see.
Another creative way to expose your book to readers is with short stories and deleted scenes. Short stories will show the readers the quality of your writing, and stories about your characters’ backgrounds will make them want to read more. I also posted a few scenes from my books that were edited out of the final version. It was a fun way to provide more info about the book without giving away the whole book. (You can only post so many excerpts.)
Of course, if no one knows where to find your excerpts, samples, stories, and deleted scenes, they won’t get read. Instead of tweeting links to buying sites, I posted links to the sites where my excerpts and samples were available, and I posted links to Amazon, B&N, and Smashwords at the end of each excerpt on my blog.
When I promote excerpts and samples, my sales increase.
My sales numbers are slowly growing, but they are growing. If nothing else, I am fighting the belief that self-published books are bad. Getting a tweet or a comment from a reader who loved the excerpt they read and can’t wait to read more means more to me than sales ever could.
Share a comment. What’s your experience with promoting your own books?
She’s also on Facebook with an author page Author Amelia James
About the Author (Author Profile)
Amelia James started reading steamy romance novels in junior high, but her mom took them away from her, so she started daydreaming instead. After she got married, she wrote some of her naughtier daydreams down and sent them to Playgirl magazine. Two of them got published. She kept daydreaming and writing stories until her dirty stories turned into trashy books.
She lives in Colorado, but she’ll always be a loyal Wisconsin Cheesehead. When she’s not lusting after her next bad boy hero, she looks for inspiration in sci-fi and action movies, football players, bloodsucking lawyers, muscle cars, and kick-butt chicks.
Find Amelia James online:
Book Buzzr: http://www.freado.com/users/28703/amelia-james
She Writes: http://www.shewrites.com/profile/AmeliaJames
Edin Road Radio: http://edinroad.com/authors/ameliajames.html