Seven Ways to Market Your Self-Published Novel

Congratulations! You’ve published your first novel (or maybe your second or your third) and now you’re ready to market it.

This can be a daunting moment. I think all of us secretly hope that our novel will be miraculously discovered and recognised as the masterpiece it truly is … but we know that isn’t going to happen without some sort of marketing.

The good news – especially if the very idea of marketing makes you shudder – is that there’s no single “right” way to let the world know about your book.  There are lots of different techniques you might try, depending on the type of book you’ve written, and the type of author you are.

I’m focusing on self-published novelists in this post. Many of these suggestions will work just fine for traditionally published authors too, but as a self-publisher, you have full control over things like the price of your book – and carte blanche to market in any way you see fit.

I’ve also kept this list short: seven ideas rather than the 50+ you might find on some sites.  I’ve come across some huge lists of marketing ideas for novelists … but often I end up feeling that most of the ideas aren’t necessarily all that workable or impactful.

While there are an almost unlimited number of things you could do to promote your novel, in this post, I’m going to focus on seven very common ones:

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Your Website is Always a Work in Progress

Over the years, I’ve seen a lot of authors, bloggers and freelancers launch their websites.

They rarely start out with a massively, gorgeous site. They normally begin with something simple but workable: perhaps it’s a free blog on WordPress.com, for instance, or a single page on About.me.

The wonderful (and sometimes frustrating) thing about websites is that they’re always a work in progress.

You never truly “finish” a website. Even if you don’t have a blog or “news” section that needs new material on a regular basis, you’ll still want to make updates.

You’ll publish a new book. You’ll start – or stop – offering a particular service. You’ll change direction (perhaps quite radically). And your website will need to evolve with you.

Whatever stage you’re at with your own website, this is good news! You don’t need to get it “perfect” from day one.

But … you also don’t want to become so used to your current website that you never change a thing.

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Marketing Your (Self-Published) Novel: Five Books Reviewed

marketing-novel-reviews

Long-time Aliventures readers might remember that the first half of 2012 was a little hectic for me. I’d just launched my first novel, Lycopolis, and started Writers’ Huddle … and I had five months to turn in the manuscript of Publishing E-Books for Dummies.

And on the very day I handed in the final chapter of the Publishing E-Books draft … I found out I was pregnant with Kitty.

Which was, of course, lovely news! But the first-trimester exhaustion hit me like a truck (thankfully I got off easy on morning sickness) … and all my great plans for promoting Lycopolis came to nothing.

I didn’t have time to market the novel and write more novels, so I chose to stick with writing. (And motherhood: as well as now 3-year-old Kitty, I have 18-month-old Nick.)

But now I’m starting to get back into marketing. Of course, a lot has changed since early 2012, and techniques that were popular then (like making a book free, getting it high in the charts then switching it back to paid-for) don’t work so well.

Here are the five books I’ve been digging into … and what I thought of them.

Note: These aren’t in any particular order. I’ve given links to Amazon as that’s where I shop, but most of these will be available through other ebook stores too. If you’re a member of Kindle Unlimited (KU), then several are available for free.

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Three Reasons Why You Need a Mailing List as an Author

 Take Me to the Castle - FC Malby

Today’s guest post is from author F.C. Malby, who’s just launched her debut novel Take Me to the Castle. In this post, she tackles a hugely important topic – why you need a mailing list (also sometimes called a newsletter list or email list).

Over to you, F.C.!

Many new authors, faced with the prospect of marketing their books, wonder how to sell their work effectively without it becoming too much for others to read or it looking like spam.

You need permission to send people information, it can’t just be sent out randomly. Building a platform, via Twitter, Facebook, a blog, Goodreads, LinkedIn, Google+, is just part of the work of reaching your potential readers.

You need a mailing list. Why? Here are three reasons:

1. What if any of these sites folded or restricted what you post in a way that hampers your marketing?

You might have built up followers on Twitter and Facebook, but if they ceased to exist tomorrow what would you do?

If you are a self-published author this is all the more important. Amazon might be a giant within the publishing world at the moment, but what if the mighty machine also ceases to exist (unlikely but a possibility), or any of the other publishing platforms like Kobo, BookBaby, or Smashwords?

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