One of the challenges about being a self published writer is promotion. When I published in New York, the publisher promoted the imprint under which I published so that I and the writers who also were in that group reaped the benefits of the house’s promotional dollars. The print runs were set by the publishing house and often the print run exceeded the actual sales.
As a self published writer, by choice, I work on print-on-demand. Meaning that the books are created when ordered. No waste of printed but not sold books to end up as trash in over burdened landfills.
Having said that, the result of my choice is that I am responsible for my own promotion in a highly competitive market which sees thousands of books being released daily. Added to the challenge are the vast numbers of sites that offer exposure for your books. Since many of us who self publish are working on increasing our readership, we are constantly looking to find the ways and the means.
Sites like twitter and facebook are great for getting the word out about a book and connecting with other authors. Networking not only lends emotional support but informational support as well. Listen to what others are doing with their books. Support as much as you can with retweets and sharing. Reviews are critical.
I have a policy on reviews. I love reading new books when I have time. However, I will not review any book that I find I can’t like enough to give it at least three stars. My reason is that what I may dislike in a book might be loved by another reader. I have seen extremely low reviews on very good writers, often worded in such a way that I have to wonder if the reader even read the book. Low reviews can really damage sales.
You Tube Videos are also great. Plus they are a lot of fun both to watch and for research.
The sites that offer paid advertising can also be very beneficial. What I have been doing is trying each site, using a workable budget, and tracking the results. I have found that, in my case, all sites are not necessarily the best for my particular genre. Since I am working in two distinctly different genres, that means two different approaches. This trial and error method is time consuming but it is showing results. My team and I are creating a marketing plan that is heading in the direction that I wish to go.