Today I bring you the very first guest post on this blog, written by Indie Author Karen Baney. She and I are both participants in Melissa Foster’s big book launch on November 1st and she has a lot of valuable insights into the self-publishing world.
Okay. So, I don’t really know the sure-fire way to double your sales as an author. But, I can share with you what has been working well for me over the past three months—months where I’ve double my sales each month.
First, and most importantly, none of the following suggestions will be successful if you haven’t written a great novel and you don’t have a good cover. Those two things are absolutely critical for your success as an author.
That little disclaimer aside, here are the three things that have helped me the most in the past three months.
After much nagging from my hubby, “Are you on Twitter yet? You need to be on Twitter.” I finally broke down and got on Twitter. The first month I was on it, I could hardly figure out what to do with the thing. I mean 140 characters is frightening to a word smith. How was I going to say anything in that short space?
So, I started reading other people’s blogs about Twitter. I learned about hash tags, how to schedule tweets, what kinds of things to tweet, and how to engage with others. The first month I was on Twitter, my Amazon sales ranking went from somewhere around 108,000 to hovering around 35,000. Pretty good, say you? I thought so. And I doubled my sales from the previous month.
(Yes, my hubby was right – just don’t tell him I said so.)
But that wasn’t the only front of my marketing efforts.
Yes. I just said the dreaded “b” word. But, let’s get real. Blogging does help.
I’ve finally got in a routine with blogging. I started a series highlighting the main characters from my Prescott Pioneers Series. This blog series runs every Wednesday. I include a photo (purchased for less than $5 at iStockPhoto), the character’s stats, and a few insider secrets that only I as the author know about the character. My fans love it. It also gives me a chance to promote my books in an interesting way.
The other blog series I started was a Friday post just for authors about various writing topics. This is a great way to network with other authors and some of them may even buy my books too. If nothing else, they will have learned something from my posts.
I’ve also recently added an author spotlight series on Mondays, where I feature interviews with other indie authors.
During this time frame, my Amazon ranking went from 35,000 to about 11,000. Oh—you guessed it—I doubled my sales from the previous month getting very close to that 1,000 book a month barrier.
Then, the next big thing hit…
I finally had enough money coming in from my sales that I could spend a little extra on marketing. So, I started snooping around to find some cheap ways of marketing. Well, in that process, I connected with Melissa Foster, best-selling author on Amazon. I was invited to participate in a big promotion (coming very soon).
This promotion hasn’t even launched yet, and I’ve seen tremendous benefit. I’ve connected with 36 new author friends. We’ve been helping cross promote for each other over the past month. I’ve also learned from them ways to work smarter and not harder (like scheduling tweets, getting my book on various websites, etc.)
Since meeting this great group of people, my Amazon sales rankings have jumped from 11,000 to hovering around 2,500. Wow! I call that a success. And… I doubled my sales from the previous month, finally breaking the 1,000 books a month barrier by a significant amount.
While I can’t guarantee you’ll see the same results, I hope I’ve given you a few ideas on how you, as an indie author, can market your books and reach out to new readers.
Karen Baney, in addition to writing Christian historical fiction and contemporary novels, works as a Software Engineer. Her faith plays an important role both in her life and in her writing. Karen and her husband make their home in Gilbert, Arizona, with their two dogs. She also holds a Masters of Business Administration from Arizona State University. Check out Karen’s blog at http://www.karenbaney.com/
Join us and over 30 other great authors for the 99 Cent Book Event, in celebration of the release of Melissa Foster’s latest novel COME BACK TO ME, Tues., Nov. 1 – Thurs., Nov 3. ALL BOOKS 99 CENTS, ebook giveaways, and more! www.womensliterarycafe.com