You’ve written your manuscript. It’s gone through countless tweaks and edits, you’re thrilled with the title, and the cover design absolutely rocks. Your ebook is just about ready to be published! Yay! You’re bound to feel like you’re on the tail end of a journey that’s quite possibly been exhausting — but you’re nowhere near ready to put your feet up yet.
Unless you’re Elon Musk, or something, the readers aren’t simply going to pour in once you get your ebook up on Kindle Direct Publishing or on your website. To make sure that others have the chance to share in your awesome work, you also have to learn how to market your ebook. Sadly, being a skilled and inspiring writer within your genre doesn’t automatically make you a master marketer — and if you’re the kind of person who feels terrible about blowing your own trumpet, marketing your ebook can be really tricky.
Even if you are lucky enough to have a solid marketing budget, it’s crucial to stay involved after you have finished writing your ebook — the better you can connect with your target audience, the more likely they’ll be to read your book.
So, what concrete steps can you personally take to market your ebook, even if you don’t have the luxury of pouring too much money into the process?
1. Authentically connect on social media
Even before your ebook’s release date, you can begin raving about it on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and, if you’re already there, YouTube. You don’t need to make a classic — and classically off-putting — sales pitch to reach your audience and get them excited about your ebook! You can share snippets of genuine excitement to give folks a little sneak peak that artfully just avoids spoilers if your ebook is a novel or short story. If you’re writing non-fiction, you can choose a small sub-topic to tell your readers more about, so that you can hook them when your ebook comes out.
If you’re comfortable with it, you can even share small details of your daily life, and talk about why you decided to publish an ebook as opposed to traditional publishing.
Don’t just monologue, though! Engage with your audience by reposting awesome comments, replying to questions, and thanking your followers for their support.
2. Reach out to influencers
Use your existing connections and make new ones for your virtual book tour. Non-fiction ebooks can bloom when they’re promoted by fellow subject-matter experts, while novels, short stories, works of poetry, and other fiction ebooks catch new eyes much more easily if a BookTuber or friendly author gives you a shout out. Guests posts, tweets, newsletter links, podcast mentions, and YouTube reviews are all great ways to make this happen. Even if you’re dealing with some serious stage fright, you believe in your ebook, right? Keep that squarely in your mind as you reach out to big names. Remember to send advance copies to the people who will help you market your ebook so that they’re ready to start raving when the publishing date rolls around.
3. Offer giveaways and discounts
You can create some real buzz on your platform by doing interesting giveaways — like, for instance, offering a tiny blurb from your ebook in which your protagonist is facing a dilemma, and inviting your followers to share how they’d act in that situation. Pick the most creative comments as winners. Using Kindle Unlimited, you can also entice readers with free promos. If you have other ebooks out already, you can realistically expect a sales boost.
4. Get your ebook on all the popular platforms
Goodreads and Amazon will allow you to manage your own author pages, enabling you to decide what actual and potential readers learn about you and your work first. If you haven’t done this already, definitely put that on your to-do list. The many popular ebook listing websites will welcome your submission, usually for free, to draw bored and eager bookworms who are looking for the next great thing in.
Expertise, influence, time, enthusiasm, and money are the foundations of successful ebook marketing — and the good news is that you won’t need all of them to meet and exceed your goals. If you’ve got three out of five, you’ll have an excellent shot at getting your ebook noticed.