Assuming no real following, how are you supposed to promote your ebook?
So you finally finished uploading your book on KDP, D2D, etc., and now you want the world to know about your literary masterpiece. Unfortunately, for most completely new writers, their following of loyal readers is a goose egg. Zero. Nada. 0. How are you going to tell the world about all the funny knock-knock jokes you’ve come up with over the last month? There are ways, it’s going to take a bit more time than sending a message to you e-mail list or thousands of twitter followers, though.
Let’s for a moment assume that you want to continue doing this for more than one rodeo. What you’re going to need to do is go to MailChimp or any other mailing service and setup a mailing list. Details in the next chapter.
Let’s also assume you’re going with KDP Select on Amazon, so you get 5 days where you can price your book at free 99. For a beginner, this is the best time to promote your book and get it in as many hands as you can. Note you can do this every 90 days, so you can boost your book 4 times a year to get more reviews and people on your mailing list.
Find a relevant subreddit:
If you’ve ever been online in the last decade of your life, I’ll put money that you have heard of Reddit before. If you haven’t, it’s where all the funny pictures from Facebook start before they are reclaimed as original content on your newsfeed, and where all of Buzzfeed gets it’s “inspiration”.
What you’re going to need to do is search on there for subreddits, which are basically individual communities with user-generated content. You have to let the world know about your fantastic knock-knock jokes, so a few relevant subreddits you could post to could be:
- Parenting, for all struggling single mothers that need to calm their spawn somehow
- Jokes, because it’s a joke book. No shit.
- Self-publishing, because you did it!
- And the countless ebook promotion pages
What you don’t want to do is spam their subreddit with your masterpiece. Explain in your submission why it’s something that they would want or need. If you’re utilizing KDP Select’s 5-day free promotion, be sure to include that in the title of our submission. People love free stuff.
There are numerous twitter handles that solely promote free eBooks. What I suggest doing is compiling a list of as many as you can, and when you start your free 5-day giveaway, spam the hell out of them. I would include a list of twitter handles you try, but they are constantly going in and out of activity so do a search for free ebooks. It might sound like a dog shit tactic, but you should get a few retweets out of them for boosted visibility. You might lose a few followers in the process yourself, but those people were only trying to bring you down anyway. Fuck ‘em.
Here’s where things can get pretty juicy pretty fast. The first thing you’ll want to do is search for and join eBook groups. A lot of these folks are hoarders and just want books, but they will also help you with your rankings so people that actually want to read your book can find them easier. Like twitter, these groups come in and out of activity so you’re going to have to do some searching yourself. When you’re in these groups, on the first, third, and fifth day of your free promotion post in all of the groups that your eBook is free. Also find relevant Facebook pages and post on their walls. Don’t spam willy-nilly, make sure the pages are relevant to your book.
Also, on the first day of the free giveaway, post on your personal Facebook page promoting the book. Friends and family are more likely to read it and give positive reviews. Just don’t ask for reviews, allegedly it’s in poor taste to ask family for positive reviews. Let them do it themselves.
So it’s day two of your promotion, and you’re getting literally dozens of messages on Facebook from friends and family saying how cool it is that you wrote a book. What happens next is you publicly thank them for helping you. That’s it. Tag their name in the thank you message and wait.
Why? Because people like recognition, and also it will post your message on their walls. That means more eye’s on your book, with more people looking for recognition for helping out a friend. Makes sense?
The next day you will literally have tens of messages, repeating the process. They’ll probably also leave you positive reviews which are always a plus.
So you’re really into knock knock jokes, so you’re on dozens of message books with people telling knock-knock jokes. If you’re an active poster, with a track record of good posts, no one should bat an eye at you promoting your free books. What you don’t want to do is join random message boards and your first post be about how you have this great book they should check it. No no no no no. That’s a good way to get banned outright, and depending on the community they might hunt you down and give your book negative reviews.
Think outside the box
Find other ways to promote your book. Rent a blimp and advertise that way. Hand out fliers or create business cards for your book. Do something risky and see if it works. If it does it will only work once before people copy you, but then you can write about your experiences with guerilla/viral marketing.