Long ago, a fellow indie author said the following:
“A success for one of us is a success for all of us.” – Gwen Bristol
I’ve stated this several times because I think it rings true. Though, I don’t think a lot of people understand exactly what this means. At least what I think it means, so let me explain:
Indie authors don’t have the luxury of a traditional publishing company backing them. We have no publicists, agents, advertising agencies, etc. Or do we? You see, indie authors have each other. They’re a community where we can work together and promote each other. Guest posts, beta readers, opinions, interviews, and all manner of tools are at our disposal when we work as a group. This isn’t even counting how you can ask for advice from a more established member of the community since they’ve already been there. I’ve always been impressed by the overall empathy and understanding within the indie author community. For all of the help I receive, I’m grateful and try to return the favor.
Now, what happens when one of us succeeds? It inspires others and sheds light on the indie author world. If somebody reads a good indie author book then they might check on that author and try one of their friends. Also, the successful author can bring more attention to other books they mention in blog tours, tweets, and whatever else they get involved in. A success adds to the foundation of the indie author world and raises it from the idea that they’re a band of rejects. So, when you’re publishing as an indie, you’re also stepping up to try and be one of the faces of the group. Our path is justified with every success, which will make more people take indie authors seriously.
Here’s where things get tough. Not everyone rockets to the top and not every book will succeed. My fantasy books did great, but Catalysts bombed. I learned and I’m moving on. It takes time and hard work and community to get a grip in this world. It’s rough, but the key is to not give up and to fall back on a support structure. If you can’t walk then get a friend to carry you for a bit. Even the big names didn’t do it alone. They had friends cheering them on at the beginning too.
So, here are some ideas for anyone trying to promote a book on a budget and needs a bolster of confidence:
- Twitter. Tweet every 3-4 hours and be catchy. Don’t worry about grammar and remember to use hashtags for important words like genre, ereader type, and key words.
- Facebook Promo Groups. I post once in the morning and another in the evening. Every now and then an afternoon post. Be catchy and informative with this.
- Join Cover Reveals and Blog Tours of other authors. It’s very important to be an active member of the indie author community, so your name is out there. They may return the favor when it’s your turn.
- Keep an eye out for Indie Author events such as the recently successful Read Tuesday from this past . . . Tuesday. Sad thing here is that it was on Monday that I realized why this event was happening on a Tuesday.
- Find blogs or sites that do indie author interviews. For example, Literary Syndicate.
- Guest blog on those that offer or simply ask those bloggers you’re close with if you can write something for them to post. It doesn’t even have to be about writing. I have no problem hosting guest blogs.
- Be a person on your own blog. You are your product, so make yourself more than the name on a cover. I’m not saying open your life to strangers, but be willing to converse with people.
There are many sites you can use with a little money too. Ask around and do your own searching. I promoted my first book on $55 dollars, which was with a few splurges for permanent stuff. You can probably do it on $20-30. Now, I do want to say the following. An advertising site that works for one person, might not work for another. If you follow someone’s advice on a site and it doesn’t work for you then shrug and move on. No sense in wallowing or getting frustrated. If you feel bad then email an author friend who is willing to let you rant the stress out. As I’ve said before, we’re all in this together and turning on other authors will only hurt the community.