Self-Promotion – A Guide

So, you’ve decided to self-publish your books digitally using Kobo Writing Life. Terrific!

Your titles are loaded, they’re live on the site, and now you’re thinking: What’s the next step? How can I get customers to notice my titles? What can I do to help boost my sales?

As the term self-publishing implies, most of the promotion and marketing of your book will be driven by you and depend on your level of engagement and proactivity. For the record, even major publishers don’t put huge marketing dollars behind debut authors—even in the print world you have to do a lot of the work yourself. But don’t take that to mean you’ll be all on your own! The self-publishing team is here to guide you and help you find your way to indie success.

Here are some tips to help begin the process of promoting your title

Step #1 – Answer our Q&A

One great way to get your titles noticed is to introduce yourself to the self-publishing team! Fill out this quick Q&A to let us know about your titles, your writing, your process and yourself. We’ll use this information to get to know you and your eBooks. We might even decide to feature your answers in a blog post or self-publishing newsletter! Once we have your information, we’ll be sure to contact you if we feel your titles will fit in with an upcoming promotion

Step #2 – Social Networking

Have you set up a Facebook Author page? Do you tweet about your work? Social networking is a great way to connect with readers, and best of all it doesn’t cost a thing! Set yourself a schedule of posts and tweets and stick to it. Include the links to your social networking pages right there in your ePub. You might be surprised at how many followers, likes and comments you’ll get!

Step #3 – Do a Limited-Time Price Promotion

Putting your title on sale is a great way to attract new readers. One tried-and-true strategy is to lower the price of an older title a couple of weeks before your new title releases. That way, you’ll have collected a whole new fan base who will be done reading your book just in time for the new one! It’s easy to adjust your prices using the KWL portal. Once your title is on sale, it’s also important to get the word out. Post about the sale on your blog, Facebook page, and on Twitter.

Step #4 – Create a Professional Book Cover

The importance of your book cover in digital publishing can’t be overemphasized. Your book cover needs to sell your book, as it’s the first thing the customer sees. Along with your description, title, price and categories, your book cover is one of the only things the customer has to go on to make the decision to buy or not to buy. The cover should be eye-catching and easily viewed as a thumbnail, with a title that is easy to read. It should also make sense for the genre of your book.

Many authors make the mistake of trying to design their own book cover with little training or artistic ability. This can result in an amateurish cover that greatly hurts your eBook sales.  If you want to be your own cover designer, go ahead and give it a stab, but be sure to compare your final product to bestselling titles in your genre to see how it measures up. Another possibility is to hire someone to design your book cover. For further advice on book cover design, check out this article which includes advice from a Kobo merchandiser.

Step #5 – Go Free

Making one of your titles free, either permanently or for a limited time, is a strategy that works for many Kobo authors. Our free page gets a lot of traffic because customers like to try a few books free of charge before they take the plunge and buy. If your free title is the first in a series, even better. We’ve found that customers often purchase the next title in the series on the very same day!

If you’d like to submit your free title for consideration for our free page, fill out this this form.

Step #6 – Join our Affiliate Program

Are you sending customers to Kobobooks.com to buy your eBook (or other eBooks)? Sign up for Kobo’s affiliate network to earn an extra 8-12% on each sale!

Visit our Affiliates page to register: http://www.kobobooks.com/affiliates

Step #7 – Publish Everywhere

When it comes to self-publishing, exposure is key. At Kobo, we encourage our authors to publish their titles through as many eBook retailers as possible so any customer—no matter which eReader they own or site they prefer—can get their hands on your work. This idea is at the core of our Read Freely philosophy. Don’t limit yourself. It will only limit your sales.

Step #8 – Patience, Persistence, Publish

You know that old saying: If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again? As a self-published author, this should be your mantra. Huge sales aren’t going to happen overnight. Customers aren’t going fall in your lap by magic. It’s about doing the legwork, putting in the time and patiently waiting for results. Remember that some of the most successful writers today got to where they are because they believed in themselves and kept at it. If your titles aren’t selling as well as you’d like, try a different approach. Change your cover. Adjust your prices. Try doing a one-week sale. In the end, your efforts will pay off.

I hope this information has given you a better sense of the incredible world of self-publishing. Success is yours for the taking – you just have to go for it.

Don’t forget to sign up for the monthly KWL newsletter, where you’ll find lots of advice from the team. To do so, just select YES in the ‘contact information’ section on the Writing Life Dashboard (under My Account).

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