The Dos and Don’ts of Promoting Your Book Online

As a self-published author, it can be tricky to know how to promote your book and yourself online. Without the right promotion, you run the risk of nobody reading your book because they don’t know it exists. Follow these dos and don’ts for promoting yourself online, and you’ll see your online platform grow.

DO

Let people know about your book. This seems like common sense, but some authors expect to see their book blow up just because it’s for sale on Amazon. How can anyone buy your book if they don’t know it exists?

Post about your book on your social channels like Facebook and Twitter, send out a newsletter to your email contacts, and reach out to bloggers or reviewers who might enjoy writing about your book.

DON’T

Spam your followers with hundreds of posts just about your book. Posting solely about your book across social channels isn’t a good strategy, and it’s a great way to lose followers who tire of seeing the same self-promotional posts day after day.

DO

Follow the give-give-give-ask method. That means for every one time you ask your followers to do something, like buy a copy of your book, you give them three different posts that have nothing to do with buying your book.

For example, if your book is about flowers, you might want to post three articles, photos, or links about something related to flowers for every one time you ask your followers to pick up a copy of your book.

DON’T

Comment on random social media posts about your book. If the original post is a news article about cars, commenting “I just published my first book about flowers!” is completely irrelevant and won’t get the kind of interaction or sales you’re looking for.

DO

Run ads on Facebook for your book. With over a billion active users, Facebook is a great place to target readers who might be interested in your book. You can target by gender, age, interests, geography, and income. To learn more about advertising on Facebook, check out Facebook’s advertising page. You can also run ads on Twitter if you’re an active user. To learn more about advertising on Twitter, check out Twitter’s advertising page.

DON’T

Get discouraged by poorly performing ads. It’s standard practice in the professional digital advertising world to test demographics and copy with ads to see what works and what doesn’t. Dig into your audience targeting and choose a few different photos to test which ones perform the best.

DO

Get creative with promotion. Set up a Facebook event for book signings, meet-and-greet wine nights at a local bar or restaurant, or a reading at your local library or literary center. Facebook events are a great way for friends and fans to know about your event and get regular reminders.

DON’T

Be afraid to think outside the box. Promoting your book is one of the most important steps in growing your platform as an author. Try a few things out and don’t get discouraged if you don’t get the results you were hoping for. Promotions that didn’t work out the way you wanted are still valuable and can help you craft more successful promotional events in the future.

DO

Ask your friends and fans to read your book, then rate and review it on Amazon, Goodreads, and other sites. Reviews will help other readers know what your book is about and whether they might like to read it, too.

DON’T

Rate and review your own book. It’s obvious when authors rate and review their own books, not to mention unprofessional.

Have any other questions about promoting your book? Let us know on Twitter.

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