A solid marketing strategy is essential for helping indie authors to accomplish their goals effectively and efficiently. I divided my marketing plan in three parts: pre-publication, publication and post-publication.
The first thing to do in the pre-publication phase is to solicit reviewers for reviews, and in doing so, offer them a free copy of your book in exchange for an honest review. I recommend doing this first because getting a review can take anywhere from a couple of months to a couple of years. Before your book is published, you should also begin building an author platform including a website, blog and social media presence. You can opt to do your own site or hire a professional web designer, preferably one that specializes in author sites. In maintaining a blog, consistency is crucial. It’s better to post once a month than post several times a week for a few months and then post nothing at all for several months. Soliciting other literary bloggers to do guest posts and or interviews is another thing to do in the pre-publication phase. This is a great way to gain exposure while networking with other authors and book reviewers.
In publishing my books in eBook format, I made them available through Amazon by using KDP and through all other online booksellers by publishing on Smashwords. In publishing my books in paperback format, I used Ingram Spark and had two of my books formatted through a professional service. Amazon allows you to use keywords and categories as a means of allowing readers to locate your book. Be sure to use the most effective keywords and to list your book in the category with the least number of titles to improve chances of making bestseller status. You’ll want to add your book to sites such as Goodreads, Library Thing, and Shelfari and be sure to get author status on these sites so that you can take advantage of the various promotional opportunities. Promote your book through other social media sites such as Google Plus, Twitter, Facebook.
In the post publication phase, you’ll want to continue to promote your book through social media sites and continue to garner reviews. This is also the time to solicit libraries and bookstores to purchase your book. Another great way to increase exposure is by participating in events such as literary and book festivals.
Throughout completing the tasks on your plan, it’s important to be adaptable. Often times, I had to deviate from my original business plan or even alter or change my plan. The world of indie authorship is an extremely dynamic world so being adaptable and flexible is a must.