What I've Tried
Apparently, one of the most difficult jobs an author--especially a self-published author--needs to do is find ways to market his books. Simply putting them up for sale on such sites as Amazon and Smashwords is not really enough.
Now, I have been really surprised to have actually had some success selling my novels. I do think the striking cover for Kingdom Beyond the Rim, created by Dave Melanson, had a great deal to do with that, but I have not been just sitting around on this one.
So, what to do?
Unfortunately, many marketing options cost money. Bookfairs and showcase events can charge hundreds of dollars to present books to the public. Frankly, I just don't have that kind of money to toss around. Are they good investments to increase sales? Hard to say.
I've looked for low budget options. The BookBzz Prizewriter competition had a modest entry fee, and although I did not win, it's nice to be able to list my novel as a finalist.
I also have spent some money using promotion opportunities on both BookBzz and Book Daily. So far I know Book Daily has featured my novel in various email campaigns. It's a great way to get my novel out before their huge mailing list.
I found out that both Kindle and Publisher's Weekly offer lost cost opportunities to get publicity through website listings and award competitions. I've started working with those sites too.
I have a website for the novels: Magiskeep, this blog, and pages at Facebook and Tumblr.
I have my own email list and send out notices to people I know. And then, of course there was an article about my books in the local paper. I sent out subsequent press releases to other papers, but apparently I was not newsworthy enough to merit publication. I still might try again.
I have also scattered business cards advertising my first novel in lots of places I've visited. I just designed a new card for the entire Saga.
Now that the weather is warmer, I am going to investigate doing some author talks--perhaps at local libraries.
I am sure I will come up with more promotional ideas as time goes on. The trick is trying to do it all on a low/no budget.
Rather an interesting challenge.