Tips To Successfully Market Your Book - A guest post and GIVEAWAY by BK Walker.


BK Walker is currently living in Central Pennsylvania with her three children,  Brittney, Hunter, and Daniel.  She works as a pediatric home care nurse which she truly enjoys.  Always having a love of writing,  she has created a world of her own through her imagination and her muse.  She loves to write paranormal romance and has also dabbled in dramatic romance.  BK is working on her first Young Adult Paranormal Fantasy,  and has learned so much through her writing endeavors.  Helping other authors to promote and market their work,  she also founded The Virtual Book Tour Cafe' and a book review site at BK Walker Books. With a huge love for animals,  supporting Animal Rescue Organizations such as ASPCA and Pit Bull Rescue,  she loves spending time with her dogs,  a pit bull named Rancid and daschshund named Sadie, an adoptee.  BK also owns a kitten named Whiskers and a goldfish called Fat Albert with room in her heart and home for more.

www.bkwalkerbooks.com
www.virtualbooktourcafe.com
authorbkwalker.webs.com


Tips To Successfully Market Your Book

As an Indie Author I wanted to get myself out there and meet like minded people:  new authors,  people as frustrated as I was with trying to get my name out there.  Now my first book is nothing to jump up and down about,  but it was my first published novel and I was excited.  When I couldn't even get a review for the book,  I almost gave up rendering this particular adventure just wasn't for me.  So what changed my mind?.....

You all did.  I met some pretty frustrated authors along my journeys.  First it was with the publishing process,  then it was the price of the book,  then it was the marketing itself.  No publisher can truly prepare you for what is in store for you as an Indie Author.  Not even close. 

So what can we as authors do to help our sales and to get our names known to the public?  Well,  I will share with you the top 10 things I've learned along the way.

1.  First and foremost - treat it like a business.  The minute you got your book published,  you went into business for yourself.  Now you must always act professional and always try to sell yourself.

2.  Research your publisher well - Not only were the many authors and myself utterly confused by our contracts,  we really thought we would be getting services that we did not.  Now I won't mention any names for the publishing house,  but I will say if I knew back then what I know now,  I really would have done things differently. 

3.  Edit, revise, edit,  and revise some more - because you are now in business for yourself,  you want your product to be just as professional as you are.  Find yourself a good editor,  let them find your mistakes and critque your work.  Never take criticism as bad.  Keep your head held high and keep moving forward.

4.  Publish in both print and E-format - E-books are becoming the meat of our industry.  They are cheaper and easier to accesss.  People can search online and find the book they want,  buy it,  and have immediate access without ever leaving the comfort of their homes.  E-books could very well be the gold mine of your sales,  don't throw that away. 

5.  Make friends - find people that are in the industry.  There are so many book blogs,  other Indie Authors,  websites,  books even for you to find other authors such as yourself to befriend.  Once you make some friends,  you will realize you're not alone and when a road block presents itself,  it will be that much easier to cope because you have back-up.  People who've already been there.

6.  Get yourself some Reviews - there are a ton of Review sites on the internet.  Not all will accept E-book format or a PDF,  but there are a lot that do.  Do your research and find the sites that take PDF's.  Once you find them,  find their review policy and submission guidelines and inquire about a review.  Once you get a yes,  send them your book.  Many reviewers are able to post to Amazon and Barnes & Noble,  and this will only help your sales.

7.  Social network your new book - Use facebook,  twitter,  author groups,  email lists.  Let people know you have a new book released and what it's about.  You can even ask for reviewers this way.  Build a website about the book and/or a blog.  Refer people to these sites.  I have sites all over the place,  and if you google my name,  you will see that I am actually everywhere.  Keep talking about it and you will get some responses I guarantee.

8.  Inquire about being Interviewed - some of these new book blogs you are finding also host author interviews.  Don't be afraid to ask them if they would be interested in interviewing you about your new release.  You'd be surprised how many yes's you will get.  Bloggers love to interview authors.

9.  Join an author group such as Authors Supporting Authors (http://grou.ps/authorsnetwork)  or Book Blogs on Ning.  Once you have access to these groups,  you will
find they have sub-groups for reviewers,  bloggers that want guest posts and interviews,  book festivals that you can submit your book to,  radio shows, live chats.  The possibilities are endless.

10.  Take your book on Virtual Tour - virtual book tours are becoming the next big thing in book marketing and promotion.  People are finding it easier to appear on a blog for a day with greater exposure rates than sitting in a bookstore and hoping people will show up for your book signing.  You simply find an organization that sets up tours,  look at their packages,  and book your tour.  You will then hop from blog to blog over a span of one month to 3 months,  selling yourself and your book.  It's a fantastic way to promote your work and gain some publicity. 

That is what I've found to be the top ten steps to successful book promotion.  I've had a lot of fun making this journey,  and I'm happy to pave the path to make it that much easier for the newest Indie Author on the market.  It wasn't always easy,  but I must say that I now am being paid my royalties every month,  and many times I've not even tried to sell my books and yet the money is still coming in.



To make it that much easier Katie,  I'm offering a FREE 10 stop Virtual Book Tour,  along with some marketing coachin.

Maybe they don't have the means that they haven't tried a tour before or maybe they just aren't sure which way to turn.  Well now's their chance to get in on the band wagon. 



To enter to win this giveaway leave a comment at the bottom of this post answering this question

What strategies have you been using to market your work?  Do you think you could benefit from a VBT?
Please leave an email address too, or some way to contact you if you are chosen as the winner.
 



It's fun and you won't regret taking your book on tour.  You will meet a lot of great people and other authors,  it's a great way to make friends while you're marketing.  The Virtual Book Tour Cafe' was created with authors in mind,  to give your book the attention it deserves.   


Stop in and book your tour today.   
www.virtualbooktourcafe.com



I thank you Katie for letting me babble on here today.  I always enjoy visiting your blog.  It's so pretty here. Congratulations on the new release,  the 3rd installment to the Immortalis Series,  Pandora's Box.  I can't wait.  Don't think I forgot the other congratulations in store :).  Happy Pregnancy.  Congrats. 

By the way to all the readers of Written in Blood,  this is exactly how Katie and I met was through an author's network :).  We've been working together ever since and that was over a year ago when we first met.  She was posting on the network about a giveaway on her blog and I won her first book,  Carpe Noctem.  Surprise surprise it was right up my alley as far as genre is concerned and TA DA!  Here we are today.  So work it,  you can do it I have faith.


Once again.....
To enter to win the FREE VBT 10 Stop giveaway, leave a comment at the bottom of this post answering this question

What strategies have you been using to market your work?  Do you think you could benefit from a VBT?
Please leave an email address too, or some way to contact you if you are chosen as the winner.


Comments

Nightly Cafe said…
Katie thank you so much for having me today. Marketing is so much fun to me and that is why I enjoy helping authors along the way.

BK
Omegia Keeys said…
Thank you for posting this. Most of it I already do so it is good to see I am not alone in this. I have already had a wonderful VBT with BK so I will not take away from someone else having the opportunity. Good luck to all.

Omegia
Nightly Cafe said…
Thanks for stopping in Omegia. Glad you enjoyed your VBT. Nice to know you are already doing these things.

BK
stacie said…
i love to win free stuff especially books in print
Krystal said…
I think that you give great advice. I like the idea of distributing ebooks, VBT's are nice to read about and enter on different book blogs. edysicecreamlover18@gmail.com Krystal L.
Lorrie said…
Hi Katie and Brandi,
You both know me, but you don't know that here sits another frustrated writer. I am fairly certain my current WIP will go the self-pub route. So along with many others, yes, I will treat it as a business. After all, I see no more work involved as I did for my last novel.
Author's must still 'sell' themselves and their work. I have no complaints about small presses but with the E-books becoming a hot item,maybe skipping the in-between person is not such a bad idea.
And yes, revise, edit until you're blue in the face. Put your very best work out there. Very good advice.
Great post, and thank you for all the hard work you do to promote us authors.
Nora Weston said…
Great advice for any author looking to get his or her name out there. Recently, I did a virtual book tour with BK, and it was a terrific experience! The authors and readers I met along the way were super friendly and very helpful. :) BK...the interview on Blog Talk Radio was a blast!

The social networks are wonderful for marketing. I never thought I'd use Twitter as much as I do. Also, keep copies of your book, or if it's an e-book...have bookmarkers made, and then while out and about running errands, you can always talk to people who you regularly encounter. See if local businesses will accept some bookmarkers to display.
Have a good day everyone!
Mary Pat Hyland said…
Very good tips here, BK. I'm always in promoting mode. Run a blog, The Hylander Diner, that offers book tours to authors. Through it I've met a wonderful group of fellow indies from around the world.
Great tips, thanks BK and Katie. And to answer: "What strategies have you been using to market your work? Do you think you could benefit from a VBT?"
After about two and a half months, my strategy seems to revolve around social networking and becoming involved in long, frequently goofy conversations with fellow Indies. I have however submitted to a number of review sites, though of course the queues for all are very, very long right now. Have guest blogged with a number of authors, but would certainly love to take part in a more organized VBT.
M. Edward McNally, "The Sable City" (Musket & Magic Fantasy)
You have some great marketing tips here. I would like to offer two more that I have found to be springboards for getting your name out there to the public.

The first is article writing and finding places to post these short non-fiction gems. Even if you are a fiction author, you still know about things that either you researched for your stories or you are an expert at something else that you can share. Use these articles for getting your name out and then soft sell your books at the end of every article. And DO NOT forget to set the article to automatically add to Facebook and then get a LinkedIn account and share the articles on there as well.

The second tip is to find local FAN RUN conventions, especially if you are a fiction author. Get to know the group and offer your voice to their panels at their next convention. This is an awesome place for getting fans; I should know because this is where I got my first fans for my first book, Time Conquers All. Now I have them asking me when my next book in the Chasing Time Series is coming out. And I always say, "At your next convention, of course."
Jennifer Hudock said…
These are great marketing tips.

To answer the questions:

What strategies have you been using to market your work? I advertise, blog regularly, network, guest blog and accept every interview opportunity made available to me.

Do you think you could benefit from a VBT?

Absolutely!
Ahh- I didn't answer the other question or give my name. The other question was if I could benefit from a VBT? My answer would be ABSOLUTELY! Publicity and promotion is the backbone of making sales as an author. I have been a host of Virtual Book Tours for more than a year now and I know for a fact that it increased my hits on my own blog and websites. The key to sales is the volume of hits you receive because its always a numbers game. There is a law of 7's, meaning, you must get your message out an average of 7 times to a potential customer for them to make a call to action and buy your book.

Comments offered by Patti "PJ" Hultstrand
Publisher/CEO of Az Publishing Services, LLC
and author of Time Conquers All, Rescue In Time, and Battle for Time. Also, keep an eye out in June for my new Western Paranormal serial, Resurrection at Salvation Springs.
Amber Scott said…
These are some excellent tips! I love virtual tours not only as a way to connect with readers but with authors and reviewers, too. I think the more popular they become, the more important it will be to try to make each one unique.
Alan said…
Nice, concise list of marketing tips. IMHO, the important ones are making friends (social networking) and numerous formats.
ezbeanz said…
What strategies have you been using to market your work? Do you think you could benefit from a VBT?

I try not to piss people off and sure. :)
Well, I'm four weeks in. I spent 4 months setting up the launch. I set up a facebook page, a twitter account and a novel blog. I got onto kindle-boards and took a lot of great advice. I had my book professionally edited and a professional cover done. I set up about a dozen blog interviews, and did a blog radio interview on launch day. I had a virtual launch party, which turned out to be great fun.

Now, I'm doing a little every day, on tweeting and mentioning, but mostly use #SampleSunday to keep showcasing my writing. I have several 5 star reviews on Amazon/Goodreads and I have three major reviews setup, one for the ebook and two more, on vampire sites, for the print. (which isn't out quite yet.)

Finally, I'm writing a 'next book' - a small little novel, to fill out the shelf, before getting to book 2 of the trilogy. I think a VBT is just about spot on for the next big push. :-)
RachelintheOC said…
BK, you're such an amazing writer and coach. I admire how supportive you are and would love to have just a tenth of your energy! What's your secret? Coffee? Chocolate? Whatever it is, you totally rock and I'm honored to be included in your circle. xo
Margaret West said…
Great info there brandi. I market my print books by letters to bookshops asking them if they would be interested in stocking my books. I do book signs, all the advertising, so all the stores need to do is order in the books. On line is more like a frenzied round of blogs and promotion sites.
Nightly Cafe said…
Thank you for stopping in. I love all of your feedback and extras for marketing.

@Lorrie - I love self publishing because I'm in total control. It can be very frustrating but hang in there. I'm always here if you need me :).

@Nora - Radio was a BLAST! You're a riot!

@Mary Pat - it's so nice to meet you and thank you for stopping in. Marketing mode - I love it.

@M. Edward - yes. review que's are long but well worth it if you can hang in there. Thanks for stopping in. Nice to meet you too.

@Patti - thanks for stopping in. I love having you as a host and I'm happy it's working out well for you as a host and to increase hits for your services.

@Jennifer - keep up the good work. Thanks for stopping in and nice to meet you.

@Amber - thanks for stopping. Uniqueness is key :)

@Alan - I agree Social Marketing is a big part of marketing. Thanks for stopping in. Nice to meet you.

@Ezbeanz - LOL. Thanks for stopping in. Nice to meet you.

@Morgan - I love virtual launch parties they are fun. Keep up the good work. Nice to meet you and thanks for stopping in.

@RachelintheOC - thank you for stopping in. No secret - just big ideas, some coffee and lack of sleep LOL. You rock yourself! :)

@Margaret - Thank you for stopping in. I love the letters idea. Thank you for sharing :).

Thanks everyone,
BK
david said…
excellent suggestions, bk. one thing that you didn't mention is the good old fashion going to the local bookstore. most of the independent bookstores i've been to are more than happy to support local talent (and then when they do stock the book i'll sneak in, and if they haven't already, put it in a showcase spot).
I've been a part of the VBT since the beginning and I've always found it to be an enjoyable experience working with fellow authors and helping others as much as they have helped me. Keep up the good work, Katie!
Tonya Kinzer said…
Hi Brandi!

Great promo tips! I use many of the social networks to promote my erotic romance: FB, BookBuzzr, Twitter, my own website and I have been fortunate enough to be on a few author blog interviews.

I'd love to win a 10 stop VBT! I love meeting new authors who like helping other authors. Thanks for all you do and good luck on your own books and sales!
Tonya Kinzer said…
oopps! my email is tonyakinzer at yahoo.com
Deep Rough said…
Great post!
I give away a ton of paperback copies through CreateSpace. I was even featured on ESPN Radio during the week of the Masters because I gave the studio host a copy and offered to give them 5 copies as giveaways.
I would love to win the VBT and share with others this fantastic journey as a writer.
Thanks! chris@chrisblewitt.com
Cindy Vine said…
Useful tips it's always good to be reminded of!
Hi: Thanks for the great tips! I'd love to enter:
Tamara Rose Blodgett
tamararoseblodgett@hotmail.com
http://tamararoseblodgett.blogspot.com/
Book: Death Whispers

:D ty! TR
Marion Sipe said…
Great post! I don't have my book out yet. My first planned book, A Sign in Blood, is a political/adventure fantasy that I've been working on for years. It's out getting crits from some wonderful readers and then my editing and revising will begin. I'm self-publishing, so of course, I've been thinking a lot about marketing and promotion.

I think I'm going to do a five day countdown to the release on my blog (with posts to fb and twitter, maybe goodreads? I haven't figured that site out, yet! :-D), talking each day about a different aspect of worldbuilding, the setting, the characters, etc. Then, after the release (and 5 book giveaway), I'm going to spend the rest of the month on a blog tour, although I have no idea where I'll be going yet. I haven't put out feelers because part of me is like "hold off until you see how much editing you'll have to do!" Plus, I'm not planning to release until July, so I think there's still time.

I also participate on several forums (and have plans to join the Kindle and Nook forums as well). Once the book is out I'll see if anyone is interested in doing an author interview, and I'll send it off to review sites. I'm so nervous, so I'm reading all the information I can about promotions and marketing!

Thanks for the great post!
Nightly Cafe said…
@David - Thanks for stopping in. Local stores are great.

@James - thank you so much for stopping in.

@Tanya - I forgot about BookBuzzr :). Thanks for stopping in.

@Deep Rough - Thanks for stopping in and great to meet you. Giveaways are a great way to get your book into the hands the public.

@Cindy - Thanks so much for stopping in.

@Tamara - Thanks and it's nice to meet you.

@Krystal - I missed you earlier somehow. Thanks so much for stopping in and yes, blog tours are so fun. When time permits I stop in and check things out.

Thanks everyone some more great suggestions you guys have.
BK
Nightly Cafe said…
Hi Mary. That's great that you will soon be a published author! Fantastic! May I suggest to look into The Virtual Book Tour Cafe' for your touring needs? (*smirking*) Just a little biased lol. You're off to a great start and I love the 5 day countdown. Brilliant.

You brought up a great point also, and @M. Edward, there is another great way to get reviews, join some Kindle forums that match your book genre and you can request a review from those forums and send them the Kindle format. You can all use Calibre for free to convert your books over to any format to send to reviewers.

Thanks for jogging my memory Mary and thank you so much for stopping in.
Cate Masters said…
Great advice, BK. *waving from central PA too!* I'm not actually sure yet what works. After two years, I still feel like a newbie. I'm also indie published, but lately have grown dissatisfied with the process, and am taking a few the self-publishing route, and am excited about it (and a little nervous lol).
Social networking seems to be the key, but marketing has to be creative and interesting, rather than just constantly posting about your books.
I love to host other authors on my blog. It always feels like a blog party. :)
I've considered doing a newsletter but I'm not sold on the idea. If anyone else knows whether it's a valuable endeavor, I'd love to hear.
Cate
cate.masters AT gmail.com
Dean Lappi said…
This was a great blog, thank you for sharing. I am very new to the process (1 month) but I have jumped in with both feet, meeting hundreds of great authors and readers on a half-dozen FB author groups. The support and information exchange on there has been amazing. I also started marketing on Twitter, my first foray into that media, and I have found some great contacts through there, even selling a few of my books. But I'm always looking to learn from other people what works for them, the successes they've had, and overall I just plain love meeting people in our field. I like the idea of a virtual book tour. Fantastic! Thank you. Kind regards, Dean Lappi.
Email: author-dean_lappi@hotmail.com.
Twitter: @DeanLappi
Blog: http://deanlappi.blogspot.com/
Thanks for the wonderful guest post. Lots of wonderful information here. I recently published a short story collection two months ago, Trouble Down South and Other Stories. I have been promoting my work on Kindleboards, Goodreads, Facebook Groups, and Shelfari. I maintain a blog, Trouble Down South, where I review other authors' works and post about my work also.

Katrina Parker Williams
Nightly Cafe said…
@Cate - thank you so much for stopping in. You will like the self publishing route. You will have total control. I love it. I do a newsletter and it's great for events and announcements, including new releases. It lets people check out your news right then and there, all they have to do is click the link.

@Dean - you're on the right path, kudos. Keep up the great work.

@Katrina - I love the title. I will try to find your blog so I can follow. You're on the right path for promotions, keep at it.

BK
Ednah Walters said…
Thanks for the wonderful post. Amazing marketing tips. I have an adult contemporary romance out (SLOW BURN May 1st) and a YA fantasy due out in August (Betrayed, book 2 of the Guardian Legacy). I have learned that promoting both on Goodreads, Facebook Groups, and Twitter does work. I maintain 2 blogs, run contest and giveaway swags or signed copies. All are amazing tools for getting your name out there.

And of course, Virtual tours...I just signed with you for SLOW BURN and can't wait to do it again with BETRAYED.

Ednah Walters
http://ednahwalters.blogspot.com/
http://enwalters.blogspot.com/
ednahyaauthor@aol.com
Nicki J Markus said…
A wonderful post and great advice!
I have found that I've picked up a few readers via Facebook and Goodreads and have found some reviewers via blog hopping.
I think I could benefit from VBT as it would offer me the chance to do more organised, focused promotion that gets my name seen in a lot of places in a short space of time and will hopefully help people to remember it and my books.
CJ Black said…
Well coming from someone who's hosted several of your tours, I find them fun and definitely believe I could benefit from one! I do the usual, Facebook, Twitter, LinkdIn, I also have a few blogs out there which I try to keep updated as much as possible. And I'm hoping to get to Yaoi-con this year.
Nightly Cafe said…
Most excellent Ednah, Nicki, and CJ. You all are definitely doing the right things. Keep up the great work. Ednah, I cannot wait for Slow Burn's tour to start :). I'm anxious to read the book. Good luck everyone and thank you so much for stopping in today.

If any of you ever have any questions or need help, my door's always open. bkwalkerbooks at comcast dot net

BK
Ashley said…
I love the advice! I've done a VBT and it helped a lot, facebook is great too, my author page there has gotten me some recognition. I'm like you, with my first book I thought I had all these things that didn't actually come with them publishing my book and it was sooooo frustrating and since I've met some other authors it is good to know I'm not alone.
Thanks so much for the post BK :)
ashleywintters@gmail.com
Louise said…
Great tips BK. I've learned a lot since my first book Eden was released. I was very timid back then.
My favourite way of getting my name out there is still Twitter, although I have discovered Amazon forums and have found people there very willing to read my book.
Oh, and I'd *love* to win a virtual tour. I've never been on tour, but I'm house-trained and have had all my shots!
louisewise3@ntlworld.com
Great tips though I've done many of them. I have a FB page, a website, a blog, am on Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. I've also guest blogged on others blogs. I'm still having trouble getting my book/name out there. I think a VBT would be greatly helpful and I would meet some wonderful people. Please help.
Jodie Pierce
thevampirequeen1@gmail.com
Great tips! I've tried many things such as my own website, my own blog, FB, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. I would love a VBT to help me get my name/book out since I seem to be having a hard time doing it myself. Please help!