Creative ideas to promote your ebook
Promoting an ebook by yourself can be a difficult task. Trying to gain recognition is seen as the main goal and having a good plan is challenging for sure. The most common questions entrepreneurs and independent authors have are related to marketing, promoting and selling their ebooks. Consider these practical and creative ideas for planning your ebook promotion campaign.
Before launch week
Know your audience
Check your plan, look at the goals you’ve set and think about what makes you stand out from the competition. Find out as much as you can about your audience in order to create a reader’s profile. You will need to know:
- where your audience is by searching which pages they visit
- which social media networks they frequently check
- which apps they use
- which online libraries they most often buy from
Rock your ebook cover
When we browse for books our eyes are first drawn to the image. Therefore the cover must look professional and appealing.
- Browse on Amazon, Barnes & Noble or the App Store and see which covers lure you in and make you want to check out the book.
- Pay attention to the details that make those covers stand out: the picture, the typography and how colour was used to add contrast. Using bold colour blocks for instance is more eye-catching than a coloured title on a white background.
- Do research on how other people perceive different colours and fonts.
The white text against this red background has great contrast that attracts the eye
Use a mock-up
People like the idea of a physical object even when they are ordering a digital one so using a mockup image to promote your book is likely to boost sales. Think about the moment when you will reveal the cover on your blog and on your Facebook page. If you use a book cover on a Kindle ebook mockup, users will understand in a flash that you are presenting an ebook. Check out more tips on how and when to use an ebook cover mockup to promote your book.
iPad ebook and hardcover mockup images
Pick the best quotes and promote them
Pick a few of the most interesting quotes from your book and spread them on social media as images. Even if it’s just a simple typeface on a plain background, an image will have a larger audience reach than plain text on Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus. Pin it on your “Quotes” Pinterest board and post them on your Instagram, as well.
Pick a modern font and use an image as background for more visibility on social media
Choose a publishing platform
Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP), the most popular platform for ebooks, allows you to publish your eBook to the Kindle Marketplace for free, charging a 30% commission for every sale. Other popular options are Barnes and Noble’s Nook – royalty rates are 60% for titles priced between $2.99 and $9.99 – and Apple’s iBooks Author, a free app for creating interactive iBooks (royalty rate is 70%).
Choose your eBook format
There are a lot of options to choose from when it comes to eBooks formats. The 4 most popular formats are EPUB, MOBI, AZV – used exclusively on Kindles – and PDF – the oldest eBook format and the most used. EReaders like Apple’s iBooks, Barners & Noble’s Nook, Adobe Digital Editions and Aldiko on Android support .epub files. So far, Amazon Kindle does not. Here, you’ll find useful the research you’ve done on your audience. Try to find out about their preferences between Kindle and other Ebook Readers.
Convert your ebook format
If you only have your ebook in Kindle format and want to publish it in other formats, you can remove the DRM protection with Epubsoft Kindle DRM Removal, and then convert the book to ePUB or PDF with Epubsoft Ebook Convertor, a tool that supports multiple eBook format conversion. Conversion software rarely works flawless, so you might have to adjust the output manually, more so if your content formatting requires a special pagination or style.
If you want to publish a paperback version of your book via an independent publisher, talk to your publisher or to a professional to set up your ebook for printing.
Tag your ebook with relevant keywords
Use specific keywords in your book description so that search engines can categorize your book effectively. For example if you use only “fiction” it can be anything from science fiction to realistic fiction, historical fiction and fiction in verse and your book gets lost in the keyword search results. That’s why it is important to find targeted keywords for specific genres and niche topics.
Ask for reviews
There’s nothing compared to an excellent review written by an influential person. Before the ebook goes on sale, do some research and make a list of reviewers and bloggers who write great book reviews. Get in touch with the most relevant ones and send them some chapters or a manuscript for early reviews. You can share their reviews on social media platforms.
Make an ebook trailer
Reach potential readers with short videos. See it as it is: a form of advertising that can go viral and convert viewers of the trailer into readers of the book. Create your own trailer with free video tools like Animoto, Masher or Stupeflix and post it on YouTube or Vimeo. Add a link to your ebook landing page at the end of the video. Then share it on social media.
During launch week
Launch your ebook with a landing page
Building a landing page helps you brand yourself and gain more readers. A great free platform for your landing page is WordPress. Other options are LaunchRock and LearnPub. The best landing pages are clutter-free and contain only one call-to-action. Put the image of your ebook mockup, a short synopsis, one or two of the best one-liner reviews you received and the purchase button. Don’t write too much information, as readers won’t bother with it, but concentrate on why it’s a book only for them.
Schedule your social media posts
Work with tools like Hootsuite, Buffer or Sprout Social for scheduling content and managing multiple social media accounts. Another advice is to create a publishing schedule for the launch week. This is very effective because you will not always find the time to spend on social media platforms. However, there is a given time when posts like these have the best chances to be seen, so plan your every post.
Give them a sneak-peak
One of the simplest ways to promote your ebook that works fantastically is organizing giveaways. Offer for free one or two chapters or the whole book for a limited time. You can also set up online book giveaways via Goodreads or Shelfari. Don’t forget to add some testimonials, they have the power to encourage people to buy your ebook.
After launch week
Blog about it
Adding a blog to your website not only increases traffic but it is also a great way to show your readers that you are passionate about what you write. Many authors start a blog by writing articles about their book, present their book content or sample chapters that can tempt their readers. Once a connection with your fan base is built, they will most likely want more content from you. Also, find bloggers from your niche and ask if you can write guest posts. This also applies for them, to write on your blog. It’s a great networking technique to build relationships with them.
Find bloggers from your niche and start a conversation. Tools like Inkybee, Group High or Buzzstream will help you with the search. Ask if you can write guest posts that are relevant for your audiences. You can also invite them to write on your blog. It is a great way to build a relationship with other relevant bloggers.
Increase your visibility online by joining subreddits, Google plus communities or discussion forums such as Self-Publishing Review or the Writers Cafe at Kboards.com. They all offer discussions on many writing-related subjects.
Join hashtag discussion with other authors
Get talking on hashtag discussions on Twitter such as #amwriting, #writerslife, #writingtips and #dailywords. It will make it easier to connect with authors and readers and help you grow your list of followers.
Send out newsletters
Invite people to subscribe to your newsletter and convince them to appreciate your work by proving them great content. We like working with MailChimp. It is one of the best marketing techniques that works well for bloggers.