Marketing is a never-ending task for authors that can fill hours each day if you let it. Effective marketing is the key to getting more sales, but you can't afford to let it cut into your writing time. Here are a dozen marketing tasks that will increase sales, but none of them take over five minutes, from start to finish.
- Search keywords. Go to Amazon or some other bookselling site and type in a keyword string for your genre. See what bestselling books pop up for that keyword, if any. Keep a list of the ones with the most hits.
- Write a standard bio. Create a three-sentence bio you can use wherever your name appears. Include social media and website links and a list of your published works.
- Start a Google Alert for your pen name or book titles. Now every time someone mentions you, you can drop them a line to thank them. It's all about the networking.
- Post a poll. Puzzling over what to name a minor character? Wondering about the direction of your next book? Ask your readers and fans. Doing what they want is a great way to get more sales when you publish.
- Review another author in your genre. It's a great way to foster community in your niche, and might garner a return review on your next new book.
- Reply to comments on your blog. Make a habit of doing this a couple of times a week. Readers who engage with you will turn into fans who buy more of your books.
- Forge a partnership. List three authors in your genre and come up with a mutually advantageous way for you to work together. Can you cross-promote on your newsletters? Put links in the backs of your books to each others' work? Email them to find out.
- Find and follow three book bloggers in your niche. Don't be obnoxious about it; just sign up for their email newsletters, and read and comment on their pages.
- Brainstorm a freebie for your newsletter signups, if you don't already have one. Your newsletter is key to getting a solid fan base. If you don't already have one, using a giveaway is a great way to tempt readers into signing up. Even if you have one going, think of a new one, maybe seasonally aimed, to get interest moving again. Pro tip: send the new item free to you current subscribers to keep them from feeling left out.
- Write a 5-minutes mini newsletter post about your current work in progress and send it to your list. Make this a habit once or twice a month to keep up reader engagement.
- Find a mentee. Look for an author who's just starting out and is looking for some help. If you've got the knowledge, share it with her. It's a great way to forge relationships in the business that can last for years.
- Create a big countdown for your next release and start to make a big deal about it on your website and on social media. Get that buzz going, one little piece at a time!
Keep the Faith and May the Force be with You!