Authors and writers that self-publish their books on websites like Amazon should also work on marketing to maximize their sales. Simply publishing a book on Amazon doesn’t guarantee sales. Many new releases just sit there and go unnoticed.
When a writer is proactive building their business, there are numerous strategies to use that drastically improve chances of success.
Don’t just write a book and expect people to buy it. Go out there and find your potential customers. When you create an audience before you release your book, you can have people that eagerly await it’s release and buy it immediately.
This guide is going to teach you specific tips that you can use to build and grow your audience of readers.
Book Author Audience
Writing books can be a very rewarding career, but there is more to this business than just writing. You, your books, and even the characters you create will become a brand. When you can view and approach this side hustle from that perspective, you’ll open up a world of possibilities.
Don’t wait to publish your first book to get started. You should begin building your brand and an audience before you first title is even released.
A lot of new authors will fight and struggle to get their first sale. Being proactive and creating your own fan following gives you a reliable way to drive sales to your book as soon as you offer it for sale.
Trust me when I tell you that you do not want to struggle for your first sale. It can be a very demoralizing experience that actually causes a lot of people to give up their career as an author.
Later in this article I’ll be tell you about three specific methods you can use to build and grow your audience.
You will need to take some time to figure out your ideal customer. What kind of person is likely to want to read your books? Are they guys or girls? Married or single? Kids or no kids? Specific hobbies and/or interests? Age range? Knowing these demographics about your readers can help a lot when you build your audience. If you can focus on your ideal customer, you’ll see better results. Research other related books and read reviews to try to figure out your demographics.
Amazon Self-Publish Tips
Self-publishing on Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) to sell a book on the Amazon website is the most common strategy among authors. It’s a good strategy, but there is more to it than what you see on the surface. The most successful sellers will take the time to understand the way this system works.
The first thing you need to understand relates to keywords and searching on both Amazon and Google. People will find your book based on the words used in the title and in the description of the Amazon listing. Take a look at other books in your category that are best sellers and note the words that are used in their listings. What would someone search for to find a book like yours? You need those words and key phrases to be in the content of your Amazon listing somewhere.
The second part involves Amazon’s inner workings. Their website drives sales on a lot of books. However, these sales are mostly limited to a small group of titles. Amazon gives exposure to books based on their popularity. As a new seller, that can be a “catch 22”. You won’t get many sales without getting sales first.
Traffic, reviews, and sales data are all tracked by Amazon. Their algorithm knows which books are more popular based on that information, so it gives them more exposure.
All you need to do as an author is to give yourself an advantage over other writers. That is why it is so important to build your own audience and not simply depend on Amazon to drive your sales. Being able to send a lot of traffic to your new release book listing can work wonders for it’s future success. With a big enough push, you can snowball these sales by becoming an Amazon best seller, which then delivers even more sales.
There are a lot of social media sites you can use to build a following. Check all of them to see if they are a popular destination for your ideal customer. Focus your efforts on 1-3 social sites that are most likely to deliver the best results for you.
One specific network that I recommend for all writers is Twitter. There is a large crowd of writers active on this site, and they’re very helpful and friendly too.
I have a specific strategy below that you can put into action right away. However, also be sure to seek out your ideal customer here. For example, if you write romantic novels then make tweets with romantic and love related content that will attract your ideal demographic.
There are daily tweets that will let you promote your book and network with other writers. These tweets are excellent places to gain new followers, especially when you have a new account.
Try the hashtags below. First search for them and see what others are posting – you can comment on a lot of those tweets to promote your book and attract followers.
- #ShamelessSelfpromoSaturday – Change the day of the week at the end of this hashtag. You can post these for any day of the week. Try making a post a couple hours BEFORE a day begins to get prime placement for your tweet.
I also recommend including a note in your tweets and replies that lets other writers know that you’ll follow back. This is a great way to build your first few hundred followers. Start typing in this hashtag, but note there are a number of them in the list on Twitter: #follo
Try making a post of your own late at night for the following day. Take a look at my tweet below to use as an example:
Build a Website
Authors that have their own website appear more professional, and it gives them more methods to attract new customers, drive more book sales, and build a larger audience. Instead of directing social media traffic to visit your Amazon listings, you can send people to your website instead (which then promotes all of your books instead of just one).
WordPress is easiest to use. There are a lot of free training courses online that can teach you how to use it. I’ll be releasing my own WordPress course on this website in the future, but it’s still a work in progress. I’ve made this training before, but it’s for an outdated version of WordPress, so it needs updating before I can release it.
Use your website for these purposes..
- Create a store on your website – Build a page for each of your books. Link them to your Amazon listing using an affiliate link.
- Write content – By creating blog-style content on your site, you can attract new customers from search engines using SEO. This is similar to attracting your ideal customer on a social network, except the content is on your own website and targets search engine keywords.
- Email newsletter sign-up page – See the next section for more tips.
The last strategy I recommend for book authors and writers to grow an audience is to create an email newsletter list. This has similar benefits to a social media following, but I consider newsletters to be more powerful. Your message goes directly to your followers with email lists. On social networks, your message fights for attention in the news feed with other users.
If you do not know anything about creating and growing an email marketing newsletter, that’s okay. It’s not that difficult to learn. However, it is a lot more information that I can provide within this article, but I have a standalone page on my blog that teaches this strategy in extreme detail. I’ve linked to that article below – I highly recommend proceeding here to continue your training.