Building “the platform”: how to get a follow before your book is published
These tips apply either if you did not publish yet or if you published, but are relatively unknown. Readers can’t know your book is a wondrous whirlwind of emotions, action, and insightful bits because, of course, they did not read it yet.
1-The best way to sell your book is to write more books. If people like your style, they will keep reading. The more books (of good quality) you have available the easiest it is to sell them.
Look at the most famous authors out there. Did you read the first Harry Potter as soon as it came out? Likely not. It took years for the word to spread. I read my first one when the fourth one had just been published.
In my personal marketing plan, I started publishing only once I had four books ready to go with the plan of publishing them within one year (accomplished in November 2016, YAY!).
If you look at most Indie Authors who made it big, they did so after publishing eight to ten books. In my personal experience, which I shared with you in this guide, money started to trickle in after book 2 and increased with book 3 :)
2-Develop a presence online, which does not mean scream on social media for people to buy your book(s).
DON’T! Don’t message people you don’t know, don’t bother anyone. Would you buy someone’s book just because the author asked you to? Me neither! So please, stop wasting your time and being a pain in everyone’s arse.
DO! Show readers what you can do.
BLOG. What’s your style? I’m humorous, insightful, irreverent (or at least I try). I like to speak about important topics most people shy away from: hypocrisy, sex (the real thing, not cheesy unrealistic stuff), religion, mental afflictions, gender identity. I post writing advice, I post pictures of the places I talk about followed by lines in my writing voice, I try to entice readers by giving them free samples of what they might expect in my books.
I tried several Social Media: Pinterest, Facebook, Tumblr, Linkedin, Twitter, Instagram, etc…TOO MUCH.
Select whichever Social Media you enjoy, or dread less, and stick to that.
Remember that it will take time! People will slowly warm to you, it might take months, even years in some cases!
Personally I have (after one year and a half of social media):
1-A main website (about 7,000 visits per week) populated with:
-A shop page that gathers all books and formats and where to buy them,
-Contact info-About section with my bio and some excerpts from various interviews and pictures from book signings and events,
-The Italian Saga section, describing the books, themes, showing reviews (and linking to Amazon, I hate to select only positive reviews, I like my readers to have a clear and complete view of the range of reviews),
-Upcoming events section with book signings, presentations, and other public appearances,
2-A Tumblr blog (3,485 followers) : I post the same content on my blog and Tumblr, but on Tumblr I have a lot of conversations with readers and writers. I love Tumblr ^_^
3-Instagram, because I love photography. To use pictures to my advantage I often write poetic lines or take pictures of my books,
4-Twitter (7,216 followers) where I push my content and try to help other writers,
5-A Facebook Page,
6-I wrote an Indie Author Guide, with all my advice, to help other writers (see below). The advice is sound and based on my experience, but it’s written in a funny, down to Earth voice
What is important: that your “handle”, the name you use, is always the same. Mine is @GaiaBAmman. I hope this helps :)
Who am I to give you advice?
I am Gaia B Amman, the author of the Italian Saga (#TIS), a series taking place in gorgeous Italy, and talking about everything I was told is impolite to talk about ;)