Beth Camp Historical Fiction

Friday, February 28, 2014

Marketing for Self-Published Authors: Give-Aways?

Give-aways! Should we self-published writers truly give our books away? An accountant would say, check the cost of goods sold first.

But how do we get our books out to a wider audience?

One strategy is to use a sponsored give-away, like that through GoodReads.

If you already have your Author Dashboard set up on GoodReads, you simply add your book cover, set the time for the give-away, decide how many copies to give away, and follow up at the end of the give-away to send your copy to the winner.

I set my give-away for two weeks, ending February 28. During that time, 334 people entered the give-away and 178 added Standing Stones to their "to read" list. I could have added a widget to my blogs, alerting blog readers they could enter the give-away. Next time.

Another plus: GoodReads encourages those who win the book to write a review.

Have I seen a bump in sales? Not yet. Will I offer another give-away? Perhaps. Some of the research suggests that giving away our books is not the first or best marketing choice.

Other marketing strategies I'm working on this week:

  • Bookmarks to give away at a book signing at a local book store.
  • Lining up readings/visits with local book clubs (and drafting book club questions/handouts).
  • Preparing materials for guest posts (Self-Published Sundays coming up in March). 
  • Working on final edits on Book 2 for another launch later this year.
If you are a self-published author, what has been your most effective marketing strategy?

Writer Unboxed offers this post on "The Year Long Book Launch" which intrigues me. The links follow the journey a writer of literary fiction undertook to find an agent, a publishing house, and the launch. Her concerns mirror the concerns of any writer. We may find useful gems here, even for the self-published writer.

May your writing go well.

Detail, stained glass window at
St. Giles Cathedral, Edinburgh (Camp 2009)
Inspiration for Lord Gordon in Standing Stones