Step Three: Fueling the Fire
1. Invest in search engine optimization. Whether you or an IT-savvy friend has the software or knows the basics, focus on driving people to your website. The two most important tenets of SEO: back links and relevant content on your website. People who type “Lizzy Ford” into Google will find me. I want people who type “free romance novels” into Google to find me, too. We receive over 100 Google referrals a day, because we work daily to optimize our site. That’s potentially 100 new readers a day. For free tips, check out my website. My husband has been posting free articles with SEO tips for authors.
2. Collaborate with other writers. Whether it’s a poetry anthology or short story collection, find a group you’re comfortable with and produce a product. I’m working with my fellow eight authors from the Indie Eclective to produce a Halloween short story collection we plan on releasing for free. Holiday inspired collections are a safe bet, and exposing your work to those of other authors with rabid fans who know and trust those authors will give you instant backing with the new audience.
3. Give something away for free on Amazon. Amazon appears to be the most insulated of the ebook stores. If your books are free elsewhere, the sales don’t seem to transfer over to Amazon. However, if your book is free at Amazon, you’ll see a trickledown effect in that your other books will sell more quickly. You want to wait until you have at least two books out to do this.
4. Become a regular contributor on someone else’s site. I contribute to CuriosityQuills.com, a site featuring info on authors for readers and writing/IT tips for writers, and the Indie Eclective, a site of 9 fantastic indies with a diverse variety of books who share a passion for writing and interacting with readers.
5. Explore new marketing techniques. Start looking for websites with good Google/Alexa rankings and low prices for ad space. We chose two sites (to the tune of $7/monthly) that see a combined 1000+ readers a day going to those sites looking for ebooks. Also, check out Facebook ads or Google or Microsoft ads. The great thing about these three is that you can target the ads based on the demographics of your audience, and you can also set a daily budget for how much you’re willing to pay.
All of them offer some sort of incentive for new customers, so if you sign up for one, you can receive between $25-100 free for advertising. Other popular sites that offer paid ad space include Pixel of Ink and Kindle Boards, where you can purchase 24 hour ads.
A note of caution: this is where things can get pricey. Our model has been to steer away from buying ad space for financial reasons. Always evaluate where you spend your money very carefully, as there are also a lot of people out there selling promotional services or ads or link exchanges who can be best described as predatory.
6. Develop some sort of affiliate program to reward those who spread the word about your books and recruit your most trusted rabid fans as your first affiliates.
7. Adapt and experiment. As long as what you want to do supports the goals in your plans, don’t be afraid to try something new or different.
Step Four: ?
I’ll let you know when I get here!
That is a whole lot of tips and suggestions. Thanks for sharing all that!
About Lizzy Ford:
Lizzy Ford is a prolific author of young adult fantasy and paranormal (sweet) romance, to include the bestselling Rhyn Trilogy and the War of Gods/Damian series. Lizzy lives in the southwestern part of the US with her husband, Matt, two dogs, and a really fat cat. When she’s not writing or talking to her readers, she’s plotting to take over the world, though currently her world domination plans are stymied by a laptop with several missing keys. Lizzy’s current goal in life is to stop working for The Man and start working for The Readers.
The Lizzy Ford team consists of Matt, her IT guru; Christine LePorte, freelance book editor; Dafeenah, cover artist; and Toni, Spanish translator. In 2011, Lizzy will be releasing ten novels and will launch an affiliate program pilot in Fall 2011.