Marketing Your Book

Marketing your book is a daunting task. I’ve reached out to a few sources, new and old, for advice and some of it is exactly what you would expect and some is not what I expected. So I have only just self-published my first novel so it’s not like I have a ton of experience here, but I will share what I have learned so far.

Facebook: I think it is a must that you create an author page. So many people use FB that you can’t have a reason not to. I simply copy and paste my blog posts here into my FB and carry on. Simple enough to do.

Twitter: I have a twitter account and it is important as a social media tool. Create one using your author handle and start hashtagging.

Kobo, Smashwords and Amazon Kindle: All of these sites will create an author page for you. It’s important to make sure you maintain the same message and reach out to your readers. It only takes a few minutes and your readers are hopefully going to be your fans. So take the time to get this right.

Goodreads: You can link your book to your account. This will allow you to access some aspects of Goodreads that will promote your book so this is a must. Goodreads has a HUGE following and ties into peoples’ Amazon accounts. Remember that!

Facebook Ads: I have not heard anything good about this. I spent some money here and have yet to see any correlation with sales. I hate FB ads and so probably everyone else is either ignoring the ads or they are suppressing them (Adblock). Looks like money wasted to me. From comments from other authors this seems to be the case for them as well.

Writing Groups: I joined the Fantasy and Science Fiction Writers in America (FSFWA) and they seem like pretty decent folks. They have offered quick and meaningful advice and I think I truly like these people. I need to find more like this.

Kindle Ads: FSFWA warned me against using Kindle Ads…so I am staying away from it.

BooksGoSocial: This is a FB group and a website. They will push your book on all social sites repeatedly. This gets the word out and gets people flocking to your book sales site. Mine kicks off any day now and I have my fingers crossed. These folks will give you honest reviews on your Kindle publication. This is important because reviews = sales. I am still waiting on my reviews and it is nail biting.

ISBN Canada

The Anatomy of a 13 character ISBN code.
The Anatomy of a 13 character ISBN code.

ISBN Canada, over at Library and Archives Canada (government), provides a free ISBN service to Canadian artists. Did anyone know that?  I didn’t. I was slogging through Smashwords and reading some details on self-publishing with them and then wondered if they provided free ISBNs like Amazon does. Well they linked me to ISBN Canada. And now I am sitting here stunned.

For those of you who do not know (or thought you knew): An ISBN (International Standard Book Number) is a 13-digit number that uniquely identifies each specific edition of a book or book-like product. You need a unique code for your eBook, for your hardcover or softcover, etc. etc.  In the United States, as an artist, you need to go to a company like Bowkers and purchase a number of ISBNs for your use. How much? It costs $125 USD for one ISBN or $275 USD for ten ISBNs. I thought that was normal. Note: you don’t actually need an ISBN, but it helps on many levels should your book do well. It doesn’t protect your book from being stolen, for example, but you can prove that the book is registered to you under the ISBN registration. Like a fingerprint. All book databases use the ISBN to track books. ISBNs are how readers and buyers find your books. They are essential for sales to bookstores, for online sales, and for listing in databases and directories such as Books in Print.

See why am I so stunned right now? ISBN Canada just asks me how many I want and then they assign them to me. For free. That is amazing. I need to wait 10 days though…blast it! Government bureaucracy!

You’ll notice I mentioned that Amazon will provide an ISBN for free. You’ll be wondering, so what’s the problem? Well, that ISBN  can only be used on the Amazon version of the book and only on CreateSpace – not for Kindle Direct Publishing. It also identifies Amazon as the publisher even though I am self-publishing. It’s just a bit oily if you know what I mean.