How would you go about marketing fiction books?

8 replies
I love writing fiction, and I've been considering going the self-publishing route on Kindle. Thing is that I'd like to take a more, shall we say, scientific approach to marketing these books. A large percentage of authors put their books up and hope for the best, which obviously doesn't really work all that well.

There are others who suggest building an author platform, which would pretty much be your own website. The problem I run into here is what the nuts are you going to talk about? If no one knows who you are, no one has ever read a word you've written, why the **** would they care about what you're doing? I say this because some recommend using your site to simply keep readers up to date with what you're doing but they don't really give ideas on how to get those readers.

Educational articles wouldn't work that well either, because I'm not looking to draw in people who want to be fiction writers but people who will want to read my stuff. The only thing I can come up with is posting stories for free but then I run into the traffic problem. How do you drive traffic to a fiction website when you are a nobody?

When I buy a book, I start off with some of my fave authors and then check out Amazon recommendations based on those authors. I rarely read book reviews on other sites. I sometimes read Amazon reviews, but I tend to take those with a grain of salt because I've found books I've loved that most people said sucked and discovered I've hated books that many others loved. And the only time I've visited an author's website was to see what other books they had coming up but this is only after reading something of theirs I liked.

So, I'd really appreciate any tips you might have

And before anyone says to check out what some of the more highly successful fiction writers have done, I have already and it turns out a large percentage of them bought reviews, which has come out now and has definitely not endeared them to their readers.
#books #fiction #marketing
  • Profile picture of the author FinishMyGoals
    To drive traffic, you can try:

    If writing on a website, check SEO to see it is viable to rank, and if you are comfortable with timeframe to rank. Using the same keywords after doing SEO research, you can check to see if you are okay with amount it would take to get visitors via ads on Bing, Facebook or Google Ads.

    You can get readers also by seeing where they congregate on the web, and contacting owners of these sites, and seeing if they would allow you to pay them to present an offer to their group. You should look up groups on social media, forums etc.

    How will you know what to talk about: Google content on what you which to talk, and see what are top content on first page. Also look at content that had alot of engagement. Check websites, blogs, videos etc. Also check Amazon, and see the good, bad, and ugly reviews for things related to what you want to discuss. Also check out Facebook pages, groups, and see what people are talking about. You then see a pattern for most popular topics, study how they wrote content, and from there write in your own way.

    On Kindle, if you decide to self publish, you can market yourself by getting involved in their marketing programs such as KDP select, Kindle Unlimited, free giveaways, etc. Google these terms, or go to Amazon selfpublishing section, and they give you the low down on everything.

    There are ways to know what is selling on Kindle not to waste your time. You can google something like what sells on Kindle etc. You can do it manually or use paid tools. I know both ways, and both are accurate.

    I took the one less traveled by,
    And that has made all the difference

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  • Profile picture of the author Jeff Burritt
    There are a few author book review groups on facebook. Search facebook for these groups. Join a few. Post your book, the link to it on amazon. Then review a few other author's books, and let them know. Then you'll get some people returning the favor and reviewing your book. These reviews can help you get more sales.

    Other ideas:
    -Post your book in various facebook groups.
    -Do a press release. Are you a school teacher? Veteran? Missionary? Mom? Former whatever? Use this as a semi biographical story about you and your interest in writing this style of fiction.
    -Offer the book for .99c for a limited time. Then promote this sale via social media.
    -Put up a wordpress blog. or or even (if available). Just a simple site with description of book, about you, and link to buy off amazon. Let your friends and family know via social media, and ask them to share.
    -Donate a copy to your local library and offer to do a 2hr free book signing. Have a friend take a couple pictures of you there, maybe posing with a customer. Post the pictures on facebook and your blog.
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  • Profile picture of the author BellaZee
    Thank you Laurencewins, I will definitely be in touch for details.

    FinishMyGoals, thank you for the advice, but most of it seems to apply more to non-fiction self-publishing. Fiction isn’t as cut and dried as looking at what’s selling on Amazon. I know contemporary romance and monster erotica are really big sellers on Amazon, for example, but I really have no interest in those areas.

    When you say check SEO, and I’m assuming you mean doing keyword research, I wouldn’t know even where to start other than maybe the genre I want to write in. And creating content to post, well, again, this is an issue of fiction vs non-fiction. Looking at other author sites makes it pretty clear they aren’t relying on those sites to drive traffic or drum up business.

    Jeff Burritt, thank you for the suggestions. My interest is mainly urban fantasy, and since I’m not a former dragon, witch or recovering vampire, the press release might be a bit difficult LOL. J/k. I get what you’re saying.

    AnniePot, thank you for the links. I’ll be checking them all out in great detail.
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  • Profile picture of the author rishwoj
    Amazon Kindle is a great place to start as they allow you to give your book away for free for a limited time. Why do this?

    Because it allows you to get lots of genuine readers reviews for your book and helps it sell once you start charging for it.

    Can you imagine what it’d be like to have all your list building problems totally solved? This one IS the REAL DEAL …Find Out More Here

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  • Profile picture of the author BellaZee
    Thank you for the advice. I was planning to self-pub on Amazon anyway, considering they are pretty much the biggest supplier of books out there, with a view to researching other platforms simply to avoid having all my proverbial eggs in one basket.

    And offering the book for free for a limited time is definitely one approach I'll be using.
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  • Profile picture of the author MobileMonkey
    I think everybody already said everything you could possibly need.
    The only other thing I can think of is to have your own website and build an email list of people who like how you write.
    How do they find out about you? All the stuff mentioned above (forums, social media, facebook groups, promotions, ads, ...)

    What do you email to your list? Bits and pieces of what you write.
    Maybe you write a short story every month, or even every week...I don't know how much of a crazy writer you really are!
    Build a list of people who like your style, and the you market your book to your list.
    (Disclaimer - I have 0 experience with kindle, but here are my thoughts)
    You could self publish on kindle and then tell your list about it. Give them a good deal (discount / coupon) and I'm sure many will support you.
    These sales will help your book rank better on kindle (like I said, don't really know much about kindle, but I assume there is some sort of ranking system in place, right? Bestsellers, popular items, etc)

    So that's the only I think I could add to what others have already mentioned.
    But definitely check out forums for writers. Learn from people who are already successful at what you are doing and copy them (not in the bad sense of the word, I'm sure you understand what I mean)

    Best of luck!

    PS: if it doesn't work out, don't give up, try a different approach. Keep Trying!
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  • Profile picture of the author BellaZee
    Thanks for the advice MobileMonkey. Sorry it took so long to answer. I missed this for some reason.

    Anyways, I like the idea of emailing bits and pieces of what I write to my list. Maybe something like a free novel with each chapter sent out once a week or something. And it could be like an introductory novel to the world I’m building for the stuff I want to sell so they’d have a very good idea of what they’d be getting.

    One issue I have with writers’ forums is that many of them don’t really know a lot about marketing. Okay, most of them know diddly squat. I mean fiction writers. And the ones that know what they’re doing – really know and use legitimate methods, because they must be out there – don’t seem to be all that open with what they do.

    But I’ll keep poking around and then give a few methods a go. After all, I have to believe I have at least a small advantage over many other fiction writers simply because I know about online marketing and because I have a marketing degree and because I used to work in sales and marketing in a field where they told me that my B2B sales methods and ideas wouldn’t work but I proved them wrong big time LOL
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