Thursday, January 27, 2011

Marketing Your Ebook

I've had quite a few people ask me how I marketed my book.  Since this comes up a lot, I thought I would spill all of my secrets.  Here goes:

When I first clicked "Publish" on my book, I honestly had one marketing lead, and that was  I had read JA Konrath's blog, and Karen McQuestion said she got her first sales by joining the Kindleboards.  So that's where I started.  I joined and introduced myself, and read the rules about advertising my book.

I quickly learned that the wonderful people over on the Kindleboards don't appreciate authors who post an ad once a week and never stick around to socialize.  Those get ignored.  I found that the best way to draw attention to my book was to put my book cover in my signature line with a link to the Kindle version, and then get to know people.  I posted on the threads that I was interested in.  I joined in the conversations.  I tried to be polite.  I also tried to make sure my posts weren't filled with grammatical errors or typos.  (Firefox is nice for this, it underlines my spelling errors in red so I can correct them before I click "post.")

Now, is a fantastic place for authors to mingle with readers.  But it's also a wonderful place for authors to network with each other.  When any author was looking for another author to interview, I signed up.  When a new person was starting a review blog, I submitted my book.  I found out a lot of ways to promote by reading the posts in the Writer's Cafe.

Here are some things I tried to help promote my book:

1. Giveaways. is a great place to give away paper copies.  If you're giving away Kindle books, try posting about it on the Amazon Kindle facebook page.  Just have people send you their email in a private message.  Doing giveaways on your own facebook fan page is a good way to get more followers.  I also did a giveaway on this blog.

2. Book Bloggers.  Submit your book for review to some book bloggers, but make sure your genre matches their guidelines.  To find book bloggers, try searching "book reviews" on Kindleboards using the search box.  There have been many helpful threads with links to different book review blogs.

3. Forums.  Being active on a forum is important for your internet presence., Amazon's forum,, and are all good places to chat with readers.  Just be sure to read the guidelines for posting, and get familiar with the site before posting.  And don't spam posts about your book.  The purpose of joining a forum is to get to know people, who will then want to know more about your book.  Don't be one of those annoying authors who post inappropriate ads for their books.

4. Paid advertising.  I am very careful with my money, but I did pay for two ads.  One with Kindle Nation Daily, and the other was an ad on Red Adept's review blog.  Before paying for advertising, I would highly suggest watching books that are being featured and noticing what happens to their rank.  You can also ask people what advertising did work for them.  The authors I chat with are very open about sharing information.

Last, but not least, I watched and listened.  If you look at what other authors are doing, and notice what works and what doesn't, it will give you important information.  Don't be afraid to try some different things out.  When you find something that works, stick with it.

If you have a promotional idea that worked for you, feel free to post it in the comments section!



  1. great info. You're such a help to so many authors. I'm copying this to read more carefully asap. Wish I had some advice to reciprocate, but you've blazed the trail for me.

  2. Hi Vicki! Great info, and thanks for sharing. :)

  3. Thanks, Vicki. Great info.

    Oh, I don't know if you've seen this list of reviewers who take indie books, but it is HUGE! :)

    Someone did a lot of work on that. I'd check each one before sending, but it looks like a great start.

    Thanks again for all you share with other authors.

  4. I was thinking of doing an ad on Red Adept. She does not care to review my genre--romance--but I was hoping she'd sell me ad space. Did you do the banner and excerpt too?

    Also, Jeanne, thanks for the reviewer list!


    Ps. Still enjoying Not What She Seems!

  5. I bought an ad with Red when she first announced ad space. She was running a special, $10 for a one week ad. I did that, and then later she said she would give a free banner ad for those who had done the special $10 ad. So I did get a free banner as well.

    :D I'm so glad you're enjoying the book! :)

  6. Very helpful! Sounds like it boils down to making a real effort to be visible. That's good news (it's something in the writer's control!).

  7. Thanks for sharing. As I start down that path to self publishing it helps to read encouraging blogs like this one. :)

  8. Thanks for posting all the marketing advice. It really helps to see what other authors have done. I noticed you had Goodreads up, but have you tried I also noticed they are very supportive of Indie Authors. They have Author Chat threads available to help promote new books. You just email the person in charge, and they set you up with a date and time.

  9. Great tips and I couldn't agree more about authors who post once a week and don't stick around to socialize. I also use and Stumble to recirculate authors blog posts and help them reach more people.

  10. Thank you so much for the advice and for sharing your success! I just followed you over from Joe's blog. I hope to follow in your footsteps as I am working on my first ebook now.

    Love your cover! Love your success story! Looking forward to reading your book!
    Thanks again and best wishes!

  11. Thank you, Kirs, and good luck with your book!

  12. Awesome! Thanks for posting this. I've only dipped my toes in at Kindleboards, but am going to make more of an effort.

    I've done a lot of things you've done on FB, and people always ask how I got thousands of connnections and a core group of loyal if it's magic or something. Being interested and actually interacting with people does the takes time, but in the long run more "effective" and more rewarding!

    Keep going. You're an inspriation!

  13. Honestly, your advice is great. As a (wanna-be) author and a (novice) indie publisher, this has been great advice, though a little intimidating as I've never really been active on forums. Good time to start? Yes! I had a Goodreads account but never did anything with it. I'm also going to look into

    Thanks again for this! Your honesty in how you marketed your book is greatly, greatly appreciated--by more than just me, I'm sure!

  14. I decided to try the 99 cent price for No Good Deed again. I chickened out after about six weeks. lol. With a second book out, I don't think I'll be as neurotic about sales. Maybe. I hope. ;-)

  15. great post, Victorine. I've been working on my first novel for the past few months (when done I will make it available for Kindle, Nook, etc.) And I'm still a little nervous about getting it some attention. So, this does ease the nerves a good bit. But like you said, it's all about finding something that works and running with it. Of what I've read on various blogs, I think the most static approach is the Kindleboards!!

    -K.L. Dillon

  16. I have bookmarked this and continue to return to it as a sort of mantra to success.
    It's keeping me on track.
    You are so generous with your encouraging advice to newcomers.
    Thank you.
    Kate Hamilton.

  17. I am currently working on a novel that I plan to self publish. I have to admit that it is a little intimidating. But it is very encouraging to hear that it can be done with hard work and patience.

    Thank you for sharing these wonderful tips! I plan on utilizing this list a lot in the future :)

    Nichole Chase

  18. Thank you so much for sharing with us. This is truly wonderful information.

  19. Thank you very much, Victorine! Great info. In addition to all your marketing efforts, I think you've done a terrific job with your cover and the title of the book. It shows really great on Kindle and I am sure plays a big role in your success!

    Best wishes!

    Lada Ray
    Stepford, USA
    A Jade Snow Mystery

  20. One suggestion if you want to do in-person events: Karen Syed of Echelon Publishing suggested copying ebooks to a CD and selling/promoting with that at "live" functions.

  21. Jacqueline - that's a great idea! :) I always take my paper books, but hadn't thought about taking CD's.

  22. Great advice. I'm working on a book of cartoons right now, which is a little different, but I think a lot of what you've written still applies, so I've taken notes!


  23. Just starting out on the ebook trail. I have three books that I hope to market in the upcoming twelve months.

    It’s great to hear how another successful author has managed their campaigns. I will try all of the suggested methods with the exception of paid ads as I don’t have the budget.

    Thanks for sharing.

  24. This IS really helpful! Kindleboards, hmm, I'm going to look into that!
    Thank you for taking the time to write this :)

  25. Thanks for sharing this information Vicki, I have been a bit lax interacting on goodreads and other forums so far. ( I haven't quite been able to figure it all out - what is allowed, where to post, how to set the right tone etc) Your post has made me realise just how much work I have to do still. Miriam

    Miriam Cooke
    Drusilla Blood: A gripping occult thriller where the past and present weave together in a tale of passion, intrigue, murder and the supernatural.

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