More Things Successful Indie Authors Do


I’ve been running this in a series, and this is the final list, most of which was taken from “98 Book Marketing Ideas That Can Help Authors Increase Sales.” This list is not a “Top 5” but rather a concentrated list relevant to marketing and actually selling books. It’s perhaps a little more business focused than writer focused, but these things are important. If your writing goals are to establish this as your career, then you should be mindful of this and act as if writing is a business.

Build and manage your platform well. Okay, this one is mine—I didn’t swipe it from the original list. Here’s the deal with online platforms—if you only use it to promote your books it is doomed to fail, fall, and help birth Skynet. Stop destroying humanity. Use platforms properly. I’ve had to axe sooo many people from twitter and other media because I only ever see one thing from them, usually several times a day: buy my book (with a graphic of a poorly designed cover and copy/pasted blurb which fails to connect.) Use media to connect to readers, not push your agenda; only push your books in about 10% of posts. If you want an example of someone who’s mastered this, check out

Create an author website. Your site should be a marketing tool that serves as the hub of all your online activity, from blogging to selling books to emailing a newsletter to participating in social media. Use a platform like WordPress, Squarespace, or Wix to easily build a site.

Continue publishing new books. Nothing sells backlist like frontlist! Continually publishing new books will help you garner a wider audience that will be interested in your other books.

Measure the ROI of your campaigns. Analyze your return on investment for each campaign so you know what worked and what didn’t. Crunching numbers might not be as fun as writing your next masterpiece, but wasting money on campaigns that don’t work isn’t fun either.

Coordinate your marketing efforts in a single week. Bestseller lists are based on the number of units sold in a single week. Target a single list so you can optimize for its cycle. Focusing all your marketing efforts, including price promotions, social media campaigns, and emails to your mailing list in a single week can help boost your book on that list.

Run targeted social media ads. Sites like Facebook and Twitter let you target ads to a fine-tuned audience based on preferences users have expressed on those social platforms. This lets you advertise the discount to people interested in similar books or genres.

Submit a post to Buzzfeed. Write a clever or funny tie-in to your book. The article you write can either be entirely about your book, a “which character are you” quiz, or a listicle indirectly related. For example, a romance author can write a post on “10 Sizzling Beaches to Read Steamy Romances On” and incorporate her book into the post.

Write and syndicate a press release. Create an informational press release announcing your new book. Link to both the new release product page and your own website for SEO purposes. Use a free press release distribution service to syndicate your press release to news websites and blogs.

Create a permafree gateway book. For example, the first book in a series can be permafree as a gateway to the rest of your series — BookBub readers are 10x more likely to click on a book that’s offered for free than a discounted book.


Here is a link to that original article

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