Reviews are the lifeblood of book promotion for independent and self-publishing authors. No printed ad is worth anywhere near the value of a well-written and constructive review, especially one that effectively highlights what kind of audience the book appeals to and why readers might enjoy it. Authors practically depend on word-of-mouth to get their book out there. The drawback to this, of course, is that the author is entirely at the mercy of the reviewer. Whether the book reviewer gives the book a negative assessment, or the author simply has trouble finding a reviewer who has the time and interest to bother, needing to depend on somebody else to promote a book can be frustrating at times. Book Reviewer Yellow Pages is firm in believing reviewers are your best friend when it comes to promoting your book, but that doesn't mean there's nothing you, as the author, can personally do to promote your work.
This insightful article on Self-Publishing Review by Cate Baum provides a simple overview on the main channels of boom promotion on the internet: Google, Amazon, Facebook, and Twitter. Of course, those aren't the only platforms you can use, but these four are the giants of the networking world and if you want to promote your book, you need to understand how to make the most of these tools. To give you an idea of what the article highlights, we will paraphrase the main points.
Each site has a particular strength that will help extend your visibility. Amazon, of course, is the premier platform for self-publishing. You want to make sure that all the information anybody will ever need about your book is present, such as metadata. You can also link your blog and personal sites to your Amazon account, creating a web of connections leading back to your work. The article also recommends getting Verified Customer reviews if you can. These help boost your credibility in the eyes of readers.
Google, on the other hand, has a strength Amazon does not have; Amazon's catalog of keywords is limited. Google has a considerably wider range. You can also manipulate Google's SEO to help create a solid image of yourself as a writer. Keep your posts consistent to your author persona and maintain a clean, professional personal website. When people Google your name or book, they should see you consistently as an author and a professional (a somewhat easier task if you use a pen-name).
Facebook and Twitter may seem similar, but they function very differently. Facebook is overcrowded and difficult to get a foothold in. That being said, it still has use when it comes to running ads. A well-place Facebook ad can help net you more views and more interest, but it's not the best place to start a following. Twitter, on the other hand, is a great place to build an audience. By following other writers and making use of the tagging system, you can get your name out there and pull in more followers. More followers means more potential readers. All it takes is some time and patience, and you can amass an audience just by keeping yourself active.
If you want to know the in-depth information about each site, we highly recommend you read this article for yourself. The information is valuable and practical, not the mention free!
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