I’ve found, since abandoning my book to the amazon website, that the internet is full of people’s opinions on how best to promote ebooks to the masses.
Some of this advice seems quite logical, some of it a waste of time, personally speaking. Here are some brief notes on what I’ve found so far:
Kindle readers forums – These are a good way to promote your work and most have a section for authors to promote their latest work, but be aware of a couple of things: firstly some of these forums require you to be, not only registered like other forums, but also approved. This means that it might take time for you to get any work done there and the danger of course is that you might sign up, wait for approval, and then forget about it completely. Time wasted, especially if they don’t email you to say if you’ve been approved.
The second note is regarding time differences, example: I found a forum based in the US where authors could post links to their books accompanied by a short description of it. The problem here is regarding time zones. If you post at a reasonable time in your own zone, by the time the target audience in the US is awake and checking the forum, tens of other authors might have posted after you, pushing you to page 3 or 4 or 17. That, with the rule most forums have stating that you can’t repost within a certain amount of time or bump your own work without moderator approval, equals another big fat waste of time. Timing is definitely key here. I personally would recommend posting when it’s about 4pm in New York meaning that everyone across the country is online in some capacity when you consider the time differences across states.
Shopping sites: no-one seems to have mentioned these, a great untapped resource. On many consumer forums there are threads where people can let each other know about freebies or offers online. I posted a link to my book in one of these and got a great deal of downloads and also became tipped as one of the better freebie offers. Warning: many of these sites warn against self-promotion so it’s best to either use a pseudonym or to get someone else to post on your behalf, lest you become banned from the site!
Facebook, Twitter, Blogs etc: Although you can rely on your friends for the first few downloads or purchases of your books, only the most loyal of chums is going to put up with you harping on about your latest project for very long. I know that an individual author or book page can get you around this partly, but your friends will most likely also be signed up to this, and they rarely distinguish between you posting personally and the promo page posting. People will hate you.
I would suggest that Twitter is more forgiving for this as your posts will only be visible for a short period and you can target your posts to the right people with hashtags. Obvious, I know, but additionally I’d add that there are pages that suggest what hashtags you should use specifically for promoting your ebook. I’d recommend researching these if you haven’t done already. Blogs are great, but so far I haven’t been able to exploit their potential completely. I’m still learning 🙂
Lastly, I found a great deal of Kindle pages on facebook that had millions of “likes” on them. I posted links to my book there and that seems to have paid dividends.
So far I’ve had over 450 downloads of my book in two weeks. I’m all too aware that other people have done much better than me, I wouldn’t doubt that some have not done so well. It’s a learning process and full of trial and error. I’ve made mistakes, but also surprised myself. I’d welcome any comments below on how everyone else has fared, I’d add as well that if anyone has found the tips above useful please let me know 🙂
Shameless self promotion: My book is available on all Amazon websites for download. You don’t need a kindle to read it as you can also get a kindle reader for mac or pc for free by googling it.
The following link is for amazon.com but if your country has it’s own amazon website, please check there for reasons related to local tax etc etc etc