As an Indie author in a saturated world of advertising and sales, I find it very difficult to seek out the right platform from which to promote my books and my work as a freelance copywriter. Indeed, I am only just starting out in the business really. My first novel was published in 2011 and that was the same time that I really began to study the use of online advertising to try and get my name recognized. Now, two years later, I have learned a lot but I still have a lot more work to do.
I have the same difficulty that many of my fellow writers experience. We all use Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and other social media networks to promote our books, but we seem to attract a majority of other writers as followers and friends. There is nothing wrong with this of course. A writer has to be a reader at the end of the day; otherwise we wouldn't know where to start with our stories. The problem is that there are so many authors selling their work that we writers simply cannot support everybody by buying and reading their books. I mean, I have hundreds of books waiting to be read on my Kindle, not to mention an overflowing bookcase in my house that is now spilling out onto the floor. It will take me years to read all of these books, and I keep acquiring new ones!
So what do we do? How do we find actual readers who are willing and happy to buy our books and help build our platform? I do not have any financial backing with which to fund a comprehensive marketing campaign. Everything I do has to be free, or services swapped. I found one of these options quite by accident. I am a member of a Facebook group called Authors Tweeting Authors. We basically get together and retweet messages for each other, thus sending out our work and our promotions to a wider network of people all around the world. Search #JT4a on Twitter for more details.
From this group I found a service called RoundTeam. It is a free network where you can set up alerts to retweet other messages for you based on criteria that you choose. I set up a tweet service for messages containing #Bizitalk and from this I was approached by John at TweetUrBizUK. He offered me one week of free Twitter advertising after I shared a lot of retweet messages from his Twitter feed. Of course I said yes! It came at just the right time as well, when my baby daughter was born and I was unable to get online and do my promotions. Thanks to John, I kept up my media presence and found that since then I have a steady stream of new Twitter followers from all sorts of backgrounds. I am now waiting to see if this boosts my book sales, but it is a little early to tell just yet…
*Social networks image courtesy of B2B Marketing Insider
Twitter birds image courtesy of Media Novak