If you're a new author with a really good first book, you might be wondering why your title isn't selling as many copies as you like. Well, the fact is your book is competing against hundreds of thousands of other new books. In every genre, a new book is like a single starfish in a great big ocean of competition. No matter how good your content or how awesome your illustrations, getting your book the attention it deserves is part of the struggle all authors face. Realistically, while the publisher is probably doing the best they can to market your book, no one knows your book or believes in your book with the passion you do. There are many ways authors can empower their books' success.
Amazon is the largest e-commerce book seller on the planet, with almost 90 million visitors per month. That's way you need to take advantage of the FREE page they offer to all authors. Author Central allows authors to upload photos, link their titles, provide a bio for fans to read, and even connect your blog. It's a great free marketing tool that every author should be using to connect with readers.
Goodreads is one of the leading book review websites with over 65 million registered users. That's 65 million readers looking for new books! The Goodreads Author Program is similar to the Amazon Author's Central page in that it is free for authors to sign in and create a unique page. They also allow authors to upload images, bios, and link their blogs. Again, you can never have to many free marketing opportunities to promote your books.
Tagging your books is an obvious way to promote your titles, but it's also the most commonly overlooked social media concept. Tags are essentially keywords that are used to promote your book. Think of keywords that apply to your book and insert them into the metadata on your website. Look up keywords that are trending to find if any of the top keywords apply to your book. Also when you post to social media accounts consider using hashtags that will attract visitors to your name and book titles. Ask your family and friends to promote your books using your hashtags too, and don't forget to add your tagline and website/blog site to the bottom of all your emails.
Build and keep your author webpage or blog active. While this item is usually already operating for most authors, it cannot be stated enough that authors need to be self-promoting via their own website, blog, or other social media pages where fans can connect and follow your writings. Blogs need to be relatively active, providing new material each week or month for fans to stay connected and remember your name. Blogs don't have to be entirely new material either. They can include backstory material, character details or attributes that are more elaborate than in your books, personal or fun stories from your life. Anything that can positively engage conversation should be explored. If you don't have an author page where you are actively contributing, don't expect much of a fan base to follow your books.
Connect with Customer Communities is the most obvious route to sales. Essentially, Goodreads.com is a customer community, but it's not the only community you can connect with at a low cost. Consider joining online book clubs in your genre where you can interact in discussions with readers. Connect with readers by hosting book signings or book readings locally in coffee shops, book stores, and even local markets or fairs. If you are a children's writer, consider donating some of your time to reading at local libraries where you can read to the preschool children that come in on a weekly basis to the library, or maybe arrange with the library to attend one of the older children activities or book reading competitions held each summer.