As a self-publishing author, building an audience and getting your name out there can be time-consuming and troublesome to be the least, especially if you are new to social media and the web in general. It can be tough to market yourself and your novels in the public domain, but it is fairly safe to say that in today’s literary world, it is 100% essential.
The marketplace is extremely crowded, so you have to be willing to engage and interact with your audience at any given time, and be prepared to go looking for them, too. Fortunately, there are places for likeminded people to hang out online, and you can find a number of readers and writers there. You never know, they might just be interested in buying your works.
One of these forums is Amazon’s Meet our Authors forum. There are currently over 1,000 discussions taking place on the forum right now, with threads that cover everything from formatting an eBook to interviews, reviews and general chit-chat about the worlds of literature and self-publishing in general.
A popular thread at the time of writing is Authors with Books with Five Star Reviews Post Here, which is a thread that seems to have been created to give authors with books with great reviews to promote their works to readers and writers looking for well-reviewed and well received novels to purchase. The terms and conditions of the thread is that authors must have a book that has received five or more 5 star reviews to post. Free marketing for quality writing, it seems.
Promote Your Works
As you can tell from the thread mentioned above, you are allowed to promote your works, including any free promotions or special offers you might be having, on the Meet our Authors forum. But just like any other medium – Facebook, Twitter, Google+, etc. – the sales plug gets more than a little boring if that’s all you are using it for.
Forums are a great opportunity for writers to meet other writers and grow their readership in an organic way, by chatting with likeminded people who love writing and reading and who may want to get into self-publishing themselves. Instead of pitching your novels to them, you could be making them long-term readers of your work by handing out tips and advice, sharing stories, links to works and articles you have read, and much more.
Increasing Your Number of Reviews
The basic sales pitch won’t endear you to many people on the forums, but an offer of giving your book away for free in exchange for a review on your books Amazon page is a great way to plug your work and get something that benefits you in the grand scheme of Amazon.
As you know, the more reviews you get, the more likely you are to appear on lists like the Top 100, recommended and on the public Wish Lists of readers who like the sound of your novel and are thinking about picking it up in the near future.
You could ask fellow writers to do a review exchange and review each other’s novels on the marketplace. A solid review from an established Amazon reviewer can do you and your works a lot of favours, and by trading, you can return the favour.
Building Connections with Writers of Your Genre
There is some competition in writing, but there is also a community spirit – particularly in self-publishing – of wanting to help each other out and getting ahead in the world of writing. If you can make connections with writers who are self-publishing novels in the same genre as you, the Meet our Authors forum gives you the opportunity to talk to each other about your fears, aspirations and to be able to discuss the genre in extensive detail, which you can’t always do with writers who aren’t interested or aren’t educated in your genre.
When you start to make connections on the forum, you could offer advice to them – and accept it in return – on everything from marketing your works on social media and the search engines, designing an effective and attractive cover for your Kindle eBook and much, much more. It is important in this instance that you seek advice as well as take it. After all, a writer never stops learning.
You could set up a thread called “Horror Writers – Lets Discuss Avoiding Clichés” and get into a fun, friendly debate about what is a cliché, how to avoid a cliché and discuss famous examples of clichés in horror fiction. You never know, you could unearth some ideas, form a writing partnership or at the very least, build relationships with writers who like and understand what you are trying to do.
Do you have a thread on the Amazon Meet our Authors forum that you would like to promote? Let us know in the comments below, and let’s get discussing…