You’ve had an idea. You have written it. Now you have got to sell it.

I’m of course talking about the ebook you wrote recently. On April 26, 2018, we had a Twitter discussion on a topic everyone who writes wants/needs to know: “How to Market Your EBook?”

It’s definitely a bombshell of a question!

You need people to see it, review it and finally buy your future-bestseller. That’s why you wrote it right? Making a point and entertaining while making money are a few other reasons you write! Our Twitterati didn’t let us down; we had a deluge of answers from our active writers. Here is a compilation of what they said.

Everyone agreed that nothing beats reading from a traditional paper and ink book. The smell of paper, the texture, the heaviness, your fingers feeling how many pages are left, nothing beats the sensation. But technology creeps in everywhere, so too with Blogchatter’s members. The light-weight, carry-your-library-in-your pocket Kindle and phone apps seem to rule the day.

Now is clearly the time for the ebook.

Why is the ebook market booming?

Priyanka hit the nail on the head with her comment about not being able to publish the traditional way because publishers are choosy. With an ebook, you can do it yourself, get it marketed online, use social media to make yourself known – it’s that simple now! Everyone who has something to say has the power to do so at their fingertips.

  • Ease of publishing
  • Easy access to a book that is not yet available in our respective countries – a wider audience
  • Getting reviews and sharing is a lot easier, no more having to submit the physical book to a reviewer
  • Having an online presence is so much easier than touring and attending talks and panel sessions for book launches
  • Convenience, for example in an app or a Kindle, you have a vocabulary builder
  • Not to mention it’s eco-friendly (The jury is out on this one! What’s the carbon footprint to manufacture an ebook??!)

Is it harder to market an ebook?

Ebooks have their own pros and cons, one of which is marketing. In traditional book publishing, a whole lot of professional help is available from the publisher – they organize tours, talks, and other activities to popularize a book. How different is online marketing for an ebook author vs a traditionally published author? What goes into the marketing of an ebook? Since the market is booming it can’t really be that hard to market your ebook.

  • Access to target audience is king here – the wrong audience won’t even take the time to read the advert, let alone click the link for your ebook
  • It’s definitely different from publishing a traditional book, so realize that and learn what you need to do differently to market an ebook
  • You don’t have marketing support, it’s up to you to get people to see your ebook in order for them to buy it
  • You don’t need a lot of money or logistics but you do need to push harder because there are so many more people marketing ebooks now than ever before. Remember there is equal opportunity for everyone, so you need to find a voice that works to gain popularity and is exclusive to your work
  • On a positive note, you can catch the impulse buyer who thrives on instant delivery
  • Low-cost and even free books make it even more attractive to readers
  • Understand how marketing strategy works, otherwise, you will be wasting time and you won’t get the results you want
  • Make the title and the cover attractive enough that a reader will want to read an excerpt, remember you have only two seconds to convince your audience to click when you post on Social Media!

The finer points of making a great marketing plan

  • Stay away from stale, often used keywords, people will skip through them
  • Know your audience and target them accordingly. No point in wasting money on people who are not interested in your genre. Target by age, region, language, education and/or gender => find your demographic!
  • Get the message across on how it can change or affect the reader’s life
  • Find out whether your target audience reads digital media or traditional and plan accordingly

Cheryl got down to the basics with her tweet.

  • Consistency – means publishing regularly on your blog, website or books on your niche topic, so your audience comes to rely on you as an authority in that field.
  • Branding – is important, how will you brand yourself to your customer? If you are a romance writer, your colors and content on your website, emails and what you wear in front of an audience should reflect that. A science or thriller writer should reflect their respective fields.
  • Relationship – with your customer is a must-have. You may have received emails/newsletters from authors. They talk about their life, their struggles in writing, their characters – they are building a relationship with you. One where you will buy their next book out of faith in them. Use social media, email newsletters and/or blogs to build a relationship.
  • The bonus of having a loyal following is that they encourage you to keep writing. They also work as your word-of-mouth advertisers.
  • Give something away free as a lead magnet, it may lead to a purchase decision and get you a follower

Ebook marketing strategy for Twitter

Is your audience on Twitter? This is the first question to ask. If so then read on how to refine your Twitter presence:

  • Post consistently on Twitter, 3-4 times a day
  • Add value, your post doesn’t always have to be about your book but have an interesting message (inspiring quote?) that adds value or entertains your reader and maybe have your website or book link as a small part of the post
  • Join Twitter Chats
  • Engage with influencers in your genre
  • Build a hashtag
  • Engage keeping in mind your brand (writing about your romantic dinner may not sit well with your environmentally-conscious reader but is great for a Romance writer or a YA writer)
  • Promote other authors and have them reciprocate, ten authors together can reach a terrific number of people
  • Give snippets of your book with links to purchase
  • Behind the scenes look at what went into a popular section of your book or what you found most exciting while writing makes for interesting reading.
  • Chats, contests, giveaways, and polls are a good idea
  • Make book launches interesting and fun with novel activities
  • Join book discussion groups, build a connection, plug your ebook after you have built a rapport
  • Reading sessions on Periscope or similar app on Twitter

Ebook marketing strategy on Facebook and Instagram

So now that you’ve killed it on Twitter, its time to look at what Facebook and Instagram can do for you.

  • Again make sure your audience is available on these platforms
  • Since Instagram is an image-rich medium, take care that images are stunning and/or provoke curiosity in your potential reader
  • Facebook strategies must be well-planned, over-posting can end up annoying readers, so be careful. Twice a day should be okay here, study how other writers post
  • If your target audience is on FB, think about starting a community or group
  • Join writers’ groups on FB, build a relationship with other authors, they will be happy to exchange reviews and recommendations with you once you have a connection
  • If you target adventurous people for your travel book, where are they likely to congregate in an FB group? Get to your target, so readers know where to get your ebook
  • Giveaways, contest, polls work here too
  • Remember your genre, your brand, and plan accordingly

Other ways you can promote your book besides social media

  • Get people who review books in magazines, newspapers, colleges, etc to do yours too
  • Look for places (library) you can talk about your book or discuss it with an audience
  • Add a Call To Action (CTA) This is a link at the end of the ebook to where your reader bought your book so they can immediately review it and/or a link to other books you have written
  • If you know you have a winner, engage an Amazon Publishing Consultant
  • As a first time author, keep looking for opportunities to speak about your book. Events in schools/colleges or bookstores or Malls are ideal
  • Get involved with local book clubs
  • Tell friends and relatives, you never know who-knows-who till you try. Word of mouth is sometimes the best place to start
  • Distribute fliers at strategic places (schools, bookstores, shops, malls etc).
  • Blog about your book, characters, the trouble you had in writing a particular scene or character
  • Distribute a few copies in your neighborhood
  • Hire a PR person

Be human, have patience and persistence, and you will get there. No one said it would be easy, but it sure is possible. Enjoy, share and learn as you grow.

So now you have no excuse NOT to write that next ‘great novel’ as an ebook, do you?