How to Promote Your Indie Review Books

Hi All!

As many of you know, I’ve been reviewing books pretty much since this blog started almost three (!!!!!!!) years ago. It’s something I love doing, and I’ve also loved getting to connect with so many wonderful authors, both indie and traditionally published. Beyond that, I’ve loved helping out the book community as a whole, and the indie book community, particularly. So many of these books are just as creative and engrossing as their traditionally published counterparts, but don’t get as much promotion, since the authors don’t have a complete marketing team at their disposal. As bloggers, we’re a powerful part of the indie book promotion community, and in order to maximize these awesome books’ sales trajectory-and promote our own reviews- we need to do more than just write the book review.

Here’s some ideas to help promote your fav indie books further:

  1. Use Complimentary Promotion. Make an event of your book review by posting complimentary promotion in the days before or after your review, preferably afterwards. Complimentary promotion includes excerpts, sequel previews or sneak peaks, or interviews. I really like using interviews. My philosophy on this (totally unscientific), is that after you intrigue the reader with your review, you follow up with something about the author. The reader then thinks: “Now that I know why the author wrote the book, I want to actually read what they wrote.” That’s my philosophy, anyways.
  2. Engage in Creative Fan Cultures. What does HarperTeen (one of my favourite traditional publishers) have that indie authors don’t? One answer: EpicReads!!! Don’t know what it is? It’s an awesome (in the true sense of the word), online destination for YA book lovers. It has quizzes, games, contest, author Q&As, and much more. More important than its overall awesomeness, is that it’s a form of participatory fan culture (that’s the four-year degree talking, unfortunately :)). Participatory fan cultures involve fans engaging with media and with one another, in activities that involve their favourite books, films, or television shows. Are you a fan of an indie book? Start a fan culture! Make a book trailer on YouTube, draw fan art and post it, write fan fic. You might meet some fellow fans, plus it gets the word-of-mouth out.
  3. Circulate. Part of the reason that some indie books may not get a large following very fast, is circulation problems. Print copes may be difficult to acquire, and if readers don’t have the technology to read the ebook versions, chances are they won’t be buying them. One way to circulate these books to maximize their exposure, is to donate your print review copy to your local library. Now, I understand if you don’t want to give away your copy because you love it so much (I’m with you), but if you give it to the library, then you can not only check it out, but others will benefit from it as well. Just think about the transmission once people get to read it! They’ll write their own reviews, buy the author’s other books off of the internet, Tweet it out, tell their friends. You can even help the exposure along by, ahem, tweaking the library’s book display and fixing it in a prize, end-of-the-shelf spot. Just be sure to clear it with the author or publisher first if you’re donating an ARC.
Do you have any tips for promoting indie books? Let me know in the comments below!

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