Indie Author Fringe 2016: Reaching More Readers

Tuesday, May 03, 2016

Welcome to part two of our ongoing series outlining Indie Author Fringe—a free, online conference presented by the Alliance of Independent Authors, offering non-stop advice and inspiration on key self-publishing topics.

The first day of Indie Author Fringe has come and gone, but the next is right around the corner, taking place May 14, directly after BookExpo America.

Regardless of what stage you’re at in your self-publishing career, each of the three days of Indie Author Fringe has something to offer. Plus, it’s completely free advice from professionals who have all been there before. So why not attend?

Conference Two: Reaching Readers; Book Promotion and Marketing

While Conference One focused on the first stages of publishing, Conference Two continues the journey forward, centering on what you need to do to get the most traction for your book—promotion and marketing. Most of Conference Two’s sessions are geared toward helping you craft or strengthen your author platform, as a means to selling more books. The anatomy of an author platform can either thrive or fail based upon how well you promote and market, not only your book, but also yourself as a brand.

Most self-published authors or even small publishers do not have the large budgets needed to pay for extravagant campaigns. However, there are plenty of affordable and effective methods for getting the word out and constructing a viable author platform. Sessions will cover a variety of topics, from the best practices for utilizing social media and creating promotional materials to more technical aspects like optimizing metadata and wrangling the Amazon sales algorithm.

Instead of attempting to define the fine line between promotions and marketing, Indie Author Fringe Conference Two is all about helping self-publishers find the right strategies and tactics to help them connect with more readers.

Book Promotion

Promotion is the first step in getting stakeholders to form a productive relationship with your title. This usually begins with reaching out to booksellers, prior to readers. Some examples might include creating an advanced reader copy, personally reaching out to a bookstore owner, or simply choosing the right BISAC codes. The key here is establishing that initial connection. When done correctly, you’ll already have a good foundation for your author platform.

One question you’ll want to answer first when promoting your book to retailers is: What makes my book worth a seller’s while? Booksellers want to know how you can help them make money. Learn your market. Understand what fans of your genre are looking for and play on those elements. Most importantly, have a plan in place and time your launch so it coincides with trade and retail calendars.

There are several ways to get your foot in the door, whether you do it yourself or get help from a partner like ALLi. But keep in mind; the bookseller isn’t going to market your book for you, that’s your job.

Book Marketing

Good marketing builds an attractive author brand. An attractive author brand leads to a healthy author platform capable of converting a one-time buyer into a fan for life.

Rather than being “salesy” your marketing should help foster relationships—with readers and booksellers. Though your goal is to sell more books, the story your marketing tells should be informative, engaging, and accurately positioned according to your style and genre.

During Indie Author Fringe you’ll learn there are tons of ways you can market your book and build interest. It’s important to take the time to get to know the habits of readers in your genre and create messaging that is relatable. A balanced mix of traditional and online tactics is a good place to start. You’ll often find many of these tactics overlap.

Traditional marketing may look something like this:

  • Listing in a catalog
  • Advertising in a publication
  • Acquiring book reviews
  • Signage in bookstores

Some of the best tools for online marketing are:

How you market your book isn’t the only factor to consider when it comes to your author platform. Marketing does however construct the majority of your brand, and it is the most direct way for readers to learn about your brand.

IngramSpark and Indie Author Fringe

If promotion is the first step to waltzing your way into retail spaces everywhere, marketing is winning over the hearts and minds of readers. Whether just building your author platform or looking for ways to strengthen current ones, you definitely do not want to miss day two of Indie Author Fringe.

Register for Indie Author Fringe and be sure to check back here for our blog entry on the next event!

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IngramSpark Staff

Hi there! It's your friendly IngramSpark staff here, happily sharing a wealth of publishing knowledge with people from all walks of the self-publishing biz.